COX AND BUCKLE REACTION
Cox: We were excellent
Manager Paul Cox believes his side showed excellent hunger, desire and application during our 2-2 draw with Luton Town at One Call Stadium yesterday afternoon.
Ben Hutchinson fired us ahead inside the opening ten minutes, before a brace from Andre Gray helped put the visitors on course for their seventh away win of the league campaign.
But Matt Green's dramatic equaliser five minutes from time, his first strike in over two months, ensured that the Hatters squandered points from a winning position for the first time this term.
“First and foremost, I thought our performance was excellent,” stated Cox.
“We were on the front foot for the majority of the game, but it was two silly errors that cost us the three points today.
“I'm frustrated that we didn't get three points though, because our hunger, desire and the way we applied ourselves was excellent and I thought we played well.
Our boss added: “We're starting to look a little bit like a team who are going to do things this season. We're building in the right way and one or two individuals are really stepping up to the mark.”
Exodus Geohaghon, who skippered the side today in the absence of John Dempster, is now set for a one-match suspension after he collected his fifth yellow card of the campaign.
However, the burly defender grabbed an assist for our first goal with his torpedo-like long throw, an attribute which hasn't been used as much as usual in recent weeks.
“We've tried to do different things in training and not to be so stereotypical with it [the long throw],” said Cox.
“We've moved people about and with the throw today, it came in like a torpedo and all you need to do is get the slightest touch and it causes problems.”
Our next Blue Square Bet Premier encounter is against Macclesfield Town at Moss Rose on Tuesday night
Stags boss Paul Cox praises Mansfield fans after thrilling 2-2 draw with Luton
DESPITE a superb showing against Luton Town today, Stags boss Paul Cox admitted it felt like two points lost in the epic 2-2 draw at the One Call Stadium.
Ben Hutchinson grabbed an early goal but, after Luton hit back against the run of play to go 2-1 up, Matt Green rescued a thoroughly deserved point near the end.
Cox said: “The performance today was excellent but it's probably two points lost as we played so well.
“We defended well for the majority of the game and only silly errors cost us getting all three points.
“The hunger and desire was there. I thought we were in our mode and we had one or two players stepping up to the mark.
“We are starting to look like a side that may do something this season.
“Most importantly it was a good team performance and the lads were a bit unlucky.
“No-one is singing from the rooftops as we didn't win today.
“But there is something building now with this group and that pleases me more than the result. We are showing the same spirit and desire we showed last season.
“We are looking a cohesive unit and the boys are running for each other and fighting for each other.”
For sub Matt Green, who bagged 30 goals last season, it was a first goal since 4th September.
Cox said: “We threw caution to the wind near the end with three strikers and it was nice to see Matt Green get that monkey off his back.
“Sometimes the harder he tried the worse it got. I have had to put an arm round his shoulder and love him a bit.
“He and Jake Speight are both potential 25 goals a season strikers. They are both champing at the bit to play now.”
Cox also paid tribute to the fans, adding: “The supporters were brilliant again today. They were trying to suck the ball into the net. When they do that, this can be an intimidating place to come.
“They are such a major factor and give the players confidence. They feed off the fans.”
Keeper Shane Redmond was beaten by Andre Gray from the tightest of angles for the Luton equaliser and Cox added: “Shane is probably a bit disappointed with it.
“He will probably hold his hands up to it.”
Defensive pair Exodus Geohaghon and Lee Beevers (correction by Martin - not Lee Beevers) both picked up their fifth bookings of the season and miss the trip to Macclesfield on Tuesday
Relaxed Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox ready to go on attack at Macc
by Stevie Roden, Tuesday, November 20, 2012 Nottingham Post
IT IS easy to cast the eye back to games this season where, post match, there has been a simmering feeling of discontent.
Back at Grimsby on the August Bank Holiday Monday, after a 4-1 defeat, Cox was fuming.
At Cambridge United, after a defeat of the same scoreline, the frustration was obvious in the manager.
The biggest question was how was this happening?
A team so solid last season as they finished third in the Blue Square Premier was suddenly folding like a pack of cards when the heat was on.
As it kept happening following a summer of rebuilding his squad, Cox took action and stripped his squad back down to just over 20 players involved in first-team training.
Five games on, all without defeat, and the manager cuts a different figure as he speaks to the press after matches.
A draw with Luton on Sunday was a solid point but it could easily have been a victory as Stags put in another good performance.
But he wasn't upset by a point, he was just happy that under a big test, the new-found togetherness saw his side fightback.
The dressing room is getting back to what it was last season and, as they head to Macclesfield for their re-arranged game tonight, he hopes they can take another step in the right direction.
Cox said: "The team at the moment, we are getting that spirit and desire back which we had last season.
"There is a honesty with this bunch now and they come in the dressing room and we know we can perform and get consistent results.
"Over the last five games nobody can question our desire. What we are doing is looking like a cohesive unit and there is a hunger and desire there and the most impotant thing is that togetherness.
"The boys are running for each other, fighting for each other and when that starts happening in a group of players, it is a very hard formula to break down.
"There is a lot more to come from us. We are not shouting from the rooftops as we did not win against Luton but you can just feel there is something in us at the moment – a willingness to do all the horrible stuff.
"We just need that consistent end product."
Matt Green, last season's 30-goal top scorer, came off the bench to score the late equaliser for Mansfield – his first strike in ten weeks.
He might have to settle for the bench again this evening, alongside this season's top marksman Jake Speight, who has eight goals.
Ben Hutchinson and Nick Wright have taken their chance in recent games with Cox reluctant to make unforced changes.
But he knows the pair will soon be terrifying defences – whether that be off the bench or from the start.
The Stags boss said: "Speighty has come on and looked sharp, Greeny came on and looked sharp and that is a big positive.
"With Greeny it was a scenario where the harder he tried, the tougher it got. I maintained faith in him and we have two potential 25 goals a season strikers, with him and Speight, and what we need now is both to start hitting that bit of form.
"Wrighty has done well and Hutch has been playing out of his skin so I have to give them credit.
"We are looking to unleash them two at some point and if we can start scoring consistently, we are looking solid, so we will get consistent results.
"We are settling into a system now and we have a nice system that suits us. I have had a chat with Greeny and Speight and they are champing at the bit to get back in there.
"Greeny I have had to put my arm round his shoulder and love him a bit.
"At some point we will let them off their leash and when we do, I hope we score the goals."
But Cox believes they can build on that solid point against Luton, when they took the lead through Hutchinson before going behind until Green's late equaliser.
"It was nice for Greeny to get that monkey off his back," said Cox. "I actually thought we were going to score more goals at the end.
"We had to throw caution to the wind and ended up with three strikers.
"I thought we defended well, there were some good individual performances and more importantly, a good team performance. I thought the lads were unlucky not to get the three points.
"Shane (Redmond) is disappointed with the first goal but saying that, it is a scenario where he is getting his confidence back and getting a run of games in goal. It happens.
"I am not going to dig anybody out but the group win and lose together and there is something growing in the dressing room and that is a positive for me."
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"The performance against Luton [2-2 draw] was excellent but it's probably two points lost as we played so well. We defended well and only silly errors cost us.
"The hunger and desire was there. We are starting to look like a side that may do something this season.
"There is something building now with this group and that pleases me more than the result. We are showing the same spirit and desire we showed last season.
"The boys are running and fighting for each other."
'Now to get that scoring run going again . . .'
MATT Green insists he never stopped believing before finally ending his barren run in front of goal.
And, after getting on the scoresheet yesterday, the striker believes he can get on a superb run to help lift the Stags up the table.
Green netted 30 goals last season as Mansfield finished third in the Blue Square Bet Premier before losing out in the play-off semi-finals.
But he had not scored since early September before coming off the bench to net the equaliser in a 2-2 draw with Luton at the One Call Stadium yesterday.
And Green, who hopes to start at Macclesfield tomorrow night, said: "It is such a relief and all strikers have a dip in form as I did but I never stopped believing so I was delighted.
"I always believed in my own ability and the gaffer has always said he believes in me. All strikers go through it, no matter how good you are.
"I just had to be patient and kept working hard. Eventually one was going to go in."
Green had bagged four goals in the opening few weeks of the season before they dried up as his form and confidence dipped.
But he said: "I can go on another run. I will keep working hard and I am a goalscorer, I proved that last season and I just have to keep doing the right things.
"I never doubted myself and if anybody would have seen me in training, I was finding the net regularly and with confidence.
"But in a game I was not getting into the positions and maybe that was a lack of confidence.
"Hopefully I can get back in there and do what I do best. As for Macclesfield, I'll leave the decision to the gaffer and respect it but I want to play and want to score goals."
TWO POINTS DROPPED - BUCKLE
Boss frustrated with Field Mill draw
A frustrated Paul Buckle felt it was two points dropped rather than one gained after the Town were held to a 2-2 draw at Mansfield.
Despite trailing to a Ben Hutchinson header the Hatters fought back to lead 2-1 thanks to two goals from Andre Gray.
But the Town switched off at a set-piece five minutes from time and Stags substitute Matt Green earned the hosts a point - leaving the boss to reflect on his side's inability to deal with balls into the box once more.
"It's two points dropped," said Buckle afterwards. "We'd weathered the storm and recovered well from a sloppy start.
"The defenders haven't done their job and it's disappointing because Mansfield should have been dead and buried by then.
"We've had three really good chances; Andre's in the first half, Janos Kovacs' header - which hit Ronnie Henry on the line - and Jake Howells, who, if he'd taken it a bit further in, you'd expect him to score.
"We need to be solid and stronger and I'm massively disappointed we haven't taken the three points but there was a lot on show today which would suggest to me that we can go on another run.
"In the end we've only got ourselves to blame because we were consistently fouling. I was shouting from the sidelines 'don't get caught' and in the end we've been punished. We've been beaten at the back post for the header across goal and nobody's reacted to it.
"There was no real quality about what Mansfield were doing, we just couldn't defend what was thrown in there.
"It's even more frustrating when you come off the pitch and note that Mark Tyler's barely had a shot to save.
"We'll keep working on, we always do. It's an unforgiving league and we're still very much there. We just have to start learning from our mistakes. More players need to take more ownership. We need more leaders."
Buckle: It was two points dropped at Mansfield
Hatters boss Paul Buckle felt it was definitely a case of two points dropped as Luton were held to a 2-2 draw at Mansfield on Sunday, writes Mike Simmonds.
Town had hit back from Ben Hutchinson's early goal to lead with fine minutes remaining courtesy of Andre Gray's double strike.
But Stags substitute Matt Green came off the bench to level the scores, volleying in after yet another free kick was pumped into the visitors box, as Buckle said: “It's two points dropped, because we weathered the storm.
“It was relentless, the entries into our 18-yard box and the game was broken up constantly by long throws.
“We actually recovered very well from a sloppy start, we should have someone in front on the long throws and they've not done the job we've asked.
“We recover and looked a very good team. We looked strong all the way through the game, other than at the very start and the very end.
“Really, the game should have been dead and buried with the chances we had, but we've let a free header in at the back post and not gone with out runners in the box. We've got to be stronger and we know that.”
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