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Archived News from November 2013

13th November 2013 22:10

7 Nov 2013

video interview with Paul Cox

Cox clarifies that Kieron Freeman is just one player that Mansfield have inquired about.

video interview with Jack Blake and Alan Marriott


twitter Mansfield Town FC @mansfieldtownfc

Paul Cox has confirmed interest in signing Derby County defender Kieron Freeman on loan. More on http://mansfieldtown.net later today.


twitter John Lomas @johnlomas

Stags taking to Keiron Freeman's agent about a loan move from Derby but no contact with the player or his club yet.

Ben Hutchinson out for a month with tear in groin say Mansfield Town today


Cox warns of St Albans test
mansfieldtown.net, 7th November 2013

Manager Paul Cox has warned that St Albans City will be no pushovers, ahead of our FA Cup with Budweiser First Round meeting on Saturday.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-warns-of-st-albans-test-1160310.aspx#5AR5ffMvevZGXL1l.99

Our team travel to Clarence Park keen to return to winning ways, and move a step closer towards replicating last season’s achievements in the FA Cup.

However, St Albans, who ply their trade in the Calor Southern League and are 63 places below us in the football pyramid, will provide a tough test.

The Saints are unbeaten in 11 matches in all competitions, with strike-duo John Frendo and Mark Nwokeji having found the target on 26 occasions already this term.

“If we think back to last year, the euphoria of the Liverpool game and everything about it, even though we lost, put the football club on the world map,” said Cox.

“We want to replicate that, but to do so we have to go through the same stages as we did last season, which is paying every team that we play, the same respect as Liverpool.

“We want to be on the same field and in the same stadiums [as clubs like Liverpool], but to do that you have to overcome some tough games - and Saturday is a tough game.

“We’re going to have to be mentally strong and overcome a number of obstacles. If we do that, we’ve got a chance of being in the next round.”

Our boss added: “I’ve been where St Albans are. I’ve learned my trade coming up through that level of football and it’s tough. There are some very good players at that level, who have day jobs as well.

“I’ve been to watch St Albans and I was impressed with them. It’ll be a tough game for us, but for me personally, whether it’s the FA Cup or a league game, it doesn’t matter.

“The main thing is that we go there and get back to our mindset - the same mindset, which earlier in the season saw us in the top three of the league - and [doing] what we’re good at.”

In team news, defenders John Dempster and Lee Beevers, along with loan striker James Alabi, are all suspended for Saturday’s encounter.

Meanwhile, striker Ben Hutchinson has joined Martin Riley, Chris Clements and Ryan Tafazolli on the sidelines, with a groin tear suffered in the loss at Southend United last week.

Paul Cox's full press conference is now available on Stags Player. To subscribe, click here.


Stags begin chase of new cup dream at St Albans
chad.co.uk, 07 November 2013

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox said the wonderful experience of playing Liverpool last year will be a great motivator as Stags look to put last Friday night’s woeful night at Southend behind them and negotiate a tricky first round FA Cup tie at minnows St Albans City on Saturday (3pm).


After scraping through some tough early round games, Mansfield earned themselves worldwide acclaim for pushing the Merseyside giants all the way before bowing out 2-1 in Round Three.

Stags, without a win in seven games or a goal in 428 minutes of football, know they will face a very different type of game at Clarence Park on Saturday where the boot will be on the other foot and they are the potential scalp for the Calor Southern League Premier side.

Cox said: “We have got to get some demons out of our system from Friday night.

“You think back to the euphoria of the Liverpool game, the tastes, the smells and sounds and everything that came out of it. Even though we lost, we put the football club on the world map with the way we went about our business.

“We want to replicate that this season. To do that we have got to get through some early rounds and give every team the same respect we would give the Liverpools and Manchester Uniteds as that’s who we want to play against - to be on the same field in the same stadiums as those teams. We have to overcome some tough games and a number of obstacles to get into the next round.

“I have been there when the shoe has been on the other foot and you have to be mentally strong.”

Cox has been down to Clarence Park to do his homework and saw that the Saints will be no pushovers.

“I have been down to watch them and was very impressed with them,” he said.

“I have been where they have been. I learned my trade coming up through that level and there are some very good players down there who have got good jobs as well.

“The main thing is for us to get back to what we are good at and get back to the mindset we had early in the season when we were in and round the top three and getting a few pats on the back.

“Sometimes you can lose yourself with the plaudits. We need to forget the hype, the FA Cup and who we are playing and just enjoy the game and get back to winning ways.”

After Friday’s tame 3-0 surrender at Southend, Cox demanded his players show him a response on Saturday, but said the players had already started to do that in training.

“The response in training has been really impressive and I know I have an honest bunch of lads here,” he said.

“We hold our hands up, and I include myself in that pack, and say we were poor on Friday - probably the poorest we’d been for a number of months. We let ourselves down.

“I know we are not going to win every game. But if we are not going to win, I want to see us lose in the best way possible.

“I want teams to know they’ve been in a football match and I don’t think Southend felt like they’d been in a football match. That needs rectifying.

“The last two years we have had a bad time in October, I know some supporters call it ‘Black October’, but I am not unduly worried about this stage of the season.

“I am more concerned what position we are in when we get to Christmas and what needs adding to or tweaking. We are judged ultimately where we finish at the end of the season.”

Ben Hutchinson joined Stags’ list of missing players this week when he was ruled out for a month with a tear in his groin following a scan. Hutchinson came off with the injury during the Southend game.

“Ben will be a big miss but it does open up chances for other people,” said Cox.”

In all Stags will be without suspended trio Lee Beevers, James Alabi and John Dempster as well as injured quintet Hutchinson, Martin Riley, Chris Clements, and Ryan Tafazolli.

Mansfield have been given around 1,000 tickets for the game but, although all the seats have gone, the Stags had only sold about 300 tickets this morning.

Fans are reminded the game is all-ticket and they need to be bought from One Call Stadium before 4pm on Friday.


Hutchinson out for a month
mansfieldtown.net, 7th November 2013

Striker Ben Hutchinson is expected to be sidelined for around a month with a groin tear.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/hutchinson-out-for-a-month-1159946.aspx#oTpZdcreSvppQvjh.99

The 25-year-old, who has scored twice for us this term, suffered the injury during our Sky Bet League Two clash with Southend United last week.

Manager Paul Cox revealed the news during his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to St Albans City in the FA Cup with Budweiser.

“Ben picked up the injury in the Southend game and it was part of the reason why we brought him off,” said our boss.

“He’s going to be a big miss, but [his absence] opens doors up for others.”

Cox continued: “We’ve had some horrendous injuries and probably a little bit of bad luck with suspensions, but I’m not going to moan or use it as an excuse.

“We’ve got players at the football club, who can come in and do a good job.”

In more positive news, our boss also revealed that both Chris Clements and Martin Riley are expected to return to training next week, whilst Ryan Tafazolli could be back in training later this week.


Could Freeman make a loan return to Mansfield Town?
chad.co.uk, 07 November 2013

Stags boss Paul Cox could turn to Derby County defender Keiron Freeman to bolster his weakened rearguard ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup trip to St Albans City.


As a Nottingham Forest youngster, Freeman had an impressive nine-game loan spell with the Stags back in 2010/11 and went on to play for Forest’s first game and then Notts County before Nigel Clough took him to Derby last year.

However, Cox was keen to stress he had only spoken to Freeman’s agent and not the player or Derby County, and had no idea if he wanted to come or if the Rams would allow the 21-year-old to become cup-tied.

“I get on with Keiran really well and I have spoken with his representative, but nothing more. I have been speaking to a number of players,” said Cox.

“He is not getting a game at Derby and I know Derby want to get him out to play some games and, obviously, he is a Nottingham boy.

“I was watching him play the other day and Keiran has come on in leaps and bounds. He is looking one hell of a football player.

“I am always looking to improve my squad and he definitely fits the bill. Everyone knows the squad is depleted and we are a bit low on defenders at the minute.”

Cox would not rule out getting Freeman on board in time for the weekend cup tie, saying: “It is possible, but first and foremost I would need to speak to his club and, more importantly, to the lad himself.

“This is the FA Cup this weekend and I don’t know if his club would want him cup-tied.”


Is Kieron Freeman on his way back to Mansfield Town on loan?

By Nottingham Post, November 06, 2013

A SECOND loan stint at Mansfield Town could be on the cards for Kieron Freeman.

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/story-20038777-detail/story.html#ixzz2jr4qnYaN

The 21-year-old Derby County defender made nine appearances for the Stags on loan during a two-month spell in the 2011/12 campaign.

And the former Nottingham Forest youth player, who also spent time on loan at Notts County in 2012, looks set to be called upon again.

With Paul Cox's men struggling with injuries and suspensions, it is understood a one-month deal could be on the horizon.


Excited Marriott still smarting over decision

Stags keeper Alan Marriott is still smarting from the decision that saw the referee and his assistant decide Marriott had caught the ball over his own goal line in last weekend’s 3-0 defeat at Southend.


But the experienced stopper is excited over the thought of the club starting out on another FA Cup run at St Albans tomorrow, a competition that saw the Stags just pipped by Liverpool in last year’s third round.

“That second goal at Southend was very controversial and, for the linesman to give it, I was very disappointed,” he said.

“My feet were over my line but I was leaning forward and I don’t think there was any doubt about it going over the line, so I was gobsmacked.

“We had stood up to a lot of pressure and, when the teams were back at 10 on 10 after their red card we thought we had a bit of a sniff.

“But a decision like that knocked us and left heads and jaws on the floor, thinking the game was over now.

“I could have come forward and taken the ball higher but I might have fumbled it.

“That’s football and you have to take the rough with the smooth at times.

“We didn’t play well as a team and I had quite a bit to do throughout the game. We need to get back to clean sheets, which we had a good run of earlier this season.”

For Marriott and his team mates, excitement is now building for the first round tie against minnows St Albans City at the compact Clarence Park stadium tomorrow.

“I spent the early rounds injured last year and came back in for the replay against Lincoln,” he said.

“But there is something magical about the Cup. You know if you can get through a couple of rounds you could be playing your boyhood teams and playing at fantastic venues. We had a taste of that last season and it makes you want more of it.

“We have a lot of new lads here who want to taste that as well.

“We won’t underestimate them (St Albans) on the day. Anyone can beat anyone and we are at their stadium which is a bit more of a leveller.

“For them, playing against someone like Mansfield, who were the best team in non-League football last season, is a benchmark. They will get a bigger crowd than usual and that will lift them.

“To earn a replay would not be a negative thing. We would have done our job and got them back here for us to beat them.”

After beginning the season in impressive fashion, Stags have stuttered of late, failing to win any of their last seven games or score in the last 428 minutes.

But Marriott said: “There is a lot of effort gone into all our games. I watched the Plymouth game as I was injured and I thought it was one of our better performances. It’s just having that killer edge.

“We have had a lot of chopping and changing, especially at the back where we’d been a consistent unit for a few games.

“We need to keep going, keep believing and everyone stick with us. As a Conference side just promoted I think we have exceeded expectations to a certain degree, though I know the chairman wants us to get out of this league.”

Marriott said he has now fully recovered from the back spasm that kept him out of the Plymouth home game two weeks ago.

“I think it’s just old age,” he smiled. “ I just woke up and couldn’t move. I got the kids to try jumping on my back to sort it out.

“I wouldn’t have been fair on myself or my team mates to go out there 70 per cent right. I made the right decision and I though Liam Mitchell did very well in my place.”


Blake relishing FA Cup test
mansfieldtown.net 7th November 2013

Midfielder Jack Blake is looking forward to competing in the FA Cup for the first time in his career, when our side visit St Albans City on Saturday.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/blake-relishing-fa-cup-test-1161547.aspx#K3Uzj9f0g3lVKFtU.99

The youngster, who joined us on loan from Nottingham Forest last month, played a key role in helping his parent club reach the FA Youth Cup Semi-Finals last term.

“I think it’ll be a good game on Saturday,” said the teenage midfielder. “It’ll be a different experience going down to St Albans and the lads are looking forward to it.

“[The FA Cup] is a great competition because any club can play any team in any league, if they get through to certain stages. Saturday is an example of that and I think St Albans will be fired up.

“I think every team will try and make it difficult for us, but we’ve got a good bunch of players, good morale in the squad and we’ll push each other through to get a good result.

“If we can put in a good performance, it could give us that confidence to progress for when we play again in the league.”

Reflecting on his time at One Call Stadium so far, in which he has made three league appearances, Blake added: “Any first team experience that you can get is fantastic - especially at my age, having just turned 19.

“Every game poses different experiences and learning aspects, and in each game that I’ve played in, I’ve learned something and taken something away from it.

“The first day I came in, all the players and managerial staff were fantastic with me. The players have welcomed me really well and helped me to settle in.”

When asked if he had any nerves before his senior debut at Bury, he replied: “I think there’s a lit bit of nerves, but that just gets the adrenalin going - and you remember the experience for the rest of your life.”


First taste of the FA Cup for Stags loanee Blake

Jack Blake is looking forward to his first taste of the FA Cup tomorrow when the on-loan Nottingham Forest midfielder travels down to St Albans City as part of Mansfield Town’s first round squad.


The teenager believes the game offers a great chance for Stags to quickly wipe away the misery of last Friday’s 3-0 defeat at Southend.

He said: “The FA Cup can work both ways. But I think this is a good game for us and I am looking forward to it. It will be a different experience going down there with a different environment and different stadium.

“I have played in the FA Youth Cup at Forest, but this is my first time in the FA Cup. I think it’s a great competition. Any club can play any team in the league if you get through the early stages and this is an example of that. I am sure St Albans will be fired up.”

Blake, who only made his Football League debut with Mansfield less than three weeks ago, is enjoying every minute of his first tastes of senior football.

“Any first team experience I can get is fantastic, especially at my age. I have just turned 19 so I couldn’t ask for more,” he said.

“Every game is a different experience and I think I have learned something from every game and taken something away from it. I feel stronger mentally and physically.

“There were nerves, but I think that just gets the adrenalin going and you know you will remember it for the rest of your life.

“From the first day I came in, the players and the management staff have been fantastic with me. This is a great club with great fans and the players have made me feel welcome which has helped me settle in with the group.

“The supporters have been fantastic, especially away, and I can only thank people for that.”

He added: “I think we deserve to be higher in the table. We have been playing some really good stuff and creating chances. I think we’ve been a bit unlucky to be honest.”

“Friday was a tough test and we didn’t play very well.

“There were a lot of things going on in the game and a sending-off can change a game. But we didn’t particularly play well as a team and maybe effort levels were not too high either.

“We got punished for it and we have to look forward now and put things right next game.”


Mansfield Town are going to get shaken up for the FA Cup
By Nottingham Post, November 08, 2013

MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox has vowed to shake his team up for the FA Cup - but he hopes St Albans don't do the same.

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/story-20051823-detail/story.html?#ixzz2k2f0nuPX

The Stags face the Southern League club away in the first round of the Cup tomorrow (3pm).

Cox knows all about cup upsets as a manager, having knocked out Wycombe Wanderers when he was in charge of previous club Eastwood Town.

But he does not want to be on the receiving end as he takes League Two Town to Clarence Park.

Cox is planning to ring the changes to try to spark Stags' season back into life, after seven games without a win.

Mansfield have lost four of those games and endured a nightmare night at Southend a week ago, having two players sent off and losing 3-0.

Having seen several fringe players play well in a midweek reserve game win against Doncaster Rovers as well, Cox has been given food for thought ahead of the Cup tie.

"It's not about if you're a name, if you're a big hitter, it's about if you want to win and have that desire to play well and to be successful for this club," he said.

"There might be a few surprises. Sometimes you have to shake the pack up.

"Last Friday was not like us and if I didn't come away from that thinking about other options then I wouldn't be doing my job right because I don't think the performance was a Mansfield Town one."

New loan striker James Alabi was sent off just 32 minutes into his debut at Roots Hall and defender Lee Beevers was dismissed after getting a second yellow card in the closing minutes.

"I was disappointed in our overall performance," added Cox. "Saying that, there's not many times I've had to say that this season.

"Knowing these boys, we're looking for a response now and hopefully we'll go back to doing the basics better."

Mansfield considered appealing against Alabi's red card, but decided against it so he will begin a three-game suspension when Stags face St Albans.

"Even though we all believe it was harsh, you have to prove the refereemade a mistake and a lot of people high up in professional positions said that would be hard, so I feel for the kid," said Cox.

"He looked as though he had a lot going for him in that first 15 to 20 minutes."

It's still unclear if Alabi will stay with Stags, having only signed for the club for one month, or if he will return to Stoke City, but Cox admits it is a blow he is banned because he brought him in with the hope he would help end the club's goal drought.

Stags have not scored for four games now, and Cox said: "It's put us on the back foot in terms of bringing a centre forward in then losing him for the next three weeks.

"We do need a response from Friday and I'm hoping I'm going to get that.

"I'm not going to make panic decisions because we've had some good performances, but ultimately we need to respond from the performance."

Lee Stevenson and Anthony Howell both scored for the reserves in a 2-0 victory against Doncaster so could be in the frame to start at St Albans, with Cox saying there were many impressive performances.

"You can go through the side," he said.

"Deaks (Ian Deakin) did well in goal, although he didn't have a lot to do, we played JJ (James Jennings) at centre half although we know he's only played there a few times.

"(Godfrey) Poku, (Kieran) Murtagh, (Lee) Stevenson scored again, the boy Ollie Palmer played in an unfamiliar role up there on his own, and I thought (Lindon) Meikle and (Anthony) Howell on either flanks were excellent, with Howell scoring and missing one late on.

"It was a good team performance and what it showed me was there is an unbelievable desire to get in the side.

"It brought a smile to my face because I know I have got some hungry boys there who do want to get in the side."


THURSDAY, 07 NOVEMBER 2013, By Joe Lovelace, thefa.com

St. Alban's City boss James Gray admits his team will need a healthy dose of fortune when they tackle Mansfield Town in the First Round Proper of The FA Cup on Saturday.


Gray's side, who compete in the Southern League Premier Division, are set to lock horns with a team ranked three tiers above them - and one with recent pedigree in this competition.

Mansfield, of course, last season hosted seven-time Cup winners Liverpool in the Third Round Proper and narrowly succumbed 2-1 to a side featuring the talents of England internationals Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson and Uruguay maestro Luis Suarez.

But Gray, who co-manages St Albans City with Graham Golds, is optimistic and believes a combination of luck and quality could spark a Cup upset this weekend.

He told TheFA.com: "In these games, when you're an underdog and you're the smaller side you need to have a little bit of luck. If we do get that luck, I feel with the quality of players that we have got, we can cause an upset."

Gray, who captained St. Albans during his playing days, is adamant that the occasion won't get to his players but instead play into their hands.

"The pressure is all on Mansfield - we can just go out there enjoy it and hopefully get the ball down and play our football," he added.

"We won't have any nerves. We are just going to go into the game as relaxed as anything and if we do that we will give ourselves every opportunity of winning."

The manager also feels in-form strikers John Frendo and Mark Nwokeji, who have netted 17 goals between them this season, will hold the key this weekend.

Gray added: "They're full of confidence going into the game and have been in great scoring form so they're the two players who can really open up their defence.

"We're going to need to defend well, but those two at the top end are a massive threat. They will have to be wary of us too, they won't take us likely and we won't take them likely."



Latest | November 2013