AFC WIMBLEDON PREVIEWS
Duo in squad for Dons clash
mansfieldtown.net, 12th December 2013
Manager Paul Cox has confirmed that both Ben Hutchinson and Chris Clements will be in the squad for Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two match at AFC Wimbledon.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/duo-in-squad-for-dons-clash-1232086.aspx#1Tc0ZjtUEblU6c7u.99
The duo, who have been out of the side through injury in recent weeks, featured in a behind-closed-doors match against Sheffield United earlier this week.
“Both players have trained this week and came through [Tuesday’s match], and both players will be in the squad that travel down to Wimbledon,” said Cox.
“Having said that, it was a good performance by the boys [at Oldham Athletic] last Saturday, and we got back to being structured, organised and everyone knew their role.
“It puts me in a nice position when I’ve got two excellent players that are coming back from injury that I can add to my squad.
“It all points to positives and hopefully we can get a positive result on Saturday now.”
Reflecting more on the midweek friendly against Nigel Clough’s Blades, who fielded no fewer than five first team players, Cox added: “It was a good run out for us.
“Sheffield United brought a number of first team players down and it gave the lads, especially those who haven’t had much ‘match practice of late, a good run out.
“It was a competitive [game] more than anything, which we needed, and the lads appreciated [getting] a good 90 minutes under their belts.”
When asked about our recent form in Sky Bet League Two, our boss continued: “I think [our recent league form] has been down to circumstances.
“When we were on a good run, we were structured and organised. Nobody could look at any of our games, apart from at Chesterfield, where I thought we defended well, and say that we were fortunate to win.
“We earned the right to win, draw and deserved to pick up points, but what’s happened to us is that we’ve gone through a stage where we lose good players through injury and suspension, and it impacts on the club.
“But we’ve got to look at the long term goal for this club, which is stability, putting the infrastructure in place and looking to the future.
“Our next step has to be a realistic one. We don’t want to become a yo-yo club, as we want to make sure the club is built on solid foundations.
“The whole club, including the players, is going through a learning curve this season, and as soon as we get back to being ‘us’ as a team, the sooner we’ll start picking up points and start climbing the table.”
Cox continued: “There are clubs in this league who will openly tell you that they’re going to go out in January and spend a lot of money.
“But what we’ve got to do here is work with the group that we’ve got. I’ve got to ‘wheel and deal’ and there may be one or two moving on to new pastures, which will free up some money to bring better players in.
“That’s part and parcel of what my job is about, but I still think that we’ve got a half-decent squad that can affect this league.”
New faces can lead to Mansfield Town surge says boss Paul Cox
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill
Boss Paul Cox believes Mansfield Town can still have a major influence in League Two if they bring in new faces during the transfer window.
Stags have slumped to 18th in the League Two table after failing to win in the league since the 1-0 win at Chesterfield on 28th September.
But, despite the dire run in form, Cox says Stags can still recapture their early season form which propelled them into the automatic promotion places.
“We have got a half decent squad here that can do something in this division and I believe, with a few fresh faces in January, we can still affect this league,” Cox said.
“We do not become bad players overnight and have got some good players at the club.
“There are clubs in this division who will be able to go out and spend big in the transfer window and that is just how it is.
“What we have to do is work with the players we have and wheel and deal in the transfer market to free up some money to bring in better players.
“November was a bad month for us for a number of reasons. We picked up injuries and played some games without 11 men, which can impact on the mentality of players and hit confidence.
“When you are stuck in a rut the ball can often not run for you and the luck is not there.”
Mansfield face AFC Wimbledon on Saturday on the back of a morale-boosting 1-1 draw against Oldham in the FA Cup last Saturday.
And Cox is calling on his players to take that form to South London.
“AFC will be a tough game and we need to take the momentum we got from the Oldham game into Saturday,” said Cox.
“I thought we were unlucky not to get a positive result, and by that I mean a win.
“We went back to basics on Saturday and kept a good shape and created chances.
“We are at our best when we have a shape and are organised and the players all have a role and a responsibility.
“I thought we looked much more like we did at the start of the season. We need to look at the long term outlook, we want stability and foundations to take the club forward, we do not want to become a yo-yo club.
“We have been on a tough learning curve this season but once we start to pick up some points we will climb the table again
“It is important that we focus on the league on not the FA Cup. AFC Wimbledon is our next game so that is the most important. When we have finished the game on Saturday we can then focus on Oldham.”
Chris Clements could return from injury after featuring in a midweek friendly against Sheffield United.
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox hopes to hold on to Sam Clucas in January transfer window
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox fears he may lose top scorer Sam Clucas during the January transfer window.
The influential midfielder has played a pivotal role for Stags this season and has scored 11 goals in 23 appearances.
Clucas, who Cox has tipped to become a Championship player, is rumoured to have attracted the interest of Nottingham Forest.
And Cox knows if a big club come sniffing around his star man, Mansfield Town may be forced to sell.
“Money talks and I am not going to lie about that,” said Cox. “I have sat down with the chairman and discussed the ifs and maybes, but at this moment no-one has called about Sam Clucas.
“We are working hard to keep our best players, but money talks.
“I have been in the game a long time and I know that if one of the big clubs comes in with an offer then we have to listen.
“Sam is a great player who is on an amazing learning curve.
“We want to keep our best younger players and build a team around them for a future season and a future league.”
Clucas was named player of the round after scoring four times in the 8-1 win against St Albans in the FA Cup first round,
Neal's update for Mansfield
afcwimbledon.co.uk, Thu 12 Dec 2013
Neal Ardley will be forced to make changes to his midfield for the home match against Mansfield Town on Saturday with Sammy Moore suspended and Harry Pell having suffered a knee injury.
Read more at http://www.afcwimbledon.co.uk/news/article/mansfield-update-1232073.aspx?#CjHGlPeURLgw3vBg.99
Sammy Moore faces a one-match ban for being sent off at Bristol Rovers and Pell is struggling to shake-off a training ground injury.
With defender Kevin Feely having gone back to Charlton Athletic due to injury, the Wimbledon manager is therefore having his squad options tested at the current time.
Speaking to Rob Cornell at the training ground, Neal said: “It’s tough because we are a little thread bare. We’ve got a few niggles here and there and Harry got his studs caught in Kevin Sainte-Luce’s laces the other week. It’s not a terrible one, it’s a sprain, but we’ve got to let that settle down.”
Whatever the personnel of Neal’s squad on Saturday, he is demanding that his players produce a response in front of their own fans after Wimbledon’s last match ended with a 3-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers.
“We’re going to go out and give it a go and I want to see a performance that reflects the hurt of a poor display against Bristol Rovers,” Neal added. “We’re probably the one team that sets teams off on a run. We seem to enjoy playing teams at the top that little bit more and I’ve made this point to the players.
“They’re aware that it’s not good enough and it needs to change. We need to play well in every type of game and this Saturday is no exception. If you sat down with every player I’d like to think that they would give you the same answer about how we’re trying to play and what we’re trying to achieve.”
Dons Player subscribers will be able to access the full interview with Neal Ardley on our premium site tomorrow, along with the thoughts of Ross Worner. Highlights from the last time that the Dons played Mansfield in April, 2011, are available on our You Tube channel by clicking on Conference clash .
Latest | December 2013