COX, McCOMBE, JAMES BEATTIE REACTION
Cox 'gutted' after Stanley defeat
mansfieldtown.net, 21st December 2013
Manager Paul Cox wants our players to ‘get their teeth into everything’ in our remaining 25 matches of the Sky Bet League Two campaign.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-gutted-after-stanley-defeat-1249001.aspx?#RbPhOyYeEmThsk3u.99
Our side looked set to end their winless streak this afternoon, but two Accrington Stanley goals deep into injury-time consigned us to a gut-wrenching 3-2 defeat.
“I’m absolutely gutted,” said Cox. “Words can’t describe my emotions at the minute.
“We’ve had a long talk in the dressing room. We looked anxious and I don’t know why it is. We need to do the basics - putting our head and foot through the ball, winning ugly, as it gets you three points.”
Our side could have made sure of three points in the final minute of normal time, when Daryll Westlake was denied by Marcus Bettinelli in a one-on-one.
Cox added: “I’m sick of talking about fine lines.
“We’ve lost a game again, which any neutral [at One Call Stadium] today, would have said we deserved to win, but we cannot keep talking about those scenarios.
“I’ve told the boys to bite, scratch, work harder, and all of those things.
“We had a good start to the season, but the reality is we need to have an improvement in our mindset, an improvement in our concentration levels and improve our decision making.
“That is what is costing us, because we should have walked away from that game [with all three points] and under no trouble whatsoever, but we’ve ended up losing it.
“[Accrington] haven’t carved us open with great football, it’s basic defending what has cost us. If we can’t do that [defend] then we haven’t got a base to start from.”
Our manager will now be looking for an upturn in results during a busy festive period, which sees us play four matches in 10 days - starting with a Boxing Day trip to Rochdale.
“[My resolve] is as strong as ever,” said Cox. “There are 25 matches to go now, and we need to bite, scratch, and get our teeth into everything what is infront of us.”
Fans call for manager Cox’s head after Accrington pull off shock late win
For the third year on the trot, Stags fans called for manager’s Paul Cox’s head amid angry scenes after today’s shock 3-2 home defeat by Accrington Stanley.
Mansfield - now without a win in 12 League games - looked home and dry at 2-1 up in the third minute of stoppage time.
But such is their confidence and concentration at the moment, Stags somehow scrappily succumbed to defeat against a side that scored from all three of their only shots on target all afternoon in a largely dismal game.
A stunned and emotional Cox said met the press after a dressing room inquisition and said: “I am absolutely gutted - I can’t express the emotions I am feeling at the moment.
“This just can’t keep happening. We have now got to scratch and bite and get our teeth into whatever is in front of us.
“We have to show improvement in our mindset, in our concentration levels and our basic decision-making which is costing us.
“The crowd reaction at the end was expected and I don’t have a problem with that. I have been here before and I will be here again. I would have probably booed myself tonight.
“I have been here when people have wanted my head on a block and everyone around you turns their backs on you and I have come through it.
“That’s this business. One minute you are a hero and the next minute you are hated. It’s up to me and the players now to prove a point.
“There is still a lot of football to be played. We took all the plaudits early on, now we have to take the stick and have a siege mentality.
“I though today we looked anxious defending and I don’t know why. It is just doing the basics and putting your foot or your head through the ball. It may look ugly buts it gets you three points.
“Even letting in the equaliser in stoppage time, you should come away with a point, not end up losing. It just sums us up at the moment.
“It doesn’t give us a basis to win games if we keep caving in in the latter stages of the game like we did at Fleetwood and in midweek against Oldham and then again today.
“We invite pressure on and then make bad decisions.
“I now have to do my job and make sure I turn this around. Sometimes as a manager you can’t legislate for for individual errors. But I pick the team and so I put my hands up too.”
Stanley boss James Beattie said: “It was an amazing experience. A couple of the lads said it was the best thing they had ever experienced in their life. I wouldn’t think there is anything quite like being 2-1 down after 90 minutes and winning the game 3-2 in stoppage time. The lads are absolutely buzzing in there.
“I always believe in them, even when we are losing away from home. The team spirit we have built up as a club was there for all to see. It wasn’t just the players on the pitch celebrating, it was the whole bench.
“I am pleased for them and very proud of them.
“I expect a few letters on my desk again about over-exuberant celebrations but I don’t mind that as long as no one stepped over the line.
“The adrenalin and feeling when the winning goal went in was amazing.
“It was great to get three points on the road when we haven’t even played that well.
“Mansfield are a big, physical side who I thought were only ever going to score from set plays. I thought we dealt with their direct threat quite well but we kept giving away silly free kicks and looked like we might be responsible for our own downfall.
“Only football can produce a finish like that and it’s why we love the game so much.”
Rochdale v Mansfield Town: Boss Paul Cox remains defiant
Nottingham Post by Matt Halfpenny
DEFIANT Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox insists he does not fear for his job and will not quit - despite mounting calls for him to go by supporters.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Rochdale-v-Mansfield-Town-Boss-Paul-Cox-remains/story-20364278-detail/story.html#ixzz2oZe6IP3Q
The struggling Stags threw away a 2-1 lead going into stoppage time to lose 3-2 to Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
In League Two, it was a seventh defeat in eight games, a 12th match without victory and a sixth consecutive home match without a win.
At full-time, fans chanted for chairman John Radford to make a management change, but Cox is adamant he will turn it around.
"I don't know if I am under pressure for my job - that is up to the chairman and I'm not going to comment on that," he said.
"I know what this game's about. You win consistently and you're linked with this and that and you lose consistently and people say you're job is under threat.
"Pressure comes with the job and it's the same kind of pressure as when I first came here in terms of trying to get us promoted.
"We had the same reaction from the crowd in the last two seasons when we were half way in the table and I understand the frustration.
"I worry about my kids' and Mrs' health (rather than his job). I always keep myself level whether I've won promotion or when I'm low, like I am now.
"It's amazing how, if you stick in there and don't let it beat you, it can turn around.
"I know it's a little bit longer than it has been in the two previous seasons, but we've been here before and seen what can happen.
"I've never been relegated in my life - I think the worst I've finished is tenth - and I'm not about to start now."
Mansfield's bright start to the season, that at one point saw them go eight games unbeaten and claim a place in the top three, saw them cast as promotion contenders.
Cox recognises that with the club only two points out of the drop zone, it's now a different target that's on the agenda as they get ready to do battle away to Rochdale today (3pm).
He added: "The onus last year was to get us out of the (Conference) division, but now we are in a bit of a dogfight.
"The fans want to keep the club in this league, and that's our first priority now. After that, anything is a bonus at the minute.
"That's not being defeatist, but if we lose this ego that we are going to sail through this league and the next one it might be the best thing that could happen to us."
Cox was mightily disappointed by Mansfield's capitulation against Accrington, which saw them concede more avoidable goals.
It meant central defender John McCombe was denied a dream return to the starting line-up after scoring once in each half.
"I didn't think we were in any danger, but when the second one goes in you think let's at least take a point, but we have thrown it away with sloppy goals," said Cox.
"I just think it's an anxiety. We just needed to keep hold of it or win a throw to keep it up there and kill the game.
"But in the end we have killed ourselves. No-one has carved us open, it's just erratic defending and we can't keep saying it."
McCombe: We must defend better
Defender John McCombe has urged our team to respond against Rochdale on Boxing Day following this afternoon’s 3-2 defeat to Accrington Stanley.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/mccombe-we-must-defend-better-1249149.aspx?#vERamAhXyLrOMxVV.99
Two goals deep into injury-time saw Stanley come from behind to beat us in dramatic fashion.
Although McCombe was pleased to score twice, he was thoroughly disappointed with how our side lost the game in injury-time.
“I’m absolutely gutted to be honest,” said 28-year-old. “I’m glad to be back in the side, and to get the two goals was brilliant, but as a defender to not see out the game was really disappointing.
“I could see us getting anxious towards the end and we were sitting back, whilst they put a lot of balls forward.
“That’s what happens when you’re on a bad run. I’ve been in teams that have been up towards the top of the league and involved in games similar to today’s but come away with all three points.”
He continued: “I thought we defended quite well, so to let three goals in is disappointing. It is something we need to sort out at the minute.
“We’ve got enough quality in there and the lads are hurting at the minute, but at least we don’t have to wait until next Saturday with our game on a Thursday. Hopefully we can react fast and get some wins on the board.
“You shouldn’t be winning a game 2-1 in the 91st minute and then come away losing 3-2. It’s something that shouldn’t happen in football and we will be addressing this as soon as possible.”
With a busy Christmas period ahead, McCombe believes our next two matches against Rochdale and Cheltenham Town represent an ideal opportunity to end our poor form.
“We need to go back to the training ground and work hard. It was similar against Oldham Athletic the other night - they had four shots and scored four goals,” added McCombe.
“Rochdale are a good team in this league and Cheltenham have been in the play-offs during the last few years.
“It’s going to be two tough games, but they’ll be no better games to go into. If we can beat Rochdale, it’ll show we can beat anyone in this league.”
McCombe denied the chance to be Stags’ hero in late capitulation
Two-goal Mansfield Town defender John McCombe had his chance of being the unlikely hero snatched away by two late Accrington Stanley goals as the Stags somehow contrived to lose 3-2 at One Call Stadium yesterday.
McCombe was given a rare start and rewarded boss Paul Cox with his first two goals for the club to twice put the Stags in charge against fellow strugglers Stanley.
But nervy Mansfield then conceded twice in stoppage time in a nightmare finish in which they booed from the pitch after a 12th League game without victory.
McCombe said: I was absolutely gutted. I was glad to be back in the side, and to get two goals as well was brilliant. But, as a defender, not to see the game out was really disappointing.
“You could see us getting a bit anxious near the end and sitting back. That’s what happens when you are on a bad run.
“I have been in teams near the top of the table and that doesn’t happen. It just shows the position we are in at the moment.
“I thought we had defended quite well overall. So to end up letting three goals in was disappointing and something that needs addressing.
“You could hear the fans getting anxious as they wanted a victory as well and they have gone away disappointed. It was not a great day for us.
“To be leading 2-1 in stoppage time and losing 2-1 is something that shouldn’t happen in football.”
He added: “We just need to get back to the training ground and work harder.
“At least we haven’t got to wait until next Saturday as we have Rochdale away on Thursday and we need to start getting some wins on the board.
“We now have Rochdale and Cheltenham away. Rochdale are a good side and Cheltenham have been up there in the play-offs in the last two years. They are two tough games but they are usually the better games as, if we can beat Rochdale, we can beat anyone in this league.”
Beattie hails Stanley response
James Beattie called Accrington's late turnaround 'amazing' after watching his side score twice at the death to stun Mansfield 3-2.
The ailing Stags had looked on course to end a terrible run of 11 league games without a win and seven home games without victory until Kai Naismith and James Gray stole an unlikely win to leapfrog Mansfield in the table.
Stanley boss James Beattie said: "It was an amazing experience. A couple of the lads said it was the best thing they had ever experienced in their life. I wouldn't think there is anything quite like being 2-1 down after 90 minutes and winning the game 3-2 in stoppage time.
"The lads are absolutely buzzing in there. I always believe in them, even when we are losing away from home.
"The team spirit we have built up as a club was there for all to see. It wasn't just the players on the pitch celebrating, it was the whole bench.
"I am pleased for them and very proud of them. "I expect a few letters on my desk again about over-exuberant celebrations but I don't mind that as long as no one stepped over the line.
"The adrenalin and feeling when the winning goal went in was amazing. It was great to get three points on the road when we haven't even played that well.
"Mansfield are a big, physical side who I thought were only ever going to score from set plays. I thought we dealt with their direct threat quite well but we kept giving away silly free-kicks and looked like we might be responsible for our own downfall.
"Only football can produce a finish like that and it's why we love the game so much."
Latest | December 2013