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Archived News from January 2014

28th January 2014 15:49

StagsPlayer Video: Rhead and Tafazolli preview Wycombe match


Talks ongoing with potential targets
mansfieldtown.net, 23rd January 2014

Manager Paul Cox has revealed that the club are still in discussions with a number of transfer targets.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/talks-ongoing-with-potential-targets-1311470.aspx#2UErORY8IvXL9lJP.99

Speaking at his press meeting ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two match with Wycombe Wanderers, our boss also stated that a few things need to be ironed out, before there are any new arrivals.

“We’re quite close in a number of ways, but there are still a number of things that need ironing out,” said Cox.

“Having been in the game for a long time now you know that transfers, especially bigger ones, always take time and there are always complications at some point.

“We’ve ran into a few brick walls in terms of deals for players, but that’s only expected. It’s now about ironing stuff out and seeing if we can do something with one of the players before Saturday.”

He added: “I’m quite positive and hopefully we can get someone in that will bolster the squad at what I feel is an important time of the season.

“Sometimes you need a fresh voice and a fresh personality in [the dressing room]. It’s not rocket science to look at us and see that we need a goalscorer.”

Commenting on speculation linking Emile Sinclair with a move to the club, Cox added: “Emile is just one of a number of players that we have spoken to.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s match, Cox continued: “We’re on a little run now of one defeat in five games. We’ve come through a little blip and the main focus for us now is our home form.

“The supporters that travelled down to Portsmouth were absolutely out of this world. In a crowd of 14,000 plus, their voice and their re-assurance with the boys and constant support was immense.

“We’ve both got to give. The players have got to understand the supporters and the supporters have got to understand the players - especially at home now.

“If we both get back to doing what we’re good at, then we can make this place a fortress again.”

Paul Cox’s full interview from today’s press meeting will be available on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.


The Argus, Sussex, Friday 24th January 2014

John Gregory denied Crawley have received any bids for Emile Sinclair despite Mansfield boss Paul Cox saying he had been in talks with the striker's agent this week.


Frontmen return to training
mansfieldtown.net, 23rd January 2014

Sam Clucas and Ben Hutchinson have both returned to training after over a month on the sidelines.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/frontmen-return-to-training-1311600.aspx#ouwEdhz7RVikwYVF.99

The duo have been out of action since they picked up injuries in our FA Cup with Budweiser Second Round replay with Oldham Athletic in December.

Hutchinson suffered a recurrence of a hamstring problem, whilst Clucas limped off with ankle ligament damage in the closing stages of the tie.

“Clucas and Hutchinson are back in training this morning and its two massive positives for us,” said boss Paul Cox.

He added: “We’ll arrange a game next week to try and bed them back in, but now they’re training today, it gives them a chance to get a couple of good training sessions under their belts.

“[The game against] Bury will probably be a little bit too early for them, but depending on fitness, you never know.”

Paul Cox’s full interview from today’s press meeting will be available on Stags Player. To subscribe, click here.


Cox patient as Stags’ transfer frustration drags on
chad.co.uk, 23 January 2014

Although frustrated, Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox is staying patient and still confident he will bring in a striker in the current transfer window.


Stags have two crucial home games in four days this week, starting with Saturday’s visit of fellow strugglers Wycombe Wanderers, but time is running out on being able to close a deal with one of several strikers he has spoken to, including Crawley Town’s Emile Sinclair.

“Emile is one of a number of players we have actually spoken to,” said Cox. “We are quite close on a number of them in a way, but there are still things that need ironing out and sorting out.

“I have been in the game long enough to know the bigger transfers always take time and there are always complications at some point.

“We have run into a few brick walls, but that is expected. We are now ironing things out and see if we can do something with one of the players for Saturday.

“A lot of the things you come up against are uncontrollables. They are frustrating, but I tend not to worry about them. Sometimes you have to down tools on a deal and move on.

“I am feeling quite positive. If we can’t get one for Saturday there is no panic as these things can be drawn out.”

He added: “I don’t know why they brought in a transfer window. I think one group of people who make money out of it are agents. That’s not having a go at them as we need agents in the game and we have to work with them. But come February I can still bring someone in on an emergency loan.

“We have done well in past windows. We have brought in the likes of Gary Roberts, Adam Chapman, James Jennings and John Dempster. It is a time when a squad that have got to know each other needs freshening up with a fresh person and a fresh voice.

“It’s not rocket science to know we need a goalscorer, but the whole league is looking for a goalscorer as it is fine lines between a draw and a win and a loss and a draw.

“You look at your points haul and it’s what ifs and maybes. I don’t want to look back at the end of the season and think we have missed out because of all that. We need adding to. But we have to be patient and pick the right player to come in.”


Cox calls on fans to help end Stags’ miserable home run
chad.co.uk, 23 January 2014

Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox is calling on supporters to stay calm and stick by them to help end a miserable run of 10 home games without victory when the Stags face fellow strugglers Wycombe Wanderers at One Call Stadium on Saturday (3pm).


Despite some excellent away results, you have to go back to Saturday, 21st September, when they beat Northampton 3-0, to find the last time Mansfield Town triumphed on home soil.

Increasingly the team have felt the wrath of a section of home supporters with some ugly scenes down near the tunnel.

Now Stags have two crucial home games in four days and Cox said: “We have only had one defeat in five games which is a good stat. We have come through a little blip and now our main focus has to be our home form.

“The fans who travelled to Portsmouth last weekend were absolutely out of this world. In a crowd of 14,000+, their voices and their reassurance to the boys was immense.

“Players have got to understand supporters and supporters have got to understand players, especially at home. Both have got to get back to doing what they are good at and we can make this place a fortress again.

“We need players to stand up and be counted and get rid of the anxiety and we need our true supporters to stand up and be counted. We have a high percentage of good people following this football club.

“When things are going wrong we will always have one or two who will have a moan. The game is all about opinions and I understand that.

“But we are in a great position at the moment. We have just been promoted back into the League and we have been to some tough places recently and got some good results. If we can improve our home form as well there is nothing we can’t achieve this season.

“We have more home games left than away games and a lot of points to play for. We are only 12 points off the play-offs but everyone from ninth/10th downwards is in a relegation battle.”

He added: “For some the glass is half empty and some half full. But I am looking upwards and I hope the club, the players and the supporters are all looking up. Let’s hope we can go on a run now like the last two seasons.

“I understand people getting anxious - it is a human trait. But we won’t achieve anything by being split.

“People might say we have had a lot of luck in the last two and a half years. We had had a lot of bad luck in the last two and a half months. But it will even itself out and we will finish where we deserve to finish. There is still a long way to go.

“We have kids coming through into the reserves and it excites me. We are putting down some great foundations, but we won’t have overnight success.

“We will make mistakes on Saturday and passes will go astray, but people have to look beyond that.”

Once the home fans start to boo, Cox said it only served to help the opposition and explained: “I have spoken to opposition managers after games and their philosophy when they come here is to create that atmosphere. We have got to be big enough to get on with it and stand up and be counted.”

A massive boost for Mansfield today was the return to training of both Sam Clucas and Ben Hutchinson ahead of schedule.

The injured pair were not expected back until at least next week so, if things go well with them, Cox is looking to organise a behind-closed-doors game for them next week with the possibility they could rejoin the squad for the long trip to Plymouth a week on Saturday.


Friendly game could help Clucas and Hutchinson
Nottingham Post,January 24, 2014

MANSFIELD Town will try to arrange a behind closed doors friendly next week to give returning duo Sam Clucas and Ben Hutchinson a run out.

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Friendly-game-help-Clucas-Hutchinson/story-20493124-detail/story.html#ixzz2rIzgw0W3

The pair have been sidelined for the last five weeks with ankle ligament and hamstring injuries respectively but were back in training yesterday.

Home games against Wycombe Wanderers and Bury in the next four days are likely to come too soon, however they could feature in the trip to Plymouth Argyle tomorrow week.

"It was touch and go whether they would be training yesterday or on Monday," said Stags boss Paul Cox.

"If they did train Monday or Tuesday next week, arranging a game would probably have been a bit close for them.

"As they trained yesterday and today, it gives them two or three days to get a couple of good training sessions under their belt, then we can bed them into a game.

"Bury is probably going to be a little bit too early, depending on their fitness, but you never know.

"You never know what's round the corner - you could get four or five injuries and the decision is taken out of your hands.

"I would like to think they'd get a game next week, a behind closed doors game, where it's competitive but doesn't kill them, and we'll bed them in from there."

Clucas is Mansfield's leading scorer with 11 goals this term. And after Hutchinson recently suffered a setback in his bid to regain fitness, Cox is looking forward to having both available for selection.

"Ben had a bit of a setback, so it's positive that both of them are arriving on time," he said. "Both of them had been having excellent seasons, I thought, until the time they got injured.

"That's part and parcel of it, we can't do anything about it.

"Other people have lost players and you've just got to get on with it. People might say we've had a lot of good luck over the last two and a half years but we've had a bit of bad luck in the last two and a half months. It will even itself out.

"We'll finish where we deserve to finish, I'm not going to argue with that."

"But in between that - and there's a long way between us finishing the season - there's a lot we can do."


Mansfield Town boss keen to eradicate anxiety both on and off pitch
Nottingham Post, January 24, 2014

MANAGER Paul Cox admits sometimes this season Mansfield Town have deserved to get booed at the One Call Stadium.

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Stags-boss-keen-eradicate-anxiety-pitch/story-20493083-detail/story.html#ixzz2rJ02vasy

But he has sent out a rallying call to fans asking them to help the Stags end a run of 10 games in all competitions without a win at home this weekend.

That frustrating sequence goes back to September 21, when Northampton Town were dispatched with, 3-0.

As the victory drought has dragged on, Cox admits an air of 'anxiety' has taken hold around the ground, with both players and fans feeding off each other's nerves.

However, with Wycombe Wanderers (tomorrow) and Bury (Tuesday) visiting in quick succession - and with both below Mansfield in the League Two table - Cox says now is the time to work together to put a stop to that run.

"The anxiety from the supporters and the players crisscrosses, it's no-one's fault," he explained.

"There have been some performances here, where I thought we deserved booing. I would probably boo myself.

"There are some performances where we haven't done bad and I don't think the team warranted it.

"You look at that and you look at the bigger picture and think it will affect the mindset of the players.

"Clubs are coming here - and I know because I've spoken to managers afterwards - and they understand the philosophy now.

"Their philosophy is to come here and to create that atmosphere.

"We've got to be big enough to get on with it, to stand up and be counted and just consistently win football matches, because that's what we've done in the last two and a half years.

"The players have got to perform. I've got to perform. We all know that.

"When we do that, we need the supporters 100 per cent behind us.

"Even when a pass goes astray, sometimes we need to look beyond that and look where we want to take the club and all the little things will add up.

"The anxiety between the supporters and the players - and I think that's what it is, a little bit of anxiety - just needs erasing.

"We need to play our part, the players need to play their part in doing that, and also I would say the supporters need to play their part."

Although up to 17th in the standings, in an increasingly tight division, Mansfield are just four points above the relegation zone.

They do, though, go into tomorrow's clash in buoyant mood after a 1-1 draw at Portsmouth last week made it just one defeat in five.

Nevertheless, Cox is keen not to place too much importance on a double-header of clashes coming up against their relegation rivals.

"I wouldn't say they are 'must-win' games," he said.

"I don't think winning two games and losing the rest of them is going to help us.

"We're at home now, we're on a little run of one defeat in five, which is a good stat.

"We've come through that little blip.

"I still think we can get better at a lot of things, but the main focus for us is our home form. If we turn this place into a fortress, there's nothing I don't think we can achieve this season.

"I do believe we've got more home than away games, so there's a lot of points to play for.

"We're 12 points off the top seven, but anyone from probably ninth or tenth realistically could be pulled into a relegation battle.

"The players have got that little bit of a spring in their step again and that probably comes with one defeat in five."


Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox hits impasse in striker search
By Nottingham Post, January 25, 2014

MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox remains confident of signing a striker before the January transfer window closes.

The Stags haven't ruled out having a new addition in time for today's home game with Wycombe Wanderers.

But Cox admits they have "run into a few brick walls" when it comes to trying to secure players' signatures.

Crawley Town forward Emile Sinclair remains a target.

The 26-year-old was brought to Sussex from Peterborough United by then boss Richie Barker for a six-figure sum in August, but has struggled for the Reds, scoring just four goals in 19 games.

"Emile is just one of a number of a number of players we've actually spoken to," said Cox.

"We're quite close in a number of ways but there is still a number of things which need ironing out and sorting out.

"Being in the game a long time, you know, especially the bigger transfers, always take time and there's always complications at some point.

"We've run into a few brick walls in terms of deals for players but I certainly expected to.

"It's about now just ironing stuff out and seeing if we can do something with one of the players for today.

"Some of the things you come up against, you can't control. Those sort of scenarios are frustrating.

"But I tend not to worry about them, sometimes you just have to down tools and move on from a deal.

"I'm quite positive, even if it's not for tomorrow - because these deals can be drawn out.

"Hopefully we can get somebody in who can bolster the squad at what I feel is a very important time."

If a permanent deal fails to come off, Cox says he would be happy to look to the loan market - something which has served the club well in the past.

"I think we've always been wise in certain periods of the season," he said.

"Looking back, this time in the first year I was here, we brought two players in.

"Last year it was Chappy (Adam Chapman) and he made an immediate impact against the likes of Grimsby. John Dempster was one, James Jennings was another.

"I think at a stage where your squad becomes tuned in with each other, sometimes it needs freshening up and just needs a fresh personality and a fresh voice in there.

"I think we need adding to but it's a case of being patient and picking the right people to come in."

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Mansfield-Town-boss-Paul-Cox-hits-impasse-striker/story-20499133-detail/story.html#ixzz2rOmHm9ut


Rhead: Our home form can improve
mansfieldtown.net, 23rd January 2014

Striker Matt Rhead believes our team can improve their home form ahead of a busy few days in Sky Bet League Two.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/rhead-our-home-form-can-improve-1312531.aspx#cZFVQ3x1RSMOBxcs.99

After Saturday’s visit of Wycombe Wanderers to One Call Stadium, we entertain Bury on home soil three days later and Rhead admits they are two big games.

“It’s important that we get something out of both games,” said the burly frontman.

“We’re doing well on the road and have picked up quite a few points lately. We just need to turn things round at home so we can start looking up the table.”

Reflecting on our home form, he added: “I’m sure we’ll turn it round. The lads are working hard and our away performances have picked up, so hopefully we can covert that to our home form.

“It’s been a long time since we last won at home, so it’s important that we start picking up points at home and getting the fans behind us.

“The main thing is that we climb the table and get away from the relegation zone.”

Rhead, who is approaching 100 appearances for the club, also believes that the addition of a new striker before the closure of the January transfer window would give everyone in the squad a boost.

He continued: “If we can get somebody in then I think it’s a positive really, and it would push everyone on to do better. I’m sure whoever [the manager] brings in, that It would make the team stronger in the long run.”

The 29-year-old played a big role as our team battled hard to earn a point from a 1-1 draw with Portsmouth at Fratton Park last Saturday, but believes we were unlucky not to take maximum points

“There were a lot of people there and it was a good atmosphere,” said Rhead.

“I think we performed quite well under the circumstances. When we got the goal [the odds] turned against them and although we couldn’t hang on for the result we wanted, a draw was a good result in the end.”

Interviews with both Matt Rhead and Ryan Tafazolli from today’s press gathering are available on Stags Player. To subscribe, click here.


Rhead hoping home form will turn in Stags’ favour

Man-mountain striker Matt Rhead is hoping Stags can match their fine away form at One Call Stadium and end a run of 10 home games without a win when Wycombe Wanderers visit tomorrow.

Stags made it seven points out of nine away from home with last weekend’s fine 1-1 draw at Portsmouth and Rhead admitted: “We are doing well on the road. We just need to turn it round at home.

“We are picking up a lot of points away and, if we can get a few more at home, we can start moving up the table.

“Obviously with a lot of people there at Portsmouth it was a good atmosphere and I think we performed quite well under the circumstances. They were like a 12th man to them.

“But once we got the goal they turned against them. We just couldn’t hang on, but a draw was a good result in the end.

“This is an important week for us now with two home games and we are looking to get something out of both, hopefully six points.

“It’s crazy. But I am sure we will turn it round. The lads are working hard and away form has picked up. Our main aim is to get up the table and move away from the relegation zone.

“It’s a long time since we won at home and we want to start doing well for the fans.”

He added: “We are creating chances, we need to start converting them now.

“I have never played in a league like it. You can win one and move up but lose the next one and you are down there. We just need to find some consistency.

“The fans are massive to us. They pushed us to promotion last year and if they get behind us we should hopefully start moving up.”

Stags were booed from the field after their 2-0 home defeat by leaders Scunthorpe last time out at One Call Stadium, though they did play well at times, especially in the first half.

“We were on top for the first half hour, though Scunthorpe did score an unbelievable goal which deflated us a bit,” said Rhead. “But we have got to overcome stuff like that. We know the second half wasn’t good enough and we want to put that right on Saturday.”

Rhead knows competition for his place is likely to increase with the club chasing a new striker, but he said: “It would be a positive if we get somebody in as that puts the pressure on you to do better and makes the team stronger in the long run.

“I think I have done all right in the run I have had in the team and I hope that continues as I prefer to start every game, but I will do whatever the gaffer wants of me for the team.”


Tafazolli savouring run in Stags’ first team

Defender Ryan Tafazolli is savouring his current run in the Mansfield Town first team and, as a former Southampton player, certainly enjoyed his 90 minutes against Saints’ bitter south coast rivals Portsmouth at Fratton Park last weekend more than most.


He said: “I hadn’t played there before, having been at Southampton for a while. It was nice to play in front of their fans - I don’t think any of them recognised me as I hadn’t played for the Southampton first team. It was a great experience.

“We took a lot of fans and it created an unbelievable atmosphere. It was a really, really good day.

“The away fans on Saturday stuck behind us for 90 minutes, even when we conceded. We needed them with us all the way and that’s what got us the draw in the end.”

Former Irish international David Connolly changed the game when he came on as a sub, setting up the equaliser for Ryan Taylor and Tafazolli said: “I was with David Connolly at Southampton and he has played in the World Cup against the likes of Spain, so he is going to have that ability to change a game. Maybe we could have dealt with him better. But, all in all, it was a good point away from home.”

Now Stags face fellow strugglers Wycombe (tomorrow, Saturday) and Bury (Tuesday) in two crucial ‘six-pointers’ at home, where Mansfield have failed to win in their last 10 outings.

“Having two home games this week is massive for us and every game we have coming up now we have got to treat as a cup final,” he said.

“We have 19 games left now. I think we have showed what we can do, especially away. But there is a bit of anxiety when we are at home. We need to get rid of that and really come into our own and put a decent run together.

“We need to start scoring a few more goals and try to put a bit of form together and get a few wins on the bounce.

“The defence is working hard on the training pitch, focusing on individual and collective roles and it is paying off on the pitch with some good defensive displays.

“I am just happy to have been brought into the side. I hope the manager thinks I am doing all right but I can’t affect anything apart from playing well on the pitch and hope to keep my place.”

Tafazolli’s displays since getting back in the side have resulted in him being given a new two-year deal this month and he said: “I was over the moon. My last deal was up at the beginning of this month so it has put my mind at ease a bit. But I won’t be complacent and I will keep working hard to get the next deal now.

“Naturally you worry when when a deal is close to expiring and you are not playing. I had played a couple of games but then found myself out as quickly as I had gone in. But I spoke to the manager and he offered me a new deal which I was delighted with.”

This week Tafazolli was the star of the show at the club’s regular questions and answers evening with fans, and he said: “It was really good. It was entertaining with Stevo (club press officer Mark Stevenson) interviewing me and it was nice to meet some of the fans face to face.”


Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth told BBC Three Counties Radio:

"I've already said to the boys that I think we can get 12 points from the next four games.

"I think with the way we've approached the last two games after the little mishap against AFC Wimbledon we've got every chance to get some points on the board.

"Not too much pressure but I'm hoping [Anthony Jeffrey] can notch up a few goals and terrorise a few defences in League Two."


Preview: Mansfield Town v Wycombe Wanderers
Read more: http://www.wycombe.vitalfootball.co.uk/article.asp?a=346636#ixzz2rFNFXIjM

Wycombe Wanderers travel to Mansfield Town on Saturday for their 26th league game of the season.

Another week, another red card, another home defeat. It's like groundhog day.

A season that started brightly and promised a tilt at the play-offs has degenerated into a tedious nightmare.

There's no ducking the issue. An awful record of one win in thirteen league games has seen the Chairboys drop from 7th with 20 points, to 20th with 28 points.

From three points off the top in mid-October to two points above the relegation zone in mid-January.

Even bottom club Northampton collected five points more than Wycombe during the last three months.

The Blues are in trouble and the message boards have suddenly come to life.

Even the doves have had to concede that results have been rubbish and performances not much better. The hawks are out in force.

On balance, sentiment is still in favour of manager Gareth Ainsworth and the hope that he can oversee a reversal of fortunes as stark as the one we've already witnessed this season.

Personally (and this is a blog after all), I hope Ainsworth succeeds in turning the tide.

Having said that, the next four games are huge. The Blues face the three teams immediately above them and the one directly below. Emerge from that lot with no wins, and the alarm bells will truly be ringing in the corridors of Adams Park.

Wycombe are only a single point worse off than they were at the same stage last season, but last January the momentum was upwards, and it was now that the Blues embarked on a sparkling run that bagged them 13 points out of the next possible 15. How much would Ainsworth give for a repeat this time around?

The good news is, with just two victories in fourteen games at Field Mill in all competitions, Mansfield are the only team in the division with a home record worse than Wycombe's.

The bad news is, their overall form has picked up and the Stags have lost only one of their last five league games, collecting eight points in the process, four points more than the Blues.

Worryingly, Mansfield can give Wycombe a run for their money in the 'bad boy' stakes, having amassed seven red cards to the Blues' staggering tally of eight. At least it might be ten-a-side this week.



Latest | January 2014