COX, CLUCAS, RHEAD, PHIL BROWN REACTION
Victory over Southend delights Cox
Manager Paul Cox was delighted with the way our players performed in this afternoon’s 2-1 victory over Southend United at One Call Stadium.
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Goals from Sam Clucas, his 12th of the campaign and first since returning from injury, and James Jennings fired us into a 2-0 lead, before Ryan Leonard netted a consolation for Southend deep into added time.
The victory, our first on home soil since September, moves us six points clear of the drop zone in Sky Bet League Two and up three places to 17th position.
“In horrible conditions I thought the boys tried to play some good stuff,” said Cox.
“We scored two good goals and probably got a little bit nervous towards the end, but it’s to be expected with what happened last week, when five minutes went up.
“But I thought we deserved [to win] against what I would class as a very good side and probably one of the best sides that have come to One Call Stadium.
“I’m over the moon for the boys, because they’ve worked hard all week and really kept their discipline and focus.
“I thought we went long when we needed to go long, and we played a simple pass when we needed to, and I think that’s what we’re getting better at.
“The work-rate from our boys [was good] and you could tell it went meant to them at the end as [our home form] has been like a little monkey on our backs.
“It’s a happy dressing room at the minute and it’s been a happy dressing room for a while, but we needed that three points at home to steady us down a little bit.”
He added: “We’ve sort of broken the back now, but we need to push on as we’ve got a big game on Tuesday, and see what we can do then.”
Paul Cox’s full post-match interview will be available on Stags Player later tonight. To subscribe, click here.
Delight for Cox as Stags end home hoodoo
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox was delighted to see his side end their barren 20-week home run with a first victory at One Call Stadium in 12 outings as they shot down high-flying Southend United 2-1 in dreadful conditions this afternoon.
A beaming Cox said: “We have broken the back of it now and need to push on and we have a big game ahead here on Tuesday.
“We have got the monkey off our backs.
“I would be lying if I said our home form wasn’t in the back of my mind and the players’ minds.
“In the last two and a half years we have made this place a fortress and had some great times and won some magnificent games. But we have been poor here this season.
“I thought the boys tried to play some good stuff in horrible conditions today and we scored two very good goals.
“We probably got a bit nervous and a bit edgy near the end which you expect when they hold up five added minutes, especially after what happened in the sixth added minute last week.
“But I thought we deserved the win against a very good Southend side. We went long when we needed to go long and also played some nice short passes.
“Credit to both sets of players today as it was hard enough just standing up, let alone playing football out there.
“Credit also to our supporters, the majority of whom have stuck with us through thick and thin and deserve a pat on the back today.”
Although admitting his side hadn’t deserved to win, Southend boss Phil Brown was upset with match referee Simon Hooper and his officials over penalty decisions and a straight red card for Conor Clifford.
“Conditions were difficult, but I was disappointed with the decisions by the officials today which were nothing to do with the conditions,” he said. “ It was almost like there was a conspiracy theory going on against us.
“We had a couple of penalty appeals turned down and the red card for Conor Clifford was a disgrace.
“I am not here to berate officials and I am not blaming them for the result as we were not good enough today.
“But I was two or three yards away from the incident and the fourth official was only a yard away and he told us no way was it a red card.
“So why did he not translate that to the referee who came rushing over to show a red card?
“They are told to bide their time before they make decisions. For me it was a very inexperienced decision, though it hasn’t cost us the game.
“Conor got the ball and came out with the ball and didn’t use excessive force.
“Also the corner Mansfield scored from wasn’t a corner to start with but, sod’s law, it comes in and it’s in the back of our net.
“But we were the reason we got beat, though if we’d had a slice of luck we could have won it comfortably.”
Paul Cox: Mansfield Town laid down a marker with win over Southend United
By Nottingham Post
PAUL Cox says Mansfield Town have now set the standard of performances on their own pitch.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Paul-Cox-Mansfield-Town-laid-marker-win-Southend/story-20594871-detail/story.html#ixzz2suWK223B
And he is expecting a repeat display when Bury visit the One Call Stadium tomorrow night.
Saturday's 2-1 victory over Southend United was the Stags' first home win since September.
Goals from Sam Clucas and James Jennings had put them ahead, and they hung on for the three points despite a late rally from their ten-man visitors.
It moved Mansfield six points clear of the League Two drop zone.
"You could tell what it meant to the boys at the end," said the manager, who is still 'hopeful' of bringing in a loan signing.
"It has been like a little monkey on our backs.
"It's been a happy dressing room for a while now. We just needed those three points at home to steady us down."
Rhead reflects on important win
Forward Matt Rhead believes we fully deserved our 2-1 victory over promotion-chasing Southend United this afternoon.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/rhead-reflects-on-important-win-1347737.aspx#alTvAY8Gz4vEAm4R.99
Sam Clucas’ strike in the first half, coupled with a James Jennings close-range finish after the re-start, set us up for a magnificent victory, before the visitors grabbed a late consolation goal.
The 29-year-old praised our team’s overall performance throughout the 90 minutes, and has urged them to repeat this afternoon’s display against Bury on Tuesday night.
“It was a massive win which we achieved today and it was important for us - especially after the disappointing result from last weekend,” said Rhead.
“The lads have got their heads down and turned it into a positive today. I think it was important we got the win and hopefully we can do the same again on Tuesday night.
“All of the lads worked hard and I think we deserved the win so hopefully now we can push on and take this into Tuesday.
“Thankfully JJ (James Jennings) has popped up and got the vital goal. It was an important goal and like I say, it was a great victory at home where we have given the fans something to cheer about and hopefully we can do the same in Tuesday’s match.
“The lads were talking about the disappointment we have had in the last few games so it gave us an incentive to put it right today which I think we did. Now we can push on from here and get more points on the board.”
Meanwhile, Rhead has targeted our team to achieve 50 points in Sky Bet League Two this season, with 16 games remaining.
He added: “Every game is important at the minute. If we can get to 50 points then we can start looking up the table and try finishing as high as possible.
“It has been a disappointing time for us where we feel we should have taken more three points, but had to settle for draws. Today we have come out against a good team who are up there in the table and performed well.”
Clucas targets good run
Sam Clucas believes our team are capable of putting a good run of form together, following today’s 2-1 victory over Southend United.
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The three points lifts us up three places to 17th position in the Sky Bet League Two table - just four points off eighth-placed Newport County.
The 23-year-old is full of optimism that our players can match every side in the division and believes today’s win will kick-start our campaign.
He said: “Hopefully we can kick on and take this into the game on Tuesday against Bury at home. If we can do that, then maybe we could put a run together.
“It has been a bit of luck and we haven’t had the rub of the green. Today we have done that and got the three points, which is all that matters.
“It’s so tight, it can go either way at the moment, which is why it is important that we put a run together and climb the table rather than looking down it. Hopefully, we can do that now.
“We’ve got Oxford United and Fleetwood Town after the Bury game. A difficult group of games coming up, but we have shown against a very good side, that we are up there and capable of getting all three points.
“Hopefully, this will kick us on for the rest of the season.”
The frontman also praised our team’s performance today, whilst stating he was happy to be at One Call Stadium, following speculation about his future during the January transfer window.
He continued: “We were all heroes out there today. The subs kicked in as well, every time I was running down the wing they kept me going, so it was a great team performance.
“I enjoy playing here, there was transfer speculation about me in January, but I am enjoying my football here. I’ve still got another year on my contract as well, so I will try and do my best for Mansfield and see where it takes us.”
Goal ace Clucas underlines his commitment to Mansfield
Sam Clucas celebrated his 12th goal for the club yesterday and then stressed he is 100 per cent a Mansfield Town player after speculation linked him with a move away during the January transfer window.
Clucas, just back from injury last week, set Stags on the way to a first home win in 12 games in a 2-1 win over promotion-chasing Southend United in terrible wind and rain yesterday and said: “That was much-needed and I thought we thoroughly deserved it.
“The last few games we have been unfortunate not to get the three points, but we managed it today in difficult conditions.
“We have been playing some very good football but just not putting the ball in the net.
“The whole side were heroes today, even the subs, who were shouting encouragement at us as we ran past them.
“The fans were great too. We went on to a great reaction and came off to a great reaction too so I want to thank them very much for that.
“The pitch was churning up in the second half, which made it difficult, but the boys just dug in.
“They (Southend) seemed to be be trying to chop me down a bit, but I enjoy that.”
On his goal, he said: “The wind held the ball up a bit which helped me and luckily it went under their keeper.
“I just focused on hitting the target and it went in, so happy days.”
Clucas also reaffirmed his commitment to the cause, saying: “I am 100 per cent a Mansfield Town player. I enjoy playing here and it was all just speculation in January.
“I just want to do my best for Mansfield and we will see what happens in the future.
“Hopefully we can now carry this on against Bury on Tuesday and get a little run together.
“All we’ve needed is a bit of luck or the rub of the green. The table is so tight it can go either way for us, so that’s why we need to put a run together to move up it.
“After Bury we have to play Oxford and Fleetwood, so we have some very difficult games coming up. But we have shown against a very good side today that we are capable of taking the three points.”
Brown: We were not good enough
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Phil Brown on Blues' disappointing 2-1 defeat to Mansfield Town at the One Call Stadium
Phil Brown admitted his Southend United side were not good enough as they lost 2-1 to Mansfield Town at the One Call Stadium.
Ryan Leonard’s consolation goal wasn’t enough as Blues suffered their first defeat of 2014, in difficult conditions.
Blues’ boss was disappointed with the display for his players, but also felt his side didn’t get the rub of the green.
He said: “We lost that game today because we weren’t good enough to get anything from it and that’s very disappointing.
“We just never really got going at any stage in difficult conditions, but it is the same for both sides.
“In the first-half we went up against the wind and kept ourselves in the game, but conceded a poor goal from our point of view.
“We said in the second-half that we would be able to play more football and we did at the start.
“A couple of changes were made but before they could make an impact Mansfield scored again.
“It didn’t touch Adam Thompson and the referee gave a corner, so from that point of view it was very frustrating to concede from it.
“We pushed on but once we went down to ten men it was always going to be harder to get back it in.
“We tried and got one back, but it was all a bit too late.”
Brown was unhappy with the decision to send Conor Clifford off with ten or so minutes remaining.
Clifford had looked bright since coming on, but was shown a straight red card.
Blues’ boss added: “The fourth official has said to me and everyone else that it wasn’t a red card.
“But the official runs 25-yards and gets the red out straight away without speaking to him.
“We know what type of player Conor is, he’s full of intensity, but it was a fair challenge and he got the ball.
“I’m not blaming the referee for the defeat because we were 2-0 down at this stage.
“But we also had a couple of penalty appeals turned away. If we had got a bit of luck, we may have got something from the game.”
Southend United manager Phil Brown told BBC Essex:
"Difficult conditions, but when you are asking people to make decisions out there and you get them wrong constantly, it's nothing to do with the wind, it's nothing to do with Mansfield versus Southend.
"It almost looked like there was a conspiracy theory going on out there. We've had a couple of penalty decisions turned down, there's been a couple of really bad judgments.
"There was three teams on that park and two of them certainly didn't do themselves justice - ourselves, when we had the ball, and the referee and linesmen on numerous occasions with the decisions.
"The red card for Conor Clifford's an absolute disgrace. For me it was a very inexperienced decision."
Southend United skipper John White: Conditions not to blame for Mansfield Town defeat
Southend Echo: By Chris Phillips
SOUTHEND United skipper John White refused to blame the terrible conditions on his side’s shock 2-1 defeat at struggling Mansfield Town on Saturday.
The game at the One Call Stadium was played in an incredibly strong wind making it hard to play much football.
But White still felt the Shrimpers should have been able to perform far better against the Stags who had not won at home since September.
“The conditions were far from ideal and it did make it hard but it was the same for both teams so we’re not going to use that as an excuse for this defeat,” said White, 27.
“We did struggle in the first half and found it hard to get out of our half at times.
“All round it was just a very frustrating and disappointing day because we should have been to come here and do a job.”
However, Blues were far from their best against the Stags and sunk to a disappointing defeat after conceding two sloppy goals.
And White, who was taken off just past the hour mark after struggling at right-back, was baffled by the below par display.
“I don’t know why we played like this but I don’t think you can say it’s down to the attitude of the lads because that’s always spot on,” said White.
“I would like to have a look back at one or two things before analysing everything properly because it’s still quite early to be making judgments on the game.
“I missed the second goal for instance because I had just been substituted so we will all have to learn from this defeat and make sure we improve in the games we have coming up.”
Blues now have two home games in succession as they host Exeter City and Hartlepool United in the space of four days and White is demanding an immediate return to form.
“We have two big home games coming up now and we need to get back to winning ways in them and get ourselves up the table again,” added White.
Southend United unlikely to appeal Conor Clifford's red card at Mansfield Town
Southend Echo: 10:51am Monday 10th February 2014, By Chris Phillips
SOUTHEND United are unlikely to appeal against the red card Conor Clifford was shown at Mansfield Town on Saturday.
The midfielder was dismissed for a sliding challenge on Stags striker Matt Rhead in the 81st minute of his side's 2-1 defeat.
And, despite not agreeing with the decision, Shrimpers boss Phil Brown does not expect the club to contest the red card.
“I’ve had a look at the challenge again on the DVD and Conor does win the ball but it’s probably unlikely to will put in an appeal,” confirmed Brown.
“If you look at the way Rhead reacts to the challenge I actually think that’s more of a red card but it’s a big disappointment for us.
“I don’t agree with the decision and the referee should have given himself more time instead of showing the red card straight away.
“I was a bit spiky immediately after the game on Saturday because I was frustrated by the defeat but I actually don’t like to criticise referees because I think they have a difficult job to do.”
Clifford will now miss the Shrimpers’ next four matches and will be unavailable until Wycombe Wanderers visit Roots Hall at the start of March.
Latest | February 2014