There's still more to come - Cox
mansfieldtown.net, 24th February 2014
Manager Paul Cox insists that there is ‘more to come’ from our players ahead of tomorrow night’s re-arranged Sky Bet League Two match with Bury.
Matt Rhead’s headed winner earned us an impressive 1-0 win over promotion hopefuls Fleetwood Town last Saturday, which took us to within four points of eighth-placed Newport County.
Should our team record what would be a third straight home success when David Flitcroft’s men visit North Nottinghamshire, we could jump as high as 11th position.
“I still think there’s loads more to come from us - that’s the ‘frightening’ thing,” said Cox. “As a group of players and as a football club, we’re always learning about this division and the step-up.
“You can tell that the players are learning now and they’re starting to understand the fundamentals of competing at this level.
“They’re a great bunch of lads who are working extremely hard for this football club. Nobody can say that we’re not creating chance after chance, but I still want us to be a little bit more ruthless.
“We’re four points off eighth place and nine points off the relegation zone, but that’s still not good enough and I want to push these boys on and finish as high up the table as we possibly can.”
Tomorrow’s clash could well be another closely-fought contest and Bury will be full of confidence, having boosted their survival ambitions with a 1-0 victory at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
Looking ahead, Cox said: “It’ll be another tough game and it’s what League Two is all about. Bury are in the same position as us in terms of wanting to maintain their status in this league.
“They’ve had some good results of late. We’ve been to see them a couple of times and they’re a good side, so it’ll be another tough game and one where we can’t take our foot of the pedal.”
Meanwhile, our boss also reflected on the 1-0 victory over Fleetwood. He added: “I thought we played well. We passed the ball really well, created a number of chances and it was a great result for us.
“Our hunger and desire was there. The boys understand what is expected [of them] at home. Our form of late, both home and away, has been excellent.
“It was nice to play well and put in a good performance, but even better to get the three points because I think it lifted a little bit of a cloud. Everything was positive about the day.
“But now I’m looking for consistency in our performance and consistency in our results. We’ll see building into Tuesday[‘s game] if we can re-produce that form.”
Finally, we have no fresh injury worries ahead of tomorrow's match. James Jennings (quad), Martin Riley (calf), Louis Briscoe (back spasm) and Jake Speight (knee) are our absentees.
A full interview with Paul Cox will be available on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.
Player search goes on for Stags ahead of Bury six-pointer
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox is continuing to look to bolster his squad as the club prepare for tomorrow night’s crucial home six-pointer with fellow strugglers Bury.
Cox, who can currently only bring in loan players from clubs prepared to pay all the wages, managed to bring in attacking midfielder Michael Cain on a month’s loan from Leicester City on Friday.
Now he is hoping to find a striker and a defensive utility player, who can fill a number of positions.
“We are talking to numerous clubs. Myself and the staff have covered a lot of miles and we do have targets in place,” said Cox.
“My hands are tied a bit as whoever comes in must cost the club no money.
“We are asking for a bit of help and Leicester have been absolutely brilliant and we are indebted to them. Now we could do with one or two more.
“If we get one or two injuries, our squad is not massive at the moment and I want to make sure we don’t get caught out.
“I am looking to bring in players down the spine of the side. I think we still need a centre forward and you never know, we might fall on a natural goalscorer who could tip things in our favour.
“I would also like someone who can play in defence but also cover one or two positions to cover for injuries.
“They might happen this week, but it is a tough job. We are having to go cap in hand to a lot of teams. I understand football is a ruthless business and not many out there want to do many favours.
“But hopefully there are clubs like Leicester that will help us and we hope we can pay them back by giving some of their younger players an experience their hosts couldn’t give them.”
First arrival Cain (20) signed for the Foxes from Luton for a considerable five figure fee in September 2011, which will rise to a considerable six figure fee if he plays enough first team games and achieves international recognition.
He was on the Stags’ bench on Saturday but failed to get on. Cox said: “It was tough to get him on and he knows that.
“But the experience of just being on the bench and being in the blood, guts and thunder of League football was all a plus to him.
“I know what he can do, but I have got to be fair to all of my players.”
Stags’ superb 1-0 win over title-chasing Fleetwood Town on Saturday was a second home win on the trot and pushed Mansfield nine points clear of trouble.
However, tomorrow is a big game as Bury, who are starting to put some form together under new boss David Flitcroft, are three places behind Stags in the table in 20th but only two points adrift with two games in hand.
The Shakers have only lost once in their last nine League games and are unbeaten in five.
“It will be another tough game, but that’s what League Two is all about,” said Cox.
“There are three leagues going on in there now. You’ve got the top three, then the four after that chasing play-off positions and then the rest of us trying to avoid the relegation trapdoor.
“Bury are in the same position as us as they want to maintain their status in this league and have had some good results of late. It will be a tough game and we can’t take our foot off the pedal.
“Saturday was a good result for us. But it’s all chip paper now. It will mean nothing if we don’t beat Bury.
“They boys understand what is expected of them at home now and our form has been excellent home and away of late.
“It was nice to play well and put on a good performance against Fleetwood and even better to get three points. It has lifted a bit of a cloud, everything was positive about the day. Now I am looking for consistency.
“I still think there is a lot more to come from us and that’s the frightening part. They are now starting to understand the fundamentals of competing at this level.
“No one can say we are not creating chance after chance and we now just need to find a ruthless streak.
“I have now challenged them to finish as high as they can this season, even if we reach a point where we are mathematically safe. I don’t want them to switch off.”
Third-time lucky for Mansfield Town v Bury clash
Tuesday 25th February 2014 in Sport By Craig Nelson
BURY’S players head off to Mansfield Town tonight with the pre-match team talk ringing in their ears...after hearing it for a third time.
The League Two fixture has twice been called off over the past month because of a waterlogged pitch, but the Nottinghamshire club said yesterday they expected no such problems this time round.
And manager David Flitcroft says his players have been well prepped and know just what to expect following the two previous false starts.
“I think they must know the Mansfield players inside out,” he said.
“I will have done the presentation three times now, so we are looking forward to finally getting the game on.”
Mansfield ruffled a few feathers at the JD Stadium earlier in the season when the then Bury manager Ronnie Jepson complained about their aggressive tactics.
But Flitcroft has promised his side will not abandon their passing style of play to combat the Stags.
“It should be every manager’s mantra - to try to win every game,” said Flitcroft, after guiding his Bury side to a 1-0 victory at Wimbledon on Saturday.
“A lot of teams will have gone to Wimbledon and played 4-5-1, but we played three at the back, four across midfield and three up front.
“We’re not going to fear anyone, we are going to every club in the league to try to beat them.
“I don’t believe in setting up not to lose a game.
“So we are just going to concentrate on what we are doing, but the mantra is to win football matches.”
That mantra has served Flitcroft and his team well in recent weeks, with their latest victory making it just one defeat in the last nine matches, putting Bury second in the form tables behind promotion chasers Rochdale.
Part of that success has been put down to Bury's fantastic defensive record since the turn of the year, with five clean sheets in their last seven matches.
That good run continued seemlessly on Saturday despite the inclusion of new defender Jake Carroll.
The 22-year-old Irishman, who joined from Championship side Huddersfield last week, is expected to make his second appearance tonight after impressing in his debut at left wing-back.
There could also be a place on the bench again for Navid Nasseri after the youth-team striker was picked ahead of established regulars like Tom Soares at Wimbledon, but Ashley Grimes remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.
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