{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from March 2014

6th March 2014 11:17

Cox reflects on Daggers draw
mansfieldtown.net, 1 Mar 2014

Manager Paul Cox had mixed emotions following today’s hard-fought 0-0 draw with Dagenham & Redbridge.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-reflects-on-daggers-draw-1391540.aspx?#vuFk9XEI3kRpWlOt.99

Our side produced a gritty defensive display to keep out the Daggers, who when they did catch sight of the target, were denied by the superb Alan Marriott.

However, we also had chances to snatch maximum points as Sam Clucas twice went close midway through the first half, whilst Ritchie Sutton nearly bagged his first career goal.

The draw leaves us occupying 20th position in Sky Bet League Two, level on 39 points with four other teams.

“We’ve got to be kicking ourselves with some of the chances that we had in the first half, but having said that, Alan (Marriott) pulled off some good saves near the end,” said Cox.

“I’ve said to the boys that we need to be more ruthless in the last third. It was very open in the last 20 minutes, but a draw was probably a fair result.”

He continued: “I think the boys had a point to prove, because without going overboard, we let ourselves down on Tuesday and got what we deserved.

“But today I thought that, especially in the first half, we had chances that you’ve got to score.

“The header from Ritchie Sutton when he was about seven yards out with the goal at his mercy, but heads it wide - these are the chances that you’ve got to take.

“I think the stats show that the majority of teams that score first usually go on to win the game.

“It was a more open second half and we threw caution to the wind to try and go for it and win, which left us open at the back and called Alan into a few good saves, but overall it’s a point for both sides.”

Our manager also had praise for the 172 Stags’ supporters who made the trip to the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Stadium for this afternoon’s match.

“These boys are running though a brick wall for this club and what pleased me more than anything today was we came off the pitch to see our supporters clapping us off,” said Cox.

“It made me smile and it’s a real positive that we’ve travelled all this way and they’ve stuck by us throughout the 90 minutes.”

Looking ahead, Cox added: “We want to look upwards, not downwards, and we want a positive end to our season and to finish as high as possible.

“To do that, the club needs to stick together. The fans were brilliant again today, the boys worked extremely hard, and we’ve got a good week now to heel those achy knocks that you pick up.”


Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:

"I think over the 90 minutes you would have to say it's a fair result but, having said, that we probably should have had the game wrapped up at half-time.
"We had some excellent chances, failed to put them away and then the game became open in the last 20 minutes and Alan Marriott has pulled off a couple of decent saves.
"We keep saying it week in, week out that we need to be a bit more ruthless in the last third.


Cox happy to see Stags bounce back from midweek mauling to take an away point

Paul Cox was delighted to see his Mansfield Town side bounce back from their midweek home nightmare against Bury to earn a decent point in a 0-0 draw at Dagenham & Redbridge today.


And the Stags boss admitted that, with better finishing in the first half, his side might have won the game.

“The boys had a point to prove. Without going overboard, we let ourselves down on Tuesday night,” he said.

“After everything that went wrong on Tuesday night, I thought the lads put in a right shift today.

“There were some tired legs out there today so I am glad we have a free week now to freshen the boys up physically and mentally. These boys have been running through a brick wall.

“I was pleased to see our supporters wait and clap and cheer the boys off today. That put a smile on my face. They stuck behind us for the whole 90 minutes which was a real positive to me.”

He added: “Over 90 minutes it was probably a fair result though it should probably have been all over by half-time. We just need to be more ruthless in the last third.

“We are kicking ourselves over some of the chances we had in the first half which we didn’t capitalise on.

“The header from Ritchie Sutton was only about seven yards out with the goal at his mercy. It’s those type of chances that we must put away as about nine times out of 10 in this league, the team that scored first goes on to win it.

“Saying that, Alan Marriott pulled off some good saves near the end.

“The game opened up in the second half and we threw caution to the wind and tried to win it which meant we left ourselves open at the back a few times.”

Sam Clucas missed several first half openings and Cox said: “Sam was the most frustrated player in there at half-time. With someone of Sam’s calibre you would expect him to put one of those chances away. He probably just needs one to go in off his knee to kickstart him again.

“The difference between winning a place in the play-offs and fighting a relegation battle is such a fine line in this league.

“Anyone from 10th down could be in the relegation battle realistically. Torquay lost and Northampton only took a point and the pressure is on those two as they are playing catch-up.”


Skegness trip set to be Mansfield Town's reward for draw at Dagenham and Redbridge
Nottingham Post by Sarah Clapson

SIX points off the relegation zone, you could hardly say life's a beach for Mansfield Town. But that's exactly where they may find themselves this week.

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Skegness-trip-set-Mansfield-Town-s-reward-draw/story-20740862-detail/story.html#ixzz2utHVIQ6D

Sand, sea and Stags - it could be an advert for pre-wedding hijinks in Ibiza.

Instead, the more likely destination would be the less glamorous surrounds of Skegness.

Welcome to Paul Cox's world.

His team were beginning to filter out of the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Stadium, reflecting on a hard-earned point, as the manager emphasised just what they are up against in their bid to stay in League Two.

Even in the bottom tier, it seems, there are princes and paupers.

Cox's men had been 'up at the crack of dawn' to travel down to London on the day, had eaten on the bus and had a 15 minute stretch around a car park.

No overnight stays here. And we all know how difficult it's been for them to bring in players.

With six days now until their next game and with two thirds of a gruelling season behind them, Cox wants to add a different element to training this week.

"I'd like to take them over to Dubai for five days and sit them in the sun, but I don't think that's going to happen," he joked.

"We'll probably have to take them to Skegness for a day, buy them an ice cream and try to liven them up in a different way."

Even if it is just a stroll down Skegness sea front, his players deserve some kind of acknowledgement for a job well done at Dagenham and Redbridge.

The travelling fans made a point of showing appreciation, gathering by the tunnel at the final whistle and applauding their team off.

They hadn't seen the most aesthetically-pleasing of football matches, but they had seen players battle - something which went down well after their midweek mauling against Bury.

"These boys are running through a brick wall, and what pleased me more than anything was we came off the pitch and saw our supporters stood right at the side of the tunnel, clapping and cheering the boys off. That made me smile," said Cox.

"They travelled all that way. I don't think the game was a great spectacle in the first half; it opened up in the second half, but they stood by us throughout the 90 minutes.

"That was a real positive for me."

The players, he added, had a 'point to prove' after Tuesday, few more so than those at the back.

That 4-1 thumping may have acted as a well-timed kick up the rear heading into the final straight.

The Stags are not safe yet, and a few more solid performances such as this one wouldn't go amiss to ultimately ensure they are.

Goalkeeper Alan Marriott in particular looked unbreachable on Saturday, pulling off some decent stops to secure a clean-sheet.

Luke Norris was the danger man for the Daggers, particularly in the first half when they had the majority of possession, and he tested Marriott on a couple of occasions, with a third effort from 30 yards dipping over the crossbar.

In the second half, it was Rhys Murphy who had the best of the Daggers' chances. He found himself through one on one with the Stags stopper on more than one occasion, only to find the route was blocked.

And Adebayo Azeez added his name to the list of those thwarted when his shot was saved.

That defeat to Bury clearly hurt. You could not have got a much more contrasting display.

If only Mansfield found their composure at the other end this could have been a three-point return.

But, never mind running through brick walls, it seems they keep hitting them when it comes to their efforts up front. Or not hitting them as the case may be.

Time and again, Cox has acknowledged his side need to be more ruthless. It has become a press conference tradition.

But who can blame him when you come so close to taking something more from the game.

Ritchie Sutton must have nightmares about his chance in the 34th minute. A free header at the back post, a few yards out, put wide.

Sam Clucas though was 'the most frustrated figure' in the dressing room at half-time, Cox admitted.

Try as he might, nothing seemed to come off. Usually so clinical, he scuffed shots and snatched at opportunities, leaving Chris Lewington to comfortably gather.

He should have done better on the 20 minute mark though, when Brian Saah lost the ball in the box. Clucas was caught by surprise but couldn't collect himself quick enough and the shot was tame.

An effort on the half-volley with 35 minutes gone was considerably closer, whistling past the post.

The Stags had other decent attempts - Jamie McGuire causing palpitations amongst the home crowd in the second half with a fiercely-struck effort from range which dipped before dropping over the bar - but the hosts ended the game the stronger.

Although Dagenham didn't forge too many clear-cut openings late on, they did have a couple of corners and applied the pressure, forcing their opponents to dig deep.

It was a show of great resolve, a testament to their mental strength not to let their previous result play on their minds.

They are certainly not in holiday mode quite yet - this result changed nothing in terms of league position - but continue in this vein and whether it is Dubai or Skegness at this summer, it will be deserved.


A good defensive display - Tafazolli

Defender Ryan Tafazolli was pleased with our much-improved defensive display in today’s 0-0 draw at Dagenham & Redbridge.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/a-good-defensive-display-tafazolli-1391675.aspx?#0Isf75am65XjKAqc.99

Despite the hosts having the better chances at the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Stadium, they were unable to find their way through the Stags defence.

Tafazolli believes our team registered a well-earned point this afternoon, as we bounced back from a disappointing 4-1 defeat at home to Bury on Tuesday.

“I think I emphasised in midweek how we needed to have a good ‘bounce-back-ability’ and we showed today we can put in solid performances when we need to,” said the defender.

“I’m grateful we kept a clean sheet away from home, as well as picking up a very important point.”

He continued: “It was one of those games similar to when we played Portsmouth where we feel we might have done enough to win the game, but at the same time Dagenham had a few chances to take all three points themselves.

“The manager said to us to do what we are good at, bring it back to basics and that’s what we did today. I think it paid off and we looked resilient throughout the 90 minutes.

“It was a good game to play in because I didn’t feel they were going to score.

“A few of their players played through a couple of good balls and maybe they could have scored once or twice, but we could have done the same. I think if we could have scored we would have gone on to win the game.”

Despite not finding the back of the net, Tafazolli praised the ever-impressive Matt Rhead, who won countless aerial duels and constantly causing the Daggers’ defence problems.

“I don’t think anyone in this league could defend against Matt Rhead,” continued Tafazolli. “No matter what standard that is at, I think it would be the same.

“He’s a very strong player and we know how hard it can be to play up against him sometimes.”

He added: “I think 0-0 was about right this afternoon. Both teams deserved the point so I am happy with that.”


Dagenham haul no problem, says Tafazolli

Stags defender Ryan Tafazolli said the club’s decision to travel down on the day to Dagenham & Redbridge yesterday didn’t affect the performance as Stags took a hard-earned point in a 0-0 draw.


Manager Paul Cox had hoped to head for East London overnight, but with cash tight at the club right now, was told they had to make an early start and go down on the day.

Tafazolli said: “It was something different, but if we have to keep doing that then it doesn’t really affect me much. I don’t know about the rest of the lads. You just have to stay professional.

“We prepared very professionally and took that professionalism out onto the pitch.”

Tafazolli was pleased to see how well the side bounced back from the 4-1 home loss to bury on Tuesday.?He said: “We didn’t really get to grips with the game on Tuesday and the emphasis in midweek was on our ‘bouncebackability’. If we carry on putting on performances like that we will start winning games.

“It is so tight, anyone who can put together a run now can cement their place in the top half of this league.

“I check the table every day to remind myself how important the matches are.”


Good point today another day we could off won if we took are chances roll on Saturday !! Good backing from the fans #stags x


Currie frustrated with Daggers firing a blank against Mansfield Town
by Colin Munford

Daggers first-team coach Darren Currie felt it was just one of those days at the office as they failed to turn their dominance into a much-needed three point at Victoria Road against Mansfield Town yesterday.

The hosts, particularly in the second half, failed to turn their chances into goals and though goalkeeper Alan Marriott kept them at bay, most of the efforts were straight at the 35-year-old.

“It was frustrating today,” said Currie. “We have had a couple of defeats recently at home which we have been disappointed with and again today we are disappointed even though we’ve picked up a point.”

In front of goal it was as frustrating for the visitors in the opening period, who rarely tested Chris Lewington in the Daggers goal, despite Sam Clucas and Ritchie Sutton finding themselves in great positions to break the deadlock.

That never materialised though and the obvious positive for the hosts was a point and a clean sheet - their eight of the campaign.

“We’ll reflect on the positives and the negatives but at the end of the day we will remain slightly disappointed that with the opportunities we have created today that we haven’t won the game,” he added.

“But we will talk about the positives and the lads will know in the changing rooms that on another day if they had their shooting boots on we win the game.”

“We know from previous times here that style of play where you are constantly putting it forward and asking questions of your opponents back four.

“It’s difficult to play against and in two separate spells in today’s game they have been difficult to play against but we stood up to it and on the whole I felt the back four did really well.”

The first-team coach also reserved special praise for midfield duo Abu Ogogo and Lawson D’Ath, in particular the former and how he went about his business right from the outset.

“You know what you are getting from Abs, he gives you absolutely everything,” he said.

“I think he chased someone down into the corner flag in about the first 30 seconds and that’s just typical of Abs.

“You only have to put him on the pitch and he wants to win a football match which is brilliant. We changed the shape with just the two of them in there, but they are two very good players and they’ve been brilliant for us and worked their socks off yet again.”


Daggers’ Norris and Currie - We didn’t force Mansfield’s Marriott to make a top save
Colin Munford

While the Daggers had a number of chances in the goalless draw with Mansfield Town on Saturday, striker Luke Norris believes they failed to make Stags’ goalkeeper Alan Marriott pull off a top-drawer save all afternoon.

The Brentford loanee had a few opportunities in the opening period, while it was Ade Azeez and Rhys Murphy’s chances in the second half which went begging.

And though pleased that the Daggers are creating the chances, Norris felt they were wasteful in front of goal.

“It’s good that we are creating them but me, Ade and Rhys all know we should have scored today,” said Norris.

“It was nice to be back in the starting line-up and I felt I had a few decent chances as well but everything was outside the box. I still feel I could have done a bit more.

“Some of the one-on-ones were straight at him and we did get some of the shots on target but we didn’t test him. All of them were in and around the keeper but that’s just one of those things.”

And first-team coach Darren Currie echoed Norris’ sentiments, adding: “That’s what will frustrate the players because they’ve all made the keeper look good today. The shots have all been in and around the body.

“I do shooting practice with the chaps throughout the week and they are all capable of scoring some fantastic goals and we’ve had a number of chances and we haven’t taken one so it’s very frustrating.”

Norris extended his loan with the Daggers for a further month a week ago and the 20-year-old has been pleased with how it’s gone at Victoria Road.

And the only disappointment for the youngster is the number of points the Daggers have picked up during his time with the club.

“It’s nice to know that I am going to be settled for another month and maybe even further and I’ll discuss it with the gaffer but it’s nice to extend it to know where I am going to be,” he added.

“I felt like I did okay at Northampton and they were bottom of the league so the next step was to come higher up the league.

I managed to come to Dagenham and it’s gone well for me, but I feel we haven’t picked up as many results as we should have during that time though.”



Latest | March 2014