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Archived News from March 2014

27th March 2014 10:34

video interview with Cox, Murray and Palmer:


Derby day work-ethic pleases Cox

Manager Paul Cox’s believes that our team created enough chances to win today’s local ‘derby’ with Chesterfield at One Call Stadium, which ended in a 0-0 stalemate.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/derby-day-work-ethic-pleases-cox-1436706.aspx#cIcQODU2hG4bqyGK.99

Our team, who were on the front-foot for the majority of the last half-an-hour, created some good openings going forward, whilst working tremendously hard at the back.

The Spireites survived an almighty goalmouth scramble with just 10 minutes remaining, before Ollie Palmer spurned a glorious opportunity deep into added time.

Our boss was also pleased with the work-ethic that our players showed during the match.

“I think we created five or six great chances in the last half-an-hour,” said Cox.

“[Converting chances] has been our achilles heel throughout the season, but I can’t fault the boys’ work-ethic and desire to go and win the game.”

He continued: “Our front two were a handful and ‘Clucs’ (Sam Clucas) and Lindon (Meikle) were causing problems out wide, and we tried to take the game to them.

“The chance at the end, Ollie (Palmer) has done everything right apart from [put the ball] six inches wide of the other side of the far-post.

“But I can’t fault the players’ work-ethic and the fans were absolutely brilliant. The atmosphere was ‘different gravy’, but I’m a bit disappointed that we didn’t take all three points.

“I’m not going to get too down beat. We played a team that have got excellent players, an excellent manager, and I think they are geared to be promoted from this league.

“It’s something that we need to aspire to and learn by and hopefully maintain our status this season and push on from there.”

Over 4,000 Stags fans were inside One Call Stadium to witness today’s nail-biting contest and Cox was full of praise for them, stating they backed our team throughout.

He added: “I think the fans played a massive part in the game. I’ve always that we’ve had some ‘ups and downs’ in the two-and-a-half years that I’ve been here, but we’ve been successful.

“It’s the supporters’ football club and when they are in that mode [like they were today] and they’re that vocal, it makes this an intimidating place to come and play.

“What it does to our boys, it’s like a drug to them. They responded to the supporters and the supporters responded to them, which was magnificent.”


Murray: Good team performance

Skipper Adam Murray had praise for his team-mates in the wake of today’s stalemate with local rivals Chesterfield at One Call Stadium.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-good-team-performance-1436871.aspx#Oro1sViD5RJlfoPZ.99

Our team created some good opportunities against the promotion-chasing Spireites and were resolute defensively to earn a hard-fought point, which keeps us in 18th position in Sky Bet League Two.

“I think it was always going to be a tight affair,” said Murray, who was speaking shortly after the full-time whistle. “We went for a little bit of a difference in shape in our midfield and we tried to be solid in the first half.

“We tweaked it a little bit [in the second half] and when we did that I think we were on top of the game.”

He continued: “These are massive games and when you go up into the hospitality suite to do interviews, you realise just how much it means to people.

“Even though we haven’t come away with three points, we’ve got one and put in a good performance and I think that dictates people’s weekends, and that’s the pleasing thing.”

The 32-year-old was named as the sponsor’s ‘Man of the Match’ for his sterling performance in the heart of midfield, but says our front two deserved the award.

“The front boys deserved the ‘Man of the Match’ award more than I did, because I thought they were a different class,” added Murray.

“On another day, Ollie (Palmer) could have had a couple [of goals], and ‘Rheady’ (Matt Rhead) beat the two centre-halves, so it was a good team performance today.”

Looking ahead, the skipper said: “We’ve got eight more games to stay in the Football League and then we address things in the summer.

“There’s no point in dwelling on things as we’ve got to keep going and we’ve got another tough game on Tuesday, which is our focus right now.”

Murray also had praise for our defensive display, and in particular Ryan Tafazolli, who was dominant in the air for most of the match after a shaky start.

The defender produced a magnificent goal-line clearance after his backwards header was latched onto by Marc Richards in just the third-minute, which kept us on level terms.

“The boys at the back were a different class,” added Murray.

“As a young lad Ryan (Tafazolli) always has that little bit in his mind and as a young lad he’s working on things, but since he’s come into the team, he’s been superb.”


Paul Cox proud of Mansfield after Chesterfield draw
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill, stephen.thirkill@chad.co.uk

Boss Paul Cox spoke of his pride in his players after Mansfield drew 0-0 with promotion-chasing Chesterfield.


Mansfield battled bravely against the League Two high-flyers and could have won the game had Ollie Palmer converted a golden chance deep into stoppage time.

Stags who were solid in defence throughout, grew in confidence during the second half and created a number of chances after the switched to 4-4-2.

Sam Clucas was also denied late on as Chesterfield shot-stopper Tommy Lee pulled off two excellent point-blank saves.

Speaking after the game Paul Cox said: “Relegation is still an issue for teams from 11th down and we have to work hard and prepare for each game.

“I want us to fight and battle for our league status and hopefully we will have the players to be successful.

“All we can do is keep on picking up the points. I am a bit disappointed that we did not win because we had some good chances to win in the last 30 minutes.

“We just needed a scrappy goal but I cannot fault the players for their work ethic and desire to win against a team that are equipped to win this league.

“Chesterfield are a team packed with quality players and are a team that we can aspire to.”

Cox was also full of praise for his strike partnership who were a big handful all game and the noisy Mansfield Town fans.

“I thought the front two were magnificent, Matt Rhead is a real unsung hero,”Cox said.

“Ollie Palmer is learning all the time and Matt Rhead takes a battering for us every game, but picks himself up and he is an unsung hero.

“If we can stay up, those two can only get better next year after a season at this level.

“That level of vocal support makes this an intimidating place to come and play and it means so much to our boys. It’s like a drug to them.

“The players responded to the supporters and the supporters responded to the players. We need more days like these when the players work hard and the supporters work hard.

““This is only our first season at this level and it was always going to be a massive learning curve. So I am proud of this club tonight.”


Murray hands over man of the match champagne to Palmer

Adam Murray accepted his man of the match champagne in the sponsors’ lounge after yesterday’s thrilling 0-0 derby draw between Mansfield and Chesterfield - and then handed it on to striker Ollie Palmer.


Although Palmer missed a chance to win a tense derby at the death, Murray said he felt Palmer and strike partner Matt Rhead were the best Stags players on the pitch.

Youngster Palmer was genuinely touched by the gesture by his assistant manager and said: “They are really kind words from Adam and I appreciate them a lot. It just didn’t drop for us today.

“The fans were amazing today and it was one of the best days of my life.

“I had that chance at the end, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

“I was pretty calm and I took it down on my chest. I did everything right but the finish went just a whisker wide.

“I thought today was a fantastic team effort and we were very unfortunate not to take all three points in the end. We made Chesterfield look am average side and the boys put a fantastic shift in today.

“I don’t want to run before I can walk. But I am starting to find my feet now. I know it has taken a bit of time to get up to scratch.

“We will stay positive after performances like that, keep fighting and keep trying our best to pick up the points.

“If you’d said before the start of the season that we’d have picked up four points off Chesterfield, fans would have taken that.”

Murray added: “I didn’t think I was the best, I thought the front boys deserved man of the match as they were both different class today.

“They are massive games and when you go up to the sponsors’ suite, you see what it means to people. What we do out there dictates people’s weekends.

“After the first half we came in to a bit of a rollicking from the gaffer as he expects more of us than that.

“We perhaps showed them a bit too much respect. But in the second half we got on top and feel we should have got all three points.

“We didn’t take our chances and that’s the story of our season. But we can’t dwell on that. We must stay in the League and address that in the summer.

“There is no time to feel tired as we have another massive game on Tuesday.”

He added: “The atmosphere was brilliant today. We gave the fans something to cheer and it makes all the difference.

“They could see the boys all gave 110 per cent today and the fans appreciated that.

“We played against the wind in the first half and it changed at half-time and we ended up playing 90 minutes against it!”


Oliver Palmer @OliverJPalmer
What an experience to be involved in. Such a shame we didn't take all 3 points that we did deserve! The support today was something special

James Jennings @JamesJennings03
Gutted we didn't win that today but not a bad point! Great shift & fans eeee different class! On to the next 1 #stags

Great point today on another day could off won it ! Thought the fans were different class got behind us #stags x

Alan Marriott @Mazza_78
Great atmosphere to play in today!! Just a shame we didn't get the 3pts we deserved!! Important few games ahead now!!

Martin Riley @LifeofRiley6
What an atmosphere today! Would have been nice if a few of the Chesterfield fans turned up, its only down the road


Chesterfield manager Paul Cook told BBC Radio Sheffield:

"My opinion on the game was that both teams had chances, but I never felt we were in any danger until the last five or ten minutes of the game.
"At this stage of the season everyone wants to win and cement what you're doing. Sometimes you just have to be calm.
"It's a point towards where we want to be."


Spireites: Chesterfield boss calls for calm heads after Stags stalemate

Chesterfield manager Paul Cook believed a draw was a fair result as his side shared the spoils with rivals Mansfield Town in the derby.

Opportunities fell to either side in an absorbing, competitive grudge match at Field Mill where both teams threw caution to the wind.

Marc Richards spurned Spireites’ best chance early on while Ollie Palmer should have snatched all three points for Stags at the death.

It is one win in six now for Chesterfield, who reclaimed top spot in League Two, albeit for a few hours, with seven games remaining.

Cook said: “I think it was a fair result. If we would have lost, we would have gone home devastated today.

“Final league tables are the most important one, it’s another point towards where we want to be.

“The games chalk down now and if we can get a few wins here and there we must get over that line.

“The targets have been there all season. Everyone feels it a little more now because we’re getting near.

“The support is good, the players want it badly - we all want it as a football club - I think we need to keep steady heads.”

A flurry of substitutions from both benches opened the game up as both sides went for the jugular in the second half.

“Every Mansfield attack looked to be dangerous. There were too many balls bouncing around in the middle of the pitch,” said Cook.

“We lost our shape a little bit through the substitutions but we were always trying to win the game.

“To win the game you want to get all your attacking players on the pitch. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”

The Spireites’ on loan winger Daniel Kearns started his first game for the club after impressing from the bench midweek at Home Park.

While Mason Bennett, another on loan forward, was brought on at half-time in place of Ollie Banks behind the lone striker, Richards.

Cook added: “I think he looked lively. Sometimes it’s hard to fit him in but he’s forcing his way in. He looks a threat down the middle of the pitch.

“The lad looks hot, he looks like he’s got that yard of pace and he’ll create chances so it is something we must look at.”

Rochdale moved three points ahead of third-placed Chesterfield after a 2-0 win at Wycombe Wanderers. Scunthorpe United, in second, beat Burton Albion 1-0.


Spireites: ‘We need to be more shrewd up top,’ says Roberts

Promotion-chasing Chesterfield need to be a bit more shrewd in the final third of the pitch.

That’s the message from winger Gary Roberts following the Spireites’ goalless draw at Mansfield Town in the derby on Saturday.

Roberts, the League Two Player of the Year, said the players shouldn’t be too down-beat with a point on the road at Field Mill.

But underlined the importance of three points from Tuesday night’s encounter with Morecambe at the Proact Stadium.

He said: “Your home games should be your bread and butter. Games like against Mansfield you’re up against teams battling.

“They don’t really come out much, teams who play us. The tend to dig in and make it hard but we’ve got to be better than that.

“We’ve got to be a bit more shrewd up front, a little bit more guile and a bit more quality at the top end of the pitch and we’ll be all right.”

Chesterfield chalked up more chances than their rivals but couldn’t find a way past a resolute Stags defence and keeper Alan Marriott.

Their hard work was almost undone in injury time when Ollie Palmer saw sight of goal only to place his shot wide of Tommy Lee’s post.

“We came to win the game but looking round at the pitch it didn’t suit us,” said Roberts. “We didn’t get our passing game going and if you can’t pass you’ve got to battle.

“The boys dug in and I thought a draw was probably a fair result. If we had scored that goal maybe things would have been a bit different, maybe controlled the game a bit more.

“They had a couple of good chances at the end there, not through good play, but through hustle and bustle. We knew what to expect from the first game.

“They’re big, physical and try to get the ball into the box. It was always going to be tough, we were never going to come and pass them off the park.

“We didn’t want to get beaten in front of our supporters so we’ll take a point. We can’t get too down with a point away from home against your rivals.

“They weren’t going to lie down and let us beat them. We just didn’t have enough guile and quality in front of goal, myself included, we didn’t have enough to break them down.”


‘No trouble between rival fans at Stags match’ - police
chad.co.uk, 23 March 2014

Police said fans’ behaviour at the match between bitter rivals Mansfield Town and Chesterfield meant the day passed off without incident.


Officers stepped up patrols to keep fans apart before and after the League Two fixture at the One Call Stadium, which eneded in a 0-0 draw.

Almost 1,500 Chesterfield fans made the short journey across the M1 for the game, but police said there had been no trouble after being contacted by Chad.



Latest | March 2014