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Archived News from April 2014

13th April 2014 21:17

Paul Cox video interview, 10th April 2014


Keepers doubtful for Dale visit
mansfieldtown.net, 10th April 2014

Marriott and Deakin struggling with injuries

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/keepers-doubtful-for-dale-visit-1479745.aspx#8geQC8G1aPsrby5R.99

Mansfield Town goalkeepers Alan Marriott and Ian Deakin are both injury doubts for our Sky Bet League Two match against table-toppers Rochdale on Saturday.

Marriott, who has been an almost ever-present for us this term, dislocated his finger during a midweek training session and is doubtful to be fit in time for Saturday’s match.

Despite having featured in last night’s reserve team victory over Hartlepool United, Deakin, our second-choice shot-stopper, has also been struggling with a quad problem in recent weeks.

Boss Paul Cox said: “[Alan’s] finger popped out on Tuesday at training. We thought it was not just a dislocation, but a fracture as well, but he’s been x-rayed and there’s no fracture.”

He continued: “As a goalkeeper when you make a mistake there is no hiding place. ‘Maz’ puts a lot of pressure on himself to set standards and he’s been excellent this season.

“In some of the games of late, he’s pulled off good saves at vital times, but that’s his job. He’s a good professional, he’s got high standards and I think he’s had a good season this year.”


Beevers set for early operation
mansfieldtown.net, 10th April 2014

Mansfield Town full-back Lee Beevers will undergo an operation tomorrow on his shoulder injury.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/beevers-set-for-early-operation-1479613.aspx#4qJmZhpDpujX47wF.99

The 30-year-old dislocated his shoulder in the early stages of last Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Morecambe at the Globe Arena, which moved us up to 12th position in Sky Bet League Two.

Beevers has been a regular figure in our team this season, having made 28 appearances, but he will now miss the remainder of the campaign.

Manager Paul Cox said: “He’s took some battering over the last 18 months, but we’ve got him in [for an operation] on Friday, so that his rehab can be speeded up a little bit.

“He’ll be a big miss for us, because when he got back in the side I thought he was excellent and playing exceptionally well.

“We hope the operation goes well and we wish him a speedy recovery.”


Cox keen to finish season strongly

Manager Paul Cox believes Mansfield Town are on a high ahead of tomorrow’s Sky Bet League Two match with Rochdale.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-keen-to-finish-season-strongly-1482249.aspx#VJSJT2Xx2ifv67Rm.99

Our team are currently on a five-match unbeaten run and know that a victory - coupled with favourable results elsewhere - could see us mathematically safe from relegation by tomorrow night.

Nevertheless, we face a tough test to record maximum points as table-toppers Rochdale arrive at One Call Stadium in equally-impressive form.

Keith Hill’s men have gained 14 points from their last six matches and have kept five consecutive clean-sheets to consolidate their position at the top of the table.

“Rochdale have had a great season. They’re one of the better sides [at this level] and they deserve to be where they are [in the league table,” said Cox.

“But we don’t want the season to end at the minute. We’re on a high, we’re playing with a little bit of vigour about us, we’re getting about sides and we’re looking hard to beat.

“We want to keep that going - it’s as simple as that. No matter who we play, I just want us to put in the same kind of shift that we have been doing of late.”

Our boss will also be eager for us to produce a good display, having lost the reverse fixture at Spotland on Boxing Day, courtesy of two goals from Scott Hogan and a close-range strike by Matthew Lund.

“I can count probably three times this season where I think the boys and we as a group have let everybody down and that was one of the games,” said Cox.

“It’s not bad when you look at things throughout the season, because as a group of players we usually work extremely hard - even if we don’t play particularly well.

“But we let ourselves and the supporters down that day. There were a few harsh words said afterwards, not just by me, but by players amongst themselves.”

Due to suspensions and injuries, our team could be without up to eight players for tomorrow’s encounter.

Those who will definitely miss the match are midfielders Jamie McGuire and Anthony Howell (both suspended), full-back Lee Beevers (shoulder) and forward Ben Hutchinson (hamstring).

Goalkeepers Ian Deakin (quad) and Alan Marriott (dislocated finger) are also struggling, whilst full-backs Paul Black and Liam Marsden have also picked up knocks.

As a result, our boss could bring in a goalkeeper on an emergency loan for tomorrow’s match.

With so many possible absentees, Cox could also choose to field those players who impressed him during Wednesday night’s 3-1 win for our reserve team away at Hartlepool United.

Reflecting on the match, our boss said: “Any win is a good win, but [the match] gave us a chance to get players like ‘Bris’ (Louis Briscoe), James Jennings, Lindon (Meikle), ‘Clemmo’ (Chris Clements) and Ross (Dyer) some game-time.

“We had a look at a few trialists, but the most pleasing aspect for me was that we finished the game with three or four [youth team players] on the pitch.”

“It was a really good run-out for us and travelling all that way, you want to win the game.”

You can watch Paul Cox's full interview onStags Playerby clicking here.


Goalkeeping worries for Stags
chad.co.uk, 10 April 2014

Mansfield Town are hoping goalkeeper Alan Marriott will be fit to face leaders Rochdale at One Call Stadium on Saturday (3.07pm).


Marriott dislocated a finger during training this week and manager Paul Cox has since seen his two back-up plans evaporate.

Reserve keeper Ian Deakin suffered rib and thigh injuries in last night’s 3-1 reserve win at Hartlepool and is on the treatment table this morning and defender Lee Beevers, who is always a stop-gap option as a keeper, is to undergo an operation tomorrow on his dislocated shoulder and his season is over.

“Mazza’s finger popped out in midweek training,” explained Cox. “At first we thought he might have broken it. He had an X-ray, but it was only dislocated and he had it popped back in.

“We are hoping in the next 24/48 hours he will be okay to play on Saturday.

“Mazza has had a good season for us. He puts a lot of pressure on himself and keeps his standards high.

“There have been times when he has been excellent when the team has not played well of late and he has pulled off good saves at vital times.

“After missing out in play-offs with other clubs, I am pleased for him to get up into the League this season. He has achieved that now and had a good season. We hope he will be fit for Saturday.”

The decision was taken this week for Beevers to have an immediate operation on the shoulder that keeps popping out of its socket.

Cox said: “That rules him out for the season now. We have managed to get him in on Friday so we can get his rehab speeded up a bit.

“He will be a big miss. Since Beevs has got back in the side I think he has been excellent. We hope the operation goes well and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Stags will be without suspended duo Anthony Howell and Jamie McGuire on Saturday but do welcome James Jennings back from a two-game ban.

Jennings shook off some rust in last night’s reserve game in which the win saw Mansfield finish second position in the Final Third Development League (East Division).

Callam Wood fired the hosts into an early lead, but youngster Kyle Hempshall levelled for Stags on the stroke of half-time and then Louis Briscoe scored twice in the space of seven minutes after the break.

“It was good to get players like JJ, Louis Briscoe, Chris Clements, Lindon Meikle and Ross Dyer some game time and we also had a look at some trialists,” said Cox.

“What pleased me the most was that we finished up with three or four 16-year-olds and a 17-year-old out there.”


Cox wants players to fight for new deals against table-toppers
chad.co.uk, 10 April 2014

If Mansfield Town managed to sneak their way into the play-offs then Paul Cox would be delighted, but, as League Two leaders Rochdale hit town tomorrow, the Stags boss said, whatever the result, what he needs to see is his players staking claims for new contracts next season with good performances.


Table-topping Dale have only lost once in 13 outings and will provide formidable opposition, as Stags found in the 3-0 loss at Spotland on Boxing Day.

But Mansfield, who have just won three on the bounce, are just seven points off the play-offs with five games to go and Cox said: “If we were lucky enough to win five out of five and find ourselves in the play-offs, anyone would take that. But I just want us to finish as high as we can in our first season.

“I don’t want players to think the job is done and they can rest on their laurels. I am not that kind of person and we are not that kind of club.

“Everyone wants to win every game and I understand that. We need to improve. I need to improve, the club needs to improve, the players need to improve. Standards all around the place need to be stepped up.

“I have some big decisions to make in the summer, but I hope they are positive ones.

“I have a group of men here, regardless of what people say about them, who are becoming anxious. Contracts are running out and they have families to feed and mortgages to pay.

“It’s not a nice part of the job, but it is a nice position to be in as a manager. The players all know what I want. I want players to be hungry and successful.

“Everyone will be given the chance over the next month to stay here at the club. No door has been closed on any player.

“But we do need a bit of something else bringing in over the summer. I wouldn’t be doing my job if not. We need to bring in 3/4/5 players who are going to improve the squad.”

Cox added: “Probably only three times this season have the boys as a group let everyone down. And the game at Rochdale was one of those games.

“We let our travelling support down that day and a few harsh words were said afterwards, not just by me but also the players among themselves.

“Rochdale have had a great season and deserve to be where they are.

“But we don’t want the season to end right now as we have a vigour about us and are getting about sides. I just want to end the season on a high.”

The game, like all other games in this the league, kicks-off at 3.07pm in respect to the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster on Saturday and Cox said: “It is so important we all try to make sure we respect Hillsborough on Saturday.

“We all chase this dream in football and sometimes forget there is a bigger thing called life.

“A lot of good people lost their lives that day and Saturday will be an emotional day, particularly in the North-West. I hope everyone will pay their respects.

“We tried to do it properly when we played Liverpool last year. At the end of the day this is a job and it is a game. It is just a sport. There are bigger things than this business. People have got families and wives - they are the important things in life.”

Stags will be without suspended duo Anthony Howell and Jamie McGuire on Saturday but do welcome James Jennings back from a two-game ban.

They will also hope goalkeeper Alan Marriott recovers from a dislocated finger sustained in training.


Stags shrug off ’bully boys’ accusations

Mansfield Town were again branded bully boys after last weekend’s brutal 1-0 win at Morecambe in which on-the-field tensions spilled over onto the benches where both Richard Cooper and Micky Moore from Stags’ coaching staff were verbally abused.


Morecambe fans this week made the effort to go onto the Stags’ supporters website to have a snipe at the Stags following a bruising afternoon at the Globe Arena when their side gave as good as they got.

But the ctiticism was water off a duck’s back to Mansfield boss Paul Cox who retorted: “It amazes me and it is a cheap shot.

“Since I have been here we have been labelled with this and that and told we are a direct side or bullies.

“But when we played one of the best teams in Europe when Liverpool came here, did we hoof it then? Did we bully them?

“When we couldn’t win a game between October and Christmas everyone was patting us on the back and wanting to be our mates. Start winning and we then start to get a few cheap shots thrown at us. Funny how these come from teams we have beaten.

“But it has never bothered me. I am not here to make friends. We are in a tough results-based business. You are deemed good or bad by the number of games you win or lose and it pleases me to win games.

“We won a championship last year and we are not playing any differently this year in what is a really tough league.”

He added: “One thing I never do is comment on the way other teams play. Sometimes they want to play football and other times they want to rough it up. My job as a coach is to counteract that. If we play in a certain way it is up to the opposition to counteract that.

“Saturday saw two passionate clubs who knew there was a lot at stake. But I won’t bow down and let people take cheap shots at my players and staff. I feel that’s out of order as I am respectful of other clubs.

“When someone beats you, you have to stick your hand out and shake somebody’s hand, no matter how they beat you. It is up to them to go back to the drawing board and look at what is going wrong.

“It happened in some of the games we won last season as well.

“If people want to throw a bit of dirt around I have broad shoulders, the players have broad shoulders and the club has broad shoulders. I will always turn a negative into a positive.”


Cox to run rule over trialists early

Paul Cox is planning to use the last month of the season to run the rule over as many trialists as he can as the Mansfield Town manager begins to plan for next season.


“The big job starts now,” he said. “Our first goal was to get the club promoted back into the League and stay up. The next step is how can we push on and improve the club from here?

“I want to get a few behind-closed-doors game arranged.

“I want to look at trialists, the youth team players and maybe the lads coming in as apprentices can get a run-out against good opposition to see where they are.

“There is a long way to go still, about a month, and we want to look at as many players as we can in that period.

“There will be a lot of players out of contract this summer and I don’t want 100 trialists coming in over pre-season as the players that are already here then don’t get the time and part of me and the staff that they really need.

“We have a nice nucleus of players here. We just need to add a bit more quality. Also, some of the players here may want to go elsewhere. There will be a lot of soul searching by players and by myself and the club.

“We will go with a smaller squad. The reserves will be mostly made up of the youth players.”


Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox will take his time over summer recruitment
By Nottingham Post by Sarah Clapson, 10 April 2014

MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox is hoping to get a head start on his summer recruitment in the next few weeks.

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Mansfield-Town-boss-Paul-Cox-time-summer/story-20942624-detail/story.html#ixzz2yV3YnaOL

Revealing he is hoping to add up to five new faces for next season, he has already started to invite players for trials at the One Call Stadium.

Cox is also keen for some of the club’s young stars to make the step up, with defenders Kyle Hempshall and Jack Koczalski starting the reserves’ 3-1 victory at Hartlepool United in midweek.

“I think there’s going to be a lot of players out of work in the summer,” said the Stags manager.

“We don’t want to be overloaded with trialists in pre-season. We want to get a nice little nucleus but not rush into it this year. I want to take my time and be a little bit more thoughtful on players, then see where we go from there.

“We want to get a few more games, especially behind closed doors ones, so we can have a look at players who have been told they’re being released by other clubs.

“And it’s a chance to get some of the younger players - the 16-year-olds, first year pros and maybe some of the lads who are going to come in next year as apprentices - a good run out against good opposition.

“It’s just so we can gauge them, see where they are and plan accordingly with them.

“We’ve got another month or so of the season to go, so if we can get as much out of that time period as we can, I’ll be happy.”

Cox is also aware some ‘big decisions’ will need to be made in the close season once some players’ contracts have come to an end.

“Everyone, in this next month, will be given an opportunity to stay at the club. There’s no door closed on any player; I’ve said that since I’ve been here,” he said.

“If players want to be here and be successful and fight for the shirt, then I’m happy with that.

“But we do need a little bit of something else in the summer.

“I wouldn’t be doing my job if I’m not on the lookout for one, two, three, four, maybe five players who are going to improve the squad.”


Westlake hoping to stay with Stags

With Lee Beevers now out for the season, Sheffield United loanee Darryl Westlake is hoping to make the right wing back slot his own in the last five games and try to win a contract with Mansfield Town next season.


Westlake was back in the side in an unfamiliar left wing back role at Morecambe last weekend, but within four minutes he was moved back onto his preferred right hand side after Beevers suffered a dislocated shoulder.

He went on to play his part in a fine 1-0 win and said: “After two wins we went out there full of confidence. I think that showed and we got a great three points.

“The manager spoke to me before the game and asked how did I feel about playing on the left?

“I have played there before but, obviously, I find playing on the right better.

“When Beevs went off I was pleased to get back over onto the other side, though not pleased about him getting injured.

“I was at Walsall with him and he was a top player there and he is a top player still here now. But he has had problems with that shoulder for a long time.

“Now I will just try working hard in training as I always do and hope the gaffer picks me for Saturday and I will try to keep that position.”

With the threat of relegation now gone, Stags find themselves within touching distance of the play-offs, which Westlake is not ruling out.

“We are in a good position now, seven points off the play-offs and, with five games left it is possible,” he said.

“But we are not getting too ahead of ourselves and all we are thinking about is Rochdale on Saturday.

“When the big teams have come here we have done well against them. We have nothing to fear, even though they are top of the league.”

Westlake is delighted the fear of relegation has now gone and added: “I was in the same position at Walsall, in a relegation fight in the last game of the season and I didn’t want to got through that again here. These three wins have helped us massively.”

Westlake said he doesn’t expect a new deal from Sheffield United in the summer and would be delighted to join Mansfield on a full-time basis if the opportunity arose.

He said: “I have not heard from Sheffield United since I have been here so I don’t think I will be there next season to be honest. That’s Sheffield United for you!

“My contract is up at the end of the season and I need to go back and speak to Nigel Clough and see what happens.

“I have started all bar three games since I came here. I am happy with that as that was the reason I came here.

“I would love to stay here to be honest. It is a good club. But I have got to speak with my agent and see what happens.”


Stevenson offers his ‘goalkeeping services’ to Stags

Lee Stevenson yesterday met the press wearing a pair of goalkeeper’s gloves and a big grin on his face.


The Stags midfielder was ‘tongue in cheek’ putting himself forward as an emergency keeper for tomorrow’ big home clash with leaders Rochdale with first choice Alan Marriott trying to recover from a dislocated finger in time to play and No.2 keeper Ian Deakin having treatment for thigh and rib injuries.

However, maybe Stevenson’s cheeky bid did carry a modicum of realism as he said:

“I have done it before. Maybe I will do a bit in front of the sticks today and show the gaffer what I am all about.

“I was with Belper in a cup game and it was 4-4. A big brute of a striker came through one on one with me but I managed to sit on the ball and save it. Then I scored in the replay so happy days!”

However, Stags do expect Marriott to recover in time so Stevenson’s big to be Stags’ keeper may have to wait a bit longer.

On tomorrow’s game, he said: “Rochdale are a good team and we expect them to come out all guns blazing.

“We will be working on our shape today and maybe we will let them have the ball, press them high up the pitch and catch them on the counter-attack which we have done well away from home this season.

“They are up there for a reason and are one of the better sides we have played this year. We took a spanking at their place.

“But we are on a good run, winning three on the trot, and going for a fourth. So I hope we can put a spanner in the works.”

He added: “It has been a tough season and a learning curve for everyone involved. Look at Newport. They were flying before Christmas but have dropped like a lead balloon, as have Exeter. It is an interesting league.

“I think the relegation fight could go right to the death. With us playing Torquay and Bristol Rovers we will still have a big part to play in it.

“We want a top half finish. We will go for the top 10 and see where that takes us.

“Last season everyone was coming here to try to spoil our party and we realise how tough it is to finish teams off.

“It will be tense for Rochdale as they will have one eye on Scunthorpe and Chesterfield. A bit of pressure has been taken away from us with three wins. I hope we can go out there and put on a good performance for our fans.”

Stevenson is one of many Mansfield players hoping for a new deal next season.

He said: “My contract is up in the summer so watch out! Everyone is thinking about their futures.

“Fingers crossed I’ve done enough. I have played 20-odd games and scored six goals so that’s not bad for my first season in the Football League and I hope I will be here next year.

“I think once we are mathematically safe there will be a few knocks on the gaffer’s door.”


Hill: There's A Unity
Read more at http://www.rochdaleafc.co.uk/news/article/hillpremansfield-12.04.14-1482526.aspx#64guSTMxLwj8C1GR.99
11th April 2014

Manager Keith Hill has been reflecting on Saturday’s goalless draw with York City, as well as looking ahead to Saturday’s fixture at Mansfield Town’s One Call Stadium, in his latest interview.

“I was really pleased with the performance last week,” Hill told Dale Player. “There were no nerves, there was no sense of anxiousness, either from the players or the supporters. We played against a very resolute defensive side in York, and although we put them under severe scrutiny, we couldn’t make that breakthrough, and when we did, their goalkeeper was obviously in good form.”

He continued: “We’ve got to make sure that we take care of business in the next five games. I’ve heard a lot this week about how I’ve set out an aim to get six points [from the remaining five games], well that isn’t my aim and will never be our aim. Our aim is to win every game that we play in and I had to clarify that to the players. What I’m trying to suggest is that mathematically that is what we need when you look at all the possible permutations.

“We’ll be quite relaxed about the whole situation and I’ll put my trust in the players. They’ve been committed, exceptionally competitive in every game and on the training pitch as well. There’s a unity amongst the players and I don’t see that changing over the next five games.”

Scott Hogan returned to Dale’s matchday squad last Saturday after recovering from a knee injury, which had kept him sidelined for a month, and Hill admits that having the striker back in contention is a positive.

“It’s a big boost,” said Hill. “It gives you that little bit more sense of belief and it gives the opposition the fear factor. On many occasions this season when Scotty hasn’t been available, the opposition defenders have been relieved, I suppose. We’ve had many defenders ask one or two of our players before team sheets are handed in if Scotty Hogan is fit, so there is that fear factor when Scott is not in our squad, but also when he is in the starting eleven as well.”

Dale were 3-0 winners over the Stags when the sides met at Spotland on Boxing Day, but Hill says that counts for nothing.

“I bear no consideration to the last time we met. I’ve got respect for Mansfield. The got promoted from the Conference and they’ve done exceptionally well. They’ve got exceptionally strong players and they’ll want to see the season out really well.”

You can view the full interview on Dale Player.



Latest | April 2014