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Archived News from May 2014

5th May 2014 11:15

video interview with Paul Cox, 1st May 2014

Question about summer signings:
Cox: "We know that we're going to have to cut our cloth accordingly."


Cox determined to end on a high
mansfieldtown.net, 1st May 2014

Manager Paul Cox is determined to see Mansfield Town end the season on a high by achieving a good result in this Saturday’s away match at Bristol Rovers.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-determined-to-end-on-a-high-1521271.aspx#HVcYf1tgqBaY6TeY.99

Our team travel to the Memorial Stadium on the back of two straight defeats in Sky Bet League Two, which has seen us slump to 13th position in the table.

We face a tough challenge to achieve a victory over the Pirates, because Darrell Clarke’s men still need a point to be certain of avoiding relegation to the Conference Premier.

A near-capacity crowd is also expected for the match.

“It’s a long time in the close-season when you finish the season badly, so I think we owe it to ourselves, the supporters and the football club in general to finish on a good note,” said Cox.

“We’ve got to play our part. We’ve got to be honourable to everybody in the league, but more so to ourselves.

“We’re going to have a look at training and have a look at who is still hungry to finish the season and put players in on Saturday that want to be successful.”

He added: “I know we’ve got a lot of supporters who are going down, I think the ground will be pretty full at Bristol, and we don’t want to go down there and not turn up.

Meanwhile, Cox has revealed that right-back Liam Marsden, who impressed on his debut against Torquay United last weekend, and young midfielder Jack Thomas will be in the squad for this match.

One player who could also return to the starting line-up for us is on loan full-back Darryl Westlake, who missed the 3-1 defeat to the Gulls due to a hamstring injury.

However, centre-back Ryan Tafazolli will miss out due to a hip injury.

“He (Darryl Westlake) wasn’t 100% for the last game, but hopefully he’s recovered in time and we can put him in,” said Cox.

“(Liam Marsden) did well [against Torquay] and I was really chuffed for him. It’s a scenario now where we’ve given him [and] ‘Thommo’ (Jack Thomas) a little taste and I think there’s more to come.

“Both of them will be part of the squad on Saturday. Whether they’ll be starting, on the bench, or travelling, we’ll have a look and see who is fit and raring to go.”

Regarding the injury to Tafazolli, our boss added: “[Ryan] is out and we’ve had one or two disruptions with injuries, but we’ve got adequate cover there so it shouldn’t be any problem.”

In other news, Cox has confirmed that he would be interested in signing out-of-contract striker Liam Hearn.

He said: "Anybody that scores one [goal in two games] at any level of football is someone that I'm interested in.

"He's had a fabulous career, but a couple of injuries of late, but I'm always interested in good players and Liam fits into that category."

A full interview with Paul Cox is available to watch on Stags Player. To subscribe, click here.


Stags hoping on ‘Hitman’ Hearn
chad.co.uk, 01 May 2014

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox is helping prolific former Alfreton Town and Grimsby Town hitman Liam Hearn get fit with the hope he could bolster Stags’ front line next season.


Bulwell-born Hearn (28), on the mend after two seasons of injury nightmares, has been coming into One Call Stadium for treatment daily since being released by Grimsby in March.

And Cox, who worked with Hearn at Eastwood Town, is hoping the striker might consider playing for him again ahead of the queue of clubs likely to start forming if he declares himself fully fit once more.

Hearn began his career at Hucknall Town, scoring 30 goals in 65 appearances, and, after brief spells with Eastwood, Quorn (19 goals in 27 games) and Chasetown (five goals in four games), he made the move to Alfreton, where he became a terrace hero.

His record of 45 goals in 76 games for the Reds saw him move on to Grimsby where he fired home 33 goals in 61 appearances. By the end of 2012 he was the Mariners’ player of the year and had Chelsea, Reading and Peterborough watching him.

But a ruptured Achille’s tendon in 2012/13 and a cruciate knee injury this season have set him back.

Now Cox has stepped in to help him and said: “I am interested in anyone who scores goals at a ratio of one in two at any level of football.

“It was me who took Liam from Hucknall Town reserves when he was a baby. He has had a fabulous career since then, though he’s had a couple of injuries of late. I am always interested in good players and Liam comes into that category.

“I believe he would score goals in League Two. Peterborough had a £350,000 offer turned down for him by Grimsby and Barry Fry and Darren Ferguson are not stupid. They both knew what he could give them.

“He is here having treatment most days. He is a Bulwell lad and I get on with him. We are trying to help him get fit and back on his feet.”

Cox admitted he would love to see Hearn in a Stags shirt, but is not going to count his chickens yet.

“He is a local lad and he wants to play League football,” said Cox.

“But I am not stupid and I know there will be a lot of clubs looking for that kind of player. We will just have to sit and wait and see what he has got to say and see if we can come to some arrangement. If we could, he would be a good addition to the squad.

“He is a good boy and an honest lad who has scored goals wherever he has gone.

“One thing we have missed this year was a natural goalscorer and, dare I say it, if we’d had one we might be looking at different permutations right now.”


Cox praise for ex-Stag Clarke ahead of final game
chad.co.uk, 01 May 2014

Paul Cox is looking forward to crossing swords with former Stags star Darrell Clarke, recently appointed manager of Bristol Rovers, on Saturday, saying he was delighted to see Clarke learn his trade at non-League level like himself after Clarke’s highly successful time in charge at Salisbury City.


Rovers will be keen to earn at least the point that will ensure their League Two safety on the last day of the season, but visiting Stags have been in good away form and need to bounce back from two lacklustre home defeats last week.

“I get on with Clarkey really well and it’s been a tough baptism of fire for him there since he was given the reins,” said Stags boss Cox.

“But it will do him the world of good if he comes through it.

“We won’t be friends during the game, but afterwards I will pat him on the back and have a cup of tea and a chat.

“It is pleasing to see good, young English players coming through as managers - the more the merrier for me.

“It is nice to see people do an ‘apprenticeship’ in management and coaching at a lower level.

“It seems to me now that as soon as players pull their boots off they put on a suit and tie and expect to be a manager.

“My non-League days have held me in good stead. You can’t just learn this job overnight. You are always learning facets of it.

“A lot of people turn their nose up at non-League, but look at the amount of people from the highest level who have gone down there and not succeeded. That will tell you how tough it it.

“It will have made Darrell mentally tougher and harder to come into League football.”

Mansfield-born Clarke’s Rovers side need just a point to be safe on Saturday, but Cox will not be doing him any favours with his team selection as the League Two relegation battle comes to a thrilling climax.

“We have got to play our part and we have got to be honourable to everyone else in the league, more so to ourselves,” said Cox.

“Looking at games up and down the country, there are a lot of teams with nothing realistically to play for who seem to have downed tools and there have been some strange results and performances.

“But I am only concerned with ourselves and our last two performances have not been good enough.

“I will be having a good look at training and seeing who looks hungry to finish the season well. I will pick players for Saturday that want to be here and want to be successful.

“We owe it to ourselves, supporters and the football club in general to finish on a good note.

“We have been on a bit of a downer from the last two performances.

“But, being analytical, it is hard to motivate a player when there is not a lot to play for. I understand there are some things I can’t control in football.

“But, overall, if we were to finish in the top 10 that would be out of this world for our first season.”

He added: “You look at the teams with are comparable with and it’s been an excellent season.

“A lot of people outside of this football club have given us glowing references and said how well we have done.

“Inside I think we have a tendency to shoot ourselves which annoys me as the last three years have been absolutely mind-blowing.

“You should always celebrate success which I don’t think we have.

“People tend to just want more which I understand. That’s human nature.

“But sometimes you just have to enjoy it and have a smile on your face as you know the bad times are always just around the corner.”

Darryl Westlake is expected to return from a hamstring injury, but Stags will be without Ryan Tafazolli (hip injury) and Matt Rhead (suspended).

Palalce loanee Lewis Price is also expected to feature in goal again with Stags unable to find a friendly game in which to help Ian Deakin back to fitness and Alan Marriott ruled out for the season.


Sutton relishing Rovers showdown
mansfieldtown.net, 1st May 2014

Defender Ritchie Sutton wants our side to produce a good display and achieve a positive result at Bristol Rovers on Saturday, to signal our intentions for next term.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/sutton-relishing-rovers-showdown-1522208.aspx#6DT0fIsm8J1meb0x.99

The 28-year-old has been one of our most consistent players this season - racking up 38 appearances and thus becoming a key figure in our three-man defence.

We travel to the Memorial Stadium on the back of two straight defeats, but a victory - coupled with results elsewhere - could relegate Bristol Rovers to the Conference Premier.

“It’s going to be a very tough game for us, but the main thing is that we need to finish our season on a high,” said Sutton.

“We don’t want to be going in to the close-season feeling disappointed. We need to show that we know we’ve got a good chance of pushing for the Play-Offs or promotion next season.

“I think if we get a good result on Saturday, it’s good for the fans, because it gives them something to think about [over the summer].

“So whether it sends them down or not, we’ll be looking to win the game.”

Reflecting on the campaign as a whole, Sutton continued: “We set our standards high at the beginning of the season so when we had that dip of not winning for 13 games, if we could have just picked up a couple [more] points there, we’d have been in good stead and fighting for the Play-Offs.

“We’ve got to learn from that, get the consistency for next season, and I think we’ll be right up there.”

Sutton, who has made 101 league appearances since joining us on a free transfer three years ago, is also keen to extend his stay at One Call Stadium.

He added: “I want to get something sorted as soon as possible. The gaffer knows I’m happy here and it’s where I want to play my football, so hopefully we can get something sorted and I’ll be strong next season.”

A full interview with Ritchie Sutton will be available on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.


Sutton targets play-offs for Stags next year

Stags defender Ritchie Sutton believes the play-offs are a minimum requirement for next season after a successful first season back in League football for the club.


Sutton has had a fine season in a defence high up in the clean sheets table this season and said: “I think it is a minimum of the play-offs next year. We just need to learn to be consistent.

“We have some good, young players like Ollie Palmer coming through, Sam Clucas as well.

“I have played nearly 40 games at League level this year which has been good for me personally, knowing I can do it at this level.

“I was in and out the side when I was at Port Vale.

“I think it has done me a favour playing three at the back as I am halfway between an out and out centre half and a full back. I am happy on the right of a three - it’s perfect for me, but whether we stay with the a three remains to be seen.”

Sutton hopes he can iron out a new deal when Cox sorts his retained list this week.

He said: “I have a one-year option and I want to get something sorted as soon as possible. The gaffer knows I am happy here and want to play my football.”

Sutton is hoping the side have learned from successive home defeats last week to Cheltenham and Torquay ahead of tomorrow’s final game at relegation-haunted Bristol Rovers.

“It was very disappointing,” he said. “Obviously we lost to Cheltenham and hoped we had learned a lesson from that. But it wasn’t to be.

“There are no excuses. But with Junior Daniel going off injured early against Torquay, an own goal and then Matt Rhead sent-off you couldn’t help but start thinking it’s not your day.

“Torquay are not a bad side at all and you know that anyone can beat anyone in this league. We know that a team that has gone down that came and gave us a lesson.

“It is going to be a very tough game for us tomorrow. The main thing is we need to finish our season on a high. We don’t want to go into the close season feeling disappointed.

“We know we have a good chance of the play-offs and promotion next season and we want to get a good result on Saturday for our fans. Whether we send Rovers down or not, we are looking to win the game.”

A win could leave Stags in the top 10 and Sutton added: “Most people would have taken this at the start of the season. But we set our standards so high in the beginning, then we had that big dip without a win and, if we could have picked up a couple more points in that time, we could still be fighting for the play-offs.”

Sutton was disappointed that he couldn’t help teenage defender Liam Marsden make a winning debut in last weekend’ 3-1 home loss to Torquay.

“I was supposed to be looking after him the most down that right hand side and so I was disappointed we couldn’t give him the result he wanted,” said Sutton.

“Even though a couple of the crosses came from that side, I think he’d been left out to dry a bit sometimes and you can’t really blame him.”


Stags striker Ollie turns to sprint coach help

Young Stags striker Ollie Palmer is planning to use a sprint coach this summer to help him improve his speed over short distances and iron out his ‘funny’ running style.


Palmer (22) has scored five times in his first season with Mansfield Town after a move from Havent & Waterlooville on the eve of the season, starting 21 games and coming on as a sub in 21 others and said: “I would have taken the appearances, though not the goals scored before the season began.

“I spoke to the gaffer and he said he hadn’t really planned on playing me this much this season. So I am really happy about how many appearances I have made.

“I didn’t have a pre-season with the boys so I did get chucked in at the deep end slightly. But sometimes you have got to see if you can swim.

“I know I have got to keep on improving. I have to remain sharp and keep practising to show fans I can score at this level.

“I got a run of games and we had some good performances so I was pretty happy how that went.

“My focus now is Saturday, then the hard pre-season that I didn’t get last time.”

He added: “I don’t mind running. You can see that in the way I play. I am always having to dart behind and chase the ball.

“I have been told I run a bit funny. That’s the way I play, but I will work on my technique this summer. I am going to get a sprint coach to help me with it. I will probably do that in June.

“It’s all about speed. It’s very important as a footballer. Over 100m I am pretty quick, but in football it’s all about five to 10 yards maximum and I want to improve on that.”

After two home defeats, Stags head for relegation-threatened Bristol Rovers tomorrow and Palmer said: “I want us to pick up a result for the fans on Saturday. They have been fantastic with me for which I am grateful.

“It has taken time to get to know my surroundings, moving up here. Everything happened overnight. So I am thankful the fans have been patient and understanding with me and I hope I can repay them next season.

“Bristol Rovers are fighting for their lives and will be desperate to pick up all three points.

“We know we will get turned over if we are not 100 per cent.

“Look at the last two games. Cheltenham were trying to get safe and beat us, Torquay were trying to get safe and beat us and now it’s Bristol Rovers, It’s been a tough last three games.

“The table doesn’t lie at the end of the day. We just haven’t been consistent enough. The teams at the top get promoted for a reason. That’s what we want next season.”

In recent months, Palmer had struck up an excellent partnership with target man Matt Rhead.

Last weekend Rhead picked up a clean sweep of player of the year awards and Palmer said: “Matt deserved it as he works very hard. He grafts every day and has really come on this season.

“He is a very physical presence up there and I have learned to work off him. I really appreciate what he does.

“We have started to build a really good relationship over seven or eight games, scoring and creating goals for each other.”


Read more at http://www.bristolrovers.co.uk/news/article/darrell-on-mansfield-1521585.aspx#KvudLxhgRtPeaHYf.99
1st May 2014

Manager on Rovers last game of the season

Darrell Clarke will be going in to Saturday’s game against Mansfield looking to end the season on a high with three points.

Rovers need at least a point from the final game of the season to guarantee League Two survival, but the manager will not be looking to settle for a draw.

He said: “We want to finish on a high, we need to finish on a high. The three points at Wycombe has given the squad a big boost and we needed that victory.

“Now we are down to the final game and we need to go and win it. We need a point to stay in League Two, but it is a game I want to try and win.

“The job is not done and we still have plenty of work to do. When we do it, it is going to be a relief and not a celebration.

“I am confident we are going to get over the line, but I don’t find it a celebration as I don’t believe our football club should be in a situation like this and it has been a very, very disappointing season.

“The players know that, the staff know that, and everyone at the football club knows that. But we have to focus on the 90 minutes and then we can look to rebuild.”

Mansfield have nothing left to play for, but after a couple of poor displays they may be looking for a reaction in the final game.

Darrell said: “I believe we cut out individual errors on Saturday, and we are looking to build on that in the final game against a Mansfield team that have had a bit of a dip in form.

“It is not going to be an easy game. They could be a dangerous animal as their manager has been in the press saying how disappointed he has been in their last two games, which means he will be looking for a reaction from his team.

“The experience we have gained over the last eight games is going to be vital, as the pressure has been there and we are experienced of dealing with it.

“We will go into the game in a positive manner and we have got to go out on the front foot and keep the fans behind us - which they will be without a shadow of a doubt.

“I will be monitoring the Wycombe and Northampton games, as I have to do my job right, but first and foremost we will be concentrating on ourselves.”

And the manager had more praise for the supporters.

He said: “The supporters have been top of the league all season, it is us who have been letting those supporters down.

“They have stuck by us, and not many other football supporters would do that. They are getting us over the line, as well as one or two players who are stepping up to the plate a little bit more recently.

“It would be a proud achievement for me personally to help get us over the line and secure League Two status. Then hopefully I will get the opportunity to rebuild my own team.”

For the full interview, visit Gas Player.


Bristol Rovers v Mansfield Town: Avoiding relegation 'no cause for celebration'
By Western Daily Press, May 02, 2014
Read more: http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Rovers-heat-says-Clarke/story-21045829-detail/story.html?#ixzz30XlLz200

Darrell Clarke insists keeping Bristol Rovers in the Football League would rank as the greatest achievement of his fledgling managerial career.

Clarke, who took charge of the relegation-threatened side with eight games of the season remaining, needs his players to get a point against Mansfield Town tomorrow to be certain of finally claiming success in the club's battle to avoid the drop.

The Rovers boss admits, however, that securing Football League status would be no cause for mass celebration at the end of a disappointing season, and he added: "It will be a relief when we do it and I am confident we will get over the line.

"I don't like using the word celebration because avoiding relegation isn't something you can relate to success and our football club should not be in a situation like this in the first place.

"It has been a very disappointing season and everybody here is fully aware of that. It would be a proud moment for me to help Bristol Rovers secure Football League status and then, hopefully, have the opportunity to rebuild for next season."

The manager is set to make decisions next week on the futures of a number of players, who are out of contract in the summer, and he added: "I'm looking forward to getting to work on what needs to be done after Saturday.

"Everything has been on the back-burner since I took over because all of the games have been massive and the focus has been solely on trying to get the results and points to get us over the line.

"I've learned a lot about the players since I have been at the club and certainly in the time since I took control last month. I have lots to think about, but that can only begin after we have completed the job we need to do on Saturday. The players have to look at the game as another chance for them to show me they can perform in circumstances that are very difficult at the minute."

Mansfield have lost their last two games and have little other than pride left to play for.

Clarke added: "I know (Mansfield manager) Paul Cox quite well and he'll be getting his players fired up. Paul has been quite public in how disappointed he has been with his team in the last two games.

"He will be looking for a reaction from his team and it won't be an easy game. We just have to look back on the pressure games we have played over the last few weeks and draw on the experiences we have gained from them.

"That will be vital because the pressure has been there constantly since I took over last month. Every game has been massive and we now have the experience of dealing with that.

"We need and we want finish this season on a high. The three points at Wycombe has given the squad a real boost and now we are down to the final game.

"We still have plenty of work to do and I can't stress that enough. I won't have anyone thinking we are home and hosed because we are not. We'll be in front of a full house on Saturday, so we have to get on the front foot and be determined to go out and win the game."


Mansfield-born Tom Parkes plots downfall of home town club to make sure Bristol Rovers stay in the Football League
Read more: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Mansfield-born-Tom-Parkes-plots-downfall-home/story-21043272-detail/story.html#ixzz30UKGzrgo
By JamesMcNamara, May 01, 2014

Mansfield-born Tom Parkes will be going all-out to get a victory that would secure Bristol Rovers’ Football League future when his home-town club visit the Memorial Stadium on Saturday.

Rovers need a point to condemn either Northampton Town or Wycombe Wanderers to relegation instead and Parkes said: “I’ve got a few family coming down to watch the game, but none of them are Mansfield supporters.

“I’m just looking forward to the game and am only worrying about playing well and getting three points that would make sure we are staying up.

“One place you never want to be is in a relegation battle and if we can come out of the game with three points on Saturday that will be a great relief for us.

Parkes, meanwhile, has returned to the heart of defence after being left out of Darrell Clarke’s first game in charge against Morecambe a month ago.

“I think the couple of games the manager left me out of gave me the good kick up the bum I probably needed,” said Parkes. “I think I have played better in the last couple of games and it is up to me to keep proving that I am good enough to be in the team.”


Look out! The 'Minions' are coming to Bristol Rovers
Read more: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Look-Minions-coming-Bristol-Rovers/story-21043133-detail/story.html?#ixzz30UNPmT6E
By The Bristol Post, May 01, 2014

Bristol Rovers may be facing a tense afternoon in their continuing bid to avoid relegation at a sell-out Memorial Stadium on Saturday - but there are no such concerns at Mansfield Town, whose supporters are set to arrive en masse as ‘Minions’.

With little other than pride left to play for, Mansfield fans are already in the mood to celebrate and are set to mark their side’s final game of the season by dressing up as these odd little creatures from the film ‘Despicable Me’.

I have no idea who the ‘Minions’ are, but Wikipedia tells me that they are ‘yellow henchman who have existed since the beginning of time, evolving from single-celled organisms into beings who have only one purpose: to serve history’s most ambitious villains.'



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