COX HOPEFUL / LEEDS FIXTURE / HOWELL COULD STAY
video interview with Paul Cox, 8th July 2014
Cox hopeful of new signings
mansfieldtown.net, 8th July 2014
Boss searching ‘far and wide’ to add new players ahead of pre-season schedule.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-hopeful-of-new-signings-1725790.aspx#JptsRbjOitg7eS1Q.99
Manager Paul Cox hopes to have a settled squad in time for our upcoming pre-season matches against Aston Villa (17 July) and Birmingham City (19 July).
The Stags boss, who is entering his fourth campaign at One Call Stadium, is expected to run with a maximum squad-size of 22 players in the upcoming campaign.
With the goalkeeping position still to be filled, Cox has been in constant dialogue with players, clubs and agents ahead of our busy pre-season schedule.
“I’d envisage by the time that we get into the second week, i.e. the [Aston] Villa and Birmingham [City] games, I want quite a settled unit.
“But if potential signings are available I won’t be afraid to use them in those games.
“We aren’t looking for a great deal. We’ve got 16 players signed up now and we’re going to be running with a squad-size of 22 maximum, though it might work out at 20.
“So I’m going to have to do whatever it takes to make sure that I bring in the right player at the right price for Mansfield Town.”
Meanwhile, our boss will also cast his eye over a number of trialists in a behind-closed-doors match against an un-named second-tier club later this week.
“A number of the players that might come in could be loan signings,” continued Cox. “We’ll probably have a goalkeeper or two in the behind-closed-doors game, but I’ve got to cast my net wide and far.
“We’ve got to keep things wrapped up in our own camp because we’ve lost a lot of players to other clubs in the past week or so, but we’re talking to numerous players and agents.”
He added: “I think there’s got to be a sense of realism in terms of our targets. We’ve made offers to numerous players which haven’t worked out and they’ve moved on to other clubs, so we’re going to keep looking.”
You can hear a full interview with Paul Cox on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.
No panic as Stags kick off with threadbare squad
Although Stags launch their busy pre-season friendlies schedule with a mouthwatering home clash with neighbours Notts County on Saturday (3pm), manager Paul Cox is not yet worried over the gaps still showing in his threadbare squad.
Cox has just 16 players signed on at the moment and is without a goalkeeper or any natural left sided players.
But, although he is finding it tough operating on a reduced budget this season, Cox is confident he will get the right men in the end and preached patience.
Ahead of Saturday’s game, Stags will warm up with a behind-closed-doors friendly away to a Championship club on Thursday.
“A lot can happen in a week,” said Cox. “We have a behind-closed-doors game on Thursday and we will have a lot of trialists involved. We have five or six trialists in now and maybe a couple more coming in.
“I have been asked by the club in question to keep the game under wraps. But it is a Championship club and on their training ground. It will be a good work-out.”
A goalkeeper, a couple of left-sided players, a midfield player that can get forward and score goals in the number 10 role, and maybe another central midfield player are Cox’s main targets.
But, with Alan Marriott leaving the club, fans are most concerned about bringing in a new keeper.
Cox said he had keepers lined up but he was having to wait patiently for a go-ahead right now.
“We are talking to players and clubs consistently,” he said. “But the problem is the clubs want these players back in for pre-season training to do fitness tests and have a good look at them. We have to be respectful and wait until the clubs allow us to go to press and say we have signed anyone.
“There is no panic situation here. We have got to do things in a logical manner and time scale. All I am concerned with is getting things ready for the 9th August when the season starts.”
He added: “We have always been close to signing one (a keeper). But we have go to be patient. I have to be very, very shrewd this summer in what I bring in. First and foremost there has to be a sense of realism in our targets and what we can pay. Money talks at the end of the day.
“We have made offers to numerous players but missed out to other clubs. We know we are dealing with some big hitters in this league now.
“It is tough. You think you have done a deal but then someone comes in and hijacks it. I am not going to complain about it. It just makes me work even harder.
“A number of them may be loan signings and I have to cast my net wide and far.
“I envisage by the second week of games I want to have quite a settled unit. But if a potential signing is available I won’t be afraid to use them in the games.
“We have 16 players signed on and will be running with a squad of 22 maximum, which may work out at 20 to start with. So I have to make sure I bring in the right player at the right price that is right for Mansfield Town.”
Although bookies are tipping Stags for the drop, Cox is quietly confident his side might raise a few eyebrows if he gets the players in that he is hoping for.
He said: “There needs to be a sense of realism where we are now and where we are going. I want us to be competitive and that’s all I can promise this season. We are having to do things a bit differently.
“I am not going to sit here crying over spilt milk. No one has come back negative with what has happened with the budget cut and the way the boys are working hard puts a bit of a spark in me. We are going to need that team bonding and togetherness to see us through this season.
“If I get the right four, five or six players I want then we could have a smile on our face.”
Although both sets of fans will want to see their side win a local derby on Saturday, Cox insisted: “All I am concerned with right now is fitness and conditioning. The boys have reported back in excellent shape and are looking fit and strong.
“But you don’t get match fit unless you are playing games, and the games are about to come thick and fast. Without any silly challenges, I want to see a competitive match. I don’t like to see testimonial-type games in pre-season.”
After Notts come the likes of Aston Villa, Birmingham City and Leeds United and Cox feels the experience of playing against clubs of that pedigree can only stand his young squad in good stead.
“We have a squad with an average age of about 23. If they can’t learn from playing the likes of Villa, Birmingham and Leeds then we are going to be struggling,” he said.
Ollie Palmer and Luke Jones will hope to be involved this weekend after picking up minor injuries in training while new signing Liam Hearn, coming back from a serious knee injury, may be wrapped in cotton wool until the Leeds game to give him an extra couple of weeks of training and strengthening, though Cox said he is looking impressive.
No decisions yet on Howell
mansfieldtown.net, 8th July 2014
Midfielder currently back in training with Mansfield Town.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/no-decisions-yet-on-howell-1726319.aspx#tc8iFWL8dza6B5J2.99
Manager Paul Cox is still to decide whether Anthony Howell will feature in Saturday’s pre-season fixture with local rivals Notts County at One Call Stadium.
The 28-year-old, who has spent the past three years with us, is currently out-of-contract - having being unable to agree new terms with the club.
Nevertheless, the midfielder has been invited to take part in pre-season training with us, but no decisions have yet been made as to whether he’ll feature in our upcoming friendlies.
“We’ve brought him in to train with the club,” said our boss.
“I’ve had a personal chat with Anthony and I’ve been dealing with his agent for the majority of the season. There’s been a lot for us to talk about, but there’s no rush.
“I’m not in a rush to jump in. Whilst we’re looking for other players, Anthony is getting fit and we’re continuously talking on a day-to-day basis.”
Asked whether Howell could feature in Saturday’s home friendly with Notts County, Cox added: “That’s something I’ve still got to decide on.
“We’ve got a behind-closed-doors friendly before then which a lot of the trialists - and probably Anthony - will be involved in, as well as the rest of the squad.
“A lot can happen during a week in football and we’ll take each day as it comes building up to Saturday.”
Could Howell yet stay with Stags?
chad.co.uk, 08 July 2014
Midfielder Anthony Howell could yet remain a Mansfield Town player next season.
Howell had turned down a new deal with the club but is now back training with them and speaking to manager Paul Cox directly instead of through Howell’s agent.
Cox, operating under a reduced budget and having to bring down wages accordingly, still believes he may have been able to persuade Lindon Meikle to stay had he dealt with him directly before he left for York City.
Cox said: “I have worked with Linden since he was 16 so to see him move on did tug at the heartstrings
“The problem in my opinion with both these boys is to do with their representation. Through the summer I have been dealing with Anthony’s agent, but now I am speaking to the boy personally.
“There is a lot for us to talk about and I am in no rush to jump in while I am looking for other players and he is getting himself fit. We continue to talk on a day to day basis.
“Anthony asked if he could come in and train to keep himself ticking along and I have never closed the door on anyone. He has been a great servant to this football club. But we have to cut our cloth accordingly.”
Stags add Leeds United friendly
chad.co.uk, 08 July 2014
Mansfield Town will face Championship big guns Leeds United in a pre-season friendly at One Call Stadium on Tuesday 22nd July (7.45pm).
The Elland Road club, now managed by ex-Forest Green boss Dave Hockaday, are set to bring a strong first team squad to Mansfield for the friendly fixture.
It is another feather in Mansfield’s cap with prestigious home friendlies already organised against Aston Villa, Birmingham City, Notts County and Walsall.
“This one came out of the blue,” said Stags manager Paul Cox. “Dave Hockaday and me go back a while and he rang me and asked if we’d fancy a pre-season friendly against little old Leeds?
“We have quite a full pre-season already but we’ve managed to get it on for the 22nd. For me it is a massive fixture, a huge one that makes the mind boggle.
“Leeds United are a big club with a big fan base and we should get a really decent crowd. It’s a fabulous fixture for us.”
Leeds tickets will go on sale to Stags’ supporters tomorrow morning from 10am at the One Call Stadium ticket office priced £10 adults, £5 concessions and aged six and under free.
Supporters can purchase tickets up until kick-off on the day of the match from both of the club’s ticket offices at One Call Stadium. Fans can buy tickets up until 7.45pm on the day of the game.
Supporters are reminded that there are no cash turnstiles at One Call Stadium and all spectators must be in possession of a valid ticket before entering the ground. Allocated seating is also in operation.
Visiting supporters cannot purchase tickets on the day of the match and must be in possession of a valid match ticket before travelling.
Supporters should note that the club can send tickets by first class postal delivery for the extra cost of just £1.50. Tickets that are being posted must be booked at least 72 hours in advance of kick-off.
Latest | July 2014