PAUL COX ON RADIO NOTTM MATCHTALK
13 Oct 2014
Paul Cox was the guest on BBC Radio Nottingham's Matchtalk phone-in on Monday 13 Oct. To listen to the programme again, follow this link (available for the next 7 days):
(After 7 days has expired, you will still be able to listen via this link: http://www.stagsnet.net/interviews/Matchtalk_13Oct14-PaulCox.mp3 )
Some notes from what Paul Cox said:
(David Jackson: You’re the 9th longest serving manager in the league, how does that make you feel?)
Yes it makes me feel proud.
We played some great stuff at Portsmouth. I thought we totally deserved to win the game.
We’ve made a steady start to the season; we’re only three points off the play-offs.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll have Liam Hearn back at Christmas.
(Question: Is staying in the league classed as success?)
I would say yes. The club is going through a transitional period; it’s no secret that the resources at the club have been slashed; we’re looking to bring good youth through; and we need to keep our football league status. Football league status is our priority.
(Question: Is there a problem with our training regime as we seem to be getting a lot of injuries; ie the way you do training or the facilities you’re having to use?)
The facilities we’ve questioned. We’re not lucky enough to have our own training ground and there has been one or two times players have gone over on their ankles and kicked the odd molehill. It does have an effect. I’m not saying the resources and the training facilities are to blame. We have to deal with it. At the end of the day, we’d like a bowling green to train on. But that’s not an excuse for the injuries this season and I’m not saying all our injuries are caused by that. We’re a club that’s going through a transitional period and we need to improve the one per cents. If we can become professional with our football club, that will add up to those extra points and a better environment for the club to achieve success.
(Question: What would you say to those fans that say your style of play is one dimensional and deterring fans from the club?)
We play in a very competitive league, where taking away chesterfield and Rochdale from last season, a lot of people play the same kind of football. Portsmouth on Saturday were a very direct side. We don’t go about our business to just hoof the ball; if anyone would want to come down and watch us train: we like to get the ball down and play in training. I speak to a lot of supporters who say we are over-reliant on Matt Rhead. I think the boys get a bit over-anxious and make him an easy target instead of being a bit more cultured on the ball. We’ve had some great games right through my 3 and a bit years at the club, played some brilliant stuff. It’s when the boys feel a bit of pressure that the boys take an easy option. Some of our best football has been played away from home; I don’t know if there is that little bit of anxiety at home. There is no tactic to just hoof it up the field. We want the boys to pick the right pass at the right time, for example a simple pass.
I know we’re in the entertainment business. We won a championship by playing two wide men. At some point we need to evolve to get back to that shape, but we need bodies off the treatment table.
In training the ball is about possession.
What we need to do is when we are hitting from back to front, the quality has got to be better and our decision making has got to be better. There’s been plenty of times where we’ve created some excellent chances .. I asked some supporters what their favourite goal was since I’ve been at the club and they said the goal at Hereford .. it was from Marriott to Rhead to Green.
Ultimately we’ve got to mix it up a bit. It’s all about not being one dimensional and picking the right pass.
(Question about Alex Fisher)
I brought Alex to the club, Alex spent about 18 months in Italy. I've had a good chat with him today, what Alex needs to do is to label himself as a centre forward; he gets caught in between the big number 9 and the fast and tricky number 10. He needs to get himself back up to speed with playing in this country. Alex Fisher will be an excellent addition to our squad. He started preseason like a house on fire, and then levelled off. Now I’m looking for him to come again and I’m sure he’d be a great addition to Rakish or Rheady or Ollie.
Later in the programme, Cox added: Fish has come from a totally different kind of football, to a league that is physical and uncompromising, He needs to acclimatise. There is an over-reliance on playing the ball to Matt Rhead, but I do believe that Matt Rhead is playing out of his skin this season. There is a lot of this season to go and the side and shape will evolve as the squad evolves.
(Question about lack of width)
We won a championship by playing 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. We need to look at factors. I made the switch last year when we’d gone 11 games without a win. We switched to a system that suited the players at that stage and that ultimately didn’t just keep us in the league and we finished not a million miles away from the playoffs. Now this season it would be nice to adapt and play with two wingers. We brought in Rob Taylor who is an excellent out and out winger with a great left foot. Then we had Sam Clucas, he has been sold. We’ve brought in Reggie Lambe now. Rob Taylor is not 100% fit yet. Reggie needs to acclimatise to how quick this league is where the MLS is a bit slower. When those two are 100% fit, I can’t see any problem in us fitting them into a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3.
(Questions about working with John Radford)
There have been approaches for me from higher league clubs. But I’ve never spoken to another club.
(Questions on John Radford, Paul and Tina Broughton)
My relationship with the chairman is that good that I go straight to the chairman; he’s the one that ultimately make the decisions at the football club on my future, on the players’ future. When you start involving too many people it starts to get a bit complicated. The things that the chairman told me Paul and Tina make the decisions on are the travel arrangements and stuff like that and day to day running of the club.
(Question on why Sascha Studer got dropped)
I thought he started off in preseason really well. But I thought he had a bit of a wobble. We brought in Dimi to give him some competition which will ultimately improve Sascha as a goalkeeper. I had a to make a decision on leaving him out and putting Dimi in; to which Dimi has not made a mistake since he’s been at the club. I’ve got two good young goalkeepers and I want them to battle it out.
If you don’t have competition, subconsciously players can relax and that’s not healthy. It’s down to me, I’ve made big calls on players and I’ll continue to make big calls on players.
(Question on person’s daughter on verge of giving up because not enjoying it)
I apologise for those performances. I wish your daughter had come to the Morecambe game and Portsmouth game etc where we played some great football. We want to entertain but first and foremost we want to be winning.
(Question on signing Liam Lawrence)
We can’t afford those sort of players now. I’ve got a budget to stick to. A lot of people know what that figure is. We wouldn’t be able to get anywhere near what he signed for Shrewsbury on.
(Question: do you believe the style of football is putting people off coming to Field Mill?)
I don’t no. I think we haven’t played consistent football. When boos are ringing out, at times we deserve it. At other times, there’s not scope for it. I’ve got to win as many football matches as I can, because I’ve never seen a football manager sacked over the style of play.
I speak to a lot of supporters. And they tell me what good football you played when you got relegated out of the football league.
Sport and football is about winning. Yes I’d love to play fast flowing football. But we’re in a league at the moment where the two teams at the top of this division, Burton and Wycombe, didn’t play any football when we played them. I want to take the club to another level; it’s about evolving slowly. I want to entertain, I want to play with two wingers, get the ball in the box, I want us to play a nice pleasing game on the eye, but we need to win. I don’t want to be looking around saying what nice football we played just at the time the trapdoor opens, as it did with Bristol Rovers last year, and the club ends up back in non league football. It’s hard to get out, as Bristol Rovers will find out this year.
(Question on plans for the next 3 years)
We’re building a great youth infrastructure. I want the kids at Mansfield coming through, not going to Notts County, Forest, Derby, and slowly build into another promotion. And when we get into League One it’s about that plan again and see where we can take the club from there.
Transcribed by Martin Shaw
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