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4th November 2020 20:22

I’m proud of every player today, says caretaker boss
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 31st October 2020

Caretaker manager Richard Cooper has expressed his pride for the Mansfield players after their tireless performance against Walsall this afternoon.

The game ended one-apiece at One Call Stadium after Nicky Maynard’s first-half effort was cancelled out by Elijah Adebayo on 49 minutes.

Cooper, who took charge of his first game as stand-in boss this afternoon, says there was plenty on show from the Stags in today’s display.

“I was proud of every single one of them,” he told iFollow Stags. “There was a lot of courage, commitment and we were full of desire and running. That’s exactly what I asked of them.

“I was disappointed that we didn’t get the win, but more importantly for the lads, we can play.

“We let them get on the ball and let them make their own decisions at times. There was a lot of honesty about the performance and we played some decent stuff.


“For us, we just wanted to make sure that those lads gave an absolute performance and I thought they did that.

“I thanked them [the players] for their efforts, it’s not about me. It was all about them today and I thank them for their efforts.”

Cooper discussed the game’s two goals, and praised the Stags for not letting their heads drop after Walsall’s equaliser.

“It was probably a shot that’s ended up in Nicky Maynard’s path. He showed those predator instincts when he’s in front of the sticks and he’s put the ball in the back of the net.

“We asked him to play a little bit deeper at times today, and I thought he connected us brilliantly.

“Nicky (below) put an absolute shift in for the team, which was brilliant.

“The goal we conceded, we were in their end one minute, and we’re struggling to get back in.

“A cross has come in and they’ve put it in the back of the net - credit to the players, because they kept going and didn’t bury their heads.”

There was also recognition for frontman Jordan Bowery, who made an impressive cameo from the bench as a 75th-minute substitute.

“There’s been loads of positivity with Jordan - I had a good chat with him yesterday away from the pitch.

“He was absolutely great and he went on - we thought he’d hopefully score us the winner, but he’s headed one away in our own 18-yard box, which shows he’s a team player.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Richard Cooper’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.


Cooper 'proud' of Mansfield Town's performance in Walsall draw
chad.co.uk, Saturday 31st October 2020

Richard Cooper said he felt 'proud' of his Mansfield Town squad as they drew 1-1 with Walsall.

The caretaker boss picked up a point in his first game in the hotseat following Graham Coughlan's exit in midweek.

"I'm really proud of them, proud of their effort," Cooper told BBC Radio Nottingham.

"They showed a lot of togetherness which was important after the last couple of days.


"As a group they came together and put a good shift in. I'm really proud of them.

"We thought the best form of going after Walsall today was to attack them and get some forward players on the pitch," Cooper added.

"I was really, really pleased with the work we've done in a short space of time. It was a great performance."

Nicky Maynard opened the scoring before Elijah Adebayo levelled.

"He's showed his composure and experience not to panic, especially when you've got a keeper running out at you," Cooper said of Maynard's finish.

"He kept his marbles and put the ball in the back of the net. He was superb today.

"The pleasing thing for me was that we kept going and had chances to score after that."

Cooper added he was impressed with the way that the club came together this week following Coughlan's departure.

"We had to," he said. "The reason I'm here is because, unfortunately, Graham's lost his job and, out of respect to him we've got to get on with it.

"It's the nature of the business, we all know that.

"We have to rally them players but they've rallied themselves."


Striker discusses 'positive' display
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 31st October 2020

Striker Nicky Maynard highlighted a ‘positive’ performance after earning a battle-hardened point against Walsall at One Call Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

The Stags found the breakthrough following the half-hour mark when Maynard’s instincts kicked in to latch onto midfielder George Lapslie’s miscued volley.

And despite frontman Elijah Adebayo levelling proceedings four minutes into the second period, the No. 22 believes it was a positive all-round display that showcased bravery and freedom in abundance.

“I think we were very positive on the ball going forward and we always wanted to get on the ball from the back, to midfield, to the front,” he told iFollow Stags.

“It was a very enjoyable game - even though it was another draw - the lads have been talking in the changing room about it and we’ve come out of it thinking we’ve done very well.


“We backed each other to get on the ball and be brave like we spoke about. There were no disappointments.

“Everyone wanted to play forward and if it didn’t work [try and] do it again and again. I think it was a good team performance, it was just disappointing not to get the three points.”

The former Bury man described how he was able to anticipate the opener but remained disappointed at spurning a gilt-edged chance midway through the second period.

“I’d say [it was] a composed finish. I was just banking on the rebound to be honest.

“It was Lapslie that shot, mishit and I’m always in and around on the shoulders to anticipate a rebound or a misplaced shot. It was nice to see it hit the back of the net.

“[Andy] Cook’s then won a header at the back post, it’s come across and I’ve snatched at it a little bit.

“The goalkeeper has then made a good save but from my point of view I was disappointed not to get a good connection more than anything."

The 33-year-old now feels as though the Stags can carry the positivity found against Darrell Clarke’s men into Tuesday evening’s trip to Bolton Wanderers.

“The performance gives the lads a massive lift,” he explained.

“They’ve come off the pitch saying that they’ve enjoyed the way we tried to play, but we don’t have those three points which is a monkey on our back.

“We can go into Tuesday’s game very positive with the intent of coming away with three points.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Nicky's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.


Darrell Clarke told BBC WM's Mike Taylor:

"Tape recorder job for me. Give a shocking goal away. Individual mistake. We don't defend the ball. They shank one off the shin, goes to their player who reads it well, they score a goal.

"We missed a great chance to take the lead. And then we have the better chances to win the game.

"Frustration really. First ten games of the season, 2 wins, 7 draws, 1 loss. Not happy with it. I want more. We need to be turning these draws into wins.

"We've edged most of the games. And certainly today it sums it up with Paddy hitting the crossbar with a great shot and the ball going right across the back line.

"We need to be doing better. In the first 10 game block, we've conceded four penalties, made defensive errors and missed numerous chances to be able to capitalise. To make sure the next ten games are stronger points-wise.

"We were in the ascendancy. They played a diamond and we were getting a lot of joy down the sides of them. Paddy (Osadebe)'s had a great chance. We were getting a lot of territory. Could have done better with the ball.

"And then give them a cheap goal and then you're chasing again.

"Harsh words at half time needed. Frustration of me needing to change something. I pulled Wes (McDonald) inside and put him in the No 10 position and put Paddy (Osadebe) on the left and Holds (on right) because you're searching for answers to get a goal. They were reading Wes a little bit. And the surface wasn't one for running with the ball. It wasn't suitable for my quick players to run.

"Listen we were playing against a team that's got double our budget today. A team that should be right up there. On another day a point at Mansfield would be a decent point. But they're on a bad run. We're frustrated because we thought the three points were up for grabs and in honesty I thought out performance edged that."