Cox releases eight players - Higginson offered deal
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 31 May 2011
Eight players have today been released from Field Mill by manager Paul Cox, while Conor Higginson has been offered new terms.
Defenders Steve Foster, Kevin Sandwith, Dan Spence and Ben Turner, along with Steven Istead, Ashley Cain, Luke Medley and Neil Collett have all been let go.
The option of extending the contracts of goalkeeper Neil Collett and full back Ben Turner had been explored before the end of last season, however, with the change in manager, it has been decided that the duo will now leave Field Mill.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old forward Conor Higginson has been offered a new one year deal.
We are still in negotiations with Gary Silk about the possibility of a new contract.
We would live to thank the aforementioned departees for their efforts whilst with us
Mansfield Town continue player clear-out
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 31 May 2011
A NEW broom swept clean at Field Mill this week as new Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox released all but two of the remaining out-of-contract players.
Cox, intending to build his own high-quality squad for a tilt at promotion back to the Football League next season, did give promising teenage striker Conor Higginson a new one-year deal and remains in discussions with full back Gary Silk, who also has offers elsewhere.
But Ashley Cain, Steve Istead, Steve Foster, Kevin Sandwith, Neil Collett, Ben Turner, Luke Medley, Dan Spence and FA Trophy semi-final first leg hero Danny Mitchley were all shown the door.
They followed Kyle Nix, Tyrone Thompson, Paul Stonehouse, Mark Preece and Niall O'Rafferty, who were all released earlier this month by previous boss Duncan Russell.
It leaves Cox with 10 contracted players with new boys Lindon Meikle and Lee Stevenson joining Alan Marriott, Adam Murray, Adam Smith, Tom Naylor, Louis Briscoe, Paul Connor, Rhys Day, and Conor Higginson.
With Cox's intention to forge a squad of 22, it means Stags fans can expect a lot of exciting new signings in the weeks ahead.
“It is the hardest part of football management telling players they haven't got a job,” said Cox.
“But if I am going to do the job properly I know fresh blood is needed.
“Nothing against those being released, but I need better quality.
“I want a smaller squad next season as I don't believe in having too many players sat in the stands.
“So I don't want to hinder people if they are not in my plans and have them knocking on my oor two weeks into the season asking why they are not in the team or squad.
“I have my eye on quite a few players, some experienced, some young, but all players that could affect the higher part of this league.
“There are a hell of a lot of players up for grabs in higher levels and in leagues below us.
“It's up to me to choose the ones who have the right desire levels and are not just coming here to pick up a wage slip.”
He added: “I have looked closely at the models put together by Stevenage and Crawley to get out of this league.
“Crawley may have outspent everyone but their manager was still very prudent in his spending.
“He still brought in players like Kyle McFadzean from Alfreton, a sprinkling of good diamonds from the rough from lower levels, coupled with good Conference players and those with League experience.”
Among the outgoing players are veteran Mansfield-born Stags fan Foster, and promising keeper Collett.
Cox added: “Steve has been a good servant to the club. But I have to make horrible decisions and I have certain players I am looking at to bring into that position.
“I also have on or two keepers lined-up who I think will push Alan Marriott. I want severe competition in every position.”
Cox said he had already agreed terms with a couple of players, but added: “Deals are never done until they are signed and sealed.
“A lot of clubs are after these players and if someone else offers them 50p a week more they will go there.”
New Stags boss Cox announces a massive clear out at Field Mill
Evening Post, 31 May 2011
MANSFIELD Town have cleared out eight more players, it has been confirmed today.
New Stags boss Paul Cox has told Ashley Cain, Steven Istead, Steve Foster and Kevin Sandwith they have no future at the club.
Neil Collett, Ben Turner, Luke Medley and Dan Spence have also been released on free transfers.
It means only Gary Silk – still locked in talks with Cox – and Conor Higginson have been offered fresh terms.
Silk has also had contract offers from other clubs and is weighing up his options.
Higginson has seen his one-year option taken up after a promising end to the season.
With Danny Mitchley told over the weekend he was being let go, Mansfield currently have 10 players on their books.
Skipper Adam Murray, Alan Marriott, Adam Smith, Tom Naylor, Louis Briscoe, Paul Connor and Rhys Day all have another year left to run on their contracts.
They have been joined by new signings Lee Stevenson and Lindon Meikle, who have signed from Eastwood, and Higginson.
"It's probably the hardest part in football management telling players they haven't got jobs, but it has to be done so I can bring players in," said Cox.
"Not being disrespectful to the players concerned, but we want to have a smaller squad with better quality.
"I don't want people knocking on my door two weeks into the season asking why they are not playing when I know now they are not part of my plans."
Stags boss Cox issues warning
Evening Post, 1 June 2011
PAUL Cox today warned no player can take for granted a place in his Mansfield Town side next season after announcing a thorough clear-out.
With six already released, eight more were shown the exit as the Stags boss freed up space in his squad, which he says will number no more than 22.
Goalkeeper Neil Collett, along with defenders Kevin Sandwith, Steve Foster, Dan Spence and Ben Turner, have been told they do not feature in Cox's plans.
Midfielders Steven Istead and Ashley Cain and striker Luke Medley have also been shown the door.
Long-serving right-back Gary Silk is still in talks about extending his stay at the club for a fourth season, but others have also made offers.
A one-year option written into forward Conor Higginson's existing contract has been taken up.
That leaves ten players currently on the books who have deals for next season, when including new signings Lee Stevenson and Lindon Meikle.
But Cox said: "The one thing that puzzled me was that I have inherited a strong spine to the side but, for whatever reason, one or two players have been a little bit inconsistent.
"I start with that spine but I want them to be joined by players who are just as good, if not better. Alan Marriott is a fabulous goalkeeper, but I want to bring in someone to push him.
"No player is guaranteed a shirt and whoever is in possession needs to know they have to keep their standards high or there is someone ready to take their place."
Cox is hopeful of bringing in new blood soon.
"I'm close to signing two but you never know. I've agreed terms but nothing is ever done in football until a contract is signed and sealed," he said
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