COX ON CONTRACTED PLAYERS
Cox pleased by response to talks from Mansfield's under-contract players
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, July 05, 2011
PAUL Cox today is pleased by the response to talks with his under-contract Mansfield Town players.
The new Stags boss has spoken with each of those he inherited with a year left to run on their deals – Alan Marriott, Tom Naylor, Rhys Day, Louis Briscoe, Adam Murray, Adam Smith and Paul Connor.
And he has been encouraged by their willingness to embrace his plans for 2011-12.
"The players already here have been receptive. All I have done is tell them what I am about and what I expect of them," said Cox.
"The lads seem keen to grasp things by the scruff of the neck and come back in pre-season firing.
"I haven't wanted to keep going on about last season and what went wrong because that is gone now and we are concentrating on looking forward.
"I think they share those thoughts and as a club we want to be focusing on getting in the top five.
"What I did when I came in (clearing out many of those players not under contract) has perhaps shocked a few people, but it was done for the good of the club."
Cox believes that Mansfield will be part of a mini-league of seven or eight clubs at the top end of the Blue Square Bet Premier who will be fighting it out for the automatic promotion and play-off spots.
He said: "You would have to put Luton and Fleetwood among the front-runners with their budgets and the two teams who came down (Lincoln and Stockport) will have a say.
"Then you also have the likes of Wrexham, Grimsby and Darlington as well as ourselves, plus there is always a team that comes out of the pack."
Connor: Stags must learn lessons
Monday, July 04, 2011 Nottingham Post
PAUL Connor insists Mansfield Town must learn from last season and not leave themselves short during the 2011-12 run-in.
The Stags won only three of their last ten Blue Square Bet Premier matches in a hectic April.
They were not helped by a lack of numbers, meaning that when injuries hit, the squad was stretched to near breaking point.
It was a situation that saw former boss Duncan Russell come in for criticism after failing to land some of his targets in the January transfer window.
Striker Connor says that is a situation the club should not be letting happen again – particularly if they are flying high at the top end of the table.
"We had such a lot of games in the last part of the season and if we had a bigger squad it would have helped," he said.
"Then we would have been able to give players a bit of a rest when they needed it.
"That's an issue we need to address. If we get to January and we are doing well, then it's important we kick on.
"People get injured and we need to make sure we have the right kind of cover to cope with that."