NOTTS CO PREVIEWS / MORE TRIALISTS
More trialists to feature tonight
Fri 15 Jul 2011
STAGS TEAM NEWS
Paul Bolland could face his former side, while new defensive signing Martin Riley is likely to feature, along with ex-Everton defender Nathan Craig and Rhema Obed, formerly of Arsenal, Former Ross County and Grimsby Town defender Steven Watt, 29-year-old left defender Alan Goodall, ex-Oxford United defender Steven Kinniburgh and Oliver Nicholas, a 20-year old defender who has previously been at Arsenal, Manchester City and Blackburn will all be looking to make an impression on trial.
Stags hand trialists a chance to shine
Nottingham Post, Thursday, July 14, 2011
AT least two more trialists will be given a chance to push their case for a Mansfield Town contract when Notts County visit Field Mill tomorrow night.
Stags manager Paul Cox was disappointed by the defensive display in Tuesday's 2-1 friendly defeat at Nuneaton.
His response will be to draft in left-back Alan Goodall and central defender Steve Watts for the Magpies game.
Cox may also have a look at another free agent, if the player agrees to travel.
Goodall, 29, has made more than 200 Football League appearances, the majority of those for last club Rochdale.
Former Chelsea trainee Watt, 26, has been at six different clubs and played for Grimsby last season.
"It showed at Nuneaton we still need to strengthen in defence because we didn't have options," said Cox.
"I am still looking at bringing in one or two defenders and we will have a look at some more against Notts."
With Rhys Day still making his way back from knee surgery, Cox's need for defensive cover was heightened by Tom Naylor's hamstring injury.
The defensive target the Stags hoped to bring in yesterday has held talks with Cox and has now gone away to mull over his decision.
The Stags boss added: "We are looking at probably seven to ten days with Tom, probably 14 at the maximum.
"It is a tweak, which is a worry, because we are thin on the ground for defenders."
Cox is looking for a vast improvement against Notts.
"We are a million miles away from what I want us to be in terms of fitness and structure," said Cox
Stags boss Cox has no room for sentiment
Nottingham Post, Friday, July 15, 2011
THERE really is no room in football for sentiment.
Notts County has played a huge part in the life of Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox, where he came through the youth set-up to play senior football.
But as he welcomes the Magpies to Field Mill tonight, he will be doing his damndest to usher defeat on his ex-employers.
Before joining the Stags, Cox became accustomed to winning the majority of matches at Eastwood.
Consequently, his pride was stung when his first game in charge at Nuneaton on Tuesday night ended with a disappointing 2-1 reverse.
Of course, allowances could be made for the fact that many in the squad are still getting to know each other; that fitness is still being built up.
Yet Cox's natural competitive instincts means he was irked by what he saw in Warwickshire – and is desperate to see a more encouraging showing tonight, even if it throws a spanner in the works of his former club.
"I spent some of my best playing years on the books at Notts County and have some fond memories," he said.
"But I am the manager of Mansfield Town now and what has gone in the past goes out the window.
"I don't want anything else other than for us to do well and try to get a good result.
"I want people to ask questions of us, as was the case at Nuneaton, and we will certainly get that from this match.
"It is a local derby and there will be competition between both sets of supporters.
"I don't like to have testimonial-style games and we won't get that here. I would have thought they would bring a full-strength side. I expect them to be very organised, fit and strong.
"But winning is a habit and I would like us to win as many matches in pre-season as possible."
Like Mansfield, Notts have not had it all their own way in the early stages of pre-season, losing 2-0 at Hinckley United, managed by another former Notts player in Dean Thomas.
Even so, Cox is convinced enigmatic boss Martin Allen will do a good job at Meadow Lane after seeing him come in and immediately guide the Magpies to safety at the end of last season.
He said: "I have never spoken to Martin but obviously I have kept an eye on what he has achieved and I think he will do really well with Notts County.
"Of course he needs time to implement his own ideas. They had a disappointing result at Hinckley, just as we did at Nuneaton.
"But Martin will be under the same impression that these results happen. The main thing is all about starting the season well.
"He has got some very good players and if he can get some of his transfer targets in, then I think they will be knocking on the door at the top."
Cox will not play his troops for a full 90 minutes but insists they must show their desire as the competition for places intensifies.
"The work ethic has to be there for us as if it were the first game of the season," he said.
"We are pushing them, but not too hard, making sure they don't get any muscle injures.
"It's a case of starting to make the changes at around the 65-minute mark but when they are on, they have to go for it."
Cox is keen to add more new faces to his squad and will have a look at more trialists tonight, with Alan Goodall and Steve Watt expected to be among them.
He may also look at a different formation to the 4-3-3 he employed at Nuneaton.
Cox said: "At this stage we are still four or five players off being in a position to affect the upper reaches of our league.
"But a lot of lads can play in different positions – that's because we want a squad that is versatile. We might need to go to a side in the FA Cup and shut up shop for 90 minutes and then try to win the game in the last half hour.
"I'm trying to get the best offensive players on the pitch where they can have the most effect. But there are times we might have to frustrate teams. We know we have to keep more clean sheets."
Sheehan believes he can make Championship return with Notts
Nottingham Post, Friday, July 15, 2011
IT IS somehow rather appropriate that Alan Sheehan will tonight return to Mansfield Town at the beginning of a new chapter in his career with Notts County, because the former Republic of Ireland U21 international played for the Stags very early in his career.
Sheehan spent two months at Field Mill on loan from Leicester City almost five years ago and played ten League Two games for the club.
One of those was a derby against the Magpies, in October 2006. Mike Edwards, who is still at Meadow Lane today and is the club's current longest-serving player, scored in a 2-2 draw.
Sheehan, who was born in Athlone and began his career playing for one of Ireland's best youth clubs, Belvedere FC, in Dublin, had played only five games in two-and-a-half years for Leicester before joining Mansfield, and so believes his brief time with the Stags gave him invaluable experience.
He even played alongside the Magpies' current assistant manager, Carl Muggleton, who was Town's goalkeeper, joking: "He looked older back then!"
He added: "I used to travel to Mansfield with Muggs every day. He's a top man and it's good he's here at Notts.
"Going to Mansfield for two months was a great experience for me. I was still young and I wasn't getting a chance at Leicester, so it was good for me to play regular League football."
Almost five years after his loan at Mansfield, Sheehan, now 24, has far greater League experience, having played in the Championship for Leicester and League One for Leeds United, Crewe Alexandra, Oldham Athletic and most recently Swindon Town.
Latest | July 2011