GOODALL IMPRESSES ON TRIAL/OTHER TRIALISTS LEAVE
VIDEO interview with Paul Cox: Goodall impresses on trial
Mon 18 Jul 2011 --->
On the same night as the signing of John Thompson, defender Alan Goodall staked his claim for a contract with a performance that caught the eye of manager Paul Cox.
The 29 year-old impressed at left-back for 53 minutes against Notts County and the experienced defender will be given another opportunity to prove his worth in tomorrow's match at home to Doncaster Rovers, while fellow trialists Nathan Craig, Rhema Obed, Steven Watt, Steven Kinniburgh and Oliver Nicholas have all been released.
Cox said: "Alan is training with us this morning, he will be playing tomorrow night and he was the standout of the trialists on show against County.
"We've added John Thompson in this week, but we want as many options as possible because we have had a few injury problems."
Cox is also hoping to have some key players back from injury in the games to come, with the new season fast approaching.
He said: "Paul Bolland and Rhys Day haven't kicked a ball yet and when they come back it will create competition.
"Paul should be back for the Halifax game, Rhys is pencilled in for the Ilkeston game and Tom Naylor is four to seven days away from being back with us."
Stags will play Doncaster Rovers tomorrow night at Field Mill and although Cox is always looking to win, he knows he must be realistic.
Cox said: "It will be our toughest game of pre-season, we could go long periods without seeing the ball, it won't be pretty and it may take a backs against the wall type of performance to grind out a result.
"It will be frustrating for the fans, but these are building blocks in our improvement in shape, mentality and fitness.
"Sometimes you have to lose a battle to win a war."
However, Cox believes that he will see how his team is shaping up from the games following Doncaster's visit to Field Mill.
"From Halifax onwards we'll be playing at more non-league standard, where the focus will be on what we do with the ball, rather than winning the ball back."
Stags boss Cox anticipating a tough test
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, July 19, 2011
MANSFIELD Town are set to experiment with a 4-5-1 formation during their 'toughest test' of pre-season at home to Championship side Doncaster Rovers tonight (7.30pm).
The Stags have employed 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 at various stages of their friendlies against Nuneaton and Notts County.
But with manager Paul Cox predicting Mansfield will spend long spells without the ball, he is considering employing a defensive set-up.
"Doncaster is going to be a massive test for us, probably our toughest this pre-season, and it might be frustrating for our fans," he said.
"They are going to really move the ball and there are going to be long periods where we haven't got the ball.
"I want to have a look at 4-5-1 and (Lee) Stevenson's role within that. I want the lads to be flexible and understand different systems we can use.
"Of course I want to win, but realistically, are we expected to beat Doncaster? So long as we are putting building blocks in place, that is the main thing.
"We saw an improvement against Notts County from Nuneaton, especially in the first 60 minutes, and I want to see another in this game."
The match will give home fans the chance to have a look at new signing John Thompson, who agreed a two-year deal at the weekend.
Cox added: "John played two games out in Portland when he went over to the States and there is not an ounce of fat on him, so I don't think he'll have a problem playing.
"He is a professional lad and has kept himself ticking over but the same goes for him and Martin Riley – it's about giving them a run-out."