PRE HALIFAX: MURRAY, DAY AND RILEY
Riley determined to cement place at Mansfield
Nottingham Post, Friday, July 22, 2011
HAVING claimed a spot in Mansfield Town's defence for his first two games following a summer move to Field Mill, Martin Riley's aim now is simple – stay there.
The former Cheltenham centre back made an encouraging debut in last Friday's 2-1 defeat to neighbours Notts County.
And he was also impressive on Tuesday night in partnership with fellow new boy John Thompson, despite a 1-0 reverse to Championship club Doncaster Rovers.
The Stags still have five pre-season games to go before they kick-off their campaign on August 13 at home to Bath City.
And Riley is keen to play as many of those minutes as he can to ensure he fights of competition from the likes of Tom Naylor – and Rhys Day when back fit – to start against the Romans.
"I have been pleased with the way I have settled in and it looks like the manager has put a decent squad together," said the 22-year-old.
"I enjoyed playing with Thommo, who is an excellent player and I thought we formed a decent partnership for our first game together.
"I know there is good competition for places and that is healthy. That's why all I'm concentrating on between now and the start of the season is keeping my place.
"It's up to me to show I deserve to be one of the two central defenders come the first league game."
Having moved to Cheltenham from Kidderminster, Riley knows exactly what to expect in the Blue Square Bet Premier and is determined to use that experience to good effect.
He said: "I played 80-odd games at this level for Kiddie, so I know it's a good league and very under-rated."
Mansfield have scored just two goals in their three senior pre-season friendlies so far, something Riley knows must improve, starting against FC Halifax at the Shay tomorrow.
"Although we haven't won any games yet, there has been improvement," he said. "But we need to start scoring to go with the decent performances to get some wins because that will lift confidence."
Stags Supporters' Association have organised a fans' forum with manager Paul Cox in the Kevin Bird Suite on Thursday July 28, (7.30pm). Members are admitted free
Cox encouraged by Murray's Stags start
Nottingham Post, Friday, July 22, 2011
ADAM Murray has been a shining example to the rest of the Mansfield Town squad since the players returned for pre-season.
That's the view of manager Paul Cox, who has seen last season's captain return with the same thirst to succeed that saw him play through injury in May's FA Trophy final against Darlington.
The boss will leave his decision on who he will name as skipper for 2011-12 until the eve of the season, with new signing John Thompson – who previously led Notts County – among the other contenders.
But Murray has taken the armband so far and Cox said: "I have been very impressed with what I have seen from Adam from the very first day of pre-season.
"What he has done on the training ground and in games has warranted him staying as captain so far.
"We all know what he can do as a player and he has started very brightly.
But it is his attitude that has been immense and an example to everyone else in the squad."
Meanwhile, Cox is hoping Mansfield can end a run of three friendly defeats when they visit FC Halifax tomorrow.
He said: "I have always said I want to instil a winning mentality into the dressing room – which means winning games.
"We couldn't expect too much from our last two games because we were playing two very good Football League sides (Notts and Doncaster).
"But now we have fixtures leading up to the start of the season that we can win."
Midfielder Paul Bolland is expected to return at the Shay for his first run-out after a summer shoulder operation
Day lined up to make his Stags comeback against Ilkeston
Nottingham Post, Saturday, July 23, 2011
RHYS Day is being lined up to make his long-awaited comeback in Mansfield Town's penultimate pre-season friendly against Ilkeston Town.
The central defender played only eight games following his return to the club last autumn from Oxford United, initially on loan, because of knee trouble.
That forced Day, 28, to undergo surgery in March and miss the rest of the season.
But the operation was deemed a success and the Welshman's rehabilitation has so far gone to plan.
The Mansfield team at the New Manor Ground, on August 3, is largely expected to be made up of youngsters.
But manager Paul Cox sees it as the perfect opportunity to test the progress of Day, even if it remains touch and go if he will be available for selection for the first league game of 2010-11 against Bath City on August 13.
"Rhys is coming on in leaps and bounds and he is continuously working hard," said Cox. "If he continues to come along, then the Ilkeston game might be a good one for him.
"It will certainly be a big plus for us when we get him back, but we won't risk setting him back if there are any doubts."
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