Boston trip a true test for Stags
chad.co.uk, Thursday 28 July 2011
CONFERENCE North play-off semi-finalists Boston United are expected to give Stags a thorough examination at their compact York Street ground as the pre-season friendlies continue on Saturday (3pm).
Stags boss Paul Cox admitted he could have gone for League opposition instead, but feels Boston will provide his players with a much more accurate measuring stick of where they are right now.
“Boston will be very similar to sides we will come up against next season,” he said. “They are going to be up there near the top of their league next season so, standard-wise, would probably be mid-table in the Conference National.
“I could have pulled in a League club but I didn't think it was the right kind of fixture as it could lull us into a false sense of where we are. Playing sides from three leagues above or three leagues below doesn't give you a proper perspective.
“Like Halifax and Hednesford, Boston will be a 'proper' game for us.
Paul Bolland, who limped off with an ankle injury at Hednesford in midweek, will not play on Saturday though he now walking on it much better and the club are hopeful he may be back within a week.
Lindon Meikle will also sit it out with his ankle injury as the club err on the side of caution.
Former Stags striker Jason Lee is now joint-manager at Boston United along with Lee Canoville
Stags' Murray backs manager's tough stance
Nottingham Post, Friday, July 29, 2011
ADAM Murray has today backed Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox's hard-line approach – despite the midweek victory at Hednesford.
The Stags boss read the riot act to his players after being angered by some of what he saw in the 3-2 victory at Keys Park.
Cox's stance is sure to have sent shock waves through some of his younger players.
But the experienced Murray says the tongue-lashing was merited and agrees with the manager's policy that players who don't live up to expectations will be moved on.
"We came away with a win but the way we went about it were not the standards that are going to get us out of this league," said Murray, who has skippered Mansfield in most of their friendly matches.
"It was a little bit sloppy and if a few people don't up their game then either they won't be here very long or we are going to finish mid-table again.
"We are a long way away from what the manager wants, so he is right to be ruthless.
"I experienced it at Oxford under Chris Wilder when we got promotion but then he got rid of eight or nine players. To be successful, you sometimes have to be nasty.
"It was the right time to get a rollicking at Hednesford because the performance and the way we conceded goals was disappointing.
"We were two goals up and we went chasing more when we should have closed the game out – it was schoolboy stuff."
Paul Bolland suffered ankle ligament damage in the midweek game and is expected to be out for another week or so, missing tomorrow's clash at Boston.
Cox said: "Hopefully he can still play some part against Chasetown next week and be in the shake-up for the first day of the season."
Cox: Chief scout Ogden key to Stags' chances
Nottingham Post, Saturday, July 30, 2011
MANSFIELD Town's capture of Joe Kendrick already proves the club's decision to appoint a chief scout was a wise one, manager Paul Cox said today.
The Stags were alerted to the availability of the Irishman by Paul Ogden, who was brought in at the end of June.
Cox is delighted to have the former Leek Town manager on board and believes their strong relationship will serve the club well.
As well as searching out potential signings, Ogden will also watch future Mansfield opponents and report back to the management team.
"Paul has already done some very good work, from which we are seeing the benefit," said Cox.
"He is getting to games that Micky (Moore, assistant manager) and myself can't, which means we cover every nook and cranny.
"It was through one of Paul's contacts that we got Joe over on trial, saying he was worth a look, and now we have got ourselves a good player.
"The other thing is that before the club were relying on a general scouting report that was available to all the clubs, it was not personal.
"But now Paul is going to be compiling his own reports and I think they will prove to be worth their weight in gold."
After experimenting throughout much of pre-season, Cox is expected to pick a team at Boston today that will resemble his starting line-up for the season opener at home to Bath City.
He said: "I have needed to have a look at three or four, especially with illness and injury, but now I'm looking for some consistency.
"Boston is a game that is as close to what we can expect in the Conference as you are going to get and is one that will really help sharpen us up."
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