NAYLOR RIGHT BACK? HEGARTY TRIALIST ILKESTON GAME
Naylor could be switched in Stags defence
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, August 02, 2011
TOM Naylor could be just as effective for Mansfield Town at right-back as in central defence, believes manager Paul Cox.
The youngster played much of Saturday's 4-1 win at Boston on the flank, with John Thompson and Martin Riley occupying the middle slots.
And Cox is convinced the promising youth team product showed the potential to play there more regularly.
"Tom has got a lot of qualities as a footballer but we have got a lot of players competing in the middle, including Thompson, Riley, Sutton and Day when he comes back," said Cox.
"My job is to try to put together the most solid back four.
"I looked at Tom when he was on loan at Alfreton and I have always felt in the early stages of his career that he could develop into an excellent right-back, as well as centre-half.
"The centre-back pairing of Thompson and Riley looked solid against Doncaster, so I thought I would have a look at Tom on the right and he looked pretty good."
Mansfield are likely to play something close to the starting line-up to face Bath City on the opening day in their final friendly when they play their final friendly at Chasetown on Saturday.
But for tomorrow night's game at Ilkeston, it is likely to be a fringe first team with the likes of Shane Redmond, Matt Bell, Luke O'Neill and Ritchie Sutton all set to feature.
Lindon Meikle (ankle) and Jon Worthington (knee) are likely to be fit but Rhys Day (calf) and Paul Bolland (ankle) will not be risked
Redmond ready for Stags clash at old club Ilkeston
Nottingham Post, Wednesday, August 03, 2011
Follow.Football: Shane Redmond returns to one of his old stomping grounds tonight determined to push his claims for a first-team spot at Mansfield Town.
The 22-year-old goalkeeper is set to be given the nod for the Stags' penultimate friendly at phoenix club Ilkeston FC's New Manor Ground.
It is a venue he knows well having played there for Nottingham Forest in pre-season friendlies and also during a loan.
Now he is out to impress in his battle with Alan Marriott to start against Bath City for the first Blue Square Bet Premier game on August 13.
"I went to Ilkeston on work experience when I was a first year pro at Forest," said Redmond, who also played at Eastwood under now-Mansfield manager Paul Cox.
"I had played for Forest U18s in the morning and then I got the call from Nigel Jemson to go and play for them.
"I got there at about 2.45pm having never met any of them. I pretty much walked straight onto the field. I can't remember who we played, but I did manage to keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 win.
"This will be another good game in Mansfield's preparations for the new season and it's good to see Ilkeston back up and running.
"The manager may end up going for experience, because Alan has ten years on me, although I don't know that for sure. I would love to be in the team from the start.
"But I just have to show what I can do when I get my chance."
Hegarty under the spotlight for Stags
Nottingham Post, Wednesday, August 03, 2011
MANSFIELD Town are poised to run the rule over left-sided midfielder Nick Hegarty in their penultimate pre-season friendly at Ilkeston FC tonight.
The Stags squad is almost complete ahead of the new Blue Square Bet Premier campaign that begins on August 13 with a home game against Bath City.
But manager Paul Cox is nevertheless keen to see Hegarty in action, the player having made more than 100 appearances for Grimsby after being on Forest's books as a youngster.
The 25-year-old spent last season at Scottish club St Mirren, but his chances were limited by a broken ankle.
"Nick has been training with Bradford City and we hope to get the nod that he can play for us," said Cox.
"I have seen him before and I think he is worth a look. We will see what he performs like and how his fitness levels are."
"The game itself at Ilkeston is going to be one where we give everyone a game and there are likely to be a lot of changes."
Cox, meanwhile, is still hunting for another striker after missing out on Port Vale-bound Tom Pope, 25.
He has been pursuing the 6ft 3ins former Crewe and Rotherham man for some time but insists he has other options up his sleeve.
Cox said: "He would have been a good signing for us but that's football.
"We were patient with John Thompson and it paid off but this one hasn't. You win some, you lose some.
"But rest assured there are other irons in the fire and it is an area where I'm keen to strengthen."
Last chance for Stags boss to experiment in Ilkeston friendly
chad.co.uk, Wednesday 3 August 2011
STAGS' penultimate pre-season friendly at Ilkeston FC tonight (Wednesday, 7.45pm) will give manager Paul Cox his last chance to experiment with his squad.
Cox, who is hoping to use the final friendly at Chasetown on Saturday to try to pick a first XI to kick off the season, will make sure players short on match action play some part tonight.
But he may also throw in one or two youth team members who impressed him in a behind-closed-doors inter-squad game at Rainworth MW last week.
“I need to make sure every member of my squad is ready for that first game of the season,” said Cox.
“If we had a few injuries and an illness bug like we had last week, I need to know where everyone can fill in and what the can do. I need to have a Plan B and also some pressure on the lads who do start the season.
“I have players like Richie Sutton, Matt Bell, and Luke O'Neill who need a game and Lindon Meikle should also be available again after injury and Adam Smith from illness.
“Jon Worthington should also be okay but I may not risk him. John Thompson might need a half too.
“Kevin (Ilkeston boss Wilson) will always play a side that is competitive, especially with the local rivalry.
“They have just drawn with a full strength Alfreton.”
He added: “After this we need to pick a team for Saturday along with a system and a shape for what I think will be a very tasty game.
“I think we have looked comfortable with 4-4-2 so far though have used 4-4-3 as well which is a system many clubs use in our division which is good when you've got the ball and excellent when you haven't.”
Murray: Thommo the man to add defensive steel
Nottingham Post, Thursday, August 04, 2011
ADAM Murray insists John Thompson is the ideal man to help plug a leaky Mansfield Town defence.
The Stags conceded 75 goals last season, which was the biggest single reason for their mid-table finish in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
New manager Paul Cox has rightly identified addressing that issue as one of his primary targets this summer.
And in signing former Notts County captain Thompson on a two-year deal, Murray believes the Stags have the kind of player who can do just that.
"John is a very experienced player and that counts for a lot," said the former Derby County playmaker.
"There are few in the squad who have quite a few games under their belt which is important, but particularly at the back.
"We needed someone to go into the back line willing to communicate and get us organised – that was previously the key thing missing.
"I think he will prove to be a brilliant signing for us – and it's great see him here."
Murray is also delighted with the signing of Matt Green, on loan from Oxford until December.
The two were both part of the Us squad to win promotion via the play-offs in 2010.
Murray said: "Greeny is going to excite people.
"He will give everything and he wants to learn. I've had a chat with him already and he wants to make an impression to win a contract."
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