BATH PREVIEWS / NICK WOOD SIGNS FOR ONE MONTH
Wood signs one month contract
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 11 Aug 2011
Central defender Nick Wood has put pen to paper on a one month deal, we can confirm.
The 20-year-old will look to be amongst the squad in this Saturday's opening game against Bath City, following injuries to fellow defenders John Thompson, Ritchie Sutton and Rhys Day, whilst Joe Kendrick will also miss out through a one match ban.
Wood, formerly of Tranmere Rovers, has made four appearances for us in pre-season.
Speaking to mansfieldtown.net, Wood said: "I've worked hard in training and played well in the pre-season games but you haven't seen the best of me yet."
Stags sign up central defender
Nottingham Post, Thursday, August 11, 2011
MANSFIELD Town have signed central defender Nick Wood on a month-long contract.
The 20-year-old former Tranmere player has been drafted in to cover for a clutch of injuries to the Stags back line.
John Thompson, Ritchie Sutton and Rhys Day are all out of Saturday's season opener against Bath City.
It means Wood could slot straight into the side, most likely against Martin Riley, to face the Romans.
Wood has been with Mansfield for much of pre-season in a bid to win a deal and impressed in last weekend's 4-1 success over Chasetown
Opportunity knocks for Stags new boy Wood
Nottingham Post, Friday, August 12, 2011
NICK Wood should use a month-long deal to force his way into Mansfield Town's long-term plans, manager Paul Cox said today.
The 20-year-old central defender has been with the Stags for much of pre-season after being released by League One Tranmere Rovers.
And with John Thompson, Ritchie Sutton and Rhys Day all out of tomorrow's first game of the new Blue Square Bet Premier game of the season, he has now been signed on a short-term contract.
Wood could go straight into the side alongside Martin Riley against the Romans and Cox hopes he can produce the form which will leave him with a tough decision to make.
"This is an opportunity for Nick now. He has to show me that he deserves to stay in the side and stick around," said Cox.
"I was very impressed with how he played at Chasetown and he has done well since he has been here."
Cox looked unlikely to be able to add to his squad but is thankful to his chairman John Radford for loosening the purse strings a little.
"He understands where I am coming from and that it is very unusual to get all your injuries in one position.
"Usually they are spread across the team but with what has happened we would have been left a little bit short without this."
Mansfield fans are reminded they can attend the match tomorrow for just £2 on production of their FA Trophy final Wembley ticket
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox upbeat despite injuries
Mansfield manager Paul Cox has said his side will be able to cope with the number of injuries within his squad.
The Stags have brought in former Tranmere defender Nick Wood as cover, with three of their back line injured.
Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham: "You look at the Ilkeston game, where we more-or-less lost the whole of the back four, and it's absolutely frightening.
"But we're not going to feel sorry for ourselves. We've just got to get on with it and try and get results."
John Thompson, one of those injured in the pre-season friendly against Ilkeston, could be out for longer than was first anticipated.
"It's probably the worst facial injury that I've seen," Cox continued. "It could be between four to eight weeks, depending on how quick a healer he is.
"One thing is he wants to be back and playing - but we've got to plan without him."
Mansfield begin their Blue Square Bet Premier campaign at home to Bath City on Saturday and Cox is looking forward to the challenge.
"It's going to be a really difficult game, I think patience is the key - they're a very hard side to break down."
Meanwhile, new signing Jon Worthington said that he has been impressed with his new surroundings.
"The lads have welcomed me and it's been a positive start," he said. "The set-up and the professionalism I've seen here is the same as Football League clubs.
"Seeing the league start last weekend, I'm itching to get going. I'm more than happy for the games to come thick and fast, and to get out there playing."
Murray high on optimism ahead of new Stags campaign
Nottingham Post, Friday, August 12, 2011
PLENTY has changed since Adam Murray last pulled on the captain's armband for Mansfield Town – not least his mood.
It was back in May that the influential midfielder led the Stags out for their FA Trophy final at Wembley.
?Murray started the day full of hope that he would lift Mansfield's first major trophy since they won the Freight Rover Trophy under the twin towers.
But that ambition was not to be realised as the Stags went down to Chris Senior's goal for Darlington deep into extra time.
That disappointment came shortly after Murray had been forced from the field with an injury that meant he was unable to carry on despite his desire to do so.
But Murray's inevitable gloom, so obvious in the post-game press conference, has long since dissipated amid an eventful summer that sees him genuinely optimistic about the next nine months.
First came a new manager in the shape of Paul Cox, then came an influx of new faces after a host of others were released.
That has been followed by what, in his eyes, has been an ideal pre-season and the news he has retained the captaincy for another campaign.
All in all, Murray believes it adds up to a much brighter outlook after Mansfield finished last season in a Blue Square Bet Premier finish of 13th.
"I'm very pleased with where we are at," said Murray. "We also seem to be clicking into the style of play the manager wants and how he wants us to go about things.
"From where we have started against Nuneaton we have taken big steps – but I also think there is more to come.
"Once we get more of a settled team then you begin to understand how each other plays, especially because you are playing every midweek at the start.
"If things go right, then normally good players get better.
"I think pre-season has been brilliant because the games have been realistic.
"It's no use playing sides from the leagues above and then losing the first game of the season 3-0 because we are in a war.
"We have come up against teams who will battle and that is good preparation for what is to come.
"You want to get off to a good start, but then again it doesn't matter if you win the first ten games and are top of the league, things can change quickly.
"People should not panic if we don't win the first game because there are 45 more to come after that."
Murray has made no secret of his respect for new boss Cox, who he believes has a similar outlook to that of himself.
Murray often cut a frustrated figure in the latter stages of last season when he often talked of the Stags not delivering.
He said: "The manager is a winner and will give everything, the same as me. He will do whatever it takes.
"He has got a drive and determination that will not let anything stand in his way.
"We have seen already with new players coming in that he has said if they do not fit the bill, then they will be shipped back out again.
"I have had something like 20 managers in my career and the best ones are ruthless at times. You have to be horrible and tell them they might not be good enough.
"That was something I saw at Carlisle, and Oxford winning promotion and here at Mansfield when Stuart Watkiss was in charge and I see it in the current manager."
Mansfield will be hampered in their opener against Bath City tomorrow by the absence of several injured players.
But Murray believes there is a greater depth to the squad that will enable them to cope against the Romans – and whenever else they are short on numbers.
"Ideally you would like to go into every game with everyone fit and firing, but that isn't going to happen," he said.
"The good thing is that we have now got good people to come in all over the pitch.
"It is a good squad, not just a good team, which we didn't always have last season.
"If we are being realistic, we probably had 12 or 13 players last season who if they were fit all season could have got us in the top six.
"But you are always going to get injuries, suspensions and loss of form and you need to have quality and people with a high work ethic to come in."
Mansfield will be hotly tipped to open their campaign with a victory – as they have done in their previous two seasons with wins over Crawley (4-0) and Forest Green (3-1).
But Murray is well aware that the West Country side will be no pushovers, particularly as former players Paul Stonehouse and Mark Preece will have the bit between their teeth.
He said: "Bath have got some very good players and are a team I think will be a real surprise package.
"They have players who have experience in the League and those who have done well at this level and have made some good signings over the summer.
"This is one of those games on paper that people might think is against easier opposition – but those are always the tougher games.
"There are no games that you can go into and think you should win and if you don't go in with the right attitude, you are going to come unstuck.
"They will have a few lads with a point to prove after last season.
"I think we had three dressing rooms full of players at one point last season and were a little bit angry, feeling that they weren't treated in the right way.
"Some of those who were aggrieved will have a point to prove – and that should make it interesting."
Spotlight on Mansfield Town v Bath City
Nottingham Post, Friday, August 12, 2011
Mansfield (from): Marriott, Redmond, O'Neill, Naylor, Wood, Riley, Bell, Briscoe, Smith, Murray, Worthington, Stevenson, Todd, Connor, Green, Dyer, Howell.
Bath City (from): Garner, Simpson, Stonehouse, Jones, Webb, Murray, Russell, Connolly, Burnell, Hogg, Phillips, Matthews, Rollo, Preece, Watkins, Cook.
?Team news: Mansfield will be without the injured John Thompson (head), Rhys Day (ankle), Ritchie Sutton (shoulder) and Paul Bolland (ankle) and the suspended Joe Kendrick.
Lindon Meikle (ankle) has a chance of making the bench and Adam Smith (knee) is 50-50, while Martin Riley (head) should be available.
Former Mansfield player Gary Mills is suspended for Bath, while Marc Canham is away coaching the England women's team at the World Student Games in China.
Sekani Simpson and Gethin (minor knocks) missed last Saturday's 1-1 friendly along with Lewis Hogg (foot), but all three are expected to return.
One to watch: Paul Stonehouse. The left-back is set to start against his former club and will be out to prove he deserved to start more games at Field Mill last season.
Manager: Adie Britton. Led part-time Bath to a superb tenth place in last season's Blue Square Premier following promotion via the play-offs at the end of the 2009-10 campaign.
Upcoming away travel: Tues Aug 16, Gateshead. Depart Field Mill 3pm. SSA amber/junior members £13, blue members £15, others £18.
Sat Aug 20, Braintree Town. Depart Field Mill 9.30am. SSA amber/junior members £13, blue members £15, others £18
Stags all set for Bath opener, despite injuries
chad.co.uk, Thursday 11 August 2011
DESPITE the crowded treatment room, Mansfield Town are raring to go for Saturday's Blue Square Bet Premier opener at home to Bath City (3pm).
With Stags fans who have a ticket stub from May's trip to Wembley gaining admission for £2, a huge crowd is expected.
It is just a shame boss Paul Cox is unable to put out his first choice side.
John Thompson and Richie Sutton are still sidelined from the pre-season 'friendly' fracas at Ilkeston while Martin Riley, also badly cut by the elbow of Gary Ricketts in that game, will play with padding on the wound.
Left back Joe Kendrick serves a one game ban from last season while Paul Bolland and Rhys Day are out injured and Adam Smith and Lindon Meikle face late fitness tests.
Short on defenders after Ricketts put three in hospital at Ilkeston in just over an hour, Stags will today offer a one month contract to ex-Tranmere Rovers centre half Nick Wood as cover after he impressed on trial over the past three weeks.
“The chairman understands the situation and has allowed me to bring Nick in,” said Cox. “This offers Nick a chance to show he wants to be here and play for this club. He has certainly done well in pre-season.
“Usually in pre-season you get a mixed bag of injuries. But in one game I almost lost my entire back four which is frustrating.
“John Thompson is a mess. The chairman went to visit him and he is still stressed but just wants to get back playing.
“But I think he could be five, six, seven, even eight weeks before he returns. The injuries he has sustained to his face are shocking. They are probably the worst I have ever seen.”
On his other knocks, he added: “Paul Bolland and Richie Sutton are not quite ready, but Lindon Meikle could make the bench which would be a massive boost. Adam Smith is 50-50 with his knee.”
Defensively, Cox will have to pick a back four from Matt Bell, Martin Riley, Tom Naylor, Luke O'Neill and Nick Wood.
“It's not for us to sit and cry about the injuries, everyone gets them and hopefully we have had ours now early on,” said Cox.
“Our injury list gives opportunities to players like Matt Bell and Luke O'Neill. Whoever goes out there for us, I want a good performance and a good result.
“There are still a million and one things we need to improve on, but I am delighted with how quickly the players have gelled together and we are ahead of where I thought we would be.
“I like things done yesterday but I know we won't really get our teeth in it as I want for a few weeks yet. We will make a few mistakes and there will be the odd stumble here and there. But they are an honest bunch of lads who will give honest performances.
“It's a big project and I look back where we were six or seven weeks ago and it's a bit frightening. But the lads have taken everything I have asked of them on board.
“Now they are running round like schoolboys and excited for Saturday.”
He added: “It will be a very proud moment when we walk out at Field Mill and I hope the crowd give us a big welcome.
“I cannot thank the supporters enough for the way they have backed us so far and I have had some lovely letters and messages from well-wishers. Now I hope we can reward them with a good result.
“We have had Bath watched and I know patience will be the key.
“They will come here not wanting to lose and will be very hard to break down. Adie (manager Britton) has done a fantastic job and will have them well organised.”
The Romans, who finished above Stags in 10th last season after a final day win over Mansfield at home, will include Paul Stonehouse and Mark Preece, who were released from Field Mill this summer
Stags boss Cox not ruling out Hegarty move
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, August 09, 2011
NICK Hegarty could yet join Mansfield Town despite not figuring in their final pre-season friendly at Chasetown – but only if manager Paul Cox ships out other players first.
The former Grimsby Town player impressed playing wide on the left in the Stags' abandoned game at Ilkeston.
But he played no part in Saturday's 4-1 success at Chasetown where Cox had originally suggested he would get another run-out.
The boss insists it is not the end of the road for Hegarty at Field Mill.
“I spoke to Hegarty on Friday night. I really do like him as a player and he could bring a lot to the club,” said Cox.
“I thought he was excellent at Ilkeston and is one I'd be very keen to pursue.
“But If I'm going to bring in any more players I am going to have to wheel or deal to free a bit more cash up. The problem at the moment is that I am up to budget.
“I said leave it with me for a week to see what I can do.”
The financial situation also means Cox's hands are tied on bringing in another defender to cover for injuries.
Rhys Day (ankle), John Thompson (head) and Joe Kendrick (suspended) are all definitely out of the Bath game, while Ritchie Sutton (shoulder) is a serious doubt.
It means trialists Nick Wood and Matt Flynn – who played at Chasetown – will have to be patient in their efforts to secure deals.
Cox said: “I would like to keep both lads involved because they were excellent on Saturday, but again it's about finance.
“The big problem is that we have got so many injured that it's really tough to get people out on loan because we might need them for the first team. At this minute we may have to soldier on with what we've got.”
Adam Murray has been named as Mansfield captain
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