COX, MURRAY AND BRITTEN REACTION
video interviews with Paul Cox and Adam Murray --->
audio interviw with Bath manager Adie Britten ---.
'We will get much better', promises Stags boss after opening day draw
chad.co.uk, Saturday 13 August 2011
NEW Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox warned fans that success would not happen overnight. And that was underlined as his new-look Stags side, containing six debutants with five more of the 15 new players on the bench, was held 1-1 by Bath City at Field Mill on the opening day of the season on Saturday, reports John Lomas.
“I don't think our performance today was that bad, but we will get much better,” he said.
“It was the first game of the season against a side that came here to put men behind the ball and frustrate us.”
“I thought we should have had possibly three penalties. The ball bounced against a hand on one occasion, their keeper has clipped Ross Dyer when he's tried to go round him and the referee should have pulled it back for a penalty when he didn't finish and right at the end Andy Todd said he was pushed two-handed in the back in front of goal.
“Muzza (Adam Murray) had another chance near the end when the ball got stuck under his feet. And Bath have scored with their only real shot - and that took a massive deflection off Tom Naylor.
“Maybe we scored too early? We looked good when we got the ball wide and our full backs forward. And in the last 20 minutes we whipped some great balls into the box.
“Their keeper made a great save and near the end there was only one team that was going to win it.
“With Bath having only one up front and packing the rest of the pitch, it is hard for midfielders to get the ball down and play how we'd like to. Hopefully we will have learned something from today as other sides may come here and do this.
“You have got to give Bath credit. They are good at what they do and are very stubborn.
“The worst thing was it was such a big crowd and we wanted to put on a performance and score a few goals. But this is a tough league and you have to earn the right to compete. There will be no easy games this season.
“On another day we would have scored the second or the deflection would not have happened and their shot would have gone straight in Alan Marriott's arms and it would have been a totally different game.
“I said before the game it won't happen overnight here – it is a building process. Also we should have players back from injury for the game at Gateshead on Tuesday.
Stags skipper Adam Murray said: “On another day we would probably have scored three or four goals.
“I should have had one at the end myself.
“The size of the crowd showed the expectation before kick-off, then we scored and the bar was raised again.
“If we had won 5-0 expectation would have been raised even higher and fans might expect us to have the league won by Christmas.
“They have got to realise that's not how it works. Even if we win the next four or five, it's still not how it works. It's where you are by January. We have only played a handful of games together.
“I think Bath will cause a lot of problems with that formation. As a midfielder it frustrates you as you can't get the ball down and pass it as you'd like to, all you can do is get it forward as early as you can.
“It becomes a war and all you can do is battle. We didn't have much possession and if you don't have possession, you can't affect the game. You just have to dig in and make sure you don't lose it.”
Bath boss Adie Britton said: “I have a history in my managerial career of struggling on the first day of the season so I have to be pleased with this.
“We knew we had two tough games to start the season with, Mansfield away and Wrexham at home, having lost the corresponding games last year.
“Over 90 minutes I thought we deserved something out of the game.
“They created a massive threat through balls into the channels and set pieces. But in open play in the middle third I thought we had much more control in those areas.
“We just didn't have the cutting edge going forward considering the positions we got into. But we'll take the point today – it's a start.”
Bath frustrated us, says Stags boss Cox
Nottingham Post, by Stevie Roden
PAUL Cox insists there is plenty of improvement to come from his Mansfield Town side, after they were held to a draw on the opening day of the Blue Square Bet Premier season against Bath City.
The Stags got off to a blistering start at Field Mill, with Paul Connor scoring after three minutes.
But they were pegged back before the break and despite hitting the post, bar and having one cleared off the line, they could not find a winner.
It was Cox's first competitive game in charge since his summer move from Eastwood Town and eight players made their debuts in the match.
And he said: "If I am brutally honest, we should have won.
"You have to give credit to Bath, they frustrate you, pack the midfield and make it tough.
"There will be no easy games. If we score the second one it is totally different. It is not ideal but we have to build on that and we will get better
"I'm disappointed with the result. It is the first game and we came up against a side that came to put men behind the ball.
"We had one or two chances where we could have done better. We drew a game to the one real chance they had. We can get better and build on a lot of things.
"It was a good start and in patches we looked well when we got the ball forward and the full-backs got forward."
Mansfield travel to Gateshead tomorrow night and Cox hopes to have players back from injury and suspension.
He added: "We have to go up there and be solid. We have Joe Kendrick back, could have Ritchie Sutton back and Paul Bolland as well.
"This wasn't a bad performance. We just played against a side that is very good at what they do. They are stubborn."
Louis Briscoe has signed a new deal for Mansfield until the summer of 2013
Point delights Bath's boss
Nottingham Post, by Stevie Roden
BATH City boss Adie Britton felt his side were worthy of a point against Mansfield Town.
His team went behind in only the third minute to a Paul Connor header and then saw the Stags hit the post and bar.
But they struck back through Adam Connolly in the 35th minute and held out for a 1-1 draw at Field Mill.
Britton said: "We were desperate to start the season with at least a point and overall I thought we deserved something out of the game.
"They carried a threat throughout the game, a massive threat from the ball into the channels and set-plays and they always looked dangerous in those positions with (Matt) Green and (Paul) Connor and (Ross) Dyer when he came on.
"On the day, we did not quite have the cutting edge when going forward, but we will take the point.
"It is better than here last year and it is a good start, we are pleased with that."
Britton said he had a terrible record on the opening day, losing the last two years in the big curtain-raiser.
He added: "A couple of seasons ago in our promotion year I remember being 4-0 down on the opening day against Chelmsford. We missed a penalty and then had a man sent off but we managed to at least get it back to 4-3.
"Last year on our first day we lost to Hayes and Yeading and this year we have Mansfield first and then Wrexham at home, two very tough games and two that we lost last year on the corresponding fixtures.
"So to come here and take a point is very pleasing."
Stags player view - Adam Murray
Nottingham Post, Monday, August 15, 2011
"WE did not win the match, so I am obviously disappointed. But, on another day, we would probably have got three or four goals.
"And I felt we should have had a penalty towards the end as well.
"The size of the crowd showed the expectation even before we kicked off and we got a good start with the early goal. But at the end of the day, we have not lost the match.
"It was one of those games as a midfielder where it is very frustrating and you can hear the fans and it is frustrating for them because when the ball does come into you, you cannot get it down and play. You have to get rid of it and go forward as early as you can.
"It is frustrating, but you get those games. You have to battle through and it turns more into a war.
"The nature of the game was more of a battle, a bit scrappy and we did not have a lot of possession of the ball. You have to dig in and make sure whoever you are playing against do not get the better of you and you do not lose the game.
"Had we won 5-0, the expectation would have been raised again and people would think we will win the league by Christmas.
"People have to realise that is not how it works. It is about where we are by January time that matters and then see where we go from there.
"Gateshead will be another tough game tomorrow night and we have to go up there and be solid. The gaffer and Mickey Moore (assistant-manager) are people who will change the team if they feel it needs to be changed – formation wise and personnel wise.
"We are still building as a team, we have to keep building and we will get better."
Mansfield Town - View from the terrace, by Andy Reynolds
Nottingham Post, Monday, August 15, 2011
IT was not the start I envisaged. I thought we would romp to victory to be honest after Paul Connor scored so early.
Bath looked all over the place to start with and were there for the taking, but when we hit the post, bar and then had one saved all from one corner, I knew it was going to be one of those afternoons.
The game went a bit flat after that, although we could have nicked it later in the game.
But a lot of new players have come in, it is a new manager and players like John Thompson are missing.
I suppose it will take a bit of time for things to fall into place and at least we did not lose this match, although it is one we should be winning, especially given our next home match is against Luton Town.
Overall, I'm disappointed but I'm still confident this season will be a massive improvement on the last one.
By the end of this month we will know where we really stand so I'm not going to get too down about not winning our opening match – even though it was against Bath.
Latest | August 2011