Squad is getting stronger - Cox
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 19 Sep 2011
Manager Paul Cox has hailed Saturday's win at Barrow as the best of the season as we prepare to face newly-promoted Telford at Field Mill tomorrow night.
With our 3-2 away win securing both a fifth consecutive league victory and our first win at Barrow for 42 years, the Gaffer has applauded the work rate of his players and team spirit.
"It was probably our best win of the season," said Cox. "We grafted, we battled and the biggest thing was that we matched their spirit.
"They're a side that never knows that they're beaten and we did that. We kept going, scored late on and the work ethic was good.
"We need to fine tune one or two things - the goals we conceded were quite sloppy - but I might just be being picky. Just look at our (overall) goal difference."
Tomorrow's opponents AFC Telford are a side which Cox says he is familiar with having them faced them in the Blue Square North last season as manager of Eastwood. Despite this knowledge, Cox will be taking nothing for granted as we look to make it six wins on the trot.
He added: "I know one or two of their players' strengths and weaknesses. We (Eastwood) played them a number of times last season but they've got some new players in.
"Their frontline was different on Saturday and I'm expecting a real tough test at home.
"He's (Manager Andy Sinton) done a marvellous job. I think last season was his first season in charge and to get promoted at that stage is excellent. I don't think there's too much pressure on him this season but Telford is a massive club.
"You look at the fanbase there and the setup, it's a Football League setup really.
"It'll be different type of test than Barrow but one which we will go into with the right mindset. I'm over the moon with that result and if the lads can keep ironing out those results then I will be happy with that."
In team news, John Thompson will return to light training this week for the first time since his horrendous collision at Ilkeston pre-season whilst Martin Riley is now fully fit.
The game will probably come too soon for Lee Stevenson (foot fracture) who is approaching full fitness but is likely to sit out alongside Rhys Day (calf).
Welcoming the news of influential defender John Thompson's stride towards recovery Cox said: "John will be coming to the game on Tuesday night and then starting light training on Wednesday which will be great news not just for John and myself but for the players.
"The players have missed him in the dressing room and the squad is getting stronger now the injuries are coming back."
Ben Futcher brings Mansfield Town stability - Paul Cox
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox says on-loan defender Ben Futcher brings stability to his side.
Futcher, 30, whose spell from Bury has been extended to 5 November, has helped the Stags to fourth in the table.
Cox said: "Ben's not just been a good player for us on the field, he's been a great lad in the dressing room.
"He's brought stability to our back four and it's no coincidence that we haven't conceded many goals since he's been here."
Ben's been one of the cogs in there who's helped us achieve one or two results of late
Cox was also keen to pay tribute to Bury manager and former Stags player Richie Barker for agreeing to extend the loan.
"Richie's also been really good to us. I've spoken to him a number of times and he's really given us a helping hand," Cox added.
"Ben's been one of the cogs in there who's helped us achieve one or two results of late."
Futcher signed a one-year contract extension with Bury in the summer
Match Preview: Mansfield Town v Bucks
Published on Sunday, 18 September 2011 10:31
AFC Telford United travel to Nottinghamshire on Tuesday to face Mansfield Town in the Blue Square Bet Premier, looking to build on yesterday's excellent 2-1 victory over Bath City.
It was in 2007/08 that Mansfield's 77–year stay in the Football League came to an end as the club was relegated to the Conference. The last three seasons in the Blue Square Bet Premier have seen little success with four permanent managers having held the top job and the club have failed to finish any higher than mid-table. Despite their average league form, however, Duncan Russell did lead the Stags to last season's FA Trophy Final, although that ended in a 1-0 defeat to the Bucks' conquerors Darlington.
This may be the first meeting between Mansfield and AFC Telford but Telford fans will need little introduction to the club's new management team. Boss Paul Cox took over during the summer having resigned at Eastwood Town, where he frequently came up against the Bucks. Cox was in charge at Coronation Park for almost five years, guiding them to two successive promotions including the UniBond Premier Division title in 2008/09. Last season a 19-game unbeaten run saw Cox's side clinch fourth spot in Blue Square Bet North but ground problems meant the Badgers were ineligible for the play-offs, prompting Cox's resignation. He is assisted at Field Mill by Micky Moore, who was assistant to the late Bob Faulkner at Solihull Moors before taking over as manager until the end of last season.
Cox has returned to his former club to sign two players who were instrumental in Eastwood's success, with attacking midfielder Lee Stevenson and striker Lindon Meikle – who have both frequently impressed against the Bucks - joining the Stags for undisclosed fees. Stevenson – who notched 96 goals in three seasons at Eastwood - scored once in their 2-2 draw at the New Bucks Head last season and also scored the third goal in Telford's 3-0 reverse at Coronation Park in April. Meanwhile, the Mansfield squad also includes two players with vast Football League experience in goalkeeper Alan Marriott and midfielder Paul Bolland.
The Stags have made an excellent start to the season under their new management team and currently sit in the play-off zone with eighteen points from nine games. Their record includes a notable 1-0 win at Stockport County on August Bank Holiday Monday, as well as a recent 5-0 thumping of Newport County at Field Mill.
Mansfield Town Fact-File:
Address: Field Mill, Quarry Lane, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG18 5DA.
Directions: Take the A5 to Cannock and then the A38 to Mansfield. At traffic signals turn right onto Sheepbridge Lane (signposted Nottingham A60) and then turn left onto Quarry Lane.
Admission Prices: £16 adults, £12 concessions, £7 under-16s and £2 under-7s. Concessions are students and senior citizens (gentlemen aged 65 or above and ladies aged 60 or above).
Parking: Car Parking is severely restricted and is first come first served. Matchday parking is £5 per car and the car park shuts 30 minutes prior to kick-off. Please note that the retail park behind the ground does not permit football parking and supporters parking here risk being clamped.
Disabled Access: Please contact club on (01623) 482482 for information.
Facilities: There is a bar at the ground called the Sandy Pate (formerly called the X-Bar), which welcomes away fans and is free to enter.
Colours: Mansfield: Amber/blue shirts, blue shorts, blue socks, pink (GK); Telford: White shirts, white shorts, white socks, blue (GK).
Sinton relishing Field Mill visit
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, September 20, 2011
AFC Telford United manager Andy Sinton is relishing bringing his side to take on Mansfield Town at Field Mill tonight.
The Bucks have worked their way back up the pyramid after the previous club went into liquidation during the 2003-04 season.
Starting out in the then UniBond Northern Premier Division One, they have won three promotions to get back to Blue Square Bet Premier football.
Sinton is expecting a stern examination from the Stags, who have won their last five games.
But he is just pleased Telford are contesting matches of this standard in only his second year in charge.
"I would sooner be going to Mansfield than, as we had to last season, some of the less appealing stadiums in the Blue Square Bet North," said Sinton.
"That's what we worked 44 games for and now we are at this level, we want to keep pushing on.
"I will work around the clock until I can get us moving where we want to be, and it is coming.
"I have to be very patient, but I also have to be very driven – and I am very driven to achieve success at this place."
Striker Chris Sharp, son of former Everton legend Graeme, broke his duck in Saturday's 2-1 win over bottom club Bath City and is set to lead the Telford attack
Spotlight on Mansfield Town v AFC Telford United
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Mansfield (from): Marriott, Redmond, O'Neill, Sutton, Futcher, Naylor, Riley, Kendrick, Briscoe, Howell, Murray, Bolland, Worthington, Meikle, Smith, Green, Dyer, Connor.
Telford (from): Young, Salmon, Killock, Preston, Newton, Samuels, Trainer, Rodgers, Valentine, Adams, Sharp, Robinson, Brown, Mills, Whitehead, Davies, Proudlock.
Team news: Mansfield are still without John Thompson (head) but he is expected to watch the game tonight and return to light training tomorrow.
It is hoped Rhys Day (calf) will play in a friendly game on Wednesday, while Lee Stevenson (broken metatarsal) is in line to return to training this week.
Martin Riley (toe) is now back to full fitness.
Mansfield are waiting on a phone call from Fulham to see if they are interested in taking Tom Naylor following his week's trial.
Telford will be missing Nathan Rooney after the ex-Wolves man tweaked a hamstring in Saturday's 2-1 home win over Bath City.
Experienced striker Adam Proudlock is back in contention after returning from a pre-season groin problem.
One to watch: Dwayne Samuels. Signed as a right-back, the former West Brom and Grimsby player has impressed as a right midfielder, where his pace has caused real problems for opposing defenders.
Manager: Andy Sinton. The former England player guided Telford to promotion last season in his first season in charge and is looking to establish the part-timers at the higher level
Thompson back for Telford clash at Field Mill
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 20 September 2011
MANSFIELD Town are hoping injured defender John Thompson will be among the crowd tonight as Stags try to make it six wins in a row against promoted AFC Telford at Field Mill (7.45).
The Irish international suffered horrific facial injuries in the notorious pre-season clash at Ilkeston.
However, boss Paul Cox said: “John should be coming to the game tonight and then starting light training on Wednesday which will be great for John, for me, for the club and for the players, who have missed him in the dressing room.
Stags are unlikely to make any changes tonight to the side in such good form, currently, and Cox said: “One of two of my players let their standards slip a little at Barrow on Saturday, though they dug in and won so I can't be too critical of them.
“I am sure they will want to put that right tonight.
“We have had Telford watched and they will give us other problems to what we had at Barrow. But you have to overcome what is put in front of you and it will be a test for us.
“Andy Sinton has done a magnificent job there, getting them promoted in his first season and there are no easy games in this league.
“It is a very fine line between winning, losing and drawing at this level. I came up against them a number of times last year, but they have new players in now.
“Telford are a massive club at this level, their set-up is Football League.”
Mansfield expect to hear back from Fulham today over their intentions with Tom Naylor after the youngster completed a successful week on trial at Craven Cottage last week
Cox demands Stags improvement – despite five wins running
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, September 20, 2011
AFTER watching his Mansfield Town team record a fifth straight victory for the first time since October 1991 with a 3-2 victory at Barrow on Saturday, you might have expected Paul Cox to spend the rest of his weekend basking in that success.
Not a bit of it.
While obviously delighted to keep the recent winning streak going at Holker Street, the Stags boss saw several elements in his side's play that irked him.
Twice Mansfield were pegged back from leads by 'sloppy goals' before scoring a decisive third nine minutes from time thanks to Lindon Meikle's first goal in amber and blue.
It has left Cox with plenty to think about ahead of tonight's home clash with Telford, where he expects his charges to recognise the need to step things up.
"It's not panic stations by any means – we still won at Barrow and battled well – but it's in my nature to be critical," he said.
"I don't want to paper over any cracks that may be appearing and I want to nip things in the bud pretty quickly.
"You look at how many games we have won on the bounce, our goal difference and where we are in the league and you can see it is not broken.
"But I just felt at Barrow that standards were not as good as they have been. It is probably me being picky but I didn't think we were as sharp as we could be and it was the worst in terms of our shape for five or six games.
"I realise you are not going to play well every week and in many ways that was our best win of the season because we grafted battled and matched their team spirit.
"The good thing is that we have the type of squad where those individuals who have not done themselves justice will be looking to put things right.
"I don't think it's a scenario where I will need to go round and have a word with any of them."
Under Andy Sinton, the former Sheffield Wednesday and QPR midfielder, Telford have made a mixed start after winning the Blue Square Bet North play-offs in the spring.
They are expected to come to Field Mill and employ a 4-5-1 formation, no doubt in a bid to make life difficult for Mansfield going forward after the Stags hit eight goals without reply in their last two home games.
Cox said: "I can do nothing regarding what Telford do. We can only concentrate on ourselves.
"It is another difficult hurdle in front of us to try to overcome, one that will provide us with different problems to the weekend.
"But we are at home and we want to keep the winning run going.
"I've seen Telford once this season and Paul (Ogden, chief scout) was watching them on Saturday.
"We have looked through the report and they have players there from last year, which gives you a solidity when you have just been promoted.
"It does help a little bit that I know a few of their players from last season (when managing at Eastwood), their strengths and weaknesses.
"But they have also got a few new players, including their front line, too."
Cox has been impressed by the way Sinton, a former England international has gone about his work at the New Bucks Head.
"Andy has done a marvellous job, getting promotion in his first season last year," he said.
"I don't think there will be much pressure on him this season to do anything.
"But it is a massive club. You look at the fan base and it has the potential to be a Football League club.
"That's why sometimes you have to battle and scrap and take everything that comes your way."
Latest | September 2011