VIDEO INTERVIEWS WITH COX, FUTCHER AND RILEY --->
Influential Stags captain could face surgery
Nottingham Post, Friday, October 07, 2011
MANSFIELD Town skipper Adam Murray could face surgery and a lengthy spell out if his damaged ankle ligaments gets any worse.
The 30-year-old midfielder has been a key performer for the Stags in their encouraging start to the season.
But he has been forced to play through the pain barrier and has used strapping and pain-killing injections to get through games.
Manager Paul Cox does not want to lose his influential leader, which could be for around six weeks.
As yet, though, it in unclear if the central midfielder will be forced out of action – and when that would be if he is.
"We are going to have to monitor Adam because he has had a problem for a while," said Cox.
"He might need a minor operation at some point. It is his ligament that needs washing out. We have to be careful and make sure we look after it.
"He has been running through a brick wall for us and it shows what he is prepared to do for the good of the club.
"He's not just been putting in great performances, but he has been doing it with an injury.
"Adam will be all right for tomorrow (against Grimsby), but he just have to see how it goes from here."
Better news for Mansfield is that John Thompson – who suffered a horroric facial injury at Ilkeston in pre-season – is set to resume full training on October 17.
The Irishman has not played a competitive game since his summer move from Notts County, but has recently returned to light training.
Matt Bell has returned to Mansfield after completing a one-month loan spell at Nuneaton
Spotlight on Mansfield Town v Grimsby
Nottingham Post, Friday, October 07, 2011
Mansfield (from): Marriott, Redmond, O'Neill, Naylor, Riley, Sutton, Futcher, Kendrick, Murray, Worthington, Bolland, Meikle, Smith, Todd, Green, Dyer, Connor.
Grimsby (from): McKeown, Wood, Pearson, Kempson, Ridley, Coulson, Disley, Church, Makofo, Hearn, Duffy, Elding, Artus, Garner, Silk, Spencer.
Team news: Ben Futcher and Tom Naylor are available again after one-game suspensions and will compete for places in the back line.
Lee Stevenson is also back in contention after returning to training following his broken toe, while Rhys Day was back on the bench at Forest Green after calf trouble.
Louis Briscoe is still suspended, though, serving the last of his three-game ban, while Anthony Howell starts the first of his three-game stint on the sidelines after seeing red at The New Lawn.
Grimsby have a fully fit squad now Gary Silk – who left the Stags to sign for the Mariners in the summer – has recovered from a knee ligament injury that has seen him miss 10 matches.
One to watch: Rob Duffy. The striker was not always popular at Field Mill, especially in his latter days, despite a decent record of 28 goals in 62 starts and 16 substitute appearances.
Managers. Paul Hurst and Rob Scott. The Mariners' management duo are well acquainted with opposite number Paul Cox having come up against him at Eastwood for both Ilkeston and Boston
Futcher holds no lasting sentiment for former employers
Nottingham Post, Saturday, October 08, 2011
BEN Futcher is not a man to linger in the past; he prefers to focus on the present.
That's why when asked about his past association with Grimsby – where he made 22 appearances in 2006 – he is respectful of his time at Blundell Park, but nothing more.
?Futcher helped the Mariners to the League Two play-off final at the end of the 2005-2006 season, where they lost to Cheltenham at Cardiff.
Yet he holds no lasting sentiment for the north-east Lincolnshire side and would like nothing more than to take three points for Mansfield at their expense this afternoon.
"I was there quite a few years ago and it was only for a short time," said Futcher.
"They have had a bit of a fall from grace because at one stage, not too long ago, they were playing in the Championship, so that is a shame because it is a good club.
"But things can change quickly and it's been a similar situation for Mansfield, dropping out of the League.
"I scored for Grimsby against my old club Lincoln in a play-off semi-final that got the team to Cardiff.
"I have fond memories from that night but I don't really hold anything for them now. I am a Mansfield player and will be concentrating on trying to take the points off them.
"They have just had a decent result so it will be a tough game, but hopefully if we do things right we will get the result we want."
Futcher sat out last weekend's 1-1 draw at Forest Green Rovers through suspension after picking up five yellow cards.
He said: "It's horrible when you are sat on the sidelines, but it's my own fault for getting five bookings.
"I went down to Forest Green and did the running with the rest of the lads, but I'm not one for watching.
"You are aware of it when you get to four bookings, but once the game starts you just get on with playing.
"It is disappointing to get there so quickly because I have been working on my discipline. I will have to have a look at it and maybe try not to get so many in the future."
The 30-year-old's absence at the New Lawn means he is by no means certain to play against his former employers.
"The lads did pretty well at Forest Green to get a point with ten men," said Futcher.
"But I played in the game at Wrexham before that when we won (3-1) when they were top of the league and in the ten games since I came in we have averaged two points.
"I obviously hope to get back into the team, but the lads who are in the team are hoping just as much they will stay there.
"The gaffer is more than happy with the armoury of centre backs, who all want to play, but it's probably the hardest position to get into the team."
Should he get the nod, Futcher will have to deal with the threat of former Alfreton striker Liam Hearn, who scored four goals for Grimsby against his former Reds team-mates last weekend.
He said: "I have to admit I don't know a lot about Liam Hearn, but it doesn't make that much difference to us and how we go about things.
"Micky Moore and the gaffer will go through the team and what we are going to come up against.
"You don't look on it as being an extra problem because all games at this level are tough anyway."
Having taken four points from their last two away trips, Futcher is hoping Mansfield can get on a roll at home, having won just two of their six fixtures at Field Mill this season.
"Home form is vital and it's nice to do it in front of the home fans," he said.
"We really want to get some positive results for them and with three of our next four games at home, it's going to be a massive month for us and we really have to focus.
"It would be nice to see us at the top, but we are in a decent position."
Futcher is currently on loan from Bury and has to return to Gigg Lane in early November after his three-month loan finishes.
Only in January, when the transfer window re-opens can he then return to Field Mill, which he is keen to happen but knows is no certainty.
Futcher said: "At the moment I see myself as a Mansfield player. A week is a long time in football, never mind looking forward a month.
"It's a cliché, but I have to take the games one at a time, help the team get some more wins and see what happens in the future.
"But I'm enjoying it here and they are a great set of lads to play with."
Mansfield manager Paul Cox could change formation with the Stags enjoying home advantage after employing a 4-3-3 system in the club's previous two games, both away.
"I will probably go back to 4-4-2 on Saturday. I think we look more comfortable in it," he said.
"We haven't got Bris (Louis Briscoe) but Lindon Meikle has had a rest, he needed one, and usually comes back sharp after that."
Cox is looking forward to locking horns with a Grimsby management team he knows well.
He said: "I know Paul (Hurst) and Rob (Scott) not just from Ilkeston but also Boston as well and I've already had a few battles against them. I don't expect this to be any different.
"They have done very well at their clubs and knowing them they will be annoyed and think they should be further up the table.
"But they are picking up results of late and I think they will be there or thereabouts – the league will evolve towards Christmas time."
Riley upset by points Stags have dropped after taking lead
Nottingham Post, Saturday, October 08, 2011
MARTIN Riley admits he is disappointed at the number of points Mansfield Town have dropped by failing to hold onto leads.
All the Stags' five drawn games this season have ended 1-1 after they had gone in front.
The latest example was at Forest Green last weekend, albeit having been reduced to ten men on that occasion.
Riley, who is likely to vie with the returning Ben Futcher for a place in the Mansfield starting line-up against Grimsby today, knows they could have been even higher in the Blue Square Bet Premier table than their current eighth.
"I think we've had a pretty solid start to the season, although we have dropped some points, particularly at home when we should have been picking them up," he said.
"You do look at those games, being in the lead five times, and the points we might have had.
"Forest Green was one where we can look at it as a point gained because of being down to ten men.
"But if things had gone our way in some of the other matches then we could be three or four points better off.
"You look at that and where we could be, but you also can't dwell in the past, we have to move on to our next game."
Riley believes Mansfield are still in a strong position to push on, having collected 23 points from their 13 games so far.
He said: "We've had a lot of big games already against some of the best teams in the league and we know we have nothing to fear.
"We also know where we want to be come the end of the season and are working hard to reach that target.
"I think we are shaping up pretty well. Yes we have had a couple of blips, but the lads are pretty confident."
Stags winger Adam Smith, 26, has joined League Two Aldershot on a month's loan
Grimsby Town: Disley relishes return to Mill
Grimsby Telegraph, Saturday, October 08, 2011
GRIMSBY Town skipper Craig Disley is relishing a return to his first club Mansfield today.
The 30-year-old midfielder came through the ranks at Field Mill and spent five years in the professional ranks.
?He admits it's a club he still has a lot of affection for but the Worksop-born star won't be handing out any favours this afternoon as he looks to lead the Mariners to a fifth win in eight outings and a second victory on the road this season.
Disley said: “It's back to where it all began for me and one I'm really looking forward to. I had some great times there.
“Wherever you start I think you always hold a place in your heart.
“I wish them all the best – after today, of course, because it's all about Grimsby Town for me now.
“It's important we build on last weekend's win and improve our away form.
“If you have good home form, you still have to go away and pick results up if you want to be successful.
“We've not really done that this year yet. One win so far away from home is not what we are after.
“If we can change that then, coupled with our home form, it won't leave us too far away. That starts today at my old club.
“I don't know if there will be anyone left from those times now or not because football changes quickly. In my first full season as a pro at Mansfield, we got promoted into what is now League One.
“Unfortunately, we managed to get relegated straight back down the year after but then another year on we got to the play-off final at the Millennium Stadium.
“No-one likes to see their old teams struggling like Mansfield have in recent times.
“I've heard they are going to get a bit of investment in the team and in the club and that's good.”
Disley has been impressive in recent games and says he is happy with his current form.
And he doesn't think anyone in the Town camp will need any motivating today against a fellow ex-Football League club.
He added: “In the last three or four weeks I feel like I'm getting to where I want to be.
“I've upped my game and I'm really enjoying my football and feel the fittest I've felt for a long time.
“I think the mood is high with everyone after last weekend.
“It's imperative when you have a clear week ahead that you get a good result on the Saturday.
“It makes life a lot easier and we've had a good week in training and ready for a big game today.
“We shouldn't need much motivating.
“Mansfield are an ex-league club with a decent ground and it should be a good crowd and atmosphere.
“Maybe a few of us were guilty of thinking we were too good to play at a place like Braintree in our first away game when we lost 5-0.
“I don't think that will come into the equation again and especially not today.”
Stags' Day almost there in fight for fitness
Nottingham Post, Friday, October 07, 2011
WITH all the furore following John Thompson's horrific injuries sustained at Ilkeston FC in pre-season, it's been easy to forget the angst of another Mansfield Town central defender.
Rhys Day's patella tendonitis may have been a long-standing problem – rather than the unexpected setback experienced by his Irish team-mate – yet his absence from first team football has been even longer.
Thompson has yet to play a competitive game for the Stags, having signed a two-year deal from Notts County in the summer and that absence, no doubt, has proved frustrating enough.
But Day's last outing was in mid-February when he played for the Stags in their 3-3 home draw with Newport County.
Continued problems with his right knee, something that had affected him on and off since before his first spell at Field Mill, meant an operation was unavoidable, and he went under the surgeon's knife in early March.
Since then it has been a long road back for the 29-year-old Welshman, who has suffered further troubles on the way, as he fought his way back.
But in recent weeks there has been light at the end of the tunnel and, though lacking full match fitness, Day was handed a place on the bench against Forest Green last weekend because of the suspensions of Ben Futcher and Tom Naylor.
It was a significant boost for the former Manchester City trainee, even if he knows he still has a little way to go yet.
"It's seven or eight months now since the operation and it has been a long slog with complications all the way," said Day.
"First of all I came back and had a problem with my hamstring, then I got back in training and it was my calf, then it was my other calf.
"But the last two or three weeks now I have been training without any problems and it's just game time I need now.
"Hopefully I can get that from playing in some behind-closed-doors and friendly games because you need it to get fully match fit.
"When I get those games will determine how quickly I can be ready but hopefully, when I've had a couple, I can be back pushing for the first team.
"It was a lift to be back out there at Forest Green, even if I didn't get on.
"It's just nice to be out there warming up with the rest of the lads and being involved. It is something you really do miss when you're doing rehab work on your own."
Day's first stint at Mansfield last from 2002 to 2006, during which time he helped them reach the Division Three play-off final at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, where they lost on penalties to Huddersfield.
He has subsequently played for Aldershot, helping them to promotion from the Blue Square Bet Premier, and was also in the Oxford United squad who did the same thing at the end of 2009-10.
But since coming back to north Notts, Day has be limited to just a handful of starts before being sidelined.
He said: "It had been something I had played through and had to look after, but around Christmas last year, with the pitches as heavy as they were because of the weather and training indoors every day, it got to the point where it need to be sorted.
"I went to see the manager (Duncan Russell) and he said I wasn't performing as he wanted and he felt the injury was why. I went to see a specialist and that's when it was decided to have an operation.
"You come to a point where resting it is not really helping.
"It was estimated it would be four to five months, but obviously it's been longer than that and I've ended up missing the start of the new season.
"But Adam Smith (Stags team-mate) suffered with it and it was 18 months before he got back playing, so I know it could be worse.
"I will still have to manage it now and for the rest of my career, but you are prepared to do anything to extend how long you play for."
Day still believes he has a part to play for Mansfield after their encouraging start to the season.
"It's always frustrating to sit and watch, but I have been around long enough to realise that everyone will get a chance at some point," said Day.
"I have missed the first quarter of the season, but there is still a long way to go, especially when the fixtures pile up around Christmas and later in the season.
"Some people presume you don't want the team to do as well if you're not in it, but I want us to be up there fighting for promotion when I get my chance."
One of Day's last appearances was the 7-2 embarrassment against tomorrow's opponents Grimsby on New Year's Day.
He said: "The less said about that game the better and things are different this season.
"The incentive for us is that if we win then I'm sure we will move back into the play-offs."
More points at Field Mill is Cox's aim
chad.co.uk, Thursday 6 October 2011 14:21
STAGS manager Paul Cox is hoping that his team can get their home form back on track starting with picking up three points against Grimsby Town on Saturday (3pm).
In their last two matches at Field Mill, Mansfield have lost to Kidderminster and drawn with Telford, but need to maintain consistent good form at home if they are to mount a promotion challenge this season.
Cox said that there is 'no panic' at the club because the team have made a good start to the season in general, but with four of the next five games at home, they need to pick up more points at Field Mill.
“It's something that I am aware of,” he said.
“I don't want to panic at the minute because we have only lost two games all season but if we want to be challenging we need a good home record and it's something we need to improve on.”
Cox is expecting a hard game against fellow former Football League club Grimsby, whose squad includes four ex-Stags - including Rob Duffy and Gary Silk.
And with the Mariners guaranteed to bring more fans than most other Blue Square Bet Premier teams, it is set up for a good game.
Said Cox: “If you look at some of the ex-players that's been at Mansfield, it just makes the tie tastier.
“It's another really tough game for us and I want us to concentrate on getting a result at home.”
Cox has a slight selection headache with on-loan defender Ben Futcher back from suspension and Tom Naylor available again after returning from training with Championship side Burnley.
The Stags' defence did not perform too badly in the 1-1 draw at Forest Green last week, with Martin Riley laying a claim to his inclusion in the central defensive pairing, but Cox is keeping quiet on who will be in the starting 11.
He said: “I have not really set a side out in my head yet.
“We will look today and tomorrow, especially tomorrow when we tend to do a lot of the shape and structure work, and make a decision tomorrow.”
Paul Cox defends Mansfield Town's discipline record
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox insists the Stags are not a dirty side after a run of three red cards in three games.
Louis Briscoe, Tom Naylor and Anthony Howell have all been dismissed in recent weeks.
But Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham: "I don't think there's a problem. If there was, something would be done about it.
"What I've tried to get here is honest players who are competitive and want to win. But there's nothing malicious or dirty about any one of my squad."
Grimsby Town: Old boys hunt Stags victory
Grimsby Telegraph., Friday, October 07, 2011
STRIKER Rob Duffy comes up against his old Mansfield side for the first time tomorrow, looking to remind the Stags faithful of his ability.
The Welshman didn't figure when Grimsby Town won 2-0 at Field Mill in April but his current form means he has a good chance of lining up against his former employers this time around.
And after an unhappy last few months at Mansfield, he is hoping for a happier Field Mill experience.
He isn't the only Mariners player bidding to upset their former employers, however, with Town having three more with Mansfield connections.
Skipper Craig Disley began his career with Paul Cox's men, having risen through their Youth ranks, while defenders Scott Garner and Gary Silk featured more recently.
Duffy, who scored for the Stags in their 7-2 humbling at Blundell Park last season before making his switch, said: "I'm looking forward to going back to Mansfield.
"First and foremost we are looking for a positive result and then, secondly, it would be nice for me personally to score.
"Of course, it adds a little bit to the game for me.
"Personally, it adds extra because of the history I've had there.
"I had quite an enjoyable time there until a new regime came in.
"I look back on my time with fondness up until the last three or four months."
Duffy's strike partner Liam Hearn stole the limelight with four goals last weekend but Duffy had a hand in two of those four.
And while he says it's not as enjoyable as scoring himself, he is happy for his pal Hearn and the partnership they are forming with eight goals between them now this term.
Duffy went on: "I think I've had a decent understanding with Hearnsy ever since pre-season.
"Things happen and I got edged out of the team and was really disappointed.
"But since I've come back in, after the Braintree game, we have carried on where we left off.
"The more times you play together, the better it is going to get.
"Obviously, you don't get as much joy setting up goals as scoring but it's the second best thing.
"If you can't score then it's a consolation you have had a major hand in the goals.
"As a forward you always come off deeply disappointed if you haven't scored though."
Duffy is certainly earning his place in the side with his performances.
He says it hasn't changed his own situation after being told he could move on in the summer.
But he's happy to be playing at present and wants to stay involved.
The 28-year-old, who spent two years with Mansfield, added: "As far as I'm concerned, nothing has changed for me since the summer. I haven't heard any different.
"I'm in the team at the minute and I think I'm there on merit.
"I have to just keep doing what I have and hopefully force the managers to play me every week with my performances."
Grimsby Town: Duffy ready for a Stag party
Grimsby Telegraph, Thursday, October 06, 2011
ROB Duffy will be hoping to emulate strike partner Liam Hearn in putting his former club to the sword when Grimsby Town visit Mansfield on Saturday.
Joint Mariners boss Paul Hurst has praised the recent contribution of the Welshman who has three goals to his name this season.
Against Alfreton last time out, Hearn struck four goals against the club he left to join Town.
Duffy, who was transfer-listed in the summer by Hurst and Rob Scott, has worked his way back into favour at Blundell Park and will be determined to get one over his former employers, the Stags, at Field Mill.
While Hearn naturally took a lot of the plaudits after the weekend rout of Alfreton, Duffy played his part with assists for his fellow frontman's first two goals.
"Duffers is more than just a big target man for sure," said Hurst.
"He has good feet and a good touch.
"In the first half against Alfreton he had a header go over the bar from a cross from Michael Coulson.
"He did ever so well for Liam's first by getting across the near post similar to he did against Cambridge when he scored.
"And it was a deft little flick for Liam's second. He contributed again and that's all we can ask for."
Duffy spent two years with Mansfield, netting 28 goals in 81 appearances before joining Town in January.
The 28-year-old is currently the Mariners' second top scorer with three goals in 11 outings so far this season.
Meanwhile, another Town striker is back in the fold after Sam Mulready completed a one-month loan at North Ferriby United.
The teenager netted once in his seven appearances at the Evo Stik Premier Division side.
Hurst had expected an extension to the stay but, with the club appointing new manager Billy Heath this week, the situation has changed north of the Humber.
Hurst said: "Sam is back with us.
"We had thought it may be a longer stay but with the manager changing there I think things may have changed.
"They certainly didn't get in touch about extending Sam's stay as they normally would if that's what they wanted."
Grimsby Town: Silk targeting a Stags return
Grimsby Telegraph, Tuesday, October 04, 2011
GRIMSBY Town defender Gary Silk is hoping to kick-start his Mariners career against old club Mansfield on Saturday.
The 27-year-old lasted just 43 minutes of his Town debut on opening day after his summer move from the Stags; a knee ligament injury forcing him off against Fleetwood.
It's been a long road back to full fitness but brief substitute appearances against Kidderminster and Alfreton have seen him make a playing return.
And he is set to feature in a behind-closed-doors friendly alongside other squad members at Hull City today.
If he comes through that, Silk will be ready to challenge for a starting berth again and admits it would add a bit of spice to do that against his former employers.
Silk, who missed ten Town matches, said: "Hopefully it's all behind me now.
"I couldn't have had a worse start to life at Grimsby Town really to get injured in the first game.
"It's been a long way back, but I'm so glad to be involved again and training.
"It doesn't feel like the season has started for me yet.
"But I got a couple of minutes at Kidderminster and against Alfreton and I'm looking to challenge for a place again now.
"I'd love to be in contention for Saturday against my old club, of course.
"But to be honest, it's about getting back in the team for me now whoever it's against. That's my main aim."
Silk was the first summer signing for bosses Paul Hurst and Rob Scott back in June but after a full pre-season, his competitive debut ended early and unexpectedly.
The former Portsmouth trainee admits it's been hard working alone in the gym to get back but is now ready to battle for a starting place.
Silk added: "When you are working hard in the gym and everyone else is out training, you don't really feel a part of it.
"It's hard mentally to deal with, especially at a new club.
"Last week was my first training session. I'm quite lucky in that I'm generally a fit lad.
"I have done a lot of work before that with Dave Moore (Town physio) to get my fitness levels up but it's still not the same as playing games."
Along with Silk, striker Damian Spencer is pencilled in to play against the Tigers at their training ground today along with left-back Jamie Green providing there is no reaction to his recent hamstring injury after a return to training yesterday.
Sam Mulready is also back after completing a loan spell at North Ferriby United.
The Town team today is expected to line up as: Arthur, Silk, Marshall, Garner, I'Anson, Green, Thanoj, Artus, Eagle, Spencer, Mulready
Latest | October 2011