SSA FANS FORUM WITH PAUL COX, ADAM MURRAY - NOTES
Notes from the SSA fans forum on Monday night, 7 Nov 2011.
by Pete Wright:
I have tried to get the details of what was said but it was very difficult as most fans wanted to state their own opinion than ask direct questions. I apologise if I have not accurately recorded what was said.
Q: Why do you say every game is a hard game?
Paul Cox: There are no easy games in this league. I say different things to press than I say to players.
Q: Why is Paul Connor not featuring much in games?
Paul Cox: He is not 100% fit.
Q: How much did we get for Tom Naylor?
Paul Cox: 6 figures, got what board asked for.
Q: What is needed to improve team performances?
Paul Cox: We have missed chances early on in recent home games, need forwards to score the chances that come their way. Rhys Day & John Thompson back from injury soon. We have not played our strongest team this season yet. We need a settled back four, not helped by injuries & suspensions.
Q: Why does Marriott always kick it long, why do all players bunch to one side, why is away form better than home form?
Paul Cox: Away form different, high level of anxiety at home. These are honest lads, sometimes working too hard can backfire on them, quite a few young players. Eventually against Alfreton moved ball around with short passes and won game. Play on side of opposition weak link, Ross wins 70-80% of first headers. Players scared to make mistakes at home, fans frustration, hate losing. These are honest lads and are not as good as Barcelona. Now missing Briscoe, Linden really was only going to be an impact player but has to be played every game. Cambridge manager raving about Ross Dyer. Want club to be One, going through a blip now, don't let passion cloud where we want to get, need to protect young lads, don't want to over spend, fans need to drown out the few moaners.
Q: Body language on recent interview appeared that you were fed up and ready to throw towel in, Is that true?
Paul Cox: No, we need to be successful at end of season not in November. Fans can be really critical and a lot of criticism aimed at players is uncalled for. If these players never made a mistake they would be playing in Premiership. You know I hold my own fans forum after every home match in car park and up at the Talbot. We need to be protecting the young players and picking them up and not slating them. I am not afraid of criticism. Away support is immense. Can't beat the feel of winning, we were very lucky against Alfreton, but enjoyed winning.
Q: Who is the best centre half pairing if all fit?
Paul Cox: John Thompson & Rhys Day. The Ilkeston game threw my plans out of the window at beginning of season. Fans can be very quick to judge, we need to protect the young players.
Q: Any signings not lived up to expectations?
Paul Cox: Yes, but not giving any names. Conference is actually stronger league than LeagueTwo.
Q: Latest injury report?
Paul Cox: John Thompson will be ready soon, but actually picked up a slight knee strain today, but hope to play Thursday, but not Tuesday in behind close door games. Adam Murray, still battling on.
Adam Murray: wish it had not been made public.
Q: How can the players stop being fearful, confidence seems to have gone at home?
Paul Cox: Minority of fans having an effect, they need to cut it out. Sometimes young players 'get lost' psychologically on the pitch. We need a siege mentality, players need to prove fans wrong, and players need to win their own personal battles on the pitch. We will not roll over and throw in towel, need to change mind set, the revolving door is not the answer, younger players need to stand up and be counted. I thought we were brave in Alfreton game, eventually passing the ball about and eventually got the win. We want fans to be consistent, if we are bad and don't try we deserve everything we get, but we want the club to celebrate winning games, however we still got slated when we won against Alfreton. After Alfreton game did not know what to say, felt like we lost, players are like puppy dogs, they need encouraging not slating. Ok, we are not playing well at minute but fans can help. Last season at Eastwood, I was 4th bottom at this time of season but finished 4th from top. Fans only remember the end of season.
Q: Do you understand fans frustration, hurts to see Alfreton in same league as ourselves, so just beating them luckily by odd goal is hard to celebrate?
Paul Cox: Need to look forward not back, My job is to plan ahead to where we want to be, forget about the past, that's gone. AFC Wimbledon success created by love & desire, mindset is king, desire can eclipse money, we need to keep believing.
Q: Can you let players mingle in bar after game?
Paul Cox: I have no problem with that and would love to see it, should not be a them & us. It should be easier for fans to relate if they know players personally. Minority of fans do step over line and it is unacceptable. Would do fans good to mix with players.
Q: Did abuse of players happen at Luton, Adam?
Adam Murray: Not long enough at Luton to know, but at Oxford it did happen due to high expectations. Can understand being frustrated with team, but it is becoming personal now, eg swearing at Toddy because he passed to Dyer who then won a corner. Need to weed out the minority of idiots.
Q: What is best bit of being captain?
Adam Murray: Listening to fans and getting opinion over to true fans.
Q: Any superstitions, Adam before a game?
Adam Murray: Going to toilet
Q: How long is Luke O'Neill's contract?
Paul Cox: One year with a year's option, a lot of interest but no phone calls. He has still a lot to learn; he lost his way a bit at Leicester but can see him playing Championship football again. Luke has travelled a long way this season, he wasn't originally going to be a first starter, but with injuries he has took his chance very well.
Q: Is your target the play-offs?
Paul Cox: Yes
Q: Will you be under pressure if we don't make it?
Paul Cox: Probably
Q: How long is your contract?
Paul Cox: I have not read it
Q: Is Futcher coming back?
Paul Cox: He is keen to come back, but a lot can happen between now and January, I love Futch to bits, but I have got to do best for club.
Q: How long Freeman here for?
Paul Cox: He is too good for Forest to let him come here permanently; we could not play him in FA Cup, as he is likely to play for Forest in FA Cup in New Year. We are paying half his wages for a month to cover Kendrick's injury.
Q: Any new players in January?
Paul Cox: Yes, doing a lot of miles looking at players, 3 or 4 highlighted, chairman very proactive, looking at extending Adam Murray's contract, agreed fee for Greeny, just personal terms to sort out. Even Tamworth has a squad of 28
Q: Do you expect we can compete with Fleetwood?
Paul Cox: Yes, perhaps not money wise but effort wise and tactics wise. Fleetwood game just a blip, every club in this league has had a pasting, even Fleetwood have lost at home to Newport and at Barrow letting in four.
Q: Would you like to keep Tom Naylor?
Paul Cox: Yes, but need to be fair to everyone, young lads get head turned, deep down this is a business, we had a year's option on his contract so we were covered, need to look at the lads mindset. Not many clubs aren't selling clubs; I need to look after the club's money. All players want to play at the highest level they can.
Q: Adam Smith's position?
Paul Cox: Now back with us after loan, Aldershot wanted him for another month but we said no, now that he is match fit.
twitter.com/louisbriscoe, 8 Nov 2011
injury feeling better... #getmebackplayingsoon
Fears grow over fitness of Stags skipper Murray
Nottingham Post, Monday, November 14, 2011
ADAM Murray would be a huge miss to Mansfield Town should he be required to have an operation on his damaged ankle, says fellow central midfielder Paul Bolland.
The Stags captain has been an ever-present in the Stags' engine room this season – and an influential performer.
Murray's displays have certainly impressed former Notts County man Bolland, who has returned from injury to share the role of playing alongside him with Anthony Howell and Jon Worthington.
But an ongoing worry has been the state of the 30-year-old former Oxford player's fitness, which is being constantly monitored. Murray has been playing with his ankle strapped up and been taking pain-killing injections because of ligament problems.
And there are fears that he could eventually need to have surgery, which would sideline him for at least six weeks.
Bolland said: "I've seen Adam before I came here because I trained with him when he was younger at Notts County. He is a great footballer but, not only that, he works his socks off as well.
"He's done very well this season and it's great to play alongside him because you know you can trust him with the ball as he has good quality.
"He is a key component of our side and the captain.
"If you take Adam Murray out of any side at this level then you are going to miss him, so it would be a big blow if he did have to have an operation."
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