COX, IAN BOGIE REACTION
Paul Cox interview with Mansfield 103.2:
Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"I'm baffled. We played extremely well and made a very good side a look very ordinary at times.
"Our play going forward was out of this world. I think we created about 20 chances and I think they scored with their only chance. I never thought we would concede a goal.
"The players worked really hard and played really well. I'm gutted."
Cox left to rue missed chances against Gateshead
MANSFIELD Town manager Paul Cox was left to rue what might have been after his side was held to a 1-1 draw by Gateshead at Field Mill last night.
The Stags were on course for a much-needed win when Ross Dyer fired home early on.
But the hosts failed to capitalise on openings to extend their lead and Jon Shaw came back to haunt his old club with an equaliser for the Tynesiders midway through the second period.
Even after that, Dyer missed a glorious chance to win the game for Mansfield, meaning they have now won just one of their last seven league games.
A frustrated Cox said: "I'm gobsmacked how we drew that game. I didn't have anyone taking stats, but I would like to see how many clear-cut chances we had.
"The boys were magnificent – we played with energy and played some great football and could have been 2-0 up inside the first 15 minutes.
"I'm gutted for the supporters who were magnificent and cheered every pass.
"We had chances that, had they been down the other end, I think the boy Shaw would have scored them, as he did when he got his one chance.
"It was back to how we were playing earlier in the season just without the end product.
"It is another good learning curve for us and we have to take that on board and make sure we put teams away the next time."
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox gobsmacked after 1-1 draw with Gateshead
FRUSTRATED Stags boss Paul Cox was left gobsmacked after watching his on-song side once again fail to turn attacking dominance into three league points.
Impressive Mansfield created a hatful of chances during a fluid first half display but were unable to find the decisive second goal and were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at home to Gateshead.
Stags, who have now slipped to 10th in the BSP table six points behind Cambridge in the last play-off spot, had taken a 10th minute lead after a superb finish by Ross Dyer.
But confident Mansfield spurned a number of glorious chances to kill the game off with Ross Dyer, Lindon Meikle and Lee Stevenson, who was making only his second start for the club, all failing to the make the most of good chances.
Defender Kieron Freeman was also denied by an acrobatic save after his miss-hit cross nearly crept in under the crossbar on 15 minutes, while top scorer Matt Green also made a hash of two glorious one-on-one chances in the opening 10 minutes.
Loan defender John Dempster also blew a fantastic chance to double the Stags lead on 65 minutes when he diverted a Dyer snapshot over the bar when unmarked six yards out.
It was a very costly miss as Gateshead, who had been reduced to hopeful shots from distance for the vast majority of the game, finally sparked into life as the second half wore on - no doubt given new confidence by Mansfield's inability to put the game out of sight.
And former Stag Jon Shaw showed his opponents how to finish when he clinically nodded home a Chris Moore cross to earn the north east side an undeserved share of the spoils.
Speaking after the game boss Paul Cox was shell-shocked by the club's ninth draw in 21 league games.
“I am gobsmacked how we did not win that game, we wasted so many clear cut chances,”he said. “I am gutted for the players and gutted for the fans, they deserved three points.
“The dressing room was very low after that, it is hard when you have played as well as that and not won.
“The fans were magnificent tonight and the players were as well. We had good energy and played some good stuff without finding the end product, I just cannot believe that we did not win.
“Gateshead are a good team with some very good players, but we made them look ordinary. We could have been 3-0 up after 30 minutes and should have put the game out of their reach well before they scored.
“Jon Shaw had one chance and scored from it. We cannot keep missing the chances that we are doing,
“Our points tally should be much better than it is right now. We have got to learn to be more clinical and to finish teams off. If you cannot do that then you will not win football games. The teams that will be at the top come the end of the season will be the teams that are the most ruthless in both boxes.”
Stags will hope to find their first win in five league outings when they entertain promoted Braintree on Saturday
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox says new-signing Aman Verma is a 'championship' winning player
STAGS boss Paul Cox has branded loan midfielder Aman Verma as a player who can help Mansfield win the Blue Square Premier.
The former Kettering star signed for Mansfield Town last week on loan after Cox took advantage of The Poppies' financial woes to pounce for the highly-rated midfielder.
Verma showed glimpses of what he can do with an excellent range of passing, especially at set-pieces, during the 1-1 draw against Gateshead on Tuesday before he was forced to limp out with a knock to his knee.
Cox said: “We have got an outstanding player who is young and who will become a very good player at this level. He is a championship winning player and has got bags of ability.
“He is a technically-gifted player and we need to give him some support. We have got good potential at this club and a good group of players.”
Verma has joined Stags on loan with view to a permanent deal when the January transfer window opens.
He has played for a number of clubs including Darlington, Histon and Crewe on loan
Stags' Stevenson ready to step up
Nottingham Post, Friday, December 02, 2011
LEE Stevenson will no doubt sympathise with children who opened the first door of their advent calendars yesterday in what will be a long, agonising wait for Christmas Day.
After all, he's faced a long, agonising wait all of his own over the last few months as a Mansfield Town player.
?When the midfielder arrived in the summer, following manager Paul Cox from Eastwood, big things were expected of him after he agreed a two-year deal at Field Mill.
That was on the back of almost 100 goals in his previous three seasons at the Badgers and, before that, at Belper Town.
Yet Stevenson's step up to the top flight of non-league football has not gone remotely as he had envisaged.
Left out for the first game of the campaign, the former Sheffield Wednesday trainee was recalled for the second of the campaign at Gateshead.
It was a bad night for the team as Mansfield were hammered 3-0 at the International Stadium, but a disaster for Stevenson.
Little did he realise that outing would be his last until, ironically, the return match against the Tynesiders on Tuesday night, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
After being axed following the early setback in the north-east, Stevenson watched on from the bench as the Stags went eight games unbeaten – including a run of five wins on the bounce.
And just at a point Mansfield began to stutter and he might have hoped for a recall he was sidelined by a broken bone in his foot.
Stevenson then asked to go out on loan following his comeback, spending a month at Alfreton Town to regain some match sharpness.
And even when being back in the Field Mill frame and Mansfield desperate for a win, he has had to be patient and wait for his opportunity.
"I've just had to bite my tongue because I've been waiting to get out on the pitch for months," said Stevenson.
"It shows how little football I've played that the other night was my home debut and we're almost halfway through the season.
"I just want to feel at home in this league and prove I can do it because I haven't really got started so far.
"The gaffer (Paul Cox) has been saying to me 'remember what happened at Eastwood' (where Stevenson came good after not playing in the early games of last season).
"I knew I would get my chance eventually and hopefully now I can take it. I just want to help the team and if I can score a few goals along the way, all the better."
Stevenson is well qualified to assess Mansfield's recent troubles in front of goal, with the Gateshead game a prime example when a number of clear-cut openings were spurned.
He believes things will come good eventually – as long as the players keep believing in their own ability.
Stevenson said: "You might say we need to look at shooting practice, but the most important thing is we are getting in the positions to score.
"The one for Greeny (Matt Green) I think came too early and Ross Dyer scored a great goal, but all anyone talks about is his miss late on.
"If we keep creating the chances then we are going to start sticking them away and winning games."
Stevenson's wish to retain his place against Braintree tomorrow seems almost certain to be granted.
Cox is confident Stevenson, a player he knows better than anyone, will come good in Mansfield colours.
And he has promised the 27-year-old time to prove his worth. He said: "We've been toying with 4-3-3 all season and I had to go with it on Tuesday night to get Lee into the equation.
"I think I held him back for too long. There are parts of his game that are a little bit rusty, but he is going to have a run in the side now.
"He's a good player and one who scores goals – and we need that.
"I thought he did really well against Gateshead. He picked up some good positions and he helped make us more dynamic.
"I think when he has played three or four games then the chance like he had the other night (from a Green cross) will be one touch and then in the back of the net."
Gateshead's Jon Shaw scores against former club
BLUE Square Bet Premier goal machine Jon Shaw returned to Mansfield Town to put one over his former club and stretch Gateshead's unbeaten run to seven games.
Shaw joined Gateshead on a free transfer after a short spell with the Stags and his heroics this season have put the 28-year-old in the six figure bracket.
After Ross Dyer had given Mansfield a 10th minute lead Shaw earned a 1-1 draw at Field Mill when he struck midway through the second half with a close-range header.
The Heed could then have gone on to win the game as they went close on several occasions, though Stags striker Matt Green had an injury-time effort ruled out.
Tynesiders boss Ian Bogie, who made four changes to the side that drew with joint leaders Fleetwood Town, heaped praise on the predatory Shaw.
Bogie said: “To reach 20 goals by December is a great achievement and Shaw's goalscoring record at Gateshead is phenomenal.
“He has got to be one of the best strikers the club has ever had and he took his goal well, getting between two defenders to head home Sam Rents' precision cross.”
While Bogie was delighted with Shaw, and the performance in the final half hour, he was furious with the first-half display.
“After we equalised Alan Marriott has pulled off two great saves from Shaw and Nix while Fisher, who was very bright when he came on, was just over the bar from the edge of the box.
“Once again we have shown good character and finished the game strongly to keep the unbeaten run going but I was embarrassed by the first-half shift we put in.
“The lads got a tongue lashing in the dressing room. We then grew into the game and could nicked a win in the end.
“Field Mill is a difficult place to go to and I would certainly have taken a point at half-time.
“There are no injuries and, apart from Yemi Odubade, I'll have a full squad to choose from against Tamworth on Saturday.”
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