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Archived News from December 2011

9th December 2011 11:41

video interview with Paul Cox, Monday 5 Dec 2011 -->


Stags keeper Marriott issues new contract plea
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, December 06, 2011

ALAN Marriott wants to follow in the footsteps of skipper Adam Murray by securing a Mansfield Town future for next season before 2011 is out.


The club's longest serving player – who reached 100 league appearances for the Stags in last week's 1-1 draw with Gateshead – is out of contract next summer.

But he does not want to wait until then before negotiating what is to follow.

The 33-year-old is keen to tie up a deal soon – if boss Paul Cox wants to retain his services.

"Some might think I am past it, but if the manager wants me as part of the future, then I'd be happy to stay," he said.

"I spoke to him at the start of the season to find out where I stood. He told me we would see how things went and then have a look at Christmas.

"I have seen Muzza get a new deal and I would like to get something sorted. I have a family to worry about and it is obviously not nice not knowing.

"If we could do it by Christmas that would be fantastic but nothing has come my way."

Marriott – set to play in goal for Mansfield at Grimsby tonight – understands why the subject has not been discussed.

He said: "We have a lot of games coming in and the last thing the manager wants is me asking for a contract.

"I've never been a player that believes in knocking on a manager's door, whether I'm in the team or not, about a new deal or anything else.

"Maybe that's sometimes to my detriment but I believe if you play well enough then you will be rewarded.

"Mansfield is ideal for me. I've got a good relationship with people and I enjoy it."


Marriott shows appetite for new Stags contract
Nottingham Post, Friday, December 09, 2011


In Tuesday's Post, ALAN Marriott spoke of his desire to secure a new contract at Mansfield Town.

Such a deal would delight most supporters, who recognise the club's longest serving player as one of the best keepers at Blue Square Bet Premier level.

Frustratingly for Marriott, though, not everyone agrees.

There are a few who have questioned the shot-stopper's motivation in 2011-12, something he finds difficult to understand.

He said: "I've been told that people have been going on internet message boards saying my heart is not in it this season after starting my electrician's course.

"But just because I'm trying to look after my future doesn't mean I'm not interested. It's the total opposite: I always give 100 per cent.

"I always prepare right for games and I haven't missed one yet this season, so it hurts to hear things like that.

"Whether it's five years or ten years, I have to be looking at an alternative career.

"If I was on ten grand a week, then I could maybe understand people having a pop, but knocking me down for this is a bit out of order."

Marriott feels he has performed steadily so far this season, even if he has not had as many shut-outs as he would have liked – six so far.

He said: "I'm pleased to have played a lot after being out so much last season, but it will be a push at the moment to get the clean sheets I wanted.

"I was looking for 15 to 20 over the season, so we will have to improve, but I'm not giving up hope."

While not sure how long he has left as a player, Marriott, at 33, still has a lot to offer. And why not? Dino Zoff was 40 when he played in the 1982 World Cup final for Italy.

"I feel good. I'm probably not as quick or as fit as the rest of the outfield players, but as a goalkeeper you don't have to run ten miles," said Marriott.

"I will keep going as long as I can but I don't want to be someone who drops down every league and is playing for the Dog and Duck in 20 years."


Moult returns to Stoke
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 06 Dec 2011

Striker Louis Moult has returned to parent club Stoke City following a one month loan.


The 19-year-old made only one substitute appearance at home to Cambridge United earlier last month.

Manager Paul Cox told http://www.mansfieldtown.net: "Unfortunately Louis didn't get as many match minutes under his belt as both parties would have liked.

"We would like to thank Stoke City for allowing him to join us," he added


Cox urging Stags to maintain focus .Tuesday, December 06, 2011 Nottingham Post
Follow.THERE are some among the Mansfield Town squad who will not remember Linford Christie winning gold for Great Britain in the 100m at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.


But it is the sprinter's 'tunnel vision', used to help block out everything around him, that manager Paul Cox wants to see his team adopt between now and the end of the campaign.

?So many things can throw players off the straight and narrow of performing consistently well – as the Stags did in putting together five victories in a row during August and September.

But now Mansfield have got back to some kind of form after struggling for the second half of October and much of November, Cox is urging his troops to ignore any outside influences and concentrate on doing their jobs.

That, he believes, will bring the best out of the squad and, with it, a successful run that can lift Mansfield into the play-off spots.

"When we had a spell of not winning games, it was not about the physicality, the formation or the individual players, it was about mindset," said Cox.

"Whatever is going off around us, whoever we are playing, I want the lads to approach every game in the same way.

"I even want them to be that way in a five-a-side in training. Be nasty, horrible and want to win.

"I want us to focus on this game at Grimsby tonight and not even look at the bigger picture.

"Now we have started earning the right to win games, I don't want us to get complacent and if we do, we now have a strong squad where we can change things."

Mansfield are expected to continue with the 4-3-3 formation that brought them four points out of six from consecutive home games against Gateshead and Braintree.

But that does not mean that the Stags have abandoned 4-4-2 for good. It is just one of several ways Cox would ideally like to operate.

He said: "If it is not broken then you don't need to fix it.

"That's why even though I think Marcus Kelly has potential to be one of the best players in the league, he is having to bide his time, even though he is back fit.

"We have done well in our last two games, but we can go from 4-3-3 to 4-4-2 with a click of our fingers and we have the personnel to do it.

"We have a plan B, but I would love us to have a plan C as well and by that I mean I would love for us to have a big, strong centre forward and be able to hurl everything in the box in the last 15 minutes, if needed.

"We have drawn nine games this season and maybe we could have won one or two of those had we been able to do that."

Cox is finally expecting to pick from a near-fully fit squad for the trip to Lincolnshire.

He is delighted that has come during a period which he believes will be key to not only his own teams hopes, but others as well.

"December and January can be make or break months – it dictates whether sides are going to be up there come the end of the season," said Cox.

"The teams that are equipped for this period, where the weather turns and the pitches get muddy, will be in the mix come February.

"And if you have something to hold onto by then, players will be saying, 'right, we are not giving this away in the run-in'.

"If we were given as little shining light to aim for, then I think we have a chance."

Although Cox and many of his players were not at the club on Mansfield's last trip to Blundell Park on New Year's Day, many fans have not forgotten the 7-2 drubbing.

Cox said: "Someone has told me about what happened last season and of course we don't want a repeat, nor the one we had at Fleetwood (a 5-0 FA Cup replay defeat).

"I can never say that won't happen again, no one can. Look what happened to Alex Ferguson, the best manager in the game, against Man City.

"But as players you shouldn't be looking back and if you are winners then you should never want that to happen, full stop."


Stags out to lay to rest the ghost of a 7-2 thrashing at Grimsby
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 6 December 2011

MANSFIELD Town head to Blundell Park tonight (7.45pm) looking to lay to rest the ghost of last year's 7-2 humiliation at the hands of Grimsby Town.


The Mariners made it a very unhappy New Year for Stags almost exactly a year ago on 1st January and, ominously, they trounced Stockport County 7-0 last week.

But boss Paul Cox, who recently suffered the indignation of being at home ill while his depleted side lost 5-0 at Fleetwood said: “I was kicking the dog and kicking the cat listening to our defeat at Fleetwood. I hate losing, let alone by a score like that.

“But the law of averages says that everyone will suffer them. Even Manchester United with the best manager in football history got tonked. It's how you react to the result in the next game.

“We won't be resting on our laurels at Grimsby as we know how tough a game it will be.

“But we now need to kick on and put some consistent results together.

“After the last two performances the lads should be relishing the Grimsby game, whatever the weather throws at us there.

“Grimsby's supporters, like a lot in our league, will be disappointed with there they are as expectations are high. Some massive clubs are under-achieving.

“But I can guarantee that one team will come out of the pack to challenge for promotion and Grimsby have everything in their armoury to do that.”

Cox has used a new 4-3-3 formation in the last two games which has seen a big improvement in from from his side and, provided midfielder Aman Verma shakes off a bout of illness, intends to keep the same side tonight.

That will mean more frustration for new loan signing Marcus Kelly who is desperate to make his debut.

“I could only play five loan players at Bath and Marcus tweaked his calf muscle,” said Cox.

“He is fit now but, after the way we played on Tuesday, I didn't want to change things on Saturday – if it's not broken, don't mend it- and I don't want to change them tonight if I can help it.

“I have given Anthony Howell a breather. But Marcus has been the unlucky one.

“I know Marcus has the potential to be one of the best players in the Conference. That's the hard thing when you're doing well. You have to make some horrible, tough decisions.

“I am sure he will be a crowd pleaser here and an instant favourite.”

On 1st January, loanees Kelly, Aman Verma and Matt Green are all expected to sign on the dotted line for permanent deals which frees those loans back up for other players if needed.

“We have a really hectic period ahead and I wanted quality in depth to cater for every scenario,” added Cox.

“I may bring more in when we get to January. I still feel I need a big strong centre forward as a Plan C for when we need to get the ball into the box in the last 15 minutes.”

Back on 8th October, Stags beat a Grimsby side featuring ex-Stags Scott Garner, Rob Duffy, Craig Disley and, as sub, Gary Silk, 2-1.

And Paul Cox's men have still only lost once in their 10 away league games this season


Hurst, Duffy expect tough test from Stags
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, December 06, 2011

GRIMSBY Town joint manager Paul Hurst hopes to profit from home comforts as the Mariners begin a run of four consecutive Blundell Park dates – starting against Mansfield tonight.


They face the Stags in the Blue Square Bet Premier before an FA Trophy tie against holders Darlington, an FA Cup replay against Salisbury and a league game with Ebbsfleet.

?Grimsby won 7-0 the last time out on home turf against Stockport and Hurst is keen to see another victory at Mansfield's expense.

"I think the fact it's a local derby adds a bit of spice and Mansfield were also a league club not so long ago," he said.

"We took a good following there and I'd imagine they will bring a few here, even though it's a night game."

Mansfield came from a goal down to beat the Mariners 2-1 at Field Mill in early October, Paul Connor grabbing the winner.

Hurst added: "We played well at Mansfield earlier this season but ended up on the wrong side of the result.

"They are a team on the fringes of the play-offs but we are in good form as well."

Striker Rob Duffy played and scored for Mansfield when they were beaten 7-2 in Cleepthorpes on New Year's Day, but is now with Grimsby.

"It's horrendous when you are getting seven put past you like that," he said. "On the day, Grimsby had a great start with two early goals.

"I nicked a goal before half-time and then for 15 minutes or so after the break we were the better team.

"The Mansfield lads still there will remember it and we know it won't be easy tonight."


Mariners begin defining period
Grimsby Telegraph, Tuesday, December 06, 2011

GRIMSBY Town joint manager Paul Hurst hopes to profit from home comforts as the Mariners begin a run of four consecutive Blundell Park dates that could define their season against Mansfield tonight.


Town face the Stags in the Blue Square Bet Premier before an FA Trophy tie against holders Darlington and the FA Cup replay against Salisbury.

?The final game before Christmas brings Ebbsfleet to Cleethorpes and, after hitting seven last time out on home turf against Stockport, Hurst hopes the form will continue to cheer the Blundell Park faithful.

He wants the fans to continue backing the team as they have in recent home outings.

Hurst, pictured, said: "We have a few home games now and it's a testing time for the fans to have four games in the lead up to Christmas.

"I hope they will be able to come out and support and keep getting behind the lads.

"The home form in general has been good and people have had value for money.

"I think the fact it's a local derby adds a bit of spice and Mansfield were also a league club not so long ago.

"We took a good following there and I'd imagine they will bring a few here even though it's a night game.

"That would be good to add to the atmosphere."

The Stags come into the game off the back of a 4-1 home victory over Braintree that extended their unbeaten run to four games.

They sit just three points outside the play-offs and despite Town's own eight-match run without defeat, Hurst is expecting a tough test against the side that beat the Mariners 2-1 in October.

He added: "We won't take anything for granted.

"We played well at Mansfield earlier this season but ended up on the wrong side of the result.

"They are pretty free-scoring and they will be a stern test for us.

"Set-plays will test us though we have improved on them in general of late.

"We had a blip at the end at Kettering but generally we have defended set-pieces better.

"Mansfield have a long throw they will look to utilise and put us under pressure.

"They are a team on the fringes of the play-offs but we are in good form as well."

Hurst and Rob Scott will be forced into changing the team that drew at Salisbury with a recurrence of Jamie Green's knee injury ruling him out.

Serge Makofo trained yesterday but loan winger Luke McCarthy looks more likely to step in.

There's also options at the back with cup-tied defender Will Antwi back available.

He could come back in for either Shaun Pearson or Charlie I'Anson.

Hurst said: "We have a decision to make at the back with Will back available.

"Further forward we have lost Jamie Green but we are hoping Serge may be back available; he trained a little yesterday.

"We also have Luke McCarthy who can slot in with Jamie out if Serge isn't available.

"We let Rob Eagle go out and brought Luke in as cover there for that reason.

"We considered bringing him on at Salisbury but didn't feel it was the type of game he would be suited to.

"That may well be different at home."

Town (probable):- McKeown, Wood, I'Anson, Antwi, Townsend, McCarthy, Disley, Panther, Coulson, Hearn, Elding. Subs:- Pearson, Artus, Duffy, Thanoj, Silk


Patient Duffy targets Stags impact
Grimsby Telegraph, Tuesday, December 06, 2011

THE last time Mansfield Town visited Blundell Park, Grimsby Town striker Rob Duffy was scoring for them before seeing his side thumped 7-2 on New Year's Day.


The Mariners brought back memories of that game last time out on home turf when they put seven past Stockport without reply to make it two straight Blue Square Bet Premier wins in a row.

Duffy had to watch that victory from the sidelines but knows exactly how the County players must have felt after his experience with the Stags.

The Welshman was still gutted to miss out on that goal frenzy and the chance to extend his season's tally beyond four.

And he is hoping to be involved against his former employers when they return to Cleethorpes tonight.

Duffy, who netted 28 goals in 81 games for the Stags before joining Town 11 months ago, said: "I'd like to be involved against my old team.

"I haven't started the last few games which has been disappointing but you have to hold your hands up when lads come in for you and do well.

"You have to bide your time. Hopefully, I will play some part tonight and have an impact if it's from the bench.

"The Stockport game was a great performance but it would have been nice to be out there in the mix.

"When goals are flying in, you want to be on the pitch but there's not much you can do about it.

"You just have to sit and applaud the lads who are out there because to score seven against anyone is a great achievement.

"I know how Stockport must have felt because I went through it here only last season with Mansfield. It's horrendous when you are getting seven put past you like that.

"On the day, Grimsby had a great start with two goals in the first ten minutes.

"I nicked a goal before half-time and then for 15 minutes or so after the break we were the better team.

"Grimsby were on the ropes but the third goal killed the game and we collapsed. It was tough to keep going then for us. I'm sure the Mansfield lads still there will remember it as well."

Despite that victory the last time the sides met in North East Lincolnshire, Duffy expects the Stags to be tough opponents after their 4-1 win at the weekend. They also beat Town in the reverse fixture after coming from a goal down at half-time.

Duffy added: "Apart from Stockport, we haven't had any games you would class as easy at home.

"That could have been a lot harder, too, if we hadn't started so well.

"We know it won't be easy tonight because you don't get many games in this division that are. But we are unbeaten in eight and in decent form.

"We went to Salisbury and it was all set up for an upset. We were the higher-ranked team and the pitch was very heavy and bobbly.

"It was windy and they were geared up in front of a big crowd. It wasn't a great performance from us but a professional one. We have kept the run going by avoiding defeat at Salisbury and after the last home game we go into this one full of confidence."


Jamie Green ruled out of Stags clash
Grimsby Telegraph, Monday, December 05, 2011

GRIMSBY Town will be without Jamie Green for tomorrow's home league clash with Mansfield after the left-sider had a recurrence of a troublesome knee injury following the weekend FA Cup draw at Salisbury.


The 22-year-old has only just returned after two months out and signed a short-term deal until Christmas but could now be set for an extended spell on the sidelines.

Joint boss Paul Hurst told thisisgrimsby today: "We've lost Jamie Green; his knee is sore again.

"That's frustrating for him and also for us.

"We keep thinking we are getting somewhere with it and it seems like we have been knocked back again."

It means bosses Rob Scott and Paul Hurst will be forced into at least one change against the Stags on the left with loan man Luke McCarthy set to figure, though Serge Makofo did return to training today.

The management duo also have Will Antwi back available after he was cup-tied last weekend and he may return in place of Shaun Pearson or Charlie I'Anson.



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