Cox taking FA Trophy tie at Droylsden very seriously
chad.co.uk, Friday 9 December 2011
MAKE no mistake, Paul Cox is taking Saturday's first round FA Trophy tie at Droylsden very seriously indeed.
Cox may not have been manager when Stags had their moment in the sunshine last season in the final at Wembley.
But he assured fans today he won't be making any unneccessary changes as he tried to steer the club towards a second successive final.
“I am taking the Droylsden game very seriously and I will be playing my strongest side available,” he said.
“It is a cup tie and I want to in every game whether it's a league game, a cup game or a friendly.
“My hand may be forced on selection as we have illness in the camp at the moment.
“Aman Verma missed out with it on Tuesday and Matt Green and John Thompson were suffering and feeling under the weather.
“I am expecting Aman back today and we hope that with 48 hours rest everyone will be fine.”
Droylsden may not be pulling up any trees in Conference North, but their cup record at home in recent seasons speaks for itself.
“Dave Pace has a great reputation for giantkilling,” said Cox. “In the last three or four years they have had some great FA Cup runs.
“It is a hard place to go. They will come at us with pure football from the off.
“If any of my players think they can take their foot off the pedal they will find themselves sat in the stand watching the games over the Christmas period.”
Marriott shows appetite for new Stags contract
Nottingham Post, Friday, December 09, 2011
ALAN Marriott could hardly have timed it better.
In Tuesday's Post, the goalkeeper spoke of his desire to secure a new contract at Mansfield Town.
Just hours later, in the Stags' clash at Grimsby, he provided a reminder of his capabilities with an inspirational display.
At times, only Marriott stood between the Mariners and three points and boss Paul Cox admitted that more of the same from the former Lincoln man and the player would be in line to get his wish.
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."
Tomorrow, Mansfield are in FA Trophy action when they visit Droylsden.
Marriott said: "I don't know a lot about them, but they will have some good players looking to put their names in the headlines and get noticed, so we have to be right."
Mansfield are waiting on John Thompson and Matt Green, who played with illness at Grimsby, but Aman Verma returned to training yesterday.
Mansfield (from): Marriott, Redmond, Sutton, O'Neill, Dempster, Thompson, Riley, Day, Freeman, Kendrick, Murray, Bolland, Stevenson, Verma, Worthington, Howell, Dyer, Green, Meikle, Kelly, Rodney
Murray: Wembley experience aids Stags' Trophy focus
Nottingham Post, Friday, December 09, 2011
ADAM Murray believes Mansfield Town's Wembley experience in May will help the team fully focus on tomorrow's FA Trophy tie at Droylsden.
Stags' last involvement in the non-league knock-out competition saw them beaten 1-0 by Darlington in the last minute of extra-time under the arch.
Skipper Murray insists the day will always hold a special place in his memory, despite the disappointing result.
And he says the incentive of playing at the world's most football stadium will be huge for all the Mansfield squad – meaning there should be no complacency at the Butchers Arms.
"We got to Wembley last time and it was a great place to play so hopefully we can go well again and end up where we were last season," said Murray.
"To go one better would be amazing, but this is just the first game and we have to win it.
"I don't think it could come any trickier than Droylsden so we must go with the right preparation and be confident."
Mansfield travel to the Bloods having lost just twice on the road this season – 3-0 to Gateshead in their first league game and 5-0 at Fleetwood in an FA Cup replay.
Murray said: "Our away form is one of our strong points.
"It's just a case of now turning a few draws into wins and Droylsden would be a great place to start."
Stags skipper Murray dreams of Wembley return
chad.co.uk, Thursday 8 December 2011
The sight of skipper Adam Murray limping off the Wembley pitch after a brave performance was one of the enduring memories for Stags fans of last year's FA Trophy final.
Murray's injuries finally got the better of him as Darlington went on to win it with a last gasp goal.
On Saturday, Stags begin on the Wembley trail again with a first round Trophy tie at Darlington and Murray admitted: “If we could go one better this time and win it, that would be amazing.
“We want to progress on Saturday and the carrot at the end of it all is Wembley.
“They are the kind of matches you wish for in your career and, with the problems we had at the club last season, the fact we go there at all as a minor miracle.
“But it's a long, long way away yet. We have to go to Droylsden on Saturday and I don't think they come any tougher.
“But we are going there with confidence as our away form has been good.”
Cox promises full strength Stags at Droylsden
Nottingham Post, Saturday, December 10, 2011
ANYONE who has followed the career of Paul Cox knew what the answer would be as soon as the question was posed.
From his days as a Notts County trainee through his five-year tenure as Eastwood boss, he has retained the same hunger to win at all costs, whatever the competition.
So when asked if he would field a weakened side and experiment in Mansfield Town's FA Trophy tie at Droylsden, his response was predictably bullish.
For him, there is no question of his side taking things lightly against the Bloods at the Butchers Arms - quite the opposite, in fact.
Even if the potential of thriving in this competition had not been reinforced by Mansfield's Wembley appearance, he would still be impressing on his players that nothing less than their full commitment will do.
"I have heard split opinions from fans with regard to the FA Trophy," said Cox.
"Some think we are tucked in nicely in the league, that anybody down to 13th could still get promoted and so we should concentrate on it.
"Others say that a competition where this club got to Wembley last season should be taken seriously.
"What I can say is that I have never gone into any game, even a friendly or a game of five-a-side, not wanting to win.
"We did everything at Eastwood in midweek (where Mansfield won 4-0) as if it was a full, competitive fixture - and that's the way it should be.
"I couldn't look myself in the mirror if we put out a weakened side and lost.
"I would rather take stick going out when I have fielded my best available side than looking back and thinking I might have done this and that.
"People can talk about squad rotation, but, realistically, this is the Conference. The players will have a full week's rest if they win or lose the game."
Droylsden - whose Danny Rowe was named as the Blue Square bet North player of the month for November - are managed by their chairman Dave Pace.
They take on the Stags sitting tenth in the table, nine points off the play-off places.
But they boast a decent home record at the Butchers Arms and the Bloods will scent blood in the shape of an upset.
Cox said: "Droylsden have always done well in the cups, especially at home and they will play pure football.
"I go back quite a way with Dave and they have a great reputation for shocks, with some great runs in the FA Cup.
"But Oggy (scout Paul Ogden) has been in and we have really made sure we have got our preparations right.
"We will know all about their strengths and weaknesses and how to go about trying to win the game.
"I'd like to think I will have done everything possible and then I am passing the bomb onto the players if we don't make it through."
Cox wants to see Mansfield build up some winning momentum after a club record five consecutive away draws in the league - against Forest Green, Lincoln, Telford, Bath and Grimsby.
The Stags have a tough-looking assignment in the holiday period, with an away trip at Southport followed by a double header against high-flying York City.
"If we can get a victory then it will help us build into Christmas for what will be key games," said Cox.
"Anyone who thinks they can take their foot off the pedal will be sitting in the stands over the Christmas period."
Matt Green and John Thompson played when feeling the effects of illness in the 0-0 draw at Blundell Park in midweek and it is unclear if they will play on Tameside.
Cox said: "All credit to the lads who were under the weather but put themselves through it for the team.
"But we have to make sure people are not forced into it and we pay the price for them not being 100 per cent fit."
Bolland call for Stags 'professionalism'
Nottingham Post, Saturday, December 10, 2011
PAUL BOLLAND is eyeing his first taste of FA Trophy action this afternoon - and expects Mansfield Town to show true professionalism at Droylsden.
The Stags reached non-league's showpiece Wembley final in May, where they lost 1-0 to Darlington in extra-time.
That memorable run - which saw them beat Newport, Alfreton, Chasetown and Luton - began with a comprehensive 5-0 success over Worksop Town.
Mansfield can expect the Blue Square Bet North side to be an altogether different and much tougher prospect.
But central midfielder Bolland wants the Stags to underline why they are overwhelming favourites.
"There's no doubt competitions like this can be great for a club like Mansfield - as they found out last season," he said.
"I've not played in the FA Trophy before, but is a bit like the Johnstone's Paint Trophy for the League clubs. Once you get through the first few rounds, you start dreaming of Wembley.
"But you can only do that if you take care of business in the early rounds and be professional. Droylsden are a part-time club and people will expect us to win, but you still have to go there and do the job."
Mansfield have played 4-3-3 in their last three games and Bolland has been pleased with the way it has worked out.
He said: "If you can play a midfielder pushing on, then it can make it quite difficult for opponents to pick up.
"But the good thing is that we are adaptable and we can easily revert back to 4-4-2 should we need to."
Bloods up for the cup
Tony Glennon, Manchester Evening News Series, December 08, 2011
Droylsden boss Dave Pace has admitted he has no idea which Bloods team will turn up for this weekend's big FA Trophy first-round showdown with Blue Square Bet Premier full-timers Mansfield Town at the Butcher's Arms.
The Market Street outfit have been inconsistent since the start of the season and especially so in recent weeks, when they've combined encouraging victories with depressing defeats typified by the 6-3 hiding they suffered at Colwyn Bay on Saturday.
Droylsden will at least be boosted by the return from suspension against Mansfield of goalkeeper Paul Phillips and midfielder Steve Hall, whose combined absence in North Wales hardly helped matters.
But Pace nevertheless remains perplexed by the Jekyll and Hyde nature of his team's performances and concedes he doesn't know what to expect from his players as they prepare to square up to last season's beaten Trophy finalists.
The Bloods chief said: "The trouble with us at the moment is you just don't know what you're going to get.
"It's like choosing from a box of chocolates and not knowing whether you're going to bite into a caramel or a strawberry cream.
"I have no qualms about the ability of my players, it's their attitude and workrate which I have to question.
"I'm sure they'll be up for it on Saturday and it honestly would not surprise me if we were to beat Mansfield convincingly. But, play like we did against Colwyn Bay and we'll honestly get murdered.
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