COX, VERMA AND GARY MILLS REACTION
video interview with Paul Cox from mansfieldtow.net and Mansfield 103.2 --->
audio interview with Paul Cox from BBC Radio Nottingham --->
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox tells BBC Radio Nottingham:
"I think it was a fair result. Once again it was another fine line between us winning.
"We were 1-0 up and I thought we controlled the first half. In the second half we've had two great chances to increase our lead.
"But we've not done that and left ourselves open and conceded a goal out of nothing. We have to look at that as being two points dropped."
York City manager Gary Mills told BBC Radio York:
"We've shown a lot of heart to come back today. We've given away another goal early on and we've had to come back and we've done that.
"In the second half we were on the front foot a lot more and showed a little bit more of what we're about. With a bit more belief and composure in front of goal, we would've won and I think we should have won.
"We know what can happen at Mansfield, it happened to York last year. You go a goal down and go on your back foot and don't believe in yourselves. But my squad have shown we've got something there."
Stags hurt by more dropped points after York fightback
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox had to try to lift his players after more precious play-off points slipped away in the 1-1 draw with York at Field Mill this afternoon.
Once again the Stags squandered a lead to draw an 11th game of the league season and, despite a decent display that matched promotion hopefuls York, the gap opened wider to seven points, leaving Cox a depressed dressing room at the end.
He said: “The players have come off there feeling quite down and negative when there is no need to to. I have had to try to lift them and get them positive and buoyant again.
“Once again we scored the first goal and had two good chances to win it. But we didn't and we were punished.
“It's the story of our season so far. It's a fine line between winning, drawing and losing.”
He added: “Credit to York, they are a very good side. There were two teams going for each other's throats and, for a neutral, it was quite a good game to watch.
“It wasn't the result we needed. That's 11 draws now and it's 11 too many. But it's not the end of the world and we don't need to beat ourselves up over it.
“We are not in the bottom four. We still have a chance of promotion. There are a lot of points to play for still and I don't think we are a bad side.
“We have just got to start killing teams off when we go ahead and putting three points on the board.
“The players are working extremely hard and I want to bring in some new faces in January to help.
“Rome wasn't built in a day and, while we want success this season, it was always unlikely we would have instant success.
“We have a lot of young players here learning their trade and I don't think there is a massive difference between us and Fleetwood or York. We are building the right way.”
York boss Gary Mills said:“I was delighted with our second half as we showed a lot of heat to come back today after giving away another goal early on, which we must stop doing.
“But I thought in the second half we were on the front foot a lot more than the first half and showed a bit more what we are about.
“A bit more belief and composure and I think we could have won it.
“We know what can happen at Mansfield when you go a goal down – it happened to York last year.
“My squad of players showed they don't know when to stop or give in and we have come away with a very good point.
“I went with three at the back at the start but changed that at half-time to four at the back which worked better.
“Mansfield are a very direct side. They get it forward early and do it well. You have to be very disciplined to play again them. They had the wind behind them in the second half but we squeezed them a lot higher.”
Stags boss Cox refuses to be hard on his players
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox hopes his players do not get too down on themselves after being held to a 1-1 Boxing Day home draw by York City.
A second biggest Field Mill crowd of the season saw Matt Green's first half strike – his 15th of the season – put the Stags in front.
But for the seventh time this season, they were then pegged back as Liam Henderson levelled for the Minstermen in the second period.
It left Cox needing to pick his players up after the game ahead of the return game at Bootham Crescent on New Year's Day.
"I have been trying to get rid of a negative mindset in the dressing room because they came in and were quite hard on themselves and I don't think they needed to be," he said.
"I will be trying to make sure we stay positive so we had a chat after the game.
"The fans were right behind the team and applauded the players off, so we don't have to beat ourselves up.
"If it is a crime to draw as many games as we have (11) then we are guilty of that. But I certainly don't think the players need to hear any home truths.
"It is a fine line between winning, drawing and losing and it is the story of our season that we have had chances to increase our lead, not done it and then been punished.
"But you have to give credit to York for the way they came back. They are a very good side and I should imagine it was a good game for the neutral because both went for each other's throats."
Cox is optimistic Green – who went off in the second half with a dead leg – will be fit to travel to York
We deserved that point - Mills
YORK boss Gary Mills felt York ultimately deserved a point from their 1-1 draw at Mansfield.
It was the Stags who were the stronger side in the first half and led through Matt Green's strike.
But the Minstermen came back powerfully after the break and squared things up through Liam Henderson's clinical strike, underlining their play-off credentials.
"I was delighted with the way we came back – we showed a lot of heart," said Mills.
"We have given away another early goal (after a mistake from David McGurk) and we have had to do it the hard way, but we have done that.
"If we had shown a little bit more belief and composure we could have gone on and won it.
"Mansfield are a very direct side, get it forward early and do it well – and you have to be disciplined playing against that. But we deserved to come away with something in the end because apart from one opportunity in the second half, when the lad (Ross Dyer) put it wide, I didn't see them scoring a goal.
"I was disappointed with the first half, but I don't think there was much doubt we were much the better side in the second.
"I think we showed a lot of fight and spirit."
Verma out to repeat late-season surge at Stags
Nottingham Post Saturday, December 31, 2011
NEW year, new hope... certainly where Aman Verma is concerned at any rate.
There will be some who have already written off Mansfield Town's play-off chances and, on current form, you can see why.
Going into tomorrow's clash at high-flying York City, the Stags have won just one of their last 11 games in all competitions – their 4-1 early-November victory over Braintree.
That unwanted run has seen them drop seven points outside the play-off places and also exit the FA Trophy, the competition that brought a Wembley appearance last year, with a first hurdle 2-1 defeat at Droylsden.
Yet Verma still has cause for optimism and personal experience of why those in north Nottinghamshire should remain upbeat.
After losing three out of his first four games following a loan switch to Darlington from Leicester last November, Verma was a regular in the Quakers side that were rejuvenated in the New Year.
The north-easterners went down in their first game of the year, 1-0 at Fleetwood, but of their next 30 games in league and cup competition lost just five times.
As all Stags fans know, that enabled them to win the FA Trophy final by beating the Stags deep into extra-time with a 1-0 success.
But it also propelled Darlington up the table to such an extent that they threatened to grab a play-off place with a late surge.
In the end, they finished on a total of 71 points, seven off the top five, with April defeats to Crawley, Newport and Hayes and Yeading costing them dearly.
But considering they started 2010 ten points outside the play-offs in tenth – when Mansfield were, at that juncture, sixth and only three points off the pace – shows what can be achieved.
By the season's end, the Quakers ended up in seventh spot and a full ten points better off than the Stags in 13th.
Verma certainly played his part as a virtual ever present who contributed four goals.
"I moved to Darlington on November 18 and almost immediately there was the bad weather with the snow and ice and we had a break with no games," said Verma.
"But from January onwards we hit a streak of form and were not losing many games, including in the FA Trophy.
"Hopefully that can happen this season at Mansfield, but we can go one better and actually get into the play-offs.
"I definitely think there is the same kind of ability in the Mansfield squad as at Darlington then.
"I think the Darlington lads were all quite close knit and it is a similar story here at Mansfield. Everyone gets along with each other and there are no outcasts.
"If you are enjoying playing together then generally that is when you get better results.
"All the boys are working just as hard, as is the manager, and we can have the capability to put together a good back half of the season."
Mansfield are preparing for their game at York City on New Year's Day while boss Paul Cox is also trying to complete a deal for the permanent move of Matt Green to Field Mill from Oxford United.
Verma believes the securing of the club's 15-goal top scorer would act as a superb fillip to the squad.
He said: "To get Greeny tied down would be really helpful because we all know what an important player he is.
"It would also be a big morale boost. Scoring 15 goals by just after Christmas is a great achievement at any level of football.
"I'm sure he will be hoping to go on and get 25 for the season, if he stays injury-free."
Verma was brought back into the side for Mansfield's 1-1 Boxing Day draw with York at Field Mill after missing December games against Grimsby, Droylsden and Southport.
He can't wait for the return clash with the Minstermen at Bootham Crescent where he believes Mansfield can cause a surprise, despite the solid home form of Gary Mills' men.
"I've been really happy with things since I moved here from Kettering (on loan, but expected to be made permanent in January)," said Verma.
"It's just been slightly frustrating because I have had one or two niggles and knocks since coming in, which makes it harder to settle.
"It was great to be back in against York and I didn't mind it being in the 4-3-3. I grew up playing 4-4-2, but then I have quite often played in a 4-3-3 in my career so far.
"We were expecting York to come to our place with more of a passing game, but I think the conditions affected the way both teams played and it ended up being a scrap.
"It was about which side wanted it more and both worked really hard, so i think it was about fair.
"We know where their strengths are now, but you can't go planning too much because they could completely change their team.
"Hopefully the fact we gave them a good game at Field Mill will put them out of their stride a little bit."
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