video preview with Paul Cox
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox confident ahead of Cambridge United
chad.co.uk, Monday 5 March 2012
CONFIDENT Stags travel to Cambridge United tomorrow night knowing a win will propel them into the play-offs places.
On-form Stags have narrowed the gap to just one point on Southport, who do not play tomorrow, following an excellent run of six wins out of their last eight matches and need just a point to enter the top five.
But for boss Paul Cox being in the play-off places at 10pm on Tuesday night is a secondary concern to the bigger picture.
“We have set ourself mini-goals throughout the season, one if which is to stay in the pack and we are at the moment,” said Cox.
“I am not too concerned if we are in the play-offs tomorrow night or not. What counts is being in the play-offs on the final game of the season.
“If we keep winning our games then things will take care of themselves. As I've said before we are focused on what we can change and not what we can't change such as other team's results. We are only worried about Mansfield Town.
“There is a long way to go yet before the end of the season and a lot of football still to be played.”
But if Stags, who lost 2-1 to mid-table Cambridge back in November after chucking away a lead, are to achieve their play-off aspirations they will have to improve on their recent away record, which has seen them win just one of their last away days.
Said Cox: “This is a big game as every game is from now to the end of the season, we have 12 cup finals coming up.
“Games are coming thick and fast at the moment, but we are in good form at the moment and the lads are really looking forward to it.
“Cambridge United are a good side and they will be in the shake-up at the end of the season.
“We had a good mindset going into the game against Lincoln and we need to go to Cambridge with the same mindset and desire. The pressure is on us and we need to go out there and enjoy our football like we did on Saturday.
“It is nice when people are talking about Mansfield Town and promotion, it shows we are doing something right.
“It is important that we build on what we have recently put in place and kick on. We have achieved nothing yet and we need to keep our feet on the ground and concentrate on one game at a time.
“We have put building blocks in place, if not for this season then next season and we have to concentrate on getting better as a team and as a football club.
“The current group of players are learning well and improving, but there are still areas where we can improve as a club. We are getting better, but we are still looking to strengthen our squad, Wrexham and Fleetwood have to be our benchmark.”
Both Adam Murray (ankle) and Adam Smith (lower back) could return to the squad following injuries which saw Murray miss the Lincoln win and Smith subbed midway through the first half
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox keen on new defender for Cambridge trip
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, March 06, 2012
MANSFIELD Town could line up with a new defender in their ranks at Cambridge United tonight.
Boss Paul Cox is happy with the cover he has available in midfield and attack as the Stags travel south knowing victory will propel them into the play-off places.
But with Paul Edwards having returned to Fleetwood and Sam Craven and Matt Bell still making their way back from injury, he has no recognised left-back, Ritchie Sutton filling the void in the 2-1 win against Lincoln.
Another concern is in the centre, where Exodus Geohaghon is struggling and there is little cover until John Thompson is fit again.
"There are a couple of left-backs I have my eye on and we have until four hours before to register someone for the game," said Cox.
"Sutts did well there against Lincoln and we defended well in general, but there and in the middle of defence is where we are lacking depth in the squad.
"There is Sam Craven and Matt Bell (at left-back) but they are both coming back from injury, which is true of John Thompson in the middle."
Mansfield won 5-1 in this fixture last season, but Cox is expecting a much tougher test against Jez George's men this time around.
The U's have lost only three home league games in 2011-12.
Cox said: "Paul Ogden (chief scout) saw them at Forest Green and was very impressed, even though they lost late on.
"They beat us at Field Mill (2-1 in November), are strong at the back and don't give much away."
Spotlight on Cambridge United v Mansfield Town
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, March 06, 2012
Cambridge (from): Naisbitt, Roberts, McAuley, Hudson, Jennings, Jackson, Shaw, Jarvis, Pugh, Berry, Tiryaki, Eades, Hughes, Adam Marriott, Hurst, Taylor.
Mansfield (from): Alan Marriott, Redmond, O'Neill, Geohaghon, Riley, Sutton, Craven, Bell, Briscoe, Roberts, Howell, Worthington, Rhead, Stevenson, Smith, Meikle, Hutchinson, Green, Dyer.
Team news: Cambridge's Andy Pugh was ill for the U's 2-1 weekend defeat at Forest Green but could start tonight.
But Jonathon Thorpe and Jordan Patrick are now both ill and unlikely to play while captain Michael Wylde (hip flexor) is also set to miss out and Michael Gash (shoulder) is a long-term absentee).
The Stags are waiting on Gary Roberts (thigh), Exodus Geohaghon (back) and Adam Smith (dead leg). They missed training yesterday and face fitness tests.
Skipper Adam Murray (ankle) is almost certainly out again, but could be back for Saturday's trip to Tamworth.
John Thompson (shoulder) has returned to training but needs games to regain match fitness.
One to watch: Tom Shaw. The former Mansfield player has been a dependable performer in he Cambridge engine room this season, scoring five goals.
Manager: Jez George. Has seen his U's side win three and lose six of their last nine league games, interrupted by FA Trophy action, to slide down the table.
Away travel: Fans can travel for £5 (SSA members) and £10 (non members). Call 07967 689597 for more details and to book
Mansfield Town defender Exodus Geohaghon backs himself to fill gap left by John Dempster
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, March 06, 2012
SO much has happened in Exodus Geohaghon's 2011-12 season he could almost be mistaken for a soap opera character.
Like a leading actor in Eastenders or Coronation Street, the central defender has encountered something out of the ordinary just about every other week.
Geohaghon left Championship club Peterborough United in the summer to start the new campaign with League Two Barnet after signing a one-month contract.
But it was not long before the 27-year-old left the capital behind, this time joining his former boss at Kettering, Mark Cooper, at Darlington in the Blue Square Premier.
Things quickly turned sour for the Birmingham-born player in the north-east as first Cooper was sacked and then the Quakers' financial plight came to light.
The club acted quickly to get players – Geohaghon among them – off the wage bill and so it was that he was on the move again, this time on loan to Dagenham for three months.
Again, though, things did not work out and with a return to Darlington an unrealistic prospect, that is where Mansfield stepped in.
Since then, the 6ft 5ins stopper has played in successive 2-1 wins over Tamworth and Lincoln that have helped carry the Stags up to sixth, one point off the play-offs.
But his arrival for a loan spell that will take him through until the end of the season has also coincided with the most momentous week in the club's recent history.
Thanks to chairman John Radford, Field Mill is now back in the club's hands after he agreed a deal to buy the ground from Keith Haslam.
It means Mansfield are now in with a serious shout of promotion – the Stags will definitely move into the top five tonight, above Southport, if they win their game in hand at Cambridge.
And the former West Brom trainee is hoping to shake off a back problem in a bid to play his part at the Abbey Stadium.
But the irony has not been lost on Geohaghon that he has been brought in at Mansfield to replace a former Kettering colleague.
But he backs himself to be the steadying influence the club needs at a critical time.
Geohaghon said: "I know John Dempster, he is a good player and they are tough shoes to fill.
"But I know what the gaffer requires and why he brought me here. I will bring my own presence.
"It is something that all sides look for. They want someone big and strong who will head it and win the physical battle."
Geohaghon believes the Stags are shaping up well for the run-in, having won six of their last eight games.
"We have got 12 games left to play and in my eyes they are all winnable," he said.
"It's just about maintaining concentration when you can see games going either way
Latest | March 2012