COX, GREEN, SUTTON, TAMWORTH ASSISTANT REACTION
audio interviews with Paul Cox, Matt Green and Ritchie Sutton from Mansfield 103.2
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox over the moon with Tamworth win
DELIGHTED Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox paid a glowing tribute to the fans and players after watching Stags tighten their grip on a play-off place.
Stags moved into fourth spot in the table above York City after Matt Green's 23rd goal of the season sealed a hard-fought 1-0 win against Tamworth.
Flying Mansfield, who have now won eight of their last 10 matches, also took full advantage of defeats for Kidderminster and Gateshead to stretch the
Speaking after the game Cox said: “It was a tough game on a very poor pitch. Tamworth is always a hard place to come, they threw the kitchen sink at us at the end as we knew they would.
“We did not play very well. We stopped doing what we are good and did not play well in the second half, but it is the result that matters and the lads are over the moon to win here today.
“This is a massive result for us. Sometimes where you finish is in the hands of fate, but we will continue to work very hard.”
Cox was also had special praise for the Stags defence, which remained solid during a second-half onslought by The Lambs.
Said Cox: “The two centre-backs were excellent today. Exodus possibly had his best game, he is a real handful in both boxes for us. Ross Dyer is a real handful and a great target man for us. The players in front of the defence worked very hard to protect the defence and we looked strong.
“We have to keep our feet on the ground and maintain our focus for what will be a very tough game on Tuesday night. The expectation levels around the place are high now, but the players are embracing the expectations and are not frightened by them.
“The fans were a different class today. It was humbling to see the reaction from the fans at the final whistle, it meant a lot to the players. The support of the fans today just shows how big this club can become.”
Stags have now opened up a three point gap on the chasing pack will face the tough test of the season when they entertain Fleetwood Town on Tuesday night
Tamworth assistant manager Dale Beckford told the NLP: "I think if we are being honest I don't think we created anything bar a bit of huffing and puffing and that was a bit of a worry. But despite that, I think we can take a lot of positives though especially with how we played in the second half. Our performance then was pleasing for us. When you look back I don't think you can fault the lads for their effort of commitment then. They gave it their all."
Stags boss Cox delighted by defensive effort
Nottingham Post, Monday, March 12, 2012
PAUL Cox was delighted to see his Mansfield Town defence stand strong and keep a clean sheet as they sealed victory against Tamworth.
The Stags won 1-0 at The Lamb to make it five wins on the bounce, but it was the first that included a clean sheet.
Despite dominating a first half in which Matt Green put them ahead, the second half was less convincing. But Mansfield defended well to seal the three points.
Exodus Geohaghon, who joined from Darlington last month, was outstanding alongside Martin Riley in the centre of the back four.
And Cox had special praise for the giant defender, who had a hand in the winning goal.
He said: "I thought we defended superbly and Exodus had his best game by a country mile. The lad was an absolute colossus for us.
"He is such a handful in both boxes and people seem to forget for a lad who is 6ft 5ins, he is quick as well and strong.
"Some of the defending was brilliant. But I thought the lads in front of them worked very hard to close Tamworth down. I was delighted with the clean sheet.
"People have to realise he has not played a lot of football and will get better the more games he plays.
"I thought in the first half we were excellent and in the second half, very poor. Sometimes you have to grind out a result and that sums up what we did at Tamworth.
"The game was everything I thought it would be before the game.
"It was horrible, unsophisticated and against a side that were going to work you in every facet of the game.
"Neither side played particularly well. I did not think it was a good spectacle but like I said before, it is the result that matters at this stage of the season and that result was massive for us.
"The supporters were a different level and you could see how much the lads appreciated it.
"They are a good bunch, an honest bunch and everyone is playing their part.
"For a manager at this stage of the season that is all you want. You want your players going that extra inch for the cause and that is all we can do."
Stags boss Cox: We are thriving under the pressure
Nottingham Post, Monday, March 12, 2012
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox believes his players are thriving on the expectation that is gripping the club as they look to seal a play-off berth.
The Stags recorded a fifth successive Blue Square Bet Premier victory when they beat Tamworth 1-0 at The Lamb.
It puts them fourth, only one point behind third-placed Luton.
Their rapid rise up the table and the chance of returning to the Football League, after four years in the wilderness, has seen expectations rise.
Close to 1,000 fans made the short trip to Tamworth and almost 5,000 turned out for Stags' last home game against Lincoln.
But Cox believes his players will not buckle under the pressure. He said: "The players understand the expectation levels and these boys are embracing it – they are not frightened by it.
"Towards the end of Saturday's game we showed a stubbornness that might stand us in good stead before the end of the season.
"It does not concern me what other people think about us. What concerns me is that we stay focused on what we are good at and do not start to believe too much about the hype."
Cox was delighted with the travelling support and is now relishing the run-in, starting with league leaders Fleetwood at Field Mill tomorrow night.
He added: "It is humbling when you see support like that. It shows you just how big this club can become."
Stags hero Green: Bring on Fleetwood
STAGS striker Matt Green bagged his 22nd goal of the season and then roared: "Bring on Fleetwood."
The Mansfield hitman scored in the 13th minute and his strike proved to be the winner, as his side beat Tamworth 1-0.
It was a fifth successive victory and puts Mansfield fourth in the Blue Square Bet Premier table.
But there is no let up. They face league leaders Fleetwood Town at Field Mill tomorrow night as they look to maintain their play-off charge.
The Stags have won every game on home soil in 2012, so Green says they should look forward to the clash.
He said: "It is going to be hard, two good teams with good team spirit. But I cannot wait for the atmosphere tomorrow, we have to go and play and enjoy it.
"Everyone is pulling together – the players and fans – and there is a good feeling. If everyone can keep supporting each other, it always helps.
"We know what Fleetwood are about, they have great individual players and team ethic, but we have to do what we have been doing of late and try and get the victory.
"It is going to be another tough game but we are looking forward to it."
The victory at Tamworth was a scrappy affair in the second half but Green said the three points was all that mattered.
"They all count and the main thing is the result for us," he said. "It was probably our biggest game of the season and it was massive for us, it shows we are on the right track.
"We have a great squad and a great team ethic, it is going well. We have to keep going as we are.
"We are not going to get ahead of ourselves, we are going to stay grounded but getting results like this at Tamworth is massive for us.
"These are the wins that get you up there, keep the points on the board. They try to frustrate us, we got a sloppy goal and it showed how strong we are at the back as well."
Geohaghon sets Stags' play-off target
MANSFIELD Town defender Exodus Geohaghon says the Stags must target a minimum of five victories from their remaining ten games to reach the play-offs.
The Stags racked up a fifth straight victory when they beat Tamworth 1-0 at The Lamb on Saturday, keeping the Stags in fourth spot in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
Geohaghon was outstanding in that victory and has now played four times since joining from Darlington, all ending in Stags taking three points.
But Saturday was the first clean sheet he had played a part in and now he is targeting a strong finish to the campaign.
The 27-year-old said: "Everybody knows there is an important job to be done because the play-offs are not easy to come by.
"We have ten games left and we have to make sure we win at least five of those and that will stand us in good stead. We cannot worry about anybody else, it is about what we do."
The first of those comes against league leaders Fleetwood Town at Field Mill tomorrow, before they entertain Barrow on Saturday and then travel to neighbours Alfreton the following Tuesday.
Geohaghon said: "For me it was about getting a decent run of games so to get four wins, it is great, especially going into tomorrow's game against Fleetwood.
"We know that is where the test comes. We have to test ourselves against the teams at the top and if we can pull it off against them, it will be good for the remaining games.They have got to come and beat us.
"They have to try to win the league outright so it will not be a game where we have to chase them, they can come and chase us."
Saturday's game with Tamworth was a scrappy affair but the giant defender added: "It was great to get that clean sheet on the board after missing out against Lincoln because of their last-minute goal."
Belford buoyed by second-half showing
Tamworth Herald, Friday, March 16, 2012
TAMWORTH assistant manager Dale Belford has admitted the Lambs got what they deserved in the defeat to Mansfield last weekend.
The former caretaker boss watched on as Marcus Law's side suffered a 1-0 loss to the play-off chasing Stags.
Belford, pictured right, said: "The performance in the second half was pleasing, you really cannot fault the lads for their effort and commitment out there then.
"Did we deserve anything out of it? Possibly, I would say.
"I think when you look at it like that there are a lot of positives you can take out of the game.
"But you have got to be honest and say we did not create anything apart from a lot of huffing and puffing.
"We did not really work their keeper all afternoon and that is a bit worrying for us as a team."
The lack of chances created by the Lambs came as a surprise, especially with the amount of attacking talent out on display.
Two wingers in Charlie Reece and Danny Thomas were joined in the starting line-up by forwards Kieron St Aimie and Connor Taylor – a 4-4-2 formation that has not always been chosen against the top sides in the division.
Belford said: "We set up to win the game, like we always do.
"We were at home and we thought it was a game we could go out and get a result from.
"After the way we have played of late we thought the onus was on us to go out and attack.
"We went out with two wingers and wanted them to get the crosses in, but that did not play out.
"Mansfield are a big side and were a threat at set-pieces and proved tough to play against.
"In the second half we improved but it was not enough."
The Mansfield defeat was part of a recent run of fixtures that included the Stags away, Fleetwood home and away, Luton, York and Cambridge.
Not that Belford is moaning about that.
He said: "They are all tough games at this level. You can't sit there and say one side is going to be easy to play against.
"We set our stall out to win games whoever we are playing.
"That can be difficult to do when you have had the run of fixtures ywe have had but we will not hide behind that.
"We have been in good form of late and have shown we can compete against any side."
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