VIDEO: Cox looks ahead to Fleetwood clash
Posted on: Mon 12 Mar 2012
Manager Paul Cox says tomorrow night's home clash with league leaders Fleetwood Town will be show how far his side have come.
Cox's men are in fine form, recording five wins from the last five. However, they come up against a Fleetwood side who have won six from six and currently lead the way in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
In team news, Adam Murray has returned to training and could return to the 16. Adam Smith remains out with a back injury while John Thompson, Matt Bell are in need of match practice, which could be gained in midweek as Cox looks to line up a friendly match.
Paul Cox is speaking to Jason Harrison (Mansfield 103.2), John Lomas (Chad) and Matt Halfpenny (Nottingham Post) from this morning's press meeting
Ultimate test for high-flying Stags against leaders Fleetwood
chad.co.uk, Monday 12 March 2012
HIGH-FLYING Mansfield Town should have little trouble geeing themselves up for the mouthwatering visit of leaders Fleetwood Town tomorrow (7.45pm).
Stags have stormed into the play-off zone with five successive wins and now face the ultimate test against a Cod Army who are unbeaten in 22 league games, winning the last six.
“It is a big game for us, but it is a big game for both clubs really,” said boss Paul Cox.
“I think Fleetwood will want to come here and carry on their momentum, as do we, and we are really looking forward to it.
“The lads are playing with a smile on their faces and enjoying their football and they won't need getting up for games like Tuesday. They must embrace games like this.
“I can see it being a cracker of a football match with both teams giving their all.
“Come the 90th minute we will see what we need as a benchmark to win a championship as I think Fleetwood will go on and win it.
“We must be respectful of them and earn the right to get a result against the best team in the league. We will see how far we have come as a club and as a group of players.”
Stags fans attending the win over Lincoln last week were given free tickets for tomorrow so, with the current run, a big attendance is expected.
Stags are now on the final 10 games of the season countdown and Cox added: “We have 10 cup finals ahead and we are looking for maximum points from them.
“The euphoria at Tamworth on Saturday was great seeing so many of our fans there and the noise they made for us was humbling. The players felt the love and responded.
“I have put their feet back on the ground for tomorrow, but I have to be careful not to take away the pleasure from players and supporters when we've won a game.”
Skipper Adam Murray is fully fit and champing at the bit for a recall while on-loan newcomer, defender Danny Andrew, will be hoping for a place in the 16. Winger Adam Smith is touch and go with injury
Spotlight on Mansfield Town v Fleetwood Town
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Mansfield (from): Marriott, Redmond, O'Neill, Riley, Geohaghon, Sutton, Craven, Bell, Briscoe, Howell, Murray, Roberts, Worthington, Hutchinson, Stevenson, Meikle, Green, Dyer, Rhead, Todd.
Fleetwood (from): Davies, McNulty, Goodall, Cavanagh, Beeley, McGuire, Pond,Vardy, Seddon, Fowler, Mangan, Brodie, Till, Stephenson, Vieira, Charnock.
Team news: Mansfield skipper Adam Murray was left out of the side at Tamworth, despite recovering from an ankle injury.
But he may be brought back into the fold after a three-game break for this clash.
With John Thompson (shoulder) now back training although needing friendly matches to get back up to speed – a game could be arranged for Wednesday – Adam Smith is Mansfield's only worry.
He is still suffering from the bang he picked up against Lincoln and is more likely to be involved against Barrow at the weekend.
Fleetwood picked up no fresh injuries in their 2-0 win at Kidderminster on Friday night and are likely to field the same team.
Anthony Barry (and Paul Linwood (both knee) are long-term absentees.
One to watch: Jamie Vardy. Reportedly the subject of rejected £1 million bids from Leicester and Southampton, the former Stocksbridge Park Steels attacker is likely to be a summer target for a host of clubs.
Manager: Micky Mellon. Under pressure to get the Cod Army into the Football League with what is thought to be the biggest budget in the division, the Scot has so far delivered, with his side having lost only three league games all season to lead the way
In-form Mansfield Town have 'no fear' over visit of leaders Fleetwood
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, March 13, 2012
IT'S the irresistible force against the immovable object – but something has to give in the battle of the Blue Square Bet Premier's two in-form sides.
Mansfield Town's 1-0 victory at Tamworth at the weekend – secured by Matt Green's 23rd goal of a prolific campaign – lifted them up to fourth in the table as York City were engaged in FA Trophy action.
It was their fifth win on the spin, eighth in ten games and means they are now well-fancied to clinch an end-of-season play-off berth, rather than being the outsiders they were a month ago.
But the form of tonight's opponents Fleetwood is even more impressive.
Micky Mellon's side can seemingly do no wrong and have built up a six-point lead over Wrexham, albeit having played a game more, to lead the way in the race for the title and claim the automatic promotion place that would carry them into the Football League.
Of their last ten games they have won nine and drawn one. In fact, the Cod Army are now unbeaten in 22 league matches, last losing to Justin Edinburgh's Newport County, 4-1, on October 11.
They have been ably assisted by the excellence of Jamie Vardy, widely acknowledged as the best player in non-league football.
But the 24-goal hitman is not the only threat, with players across the board who would walk into any team at this level and have helped them amass a huge goal difference of +49 on the back of 87 goals scored in 37 games.
It all makes for an intriguing clash at Field Mill that is the first of two meetings between the sides inside 12 days, with the return match in the north-west a week on Saturday.
"It's a big game for both clubs," said Mansfield manager Paul Cox. "Fleetwood will want to come here and carry on their momentum, but so do we.
"The lads are enjoying their football and getting them up for a game like this is never going to be a problem.
"Micky has done a great job and it will be a tough test. But it will give us a chance to see how far we have come as a club.
"We have to look at it tactically and be respectful because we are playing the best team in the league at this stage.
"But you can't afford to go into it intimidated. My philosophy is to go in with no fear and go and do our own thing.
"I'm sure Micky will be talking about us and about our strengths and weaknesses too.
"This is non-league football and they all (the players) have weaknesses, if not they'd be in the Championship.
"I can see it being a cracking game and come the end of the 90 minutes we will see what it takes to win a Championship, because I believe Fleetwood will go on to win it."
Mansfield have already faced the Cod Army twice this season in FA Cup ties.
They held their own in a fourth qualifying round home tie, drawing 1-1 as Ross Dyer's strike cancelled out Jamie Milligan's opener.
But with boss Paul Cox and Green unable to travel after a bout of food poisoning struck, the Stags were thumped 5-0 in the return at Highbury.
The Stags, though, are sure to be more confident this time and are set to be roared on by a sizeable home support.
That will be swelled by fans who purchased tickets in advance of the 2-1 win over derby rivals Lincoln, knowing it would gain them free admission to this one.
Cox added: "Seeing the amount of fans who travelled to Tamworth was humbling and I think the players felt the love.
"The fans have been amazing for us all season and produced the noise at the right times: when we have been under the cosh the supporters have got right behind us.
"They have been proactive in helping us come back to win games after going behind and they can be worth an extra goal at home."
Mansfield have already accrued their best points haul since dropping into league football with ten games still to go.
But Cox knows the job is only half done with a total of about 80 points likely to be enough to secure a play-off place.
"I just think the lads have settled into a system and are working extremely hard," he said. It could be even more interesting for us if we'd converted half our draws into wins but it has been a learning curve. This game will be another one.
"The euphoria of Saturday has gone and we go into the game with our feet firmly on the floor."
Mansfield Town can spring Fleetwood surprise – Lindon Meikle
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, March 13, 2012
LINDON Meikle says Mansfield Town have wiped from their minds the 'nightmare' defeat they suffered when last facing Fleetwood – and can give the league leaders a run for their money at Field Mill tonight.
The Stags were on the wrong end of a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of the Cod Army in an FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay in November.
But there were extenuating circumstances to what was comfortably the team's most emphatic loss of the campaign.
And with Mansfield suddenly recapturing their early-season form – winning their last five games – the winger believes things can be different this time.
"We got battered at Fleetwood, but it was a day where everything went wrong from start to finish," said Meikle.
"It took us hours to get there because there were accidents on the motorway, meaning we were late, and we had players ill – even the gaffer didn't travel because if it.
"It was never going to be our day but that type of thing can happen to anyone and we have forgotten about that now and proved we are a decent side.
"The last time we played them at our ground in that 1-1 cup draw, it was a close game so we believe we can compete.
"Everyone talks about them like they are Barcelona – and they are a great team. But they are not unbeatable.
"Maybe we have given them too much respect in the past, but we will take the game to them and have a go this time.
"They have won nine out of ten games, but we have won eight out of ten. We are right there in terms of form.
"Out of all the teams they don't want to play, we are probably it. There might be a bit of fear in their minds about us."
Town Insider – Mansfield Town
Tue Mar 13, 2012 By David Mitchell
Fleetwood Town travel to the Midlands for the third time in ten days to play a re-arranged match against Mansfield Town, the only side that they have yet to meet in the league.
The original fixture fell victim to the weather in February.
The leaders, and rivals Wrexham, are dominating the Blue Square Bet Premier league to such an extent that Town currently need just seven more points to guarantee a play-off place. Micky Mellon's side, with the best away record in the league, come into the fixture with 60 points from a possible 66 during their long unbeaten run.
“It's another tough game for us but it will also be tough for Mansfield because we are in great form. We are enjoying our football and looking forward to going across there for a cracking game of football,” said Fleetwood boss Micky Mellon.
“We take a clean bill of health with us. Three games in six days is always tough but the lads have enjoyed a weekend off and come back to training refreshed.“
Mansfield lie fourth with a good record at Field Mill. They have achieved ten wins and just three defeats in front of home fans. The Stags are one of the form sides with five consecutive wins and only one defeat in the last 12 games. On Saturday, they returned from Tamworth with a 1-0 victory, courtesy of Matt Green's 22nd strike of the season. Manager, Paul Cox praised his players' efforts in an interview with the Non-League Paper:
'The euphoria in the changing room at the minute is immense but we have to channel that in the right way. I have to get the lads back down from cloud nine, we have got a big game again on Tuesday night. They are working hard and getting the rewards for it.'
Cox has further strengthened his defence with the signing of full-back, Danny Andrew, from Cheltenham on loan to the end of the season. Fellow full-back, Paul Edwards, spent a month at Mansfield in February. The Mansfield manager will be looking to improve on a modest record against top ten teams with three wins out of 13 games so far.
Leading scorer, Green, is confident of getting a result, as he told the 'Nottingham Post':
It is going to be hard, two teams with good team spirit, but I cannot wait for the atmosphere tomorrow. 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. It's going to be tough but we are looking forward to it.'
The clubs were paired in the FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round. A 1-1 draw at Field Mill in October was followed by a convincing 5-0 victory for Town in the replay. Town also scored five in the corresponding fixture last season, a Magno Vieira hat-trick the feature of a 5-2 victory, also on a Tuesday evening.
“The two FA Cup games feel a long time ago now. A lot of games have been played since then and this league game will be different. We will remain focused because there is a tough game waiting for us. If we carry on playing as we do then we'll come away with a positive result,” added Mellon.
Unlike last week, the league's top two are in action at the same time with Wrexham facing a lengthy midweek away journey to Ebbsfleet United
Latest | March 2012