COX, MICKY MELLON, RICHARD BRODIE REACTION
post match video interviews
audio interviews from 103.2
audio interview with Paul Cox
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"I thought it was an excellent point. We lost Gary Roberts before the game, we're missing Adam Smith.
"We had Adam Murray just coming back for his first game - he had the flu - and a number of the players had heavy colds.
"To go out there - against what I would call probably the best team in this league by a country mile - it was a good point, so I'm happy with that."
Dramatic draw underlines Stags' promotion credentials – Cox
PAUL Cox believes that Mansfield Town's last-gasp 1-1 draw against league leaders Fleetwood last night underlines they are serious promotion contenders.
The Stags stretched their unbeaten streak to six matches – and made it just one defeat in 13 since Christmas – by holding the big-spending Cod Army at Field Mill.
Jamie Vardy looked to have won it for the visitors with his 25th goal of the season nine minutes from time.
But Exodus Geohaghon scored his first goal in amber and blue in stoppage time at the end of the game to rescue a point for the visitors.
Although not yet the finished article, manager Cox believes the Mansfield team is gradually coming of age and learning all the time.
The result means the Stags are still fourth in the Blue Square Bet Premier table ahead of another home fixture on Saturday against Barrow.
"This is a huge result for us in every sense going into what will now be our last nine games of the season," said Cox.
"Getting this shows that we are making strides in the right direction – that we are developing and getting better.
"I have talked Fleetwood up before as being potential champions and anyone finishing above them would certainly win it.
"So to hold them in a one-off game gives us something to build on between now and the end of the season."
A crowd of 3,132 turned out to see the division's two in-form sides fight it out and Cox felt his side relished that big-time atmosphere.
He said: "There is a certain amount of pressure now, but I think the players are embracing it. We would rather have that expectation with nine games to go rather than have nothing to play for.
"Playing in big matches in front of big crowds is the kind of pressure you want."
Cox: Stags can learn lessons from leaders Fleetwood
Nottingham Post, Thursday, March 15, 2012
MANSFIELD Town can learn a few lessons for the future from Fleetwood – despite holding the in-form league leaders to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday night.
The Stags boss believes his players are rising to the challenge for an important part of the season, highlighted by their comeback sealed by Exodus Geohaghon's late equaliser.
But he believes there are still plenty of areas for improvement, with the Cod Army showing first-hand just where they can be made.
"Early on in the season, the Fleetwood game was one where one or two players might have crumbled," said Cox.
"Now we are showing an incredible desire to fight our corner and that is making us hard to beat.
"But let's not kid ourselves. We were playing against a side set up to win a championship and they are something we need to look at and learn from if it doesn't happen this season.
"Fleetwood were excellent in possession, but out of this world when they didn't have the ball with the way they closed people down.
"We also seemed to lack a little bit of composure in the final third, a little bit of belief. I think if we'd have been playing a mid-table side the lads might have put their foot on the ball at certain times."
Cox confirmed the suspended Gary Roberts will also miss Saturday's home clash with Barrow
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox 'happy' with point against Conference leaders Fleetwood
STAGS achieved last night's 1-1 home draw against title hopefuls Fleetwood Town the hard way with a below-par side and a 91st minute equaliser.
Not only was midfield ace Gary Roberts suspended for the big game at Field Mill but boss Paul Cox revealed afterwards that several of his side were playing on through a flu virus that had struck the club this week.
Nevertheless, despite going behind to Jamie Vardy's 81st minute striker, defender Exodus Geohaghon headed home a late, late equaliser for the never-say-die home side
Cox said: “It wasn't the best preparation for us tonight to go out against the best team in the league - and they looked like it by a country mile - so it was a good point and I am happy with it.
“It was Adam Murray's first game back and he was badly 'flued up' as were several of the lads. We have had a bit of a virus in the club this week and several of them had to be medicated to the through the game.
“With Gary Roberts suspended we were also missing probably the best midfield player at this level. And we knew Jon Worthington wasn't going to last 90 minutes after he was brought in out of the cold, though he performed very well.”
Cox hopes his side can learn from Fleetwood, who are now 23 games unbeaten.
“Look at us now. We are in the infancy of what we want to achieve here,” he said. “You look at Fleetwood and they look totally geared to go up to League Two and to be successful there. I am convinced they will go on to win the championship.
“That's where we want to be and, if we can't get up there this season, I hope we can learn what we need to do from Fleetwood.
“Credit to the lads tonight, they have worked extremely hard, which is all I ever ask of them, against a good team and no one could begrudge us the point.
“We looked anxious and tentative at times which would be my only criticism. We just lacked a bit of composure and a bit of self-belief.
“Most of the game, there was nothing much in it. But you could see what quality they had throughout their side. They were good in possession but, out of possession, they were out of this world and closed us down very quickly – the sign of an excellent side.
“Their goal came just as we were going to change things and really go for it. The lads might have crumbled earlier in the season. But they are now showing a desire and a fight.
“It took Fleetwood scoring for us to finally believe in ourselves in the last third. I thought there were two handballs in the build-up leading to their goal, but the less said about the referee the better.”
Then came that magic moment when the equaliser rocketed into the net at the Quarry Lane end which saw players and ecstatic fans celebrating together on the pitch.
“It's what we are all in this game for – that adrenalin rush for players, manager and supporters. You can't recreate that reaction,” smiled Cox.
“Credit to the supporters again tonight. They were trying to suck the ball into the net near the end and you saw the celebrations. The players can feel that love.”
But the manager also warned: “We have taken a step forward to tonight so let's not then take two steps back on Saturday against Barrow.
“I now feel that is our biggest game of the season and everyone has to believe that. If we can beat Barrow then we can really make strides if other results go for us.”
twitter.com/Mazza_78 Alan Marriott ?
Great grit and determination show by boys tonight. Disappointed in my performance but considering I had two sore ankles I won't sulk 2 much!
Brodie Reckons His Side Deserved a Point
Richard Brodie made his fourteenth league start for Fleetwood Town at Field Mill against Mansfield Town on Tuesday night and almost thought he would see his side earn a sixteenth away win of the season.
Fleetwood took the lead in a hard fought contest through Jamie Vardy on 81 minutes but Exodus Geohagon's header in added time proved decisive.
“I thought it was a great performance from the lads and, as a team, we were solid and resolute. That was until the 91st minute when we switched off,” said Brodie. “We needed a little bit of luck in front of goal but it didn't come until Jamie Vardy scored. Jamie McGuire hit the post with a header and the ball went straight back into the keeper's hands. My chance fell to the keeper and then ended with a defender.
“I think we were the better side and I feel we came away with a good point in the end.”
Mansfield were unable to break through the Town back line and, as the game drew to a close, it looked likely their only chance would come from a set piece.
“They are a big and direct side and you can see why they will collect points, especially at home. We'll look at our performance at the end of the season and realise this was a good point."
The on loan Crawley Town striker has appeared in the last three games and is pleased with his contribution.
“I still feel I have a lot more to come and I hope to have a run in the side as the season comes to an end. I came on against Grimsby Town and made an impact and claimed a goal against Kidderminster Harriers. Last night was a performance when I needed to be strong against two strong, physical lads so I could hold the ball. I thought I did alright.”
Mansfield clearly demonstrated why they are fourth in the table following a good run of form.
“I've already said it's a good point but, when teams score so late, it can feel like a kick in the teeth. That's gone now and we will pick ourselves up. No problem there. We've had three hard games and have another coming up on Saturday. We'll just keep picking points up and the league will take care of itself.”
Interviews: DERICK THOMAS
AFTER the initial disappointment of conceding an injury-time equaliser at Mansfield on Tuesday, Fleetwood Town's players agree the point at Field Mill could be priceless in their Conference title chase.
The two-horse race to the winning post in the Blue Square Bet Premier stepped up another gear when Town were held by the Stags and second-placed Wrexham hammered Ebbsfleet 5-0 – to move within three points of Fleetwood with a game in hand, and wiping out their goal-difference advantage in the process.
But Fleetwood skipper Steve McNulty and striker Richard Brodie believe Tuesday's point could be all-important in the final reckoning, with the frontman insisting Wrexham aren't preying on Town's minds.
Brodie said: “ I thought it was a great performance by the lads. As a team we were solid and resolute until the 91st minute. We didn't have that bit of luck in front of goal.
“When teams score that late it feels like a defeat but we will pick ourselves up. We now have to go to Telford and win on Saturday.
“But we don't worry about Wrexham. We just need to keep picking up points and the table will look after itself.”
Skipper McNulty was also thinking positive, saying: “Mansfield are a big side and they will be in the mix. But this will be a valuable point come the end of the season.
“It was disappointing to concede late on but Mansfield never really had a chance other than from set-pices. We lost a man in the box and they scored. We've had a bit of stick about conceding goals but we have kept our unbeaten run going”
Town face a third successive away game at Telford but that suits McNulty, who added: “We are confident of winning on the road. It suits us – teams can't just defend against us because they are at home.
“We are always going to make chances and score goals. Jamie Vardy didn't have one of his better games (at Mansfield). He was quiet, but he is always a goal threat who will get you one out of nothing.”
Brodie was among those to squander a chance at Mansfield but he is pleased to be back in the starting line-up. He added: “I think there a lot more to come from me and it looks like I might finally get that run in the side late in the season.
"It was another game in which I had to be strong against two big, physical lads and hold the ball up. I though I did all right.”]
- Town defender Paul Edwards has returned to Barrow on loan for the rest of the season
Mellon delighted to be targeted by rivals
Friday 16 March 2012
FLEETWOOD Town travel to AFC Telford tomorrow with manager Micky Mellon warning: “Everyone in the Conference is on our case.”
But Mellon says he would not have it any other way.
The manager of the league leaders explained: “The fact that we are the team to beat is great because it just shows how far we have come as a club.
“When Mansfield scored the equaliser against us in stoppage time on Tuesday, their players were euphoric and seeing a reaction like that it was hard to take it in.
“I never thought I would see the day that we would go to a massive club like Mansfield with all their tradition and see their players so happy to get a point at home against Fleetwood.
“Obviously, there was great disappointment that we conceded a goal so late in the game.
“But for 93 minutes, 58 seconds we played some really good football – it was just that couple of seconds that we switched off that cost us.
“Mansfield are a strong, physical side, and it was a massive point to get – like Manchester United going to Chelsea and getting a draw, I am sure they would be happy with that.
“Mansfield have only lost one match less than Wrexham so far this season.”
Latest | March 2012