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Archived News from April 2012

KETTERING PREVIEWS + ADAM MURRAY BLOG
8th April 2012 21:45



video previews with Paul Cox, Exodus Geohaghon and Alan Marriott --->
http://www.mansfieldtown.net/page/NewsDetail/0,,10325~2724733,00.html

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Paul Cox talks to BBC Radio Nottingham --->
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17570989?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

VIEWS FROM THE TRAINING GROUND.
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:

"We have two really tough games against Kettering, who are fighting for their lives, and Stockport, who will want to get the result to make sure they are in this division next season.

"They are two very dangerous games against two teams we have to respect.

"With two games in three days at this stage of the season we have to utilise the squad. But we have made sure we will go into the Kettering game to get a good result and then we will think about the Stockport game,.

"Our main focus in on the Kettering game; that is the biggest game of the season. We have to concentrate on that and only that.

"The players have been absolutely magnificent throughout the season and have thrived on the pressure I have put on them."

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Mansfield Town's Exodus Geohaghon – No time for sentiment
Saturday, April 07, 2012, Nottingham Post

IT IS only a matter of time before Kettering Town's relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier is confirmed.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-15746451-detail/story.html

And today, if Mansfield Town win at Nene Park, it will seal the Poppies' fate with still four games to play.

For Exodus Geohaghon, it will not be the best feeling, after making his mark at Kettering Town between 2008 and 2010, a spell which in the end earned him his move into the Football League with Peterborough.

But as the Stags central defender prepares to face his old, trouble-hit club today, he says he is fully committed to helping earn a ninth victory in 11 matches and move three points closer to sealing a play-off berth.

Defeat will leave cash-strapped Kettering at least 12 points adrift and because of their terrible goal difference, they will be down even if their relegation rivals all lose.

But Geohaghon's thoughts are solely on earning a top-five berth and then trying to get a shot at a Wembley play-off final.

And with Stockport visiting Field Mill on Easter Monday, two victories in three days would see Stags hit 80 points, a tally many predict would be enough to make the play-offs.

Geohaghon, who is on loan at Mansfield from Darlington, said: "There is no room for sentiment. It is about getting the three points. That is what the job is.

"It is upsetting to see Kettering's position but things change in football and unfortunately they are in a predicament at the moment. But I can't really worry about that. All I can worry about is the three points.

"I had some good times there, played some memorable games especially in the FA Cup and when I left, they were still second in the league and I thought they were going to go on to bigger and better things.

"Unfortunately that has not happened and I have spoken to a couple of the boys down there and they are going to turn up and not make it easy for us."

Birmingham-based Geohaghon entered football late, after doing a film and video production degree at Wolverhampton University.

He played for Sutton Coldfield and Bromsgrove before his move to Kettering and at 27, he is ready to win promotion into the Football League with Mansfield.

He has helped fill the void left by John Dempster, who has returned to Crawley after his loan spell, and has impressed alongside Martin Riley in the heart of defence.

His long throw-ins have also been a devastating weapon in the armoury of Paul Cox's side and he expects that to continue in the remaining games.

"It is about who goes into the play-offs with the momentum and Fleetwood aside, we are the in-form team," said the defender.

"We want to keep winning and then people will say we are the team to beat.

"The boys were doing well before I came here and that has continued so hopefully we can go the next five games unbeaten and then I have done my job.

"I am still learning because I came into the game late but if people look at me as an experienced head, I will take that.

"As for my throws, that is down to organisation and work by the gaffer and the boys.

"We have set something up where we are getting a lot of rewards from our throws and corners and I hope that will continue."

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Murray setting the example at Mansfield Town, says boss Paul Cox
Saturday, April 07, 2012, Nottingham Post

MANAGER Paul Cox says the role played by skipper Adam Murray at Mansfield Town cannot be underestimated.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-15746442-detail/story.html

The central midfielder has been a leading figure, making 37 league appearances this campaign despite an ankle injury.

It is a problem set to be fixed in the summer but for now, he is having painkilling injections on a regular basis.

But Cox said his winning mentality is infectious to the Stags, who sit third in the Blue Square Bet Premier ahead of a crucial Easter weekend.

Victories against Kettering today and Stockport on Monday could all but book a place in the play-offs.

And despite two games in three days, Cox says 30-year-old Murray will be desperate to play in both.

The Stags boss said: "He is like Robocop at the minute. He has run through a brick wall for the club this season.

"He is a great leader to some of the younger players and I do not know if we will get two games out of him in three days, but I am sure he will be banging on my door tomorrow wanting to play Monday.

"We don't want to burn him out before the end of the season. We have to be clever with him but I have really enjoyed working with him.

"He is the captain and you can put an armband on anybody and they could go through the motions.

"Adam really does take on the role, even to the extent he sacrifices himself on the pitch for the sake of the team at times.

"He has a great mindset – the lad's a winner.

"While Adam Murray has that desire and mentality about him, he plays.

"As well as his technical ability in midfield, even when he is not having a great game with the ball, he affects things all over, putting his foot in, breaking things up and most importantly, he leads by example."

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Stags chasing Easter double over strugglers
chad.co.uk, Thursday 5 April 2012

STAGS begin their crucial Easter programme with a trip to struggling Kettering Town on Saturday (3pm) with another struggling club, Stockport County, at the newly-renamed Once Call Stadium on Monday (3pm).

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-fc/stags-chasing-easter-double-over-strugglers-1-4423358

Mansfield Town are now seven points ahead of sixth-placed Luton Town, thouhg the Hatters have two games in hand, and four ahead of fifth-placed Southport.

Kettering are almost gone, 12 points from safety after a season racked with debt and misery, and have lost eight and drawn one of the last 10.

As an ex-Kettering player, that is not something that current Stags boss Paul Cox is enjoying seeing happen to them.

“It's not nice to see Kettering where they are as I had some fabulous years there and such a good rappore with the supporters. You just don't want to to see one of your old clubs in their predicament.

“But on Saturday I have to be totally ruthless and we will go there knowing that, again, it is our biggest game of the season and we need a good result.

“They are fighting for their lives and we know they will bite and scratch and do everything they can to get a result.

“We must be single-minded and ruthless and work as hard as we have ever worked.

“We must focus on the Kettering game alone, if not, we will get turned over.

“Look what happened to Southport against Hayes and Yeading and York against Newport.

“These are not freak results as, on their day, anyone can beat anyone else in this league.”

Despite his current ankle problems, Cox expects skipper Adam Murray to want to play on Saturday but admitted his skipper may not play in both games.

“If he plays on Saturday, I am sure Adam will be banging on my door on Sunday, wanting to play on Monday.

“He is a winner and has that desire and mentality of wanting to play. Even if he is not having a great game with the ball you know he will still affect the game.

“But we don't want to burn him out before the end of the season an we have got to be clever with him.”

Another ex-Poppies man is Exodus Geohaghon who agreed: “It is upsetting to see what's happened at Kettering as they were second in the league when I left and I thought they were going to go on to better things. But things change in football.

“All I can do is go there and concentrate on getting the three points. I have spoken to a couple of the boys down there and, to be fair, they are expecting to get beaten on Saturday, just a case of by how many, but we know they won't make it easy for us and it will be tough.

“We are the side with the momentum now and if we can get into the play-offs people will see us as the team to beat.”

Monday's visit of Stockport, who are one place and four points above the drop zone, sees U12s admitted for £1 with an adult which should boost the home attendance.

Stockport have won their last two games against fellow strugglers Bath and Kettering but lost their previous three, including a 5-0 loss at Southport and a 6-1 hiding at Alfreton. STAGS begin their crucial Easter programme with a trip to struggling Kettering Town on Saturday (3pm) with another struggling club, Stockport County, at the newly-renamed Once Call Stadium on Monday (3pm).

Mansfield Town are now seven points ahead of sixth-placed Luton Town, thouhg the Hatters have two games in hand, and four ahead of fifth-placed Southport.

Kettering are almost gone, 12 points from safety after a season racked with debt and misery, and have lost eight and drawn one of the last 10.

As an ex-Kettering player, that is not something that current Stags boss Paul Cox is enjoying seeing happen to them.

“It's not nice to see Kettering where they are as I had some fabulous years there and such a good rappore with the supporters. You just don't want to to see one of your old clubs in their predicament.

“But on Saturday I have to be totally ruthless and we will go there knowing that, again, it is our biggest game of the season and we need a good result.

“They are fighting for their lives and we know they will bite and scratch and do everything they can to get a result.

“We must be single-minded and ruthless and work as hard as we have ever worked.

“We must focus on the Kettering game alone, if not, we will get turned over.

“Look what happened to Southport against Hayes and Yeading and York against Newport.

“These are not freak results as, on their day, anyone can beat anyone else in this league.”

Despite his current ankle problems, Cox expects skipper Adam Murray to want to play on Saturday but admitted his skipper may not play in both games.

“If he plays on Saturday, I am sure Adam will be banging on my door on Sunday, wanting to play on Monday.

“He is a winner and has that desire and mentality of wanting to play. Even if he is not having a great game with the ball you know he will still affect the game.

“But we don't want to burn him out before the end of the season an we have got to be clever with him.”

Another ex-Poppies man is Exodus Geohaghon who agreed: “It is upsetting to see what's happened at Kettering as they were second in the league when I left and I thought they were going to go on to better things. But things change in football.

“All I can do is go there and concentrate on getting the three points. I have spoken to a couple of the boys down there and, to be fair, they are expecting to get beaten on Saturday, just a case of by how many, but we know they won't make it easy for us and it will be tough.

“We are the side with the momentum now and if we can get into the play-offs people will see us as the team to beat.”

Monday's visit of Stockport, who are one place and four points above the drop zone, sees U12s admitted for £1 with an adult which should boost the home attendance.

Stockport have won their last two games against fellow strugglers Bath and Kettering but lost their previous three, including a 5-0 loss at Southport and a 6-1 hiding at Alfreton

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Unsung heroes playing a special role at Mansfield Town – Cox
Thursday, April 05, 2012 Nottingham Post

PAUL Cox insists there are plenty of unsung heroes playing a major part in Mansfield Town's success this season.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-15723819-detail/story.html

The Stags are up to third in the Blue Square Bet Premier with just five games to play, after a run of eight wins and a draw in their last ten games.

But during that stretch and earlier in the season, Mansfield boss Cox said there have been plenty of players who have missed out on selection.

They include senior professionals like Jon Worthington, with Lee Stevenson also struggling to get a look in on the starting 11.

And the quality in depth has seen loanee left-back Danny Andrew yet to start a game because of Ritchie Sutton's form, playing so well after switching to that position.

But ahead of an Easter double against Kettering on Saturday and Stockport on Monday, Cox said it is the attitude of the whole squad that is behind their success.

"It is tough for me picking a side at the minute," said Cox. "There are a lot of honest boys I have had to leave out the starting 11 and some not even on the bench at times and these are players I think the world of.

"These are decisions you have to make and you look at Jon Worthington, a player who would run through a brick wall for you.

"I cannot speak highly enough of their attitude, it has been a breath of fresh air. These are special lads and deserve a special mention."

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Stags' defence steps up the plate
Tuesday, April 03, 2012, Nottingham Post

ALAN Marriott is delighted at Mansfield Town's recent thriftiness – despite the departure of the influential John Dempster.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-15703254-detail/story.html

The Stags had hoped to secure the loanee from Crawley until the end of the season after a string of steady displays after joining in November.

But no agreement was reached, meaning Dempster returned to his parent club at the end of January.

That forced a reshuffle in the Mansfield defence and saw Exodus Geohaghon drafted into the side.

But it has not affected the performances of the back four, meaning some welcome clean sheets – the latest in the 1-0 home win against Ebbsfleet – as the Stags charged into the play-off places.

"We have had to change it around, but Ritchie Sutton has gone in a left-back when he's a centre-half or a right-back and done a terrific job," said keeper Marriott.

"The same goes for Martin Riley – he's the one who probably deserves the most praise out of all of the back four.

"He got dropped at Newport but has worked hard to get back in the team and he is playing well. He's been fantastic.

"Exodus has also been a massive part of what we have done since he has come in and everyone knows Luke O'Neill and what potential he has.

"We seem to be hitting form at the right time and long may that continue."

Mansfield have started to score more goals from set-piece situations as the season has gone on.

Marriott said: "People probably see the long throw and think that we are a long ball team, but if you look at it then a big percentage of goals are scored from dead balls and restarts, especially at this level.

"They are a huge part of the game, so it's good to see that we have been doing well.

"I don't think we made enough of them earlier in the season, but we certainly are now. We work hard on it in training and it's paying off."

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ADAM MURRAY BLOG: So near yet so far. . .
mansfieldtown.net, Tue 03 Apr 2012

... I think that sums our situation up. We are in touching distance of the carrot but still with an incredible amount of work to do. We have put ourselves in a great position but we all know in this game that you can blink and it's gone.

http://www.mansfieldtown.net/page/NewsDetail/0,,10325~2719191,00.html

It doesn't matter what we have done so far, it's all about the next few weeks and in a lot of our careers this will be the most important period so far.

Saturday was a strange game. Although the performance wasn't fantastic I never thought we lost control of the game. I watched the game again yesterday and for the majority of the match we were in their final third. We just lacked that spark but it's games like this that we pay Greeny to produce that bit of magic from nowhere.

Having experienced four promotions, one thing that has always been present is a total BELIEF - a belief that every time you go out on that pitch you are going to be successful, even through bad games you must feel the outcome is going to be positive.

You can't buy this, it's like magic dust. Going in to the 80th minute Saturday, I still had this emotional buzz inside me that we were going to achieve what we set out to do at 3pm.

Now the key is to keep that belief and confidence because it's a fine line to stepping into arrogance and once that happens, BOOM your dreams blow up right in front of your very own eyes. We are very lucky to have a very focused group of men and management that keep everybody at ground zero.

Saturday was a big day for us, not only our result but results elsewhere were kind to us. The league this season is great and there are battles going on all over the country. Tonight throws up a few more clashes which we can only sit back and hope things go our way.

We are looking forward to a massive weekend for both us and clubs up and down the league and we have to be focused and ready as it will be a very tough 72 hours.

As we are coming to the last part of the season and having played against all of our league opponents, I'm going to put together my best 11 from this season (not including our own players). It is a tough choice as the standard of this league is very very high.

Goalkeeper:Mark Tyler of Luton Town. Apart from our own Mazza, I think he's the best around. His distribution is very good and for a smallish keeper he's like a cat.

Right back:Lee Vaughan of Kidderminster Harriers. He mixes aggression with good ability. He is very good going forward which in the modern game is very important as a full back.

Centre half:George Pilkington of Luton Town. Pilks is fantastic. As a defender he has it all and in my opinion should be playing a lot higher .

Centre half:Mark Creighton of Wrexham. At this level Creights is exactly what you need and does what it says on the tin. It's not down to luck teams that the teams he plays in always do well.

Left Back:James Meredith of York City. Again, a full back who mixes aggression with ability. Has had a good season and gives you a lot going forward .

Centre midfield:Jamie Hand of Hayes and Yeading. Very good player. Spent a period on loan this season at Luton. As a midfielder he offers everything: presence, great ability and a nasty streak when needed.

Midfield:Adam Watkiss of Luton Town .A few of you might not know this fella but watch out. Along with Godrey Poku, he has a massive future. He has broke through this season and really shown what he's about.

Midfield:Jack Byrne of Kidderminster Harriers . I really like this lad, he's someone who can play but is not scared to put his foot in .

Centre forward:Liam Hearn of Grimsby Town. He is a strong lad with the pace to get in behind. Most importantly he scores goals.

Forward:Jamie Vardy of Fleetwood Town. This lad has been on fire. He has the x factor! Quick, strong, clever and with great ability. Deserves his move whereever he ends up.

Forward:Jon Shaw of Gateshead .A typical fox in the box. He is a real handful and has had a great season.

This is my 11 guys. I think it offers steel and flair. Remember this is only my opinion. It'd be interesting to hear your views .

Right get yourself ready for a massive weekend - let's give it everything we have.

COME ON YOU STAGS !!!!!

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