COX, SUTTON, DYER, GARY MILLS REACTION
audio interviews with Paul Cox, Ritchie Sutton, Ross Dyer
audio interviews with Gary Mills and Paul Cox
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
York City manager Gary Mills told BBC Radio York:
"I thought the lads did well. Mansfield get the ball forward early, tried to win the second ball, long throws.
"They got the goal from the long throw. We didn't deal with it and you've seen when a long throw goes in like that it is difficult.
"But we've got to deal with these. If we do, we'll end up winning the game on Monday. It's all to play for. If we're patient I think we'll go through."
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"I am happy with the result but I don't think we played particularly well. We said that to the lads, they know they did not play well.
"But what we have done is ground out a result. In any shape or form when you come to York and go away with a 1-1 then you are happy.
"For us to progress we have to get back to believing who we are and what we are and what we are good at."
Stags boss Paul Cox asks referee to look again at Matt Green's red card after Mansfield Town draw play-off semi first leg at York
MANSFIELD Town manager Paul Cox confirmed tonight that he intends to see if he can appeal against 30-goal striker Matt Green's red card in tonight's 1-1 BSBP play-off semi-final first leg draw at York City.
Green was dismissed for a second bookable offence as the referee Richard Clark decided he had used his hand to try to push the ball round the keeper.
As it stands Green will miss Monday's crucial second leg at Mansfield. But, despite it being highly unlikely the referee would change his mind, Cox said: “I have just seen it on the TV monitor and it looks like he didn't touch it.
“The keeper had stretched out a hand and Greeny puts his hand out but more or less pulls it back away and doesn't make contact with the ball.
“I think he was sent off more from the shout. I have asked the referee to look at it and see if he will rescind it.
“If not we will just get on with it. It is always a blow to lose your top scorer but it opens the door for someone else.
“Ross Dyer played down the middle at Wrexham and was excellent.
“I am not going to cry over spilt milk and feel sorry for myself.”
Dyer put Stags ahead in a frantic first half in which Stags never played as they can before an Exodus Geohaghon own goal squared it before the break.
“To come here and get a draw with 10 men I have to be happy with the result,” said Cox. “But we didn't give a good account of ourselves tonight.
“I can't remember when we last looked so disjointed and played that poorly to be honest. We didn't show any structure or work to our blueprint.
“But the lads worked really hard from the first whistle to the last and gave everything for this club.
“Even with 10 men we kept our shape, worked hard and showed desire not to let York finish us off.
“Maybe it was the occasion as some of these players have never played in such a big game before. That's the best thing about tonight as maybe we have now got the jitters out the way and look a bit more comfortable at home.
“Maybe it's this ground as we were disjointed last time we came here we did the same and paid the price.
“We will need to play much better than this if we want to progress on the next phase. We have got to believe in what got us into third place in the league.
“I thought there was a foul just before their equaliser but overall there were some strange refereeing decisions.”
Centre half Martin Riley limped off with a slight hamstring strain and is very doubtful for Monday
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox calls for more quality in play-off second leg
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox wants to see the same work-rate from his players in the second leg of their play-off against York City.
But he insists the quality has to be better if they are to make it through to the final at Wembley to win a place in League Two.
They drew 1-1 last night at Bootham Crescent, Ross Dyer putting them ahead before Exodus Geohaghon's own goal levelled matters.
Despite Stags having top scorer Matt Green sent off for a second booking in the 76th minute, for a controversial handball, they held on for the draw ahead of the second leg at the One Call Stadium on Monday, 2pm kick off.
And boss Cox said: "We did not give a good account of ourselves, I cannot remember when we last looked so disjointed.
"But the one thing I have said though is from the first minute until the last, the lads gave everything for this football club and I want that again.
"But we just did not have that bit of quality that we have shown of late.
"I do not know whether it was the occasion but I am quite glad this one is out of the way.
"We worked extremely hard but did not look as dynamic as we have been but I am pleased with the result, to say we had a man sent off with 20 minutes to go and they are a good team."
Green, with 30 goals this season, will be banned for the second leg unless referee Richard Clark rescinds the second yellow, after television replays showed the striker did not handle the ball.
"I have seen it on the monitor and everyone agrees it was not a handball," said Cox. "I have asked the referee to have a look at it but he is going to have to make a decision on that one."
Defender Martin Riley also limped off after 18 minutes with a tweaked hamstring and Cox confirmed he is a major doubt for Monday
Cox eyes big improvement as Mansfield Town look to reach Wembley
Friday, May 04, 2012, Nottingham Post
AS Paul Cox emerged from the play-off pressure cooker after 90 minutes of frantic action on level terms, it would have been easy to be happy.
After holding off York, the ten-man Stags had come out of the away leg at Bootham Crescent on level terms, with all to play for in the second leg.
Despite losing top goalscorer Matt Green with 16 minutes left, Mansfield had dug deep to eke out a 1-1 draw.
Yet, manager Cox was disappointed, finding himself unable to smile too much in the aftermath of a game that would have sent most travelling fans home happy.
But that is testament to the job that has been done since Cox arrived in May last year.
He was pleased with the draw, pleased with the work ethic but by recent standards, he felt his troops came up way short.
It was not a scathing attack by any means, just a clear reminder to his players that if they are to make it through, they must demonstrate more quality in the return leg on Monday.
After ending the season with 13 wins, a draw and just one defeat from their last 15 games – the only points dropped in a defeat and loss to champions Fleetwood – the bar has been set high, after finishing the campaign on 89 points.
And had they applied themselves in the same way on Wednesday night, maybe they could have emerged with their noses in front.
"I do not want to have a go at the lads because they worked extremely hard," said Cox. "But when you look at our performances of late, where we have been solid, uncompromising and hard to break down, you see that on Wednesday we weren't at times. We made some strange decisions.
"I am probably going overboard a bit as ultimately the desire and work ethic to keep us in the game was brilliant. But we need more than that if we are to progress.
"I always said I would tell the truth and we need to be better if we are to get promoted.
"One thing I can say is they worked extremely hard and when we went down to ten men, York kept the ball really well but we kept our shape and the desire was there to finish the game at 1-1.
"You cannot take anything away from the lads but I want an improvement for the next game."
Back at the One Call Stadium, in front of a big crowd on a ground where they are unbeaten since early in November, Mansfield have to fancy their chances.
And Cox knows the supporters will have a big part to play, after taking 1,352 to York for the first leg.
He said: "The supporters were superb, out of this world.
"The supporters understood when we had to dig in and got behind us vocally and I am just glad that is out of the way.
"I want them to come out and support us in the same way again on Monday, which I am sure they will.
"The lads do not become bad players overnight, they are a tremendous bunch to work with and we will hopefully improve for the second leg."
Cox said after such a good run, it is easy to take for granted the qualities that have made Mansfield so efficient and ruthless towards the end of the season.
He is hoping Wednesday was a case of a few nerves in his squad in a tense and at times hostile York ground but he hopes that is now out of the way.
"It might bring us down to earth a little bit because when you are on the crest of a wave, it is very easy to get complacent about what you are good at," said Cox.
"I want us to do the things we are good at.
"We did not stick to our blueprint and at times let York tickle our bellies a little bit and got pulled into a game we did not want to.
"It is the first time some of them have been involved in such a big game and it might get the jitters out of them and we might play with a bit more composure in the home leg.
"It is a learning curve for some of these boys but saying that, it is 1-1 away from home and we scored a good goal. I have to be pleased with the result but for us to progress, we have to be better.
"We have to believe in who we are and what got us to third place in the table. I do not think we believed in it the other night."
On Monday the Stags will be without suspended 30-goal striker Green and possibly without Martin Riley, after the central defender limped off early in the first leg with a hamstring problem.
But Cox has faith in whoever comes in, adding: "It is always a blow when you lose your top goalscorer but as I see it, it opens the door for somebody else.
"We played Ross Dyer down the middle against Wrexham and he was excellent.
"I am not going to cry over spilt milk.
"If Green is suspended, he is suspended and nobody is going to feel sorry for us, I am not going to feel sorry for me and you just get on with it."
Ross Dyer calls on Mansfield Town supporters to turn the heat on York City
Saturday, May 05, 2012 Nottingham Post
MANSFIELD Town's Ross Dyer has called on the club's supporters to pack the One Call Stadium and make it a frightening place for York to visit.
More than 6,000 fans packed into Bootham Crescent for the first leg of the play-off semi-final, which ended 1-1.
Dyer scored the opening goal in that match in front of the 1,352 travelling Stags fans.
He said it was a hostile place to travel and was pleased to come out on level terms, especially as 30-goal striker Matt Green was sent off.
Now he has called on the Stags fans to turn up the volume on Bank Holiday Monday for the second leg, cranking up the pressure on their opponents.
The Stags have not tasted a home defeat since Cambridge beat them on November 5 and the game is almost sold out, with 8,500 tickets already gone.
And Dyer said: "We have been unbelievable at home recently and one of the goals was to go to York and not lose. You could see it was hostile and we had a man sent off yet we still came away with a draw.
"The fans were unbelievable and cheering us through that game, it was class.
"We want a big crowd on Monday. They tried their hardest to put the pressure on us and we need to do the same to them at our ground by turning out in our thousands, making it a really hard place for them to visit.
"You cannot say how good it has been at home. The fans have been a big factor in how we have turned so many draws into wins. They can push us through to Wembley.
"The belief through the whole club has just grown since Christmas. We believe, the fans believe."
Dyer is relishing Mansfield Town's 'massive' play-off clash
Saturday, May 05, 2012 Nottingham Post
WHEN it comes to Monday's play-off semi-final second leg against York, there is no getting away from how big the fixture is.
With the score locked at 1-1 following the first leg, Mansfield Town go into it with everything to play for.
Victory on Monday would send them to Wembley, one game from reaching the Football League.
And after four, long seasons in the Blue Square Bet Premier, the Stags are within touching distance of achieving their goal.
To get there, there is no room for error in the second leg of the play-off semi-final at the One Call Stadium.
And just to make sure the club's supporters know the importance of the game, striker Ross Dyer made it perfectly clear.
"It is massive, it is just massive," he said after scoring a superb header to put Stags ahead in the first leg, only to be pegged back by Exodus Geohaghon's own goal just before half time.
The Stags held firm despite Matt Green's sending off later on and it means it is all square in the tie.
Reiterating the importance of the game, Dyer added: "It is massive for the fans, massive for the club, and massive to all the players.
"It is one of biggest moments of my career, it is just a massive, massive game."
I think the message is clear – Dyer is not taking this second leg lightly in his quest to get not just Mansfield but himself to Wembley, and then use that as the springboard into League Two.
"We need to go into this game 100 per cent and come out with the win, it is as simple as that," said Dyer, who is set to lead the line with Green suspended.
Despite any extra pressure that brings, the 23-year-old says he will thrive on it as he pointed to the whole squad for carrying the responsibility to get the Stags through this semi-final.
"Maybe the responsibility does come onto me a bit," he said. "But I do not think it is on one person, we have been a good squad all season and we will need all of the squad.
"Greeny has done a great job all season and hopefully I will go and lead the line and do a great job as well.
"We went into the changing room after the game confident, just like we were before the game and even when we went down to ten men they did not create clean-cut chances.
"From what we have seen, we should be confident of going on to win this match."
From Dyer's words something tells you it is no ordinary match, either. It is massive one
Ritchie is up for it
Saturday, May 05, 2012 Nottingham Post
RITCHIE Sutton believes the importance of not losing the first leg of the play-off semi-final at York City cannot be underestimated.
Mansfield manager Paul Cox was happy with the 1-1 draw but was less than satisfied with his side's performance at Bootham Crescent on Wednesday night.
But defender Sutton says the main thing is the Stags enter Monday's second leg on level terms at the One Call Stadium.
And with the home crowd behind them, he believes they can implement their own game plan and get through to Wembley.
He said: "It was important we went there and got a good result. The last thing we wanted was to be chasing the game at home and be open.
"Now we can go into the game with a game-plan, do our thing and keep up our fine form."
The draw means Mansfield have lost just once in their last 16 games and at home they have not been defeated since early November.
They will go into the game without 30-goal striker Matt Green, who is suspended, but Sutton is looking only forward, not back.
"We are disappointed for Greeny and for us all because we did not feel it was a sending off," Sutton said. "But those are the cards we have been dealt and we have to get on with it.
"We are confident we can go back to our ground, keep a clean sheet and get a goal.
"It is a huge occasion and our support is fantastic. The place is going to be bouncing and hopefully that will give us the boost to get into the final."
Ritchie Sutton confident Mansfield Town can adapt to make play-off final
Friday, May 04, 2012, Nottingham Post
RITCHIE Sutton believes Mansfield Town have proved they are strong enough to deal with any enforced changes that are thrown their way.
The Stags went into the play-off semi-final first leg at York on Wednesday night with a clean bill of health.
But they lost central defender Martin Riley to injury after 18 minutes and top goalscorer Matt Green was sent off later in the 1-1 draw.
The 30-goal man is now suspended for the return leg at the One Call Stadium on Monday, while Riley is set to miss out with a hamstring problem.
But Ritchie believes the club showed in the last two games of the season, when Green was rested, that they could score and win without him.
And Sutton switched to his preferred position of central defence to replace Riley on Wednesday, with on-loan Danny Andrew coming on at left-back.
Ritchie is confident Stags can cope without the pair to make it to Wembley and also deal with any potential setbacks that may arise on Monday.
He said: "With the quality of Danny it has kept people like me, while I have been playing at left-back, on my toes and he has got some minutes in the last few games and slotted in comfortably against York.
"If we had to play that back four at home, it would be a good enough back four to keep a clean sheet.
"I have played at left-back for the last few weeks but I slotted into the middle and me and Exodus (Geohaghon) have played together there before and are comfortable reading each other. If we had to play there again, we will be fine.
"We might not have a player who has scored 30 goals like Greeny, but we are confident going forward and about beating them on our home ground.
"We saw that against Wrexham and Kidderminster so we definitely have the goals and players in the team.
"We might have to change the way we play a little bit because Greeny is a unique player for us but we have enough about us to go through to the final."
Will keeper Marriott become Stags' play-off penalty hero?
chad.co.uk, Thursday 3 May 2012
WITH the BSBP play-off semi-final needing to be settled on Monday, Stags keeper Alan Marriott knows he may yet have the chance to become the hero in a penalty shoot-out.
Stags drew 1-1 at York City in last night's first leg and will hope to see off Gary Mills' men to book their place at Wembley over 90 minutes at the One Call Stadium on Monday (2pm).
But Marriott admitted: “I know it would be my chance to be a hero, but I'd rather win it in the 90 minutes.
“I have only been involved in one penalty shoot-out and I won that one.
“After last night we have got to be confident being at home on Monday where we have been fantastic these last six months. People now expect us to win it – and the bookies too.
“But we are not getting carried away. We must come in and get the job done as we are only halfway there. The fans will play a massive part for us.”
On last night's first leg, he added: “We didn't play as well as we can while that was probably one of York's best performances of the season. But they couldn't beat us, even when we went down to 10 men, which must give us confidence.
“They are a good team and we will given them respect.
“Most of my saves were routine which is always nice as a keeper.
“Their own goal was a bit of a mix-up between me and Exodus (Geohaghon). First Anthony Howell was fouled and then we let the ball come into our box.
“I made to come for it but in the end I stopped and Exodus was waiting for me . It was a mix-up in communication between the two of us.”
Gary Mills confident York City can finish the job at Mansfield Town
Matty Blair picks the ball out of the Mansfield net after the Stags' own goal YORK City manager Gary Mills is confident his team can progress to the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final after last night's 1-1 home draw with Mansfield.
The Minstermen will travel to Field Mill for Monday's semi-final second leg with honours even after Exodus Geohgahon's first-half own goal cancelled out Ross Dyer's 26th-minute header for the Stags.
Mansfield will also be without banned 30-goal top scorer Matt Green for the crucial clash after he was sent off 74 minutes into last night's match for two bookable offences – both for late challenges on goalkeeper Michael Ingham.
Despite their numerical advantage, City could not find a goal that would have given them a lead to take to Nottinghamshire but Mills is in optimistic mood as he ponders his team's second leg fortunes as long as Geohaghan's long-throw threat is nullified.
Mansfield's goal last night came from a long haul into the box by the Stags' 6ft 5in defender and Mills said afterwards: “It's 1-1 at half-time with all to play for and the lads did well last night.
“All our fans have seen what Mansfield are now.
“They get the ball forward early and try to win the second balls and also bombard you with long throws, which we did not deal with well for their first goal.
“You have to deal with these things and, if we do, we will end up winning Monday's game. If we are patient and compete with them, I think we will go through.
“I want us to go there and play how we play and I know that will be enough to win the tie. It would have been nice to get our noses in front but our away form is good so we will go there with confidence.”
The Minstermen set a club record by losing just three of their 23 league games on the road during the regulation season – at Tamworth, Gateshead and Newport – as well as drawing at Mansfield.
Mills does not think the prolific Green's suspension, however, will make City's task any easier or harder during the return leg.
The City boss added: “I'm not bothered about that one bit.
“I don't think it gives us an advantage the fact that he will be suspended because I thought we dealt with him well last night and I didn't feel he was really in the game anyway.
“I'm just going there concentrating on us.”
Latest | May 2012