YORK 2ND LEG PREVIEWS
VIDEO: Cox hoping for better performance on Monday
mansfieldtown.net, Sat 05 May 2012
Boss Paul Cox is confident that his players have removed any play-off nerves from their system after his side drew 1-1 with York City in the first leg of the Play-off Semi-Final.He said: "Our players have not played in that environment and I think it will have done them the world of good to have chipped away the wobbly legs syndrome and anxiety.
"I just want the lads to enjoy themselves. If we progress or fail at this hurdle, I want us to do it knowing that we have given it our best shot and not because we have been afraid of the fixture or afraid of losing.
"It is shaping up to be a great second leg, if anything I just want us to give a better account of ourselves, to play with more freedom and to express ourselves more."
Despite some anxiety amongst his players, Cox was pleased to come away from Bootham Crescent with a positive result.He said: "It was a result that we were happy with. If somebody had said to me going into the game that we would spend the last 20 minutes down to ten men and come back with a 1-1 I would have taken that.
"It is a tough place to go and get a result, but I do not think we played anywhere near what we can do.
"We are looking at the positives; we can play an awful lot better. Playing better doesn't guarantee you anything, but I am looking for the lads to put in a performance in the game on Monday.
"These boys are an honest set and have put in a lot of hard work this season and I do not want them to go out and think we have let ourselves down."
A sell-out crowd awaits the highly-anticipated return leg and Cox hopes the fans will make the One Call a cauldron of noise on the night.
He said: "The crowd are going to have a massive part to play. When the stadium is full it is going to create an atmosphere and we want every one of our fans to be vocal for 90 minutes.
"We will be working extremely hard to get them a win on Monday and hopefully we will give them something to cheer about."
Cox will be without leading scorer Matt Green through suspension, but he remains hopeful that Martin Riley will recover from a hamstring injury in time for Monday's game.
Cox said: "He might be available for Monday. It was a tweak we hope we have caught in time, but you never know with hamstrings.
"We have had a balanced back four for a number of games now, Riley has done really well for us and losing a player through injury is not what you want."
Stags v York - sold out
Fri 04 May 2012
We are delighted to confirm that tickets for Monday's eagerly awaited Play-Off Semi Final Second Leg at home to York City have now sold out.A crowd of over 7,500 is expected at One Call Stadium, which will include 1500 York City supporters. Kick off is at 2pm.
Our ticket office is open tomorrow for collections between 9am until 1pm. Our club shop will also be open to give you every opportunity of purchasing our new kit!
VIEWS FROM THE TRAINING GROUND
audio interview with Alan Marriott --->
Mansfield Town goalkeeper Alan Marriott told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"It just makes it a one-off game. Away goals don't count for anything now.
"Sometimes it's nice to play away from home because you don't feel the pressure and the expectation from fans like you do when you play at your own stadium.
"The fans will expect us to win but we have to remain patient, don't get frustrated and give ourselves the best opportunity.
"To get into the Football League would be a fantastic achievement. Everyone wants to play in the Football League. It is the ultimate aim for the club but you could probably say that for all the other clubs in the play-offs who are all former League clubs."
Ingham: York City ready for war at Mansfield
By Steve Carroll, Sports reporter, Friday 4th May 2012
MICHAEL INGHAM is expecting to go to "war" when York City travel to Mansfield Town for the vital play-off semi-final second leg on Monday.
The Minstermen goalkeeper is expecting a hostile atmosphere at Field Mill and more physical attention, along with the long-ball and long-throw bombardment which marked Wednesday's first-leg 1-1 draw at Bootham Crescent.
Ingham, who played following a pain-killing injection on the ankle injury which has caused him to miss the last three games of the Blue Square Bet Premier regular season, said he had been booted in the chest, had coins thrown at him and received an elbow from Stags' striker Matt Green, later sent off for two yellow cards, in a tempestuous encounter.
But as City look to book a second trip to Wembley at Mansfield, the 31-year-old, who also received considerable abuse on Twitter from some away supporters in the aftermath of the first leg, has backed his team-mates to get the job done.
"There have been tests of character and questions asked of the lads all season," Ingham said. "To be fair, the lads have answered every single one of them. I have no worries at all about going to Mansfield.
"It is going to be loud, it is going to be very intimidating, it's probably going to be another war. But the lads will roll their sleeves up and, hopefully, we will get a victory and roll on to Wembley."
He added: "It was a tough game and a bit of a war out there at times.
"I have gone from getting a boot in the chest, to getting coins thrown at me, to getting an elbow off Matt Green which the linesman did not see.
"We were being bombarded by long throws and crosses into the box, but we have probably played the better stuff and are unlucky not to come away with a victory."
Ingham stressed the need to deal with the long-throw threat of Exodus Geohaghon, whose flat bullet in the first half led to Ross Dyer's 26th-minute goal for Mansfield, but reckons the Minstermen will handle the problem better in the return leg.
"We just didn't deal with the one they scored from - the rest we did," he said.
"There were no excuses and we probably will have to watch where we kick the ball out on Monday because he seems to take them from everywhere.
"He's a bit like Rory Delap. He's got the flat one and the loopy one. We will hopefully deal with that a bit better on Monday."
On the situation with his injury, Ingham continued: "It was manageable, but it is very sore.
"I had to take a pain-killing jab 20 minutes before kick-off and a lot of drugs. But I got through it.
"It's a lot of severe bone bruising so I will just have to manage it until the end of the season and rest it over the summer.
"In our minds, we have got another three games to go.
"We go to Mansfield on Monday and we want to play in the play-off final and get promoted.
"That was the aim from July 1 as the gaffer keeps saying and the players are the same.
"The Lutons and the Grimsbys and the Braintrees and the Cambridges - we have always answered the questions and we have probably played better football away from home.
"We go to Mansfield on Monday and don't fear anybody."
City will be buoyed at Mansfield by more than 1,500 travelling supporters after the Club yesterday sold out their allocation for the all-ticket match (kick off 2pm).
Lanre Oyebanjo in line for York City's big play-off tie
Saturday 5th May 2012 in News By Dave Flett, Sports reporter
Lanre Oyebanjo is fit for Monday's play-off tie at Mansfield Town LANRE Oyebanjo is fit enough to return to York City's side for Monday's vital Blue Square Bet Premier play-off decider at Mansfield Town.
But the Republic of Ireland under-21 international is more likely to be used in midfield rather than his recognised right-back role should manager Gary Mills decide to start him in the Field Mill contest.
Oyebanjo has missed the last three matches with a hamstring problem but that has cleared up, making him available as City bid to keep their promotion dream alive with the semi-final deadlocked at 1-1 following Wednesday's first leg at Bootham Crescent.
An in-form Jon Challinor will not be dislodged from full-back but Mills would have the option of restoring James Meredith to left-back should he recall Oyebanjo or of playing both together in midfield as he has done in the past.
On Oyebanjo's chances of returning to the fold, Mills said: “Lanre trained with us for the first time yesterday since he got injured and did very well.
“If he does come back in, it would probably be in midfield because I think he's done well for us there. He's got good energy levels and he's the type of player who likes to be on the front foot
“He's very attack-minded but, because of how he plays as a full-back, he's also got a defensive mindset so, if I decide to play him on Monday, that will come in handy.”
Challinor provided the cross that led to Exodus Geohaghon's own goal in the first leg and Mills added that he was pleased with the former Mansfield and Rushden utility man's performance levels at right-back, adding: “He's done well over the last few games
“He came out of the team and worked hard to get back in and I think knowing that Lanre's available has made him want to keep the shirt even more.”
City are also expected to have Chris Doig available against the Stags although he did not train yesterday, as a cautionary measure after taking a knock late in the first leg.
That match, Mills reckons, can be forgotten now as, with away goals not counting, the teams are starting again on level terms despite City being quoted at surprising odds of 5-2 to win the match with some bookmakers.
“It's a one-off game now,” the City boss reasoned. “The first leg counts for nothing really other than they will be without their top scorer (suspended 30-goal striker Matt Green).
“It's all level and we've just got to do what we've done all season –put in a good performance to get a good result away from home. We only play one way and I don't care if Mansfield hear that because we won't change our game to combat them.”
That means Mills is not obsessing over the need to nullify Geohaghon's long-throw threat, which led to Ross Dyer's goal in the first leg, placing an equal emphasis on exploiting his own team's strengths.
“I don't want to get bogged down by the long throw,” the City boss explained. “It is what it is.
“You have to deal with it like you do when crosses come into your box. You don't have to worry about them scoring and just defend the ball when it comes in.
“You can't stop people putting in long throws but we can do a lot of damage ourselves. In fact, I hope he takes a lot of them so it tires him out when he's trying to get back to centre-half.”
With two days to go before the most important game of the season, Mills also reckons there is a good balance of controlled excitement at Bootham Crescent.
He said: “It's a big, fantastic game. We know the magnitude of it and what it means to the football club to win on Monday.
“Nobody needs motivating – not myself, the players or our fans. If we can pull it off on Monday we will have two Wembley finals to finish off our season.
“That would be a fitting reward for the players, supporters and the club but only if we win both, do the double and get promoted. The gap between the two games seems like an eternity and I can't wait for 2pm on Monday.
“My adrenalin hasn't stopped pumping since Wednesday night.
“I'm excited but, at the same time, it's important not to get carried away and to remain professional. My players are also relaxed and that's important.”
Wednesday's game proved a fiery contest with Mansfield left furious at Green's 74th-minute dismissal.
Stags manager Paul Cox headed for the players' tunnel without shaking Mills' hand at the final whistle but the City chief declined to comment on any perceived lack of sportsmanship, simply saying: “I am proud of my club and proud of what we have done this season.
“I am proud of the way my players and our supporters have conducted themselves and we continue to show what this club is all about.”
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