NEWPORT PREVIEWS /OWENS INJURY DOUBT/DANIEL SIGNS
Cox captures Daniel
mansfieldtown.net, Fri 10 Aug 2012
We have now completed the transfer of Colin Daniel from Macclesfield Town for an undisclosed fee.
The 24-year-old agreed terms with manager Paul Cox yesterday and could now feature in tomorrow's season-opener against Newport County.
Daniel is no stranger to our manager having played under him at Eastwood Town for three years earlier in his career.
The versatile left-sided midfielder, who can also operate at left-back if required to do so, penned a two-year deal at Crewe Alexandra in July 2007, but has spent the last three years at Macclesfield Town.
Daniel made a total of 131 appearances for the Silkmen, scoring 14 goals.
Arguably the highlight of his time at Moss Rose was an equalising goal in an FA Cup clash with Bolton Wanderers, which earned his former club a lucrative trip to the Reebok Stadium.
Manager Paul Cox said: "Colin will add power, pace and quality on the left of midfield and anywhere across the front line and I am sure our fans will be pleased with this acquisition."
He will wear shirt number 31
VIDEO: Cox speaks ahead of Newport opener
Posted on: Fri 10 Aug 2012
Paul Cox is in a positive mood ahead of the Blue Square Bet Premier campaign, which begins tomorrow when we play host to Newport County.
The Stags boss has watched his side turn in some impressive performances during pre-season, but insists the real business starts tomorrow.
He said: "Pre-season means very little in reality. It is from Saturday when we really begin to earn our money when league points are at stake."
"I will learn more about my players from their performances over the next few games than I have done over the last few weeks.
"You have to have the mind-set to be successful. You can have the best group of players on the planet, but if they are not hungry for success, then you are never going to win a game.
Cox added: "Saturday will tell me a lot more about the character within our squad and the desire they have to succeed."
Andy Owens is the only doubt , but Jake Speight, who made his first pre-season appearance against Boston United only a week ago, could feature at some point.
"Owens is the only big question mark really," said Cox.
"He has been very unlucky during pre-season and has a slight groin strain, so if he is not 100 per cent fit then we probably won't take a risk with him.
"Then we have Jake Speight, who has looked really sharp in the last two games, but has been playing catch-up on fitness because of his injury.
"I'm sure Jake will be chomping at the bit to play, but we will have to wait and see.
Cox added: "I have an XI in my mind at the moment, but nothing is definite yet and things can still change between now and Saturday."
The Stags fell to defeat for the first time in pre-season last weekend when Rotherham United claimed victory at One Call Stadium.
That was three days before a narrow victory over Sheffield FC and Cox believes the tough challenges posed from the opposition in the last two games could help his side to avoid becoming over-confident.
"Losing to Rotherham and being pushed all the way by Sheffield in the last two games was probably the best thing that could have happened to us."
"Having done well and beaten two Championship sides in Derby County and Nottingham Forest, you could become over-confident. The last two games have certainly helped to level things out a bit."
Cox also confirmed that he is yet to make a final decision on who will captain the side against Newport.
The season-opener against Newport County kicks off at 3.00pm tomorrow
audio interviews with Matt Green and Paul Cox --->
Matt Green sure Mansfield Town quality can win promotion
Mansfield Town striker Matt Green is relishing the challenge of matching his 30 goals of last season and is convinced the Stags can win promotion from the Blue Square Bet Premier.
The Stags stormed into the play-offs last term but were edged out by Carlisle in the semi-finals.
Play media"It was a good team last season and it's an even better team this season," Green told BBC Radio Nottingham.
"We have good individual players with match-winners all through the team."
The Stags had a mixed start to the last campaign under new manager Paul Cox, but enjoyed a remarkable run of form in the second half of the season, including a sequence of 10 wins from 12 matches.
They begin the new season at home to Newport on Saturday
"People have come back hungrier this season as well, having had a taste of it last season and I am really looking forward to it," Green said.
Green was sent off in the first leg of last season's semi-final against Carlisle (correction by Martin - York) and missed the return match
His absence proved costly against the Cumbrians as the Stags paid the price for a lack of goal threat at Field Mill.
But the 25-year-old Welshman is not fazed by the prospect of shouldering the goalscoring burden again this time out
"I will have that sort or expectation, that's the life of a striker," Green said. "I am taking it on board, I am not taking it in a negative way and am looking forward to it.
"I played with a lot of freedom and was able to express myself.
"There are good players around me as well and when they do get the ball they look for me all the time, which makes my job a lot easier."
Green is also confident the Stags have the quality to play in the Football League.
"I don't think there is that much of a difference between this league and the one above it," he added. "There is just a little bit more consistency and I think we should have that this season.
Play media"It will be even harder this season because a lot of people have spent a lot of money. It will be a long hard season but I have played in this league so many times now and I know what it's about and most of the players here have a lot of experience.
"If we can start this season like we finished last season then I think we can do it. We have worked really hard through pre-season."
VIEWS FROM THE TRAINING GROUND
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"When you look at the first-team players, the squad is roughly the same depth as last season. But the difference is that last season there was a squad of 25 but only 19 could be classed as first-team players.
"This season we have 25 players again and all 25 players could make up an eleven.
"It was the strength of the depth of the squad that I wanted because the injuries and suspensions last season meant that sometimes we were putting round pegs in square holes. I don't want to do that this season, I want like for like."
Daniel switch nears completion
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 09 Aug 2012
Macclesfield Town midfielder Colin Daniel is set to sign for us after agreeing personal terms this afternoon.
An undisclosed fee has been agreed with the Silkmen to sign the 24-year-old and we are now waiting for the necessary paperwork to be completed before we can officially confirm the deal.
Daniel could be in line to make his Stags debut in Saturday's season-opener against Newport County at One Call Stadium.
Daniel to join Stags
Thu 09 Aug 2012
Macclesfield official website
Colin Daniel agrees terms at Field Mill
Macclesfield Town midfielder Colin Daniel is set to leave the club to join Mansfield Town for an undisclosed fee after the two clubs agreed a fee before the player agreed terms at Field Mill.
The player, who joined the club under Keith Alexander in 2009, initially on loan from Crewe, went on to play more than 140 matches for the club in all competitions, scoring 16 along the way, including some spectacular strikes against Wycombe and Crewe.
It was in another game against Crewe, towards the end of last season when he scored in the 80th minute to make the score 2-2 with what would be the Silkmen's last goal in the Football League, and also scored to make it 1-1 against Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup at the Moss Rose last seaosn
We would like to thank 'Junior' for his efforts over the last few seasons and wish him all the best for his future career.
Cox confirms Daniel discussions
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 09 Aug 2012
Manager Paul Cox has confirmed that we are in talks with Macclesfield Town midfielder Colin Daniel.
The boss, who was speaking at the pre-match press meeting ahead of Saturday's season-opener against Newport County, further stated that the 24-year-old could be a Stags player later today.
"Hopefully Colin will be a Mansfield Town player by midday today. We've held talks with him and so far it has all been very positive," said Cox.
"If we do agree terms, then we'll check on his match sharpness and fitness levels and he could even be in contention for a place in the team this weekend."
Primarily a left-sided winger, Daniel has also operated both as a striker and at left-back during a long career which began with him making his senior debut for Eastwood Town in 2004.
After three highly successful years at Coronation Park under the guidance of our current boss, the then-teenager signed for Crewe Alexandra in July 2007.
Despite making over a dozen league appearances in his first season with the Railwaymen, the youngster struggled to establish himself at Gresty Road and instead gained valuable experience from a loan spell with Macclesfield Town during the 2008/09 campaign.
Daniel then penned a permanent deal with the Silkmen in March 2009 and went on to feature in well over 100 Football League games for the Cheshire club
Owens the worry as Mansfield Town prepare for opener against Newport
chad.co.uk; Thursday 9 August 2012
ANDY Owens remains the only injury worry for Mansfield Town as they kick off the new BSBP season against Newport County at the One Call Stadium on Saturday.
But the squad may be bolstered by Macclesfield left winger Colin Daniel who was in talk with the club over a contract today.
Left back Owens has impressed in pre-season and does possess the extra weapon of a long throw, but he has picked up a groin strain and manager Paul Cox said: “Andy is the only big question mark really. If he is not 100 per cent we probably won't take a risk with him.
“Then we have Jake Speight, who looked really sharp in the last two pre-season games, but has been playing catch-up on fitness after being injured in pre-season. Is he ready to play?
“I have an XI in my mind but nothing is definite yet as we still have two days of training.”
He added: “Pre-season means nothing really. It is from Saturday when we really earn our money. I will learn a lot about my players over the next few games.
“You have to have the mindset to be successful. You can have the best group of players on the planet. But if they are not hungry for success then you're never going to win a game.
“Losing to Rotherham and being pushed by Sheffield in the last two games was probably the best thing that could have happened to us as, having done well and beaten two Championship sides, you could become over-confident. It's levelled things out a bit.”
Daniel (24), who began his career at Eastwood, can also play left back or up front and, after two years at Crewe, has amassed over 100 games for Macclesfield.
“I am hoping he will sign today,” said Cox.
“Obviously we will have to monitor his fitness over the next two days to see where he is with it but, with his attributes, you would say he would come straight into the squad for Saturday.”
With first choice keeper Alan Julian still out injured the Exiles look set to give former Chelsea and Millwall keeper Lenny Pidgeley a short-term contract and play him at Mansfield.
Stags' new defender George Pilkington, who will be hoping to get the captain's armband, will be up against his ex-Luton Town striker colleagues Danny Crow and former Stag Aaron O'Connor, who have both signed for Justin Edinburgh's new-look squad
Mansfield ready for big kick-off, says boss Paul Cox
Saturday, August 11, 2012 Nottingham Post
MANSFIELD Town striker Jake Speight has looked so sharp on his return from injury he could now be unleashed against Newport County on the opening day of the season.
After being sidelined for most of pre-season, the 26-year-old has netted three goals on his comeback.
He scored two as Stags beat Sheffield FC 5-4 in their final friendly and boss Paul Cox is tempted to throw him straight into his attack alongside last season's 29-goal leading scorer Matt Green at Field Mill today.
"He has missed a chunk of pre-season, but he's looked really, really sharp in the last two games," he said. "His movement in the first half against Sheffield was unbelievable.
"He's champing at the bit and will want to play, I know he will.
"Whatever side I put out, the players will all know their roles, they will know what is expected of them."
Mansfield have beaten Forest and Derby County in their build-up to the season, but Cox is not getting carried away by those victories.
"You would take those stats into the season, but it means nothing," he added. "It all starts today. It doesn't matter what we have done in pre-season."
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox admits pressure will be on this season
Friday, August 10, 2012 Nottingham Post
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox admits the pressure will be on this season.
The Stags are one of the favourites to win promotion back into the Football League, after finishing in third place in the Blue Square Bet Premier and reaching the play-off semi-finals last season.
Cox has also built one of the strongest squads in the division during the summer to mount an assault on the title.
"People are talking about us and I take that as a positive thing," he said.
"The players will have to raise their game and deal with the pressure that comes with that."
Mansfield kick off their campaign against Newport County at home tomorrow (3pm) and Cox says his squad is looking strong.
"I think we might have run over a few black cats last year because we really did start the season without players that any team would miss," he said.
"We're looking a lot better going into this season, that's for sure."
They could soon be even stronger too, because Cox wants to sign Macclesfield midfielder Colin Daniel, who he managed at Eastwood Town.
"We have spoke to Macclesfield about him and the sort of fee that might be involved," he said.
"I know the lad personally and have a good relationship with him.
"He is a fabulous player. I sold him to Crewe from Eastwood and he was tipped to go to the stars, but he has probably lost his way a little bit.
"He has loads of ability and he would definitely be a positive addition to our squad."
Stags ace Thompson banishes the painful memories
Friday, August 10, 2012 Nottingham Post
"DO I have to?" he asked. John Thompson is reluctant to look back on the most hellish year in his life on the eve of a new season, inevitably, but he does.
Today, the Mansfield Town defender, 30, is fit, thankfully, and looking forward to the Stags' first league game of the season at home to Newport County tomorrow.
A year ago, however, he was eating through a straw and fearing he would never play again after suffering a horrendous facial injury in a pre-season game against Ilkeston FC last August.
It was so terrible, in fact, he needed 40 stitches, his nose was broken and he was sidelined until November.
His debut at Telford was the first of only six starts Thompson made in the entire campaign, however, and he admits the mental scars of the moment he was barged headfirst into a dug-out by Ilkeston's striker Gary Ricketts were long lasting.
"It was a nightmare time," he said. "Everyone knows what happened to me and it's taken me nearly a year to get to the stage I am now, where I've got my love for the game back.
"I'm fit, I'm enjoying training and I'm in the right frame of mind to play again.
"It was a terrible thing that happened. The scars were not just physical, but mental too. The mental scars took longer to heal.
"It's hard to explain. The best way to describe it is that when I got back to playing I wasn't myself. I didn't have much confidence and I thought of it every time I went in for a tackle or a header. I was playing with a bit of fear."
Thompson, who has also played 100 league games for both Nottingham Forest and Notts County in his career, admits he considered quitting during the darkest moments of his long recovery.
"It did cross my mind," he added. "I had a lot of talks with the manager (Paul Cox) and he was brilliant with me.
"I guess you could say I was one of his big signings last summer, but he never once put me under any pressure to get back out there to play when I wasn't ready to.
"I owe him a lot for that and I hope to repay him by doing well this season and helping the club back into the Football League.
"I'm looking forward now, not back, and there is so much to look forward to."
He is right. Having finished in third place in the Blue Square Bet Premier last season to reach the play-off semi-finals, Mansfield have strengthened this summer, signing the likes of George Pilkington and Jake Speight, and are expected to mount a serious assault on promotion back into the Football League once again.
They are one of the title favourites.
"We have a strong squad, so strong that I think the competition for places in the team will be the fiercest I have ever known at a club," added Thompson.
"We are not a Conference squad and Mansfield is not a Conference club. It is definitely a League club. The League is where we should be.
"We are going to have a good crack at it too.
"We're moving in the right direction and for the first time there is a buzz around Mansfield because people believe we can get back into the League."
The Stags lost to York City in the play-off semi-finals and Thompson believes the heartbreak of that two-legged defeat will drive them on this season.
"The disappointment of last season will motivate us, definitely. I think the experience will help us too," he said.
"With the squad we had last season I think we over-achieved to finish third, but after doing that we wanted to win the play-offs so it was hard to go out in the semis.
"Our aim is to win the league this time.
"In all the team talks we have had with the manager, we have all spoken about doing that. That is our focus."
After beginning their campaign against Newport tomorrow, Mansfield then face Gateshead, Kidderminster, Hyde and Grimsby Town in the opening month of the season and Thompson insists they must make a good start.
"We made a slow start last season and that was our downfall. We drew a lot of the early games and were playing catch-up from then. This time, we have to set the pace," he said.
County boss can't wait to get started
Friday 10th August 2012,By Michael Pearlman
NEWPORT County AFC boss Justin Edinburgh has several selection headaches for tomorrow's trip to Mansfield Town – and he couldn't be happier.
The Exiles travel to face a Stags side that battered them 5-0 in the corresponding fixture last term, desperate for a positive start to their third campaign in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
The Exiles manager wants his side to create momentum ahead of their bow at new ground Rodney Parade and insists he's looking for a win at Field Mill even though the hosts are the second favouirtes (behind Luton) to win promotion back into the Football League.
It's a daunting trip and contains several dilemmas for Edinburgh, but he's extremely content with that scenario.
“We are looking to go there and get something, be that a point or all three points,” he said.
“It's a tough opening game but certainly not one we are fearful of, nor are we fearful of any other fixture in this division.
“The group of players we've assembled are physically and mentally tougher than last season and fitness-wise I feel like they are ready to go as well.
“It's been a tough but enjoyable pre-season, we've avoided any serious muscle injuries and I am feeling good about things.
“We want people to come to Rodney Parade and support us and so we need to set a marker. The greater incentive we can give the fans to come and watch the better and a good result at Mansfield would be a great start.”
Only goalkeeper Alan Julian is definitely ruled out with a knee injury picked up just seven minutes into the Exiles' very first pre-season game at Undy Athletic.
Julian is still several weeks away and fellow new sigining Lenny Pidgeley will deputise with Joe Perry, son of ex-County defender Jason, on the bench.
Ismail Yakubu has returned from wrist surgery and will be vying with Andrew Hughes for a start alongside debutant Tony James.
Lee Minshull has recovered from a slight strain but is unlikely to make the starting XI anyway, Max Porter and Mike Flynn seemingly in pole position for a start alongside either teen ace Lee Evans or new signing Jake Thomson – a battle Evans could shade.
In attack, Edinburgh must leave out two from five with Jake Harris, Danny Crow, Jefferson Louis, Ryan Charles and Aaron O'Connor all available.
“We've been lucky on the injury front,” added Edinburgh. “Alan Julian's knee could've happened at any time but we've kept muscle injuries to a minimum.
“Aaron O'Connor and Mike Flynn both had a bug this week and couldn't train but we'd hope that would pass in time for Saturday and that it hasn't spread around the camp.
“I expect them to be available and that means we've got competition for virtually every position and that's exactly how I would want it. It's been a long old summer with lots happening, now we just can't wait to play again.”
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