COX, MURRAY, GEOHAGHON, GARRY HILL REACTION
post-match reaction from Paul Cox, Adam Murray and Exodus Geohaghon from Mansfield 103.2 --->
Exodus: It's good to be back.
103.2: You told me yesterday that Steve Burr had not had much use for your throws at Kidderminster. I counted nearly 20 throws you took today.
Exodus: yeah, my legs are feeling it now.
103.2: what about your arms?
Exodus: The arms are doing alright.
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"That's probably the best first-half performance we've had this season. Nobody could have argued if we'd come in maybe two, three goals up
"We made it a little bit hard for ourselves, we looked a little bit anxious in the second half.
"It's a really positive result for us and I think one thing that...we're a work in progress now."
Woking manager Garry Hill told BBC Surrey:
"There's been a lot of talk about the signings that Mansfield have made and we knew it was going to be tough.
"We bossed the game, certainly in open free-play, all they seemed to have was long-throw in the first half but that's their style of play
"What we have learnt very quickly in this league is that if you give the ball away cheaply in your last third, you'll get punished."
Mansfield Town 'a work in progress', says Stags boss Paul Cox after Woking win
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas
RELIEVED Stags manager Paul Cox watched his revamped side beat Woking 3-1 in a thriller at the One Call Stadium.
Cox made four changes and threw in assistant boss Adam Murray for his first game since a summer operation and deadline day capture Exodus Geohaghon.
Both made huge impacts while recalled pair Matt Rhead and Louis Briscoe both scored a goal and sub Jake Speight grabbed the decisive late third as all the manager's big decisions paid off handsomely.
Cox said: “Overall I have to be pleased with a 3-1 home win in which we had enough clear cut chances in the first half to have increased that score.
“That first half was much closer to the blueprint we have here that brought us success last year.
"But we are a work in progress and after the break we stated to look disjointed. Sometimes we need to put our foot on the ball and make a pass. At times in the second half we looked anxious.
“We had to work very hard against a good Woking side who, to be fair, even at 2-0, down threw everything at us in what was a very good match for a neutral to watch.
“Big Ex (Geohaghon) was a colossus for us at the back and made us look solid.
“It was good to see Adam Murray back too. I expected nothing less from him than that display. He might need a pair of lungs after being out but he has a big heart and that wins you things.”
Murray was clearly worn out after the game and added: “It was tiring s I thought it might be another six to eight weeks before I played.
“I need to get my match fitness back and shed a bit of timber. But to be back in the mix and get three points was massive.
“Like the gaffer I love to win football matches.
“I have been glad of the beak as last season tired me out mentally as well as physically as pushed boundaries with myself.
“We need to get back to how we were last season. We are never going to pass the ball like Barcelona and people need to buy into what we are doing. We need to stop giving the ball away to easily.”
Cards boss Garry Hill was far from downhearted by his side's valiant display and said: “I thought the 3-1 scoreline flattered Mansfield a bit in respect of our performance.
“We are a bit naive and we are learning the hard way the difference in quality from coming up to the Conference Premier.
“We kept going to the end and you know that you have to be prepared to try to get an equaliser but could also get caught on the break which is what happened to us.
“We are learning very quickly that when you give the ball away in the last third at this level you get punished.
“I thought we started quite brightly. Then they scored after 10 minutes, although we could see pushing in the box which wasn't given.
“But at 1-0 at half-time I would have felt quite relaxed about our chances. The timing of their second goal hurt us.
“But we still played some good football after the break and their keeper pulled off two unbelievable saves.
“Once we scored, they were rocking and he pulled off another good save before their third.
“All they had as a threat really was the long throw which is their style of play which is hard to defend and I thought we did well with overall.”
Improved performance delights Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox
PAUL Cox believes Mansfield Town have taken small steps to getting back to the team they was last season after beating Woking at the weekend.
But the Stags boss now wants his side to build on that tomorrow against Tamworth, rather than take a step back.
His Mansfield side had shipped 14 goals in their opening five games, losing their opening two before hitting back with two wins.
But they suffered a 4-1 defeat at Grimsby last Monday which hit them hard and led to Cox re-signing giant defender Exodus Geohaghon in a £5,000 move from Kidderminster.
He was excellent on Saturday as Mansfield ran out 3-1 winners at the One Call Stadium.
Cox said: "We set up and were structured and organised. The big man came in and made us solid. It was just in the second half we got a bit disjointed again.
"Overall, winning at home 3-1 is pleasing and we had some clear-cut chances to make it more, so I have to be pleased.
"When we talk about the blueprint, we looked somewhere near that in the first half and this group of players are close to the one from last season. We did not look like conceding in that first half, were solid and strong at the back and looked a threat going forward.
"It is going to take a bit of time for big Ex to bed in but it probably was the best first-half of the season and we are now a work in progress.
"We are still going wrong in areas and sometimes look very anxious. But it is coming and we will get better and better as the season goes on."
Geohaghon added: "It is good to be back and the fact the boys defended resolutely pleased me. The win was the most important thing.
"From last season the boys knew the pattern to my long throw and it paid off with the goal from a throw-in so it is all good."
Adam Murray issues warning to nervy Mansfield Town
SKIPPER Adam Murray says the tension and nervousness surrounding Mansfield Town must be shaken off in order to progress up the table.
The Stags got back to winning ways at the weekend, beating Woking 3-1 at the One Call Stadium to make it three wins from six games.
But Murray, who made his first start since an ankle operation in the summer, said there was a still a nervy feeling among the supporters and players.
Mansfield looked much more solid, especially in the first half, with Murray back in midfield and Exodus Geohaghon in defence after re-joining from Kidderminster 24 hours earlier.
But with Tamworth set to visit tonight, Murray said there had to be much more belief among everybody associated with the club.
"The main thing is three points but the next thing is making this place a cauldron again because at the minute, it is not," said Murray.
"I don't know what it is. There is a feeling like we are bottom of the league so something is not right. It has to change because with the tension around the place, even playing in the game I could sense people were on edge. It affects the players and that is not me making excuses.
"In certain periods of the game and in certain situations we have to be better, a lot better. But we are never going to be a team that produces 50 passes before we get into the opposition's half. We got the three points and now have to build on them.
"We have good players and what we have to do now is start believing we are good players and that what we do is good and we have to get back to making teams dread coming here for 90 minutes."
Exodus Geohaghon looks to toughen up Mansfield Town defence
THE drum roll was back as the sound of supporters banging the stand and clapping their hands reverberated around the ground as soon as Exodus Geohaghon picked up the ball.
Every time Mansfield Town won a throw inside the opposition half at the weekend, the giant central defender was on hand to launch one of his trademark long throw-ins.
It led to the opener in the 3-1 victory against Woking and while far removed from purist football, it was effective.
And as it helped get the Stags back to winning ways, the home supporters were more than happy to see it back causing problems following the defender rejoining the club from Kidderminster 24 hours earlier.
His rifling throw will be on display tonight, against Tamworth, as the Stags look to record back-to-back victories on home soil and continue to climb the table.
But it is his towering qualities at the back which will also be needed as Paul Cox looks for his side to stop leaking goals.
The fact they shipped 14 times in the five games before he arrived surprised Geohaghon.
There is no wonder, as during his 15 appearances on loan from Darlington last season as Mansfield finished third in the Blue Square Bet Premier, losing out in the play-off semi-finals to York, they let in just 13.
"It most definitely surprised me because last season they were a solid, strong team and to see the amount of goals they have shipped, knowing what the gaffer is like and what he likes to instil in his teams, was a shock," said Geohaghon.
"He decided he needed to do something about it and we kept it down to one goal conceded and got the three points on Saturday. But now we need to work on a shutout for tonight."
Geohaghon chose to join Kidderminster in the summer, where he was made skipper.
But as soon as Mansfield's fragile side was exposed, Cox went on the prowl to get his man back to the One Call Stadium before the transfer window shut.
A £5,000 fee was agreed on Friday and after just three appearances for Kidderminster, the 27-year-old was swapping the red shirt for that of amber and blue.
He admits it was not the best scenario but he now wants to finish the business he started last season with the Stags - this time winning promotion.
"It was a difficult one because I left Kidderminster in a bit of a predicament, considering they made me club captain as well," said Geohaghon.
"It was hard but the gaffer here really felt he needed to get me in and to be fair to them they gave me the opportunity to come here and did not stand in my way.
"It is one of those things in football where things change very quickly. I'm a Mansfield player now and I just want to get the club up at the top of the table.
"There are a few new players here but the first five or six games are never going to tell what will happen in a season.
"We'll kick on and come December we will see who is in and around the top.
"There is a lot of pressure on the gaffer because everybody knows he has brought players in and we have lost a few games.
"Unfortunately it has not come off early on but he has decided to go back to basics to get that winning ethos back and we will now try and kick on and get back-to-back wins.
"The players he is leaving out are not bench players, they are players who would get in any other team in this league."
Geohaghon also knows that if he does not perform, he will be out of the team, as Cox will not stand for any more failings in Stags' defence.
"The boys who are not in have to be patient and the boys on the pitch have to do the business," he said. "If you do not put in a solid performance you could be out.
"All my focus is on tonight and getting another three points."
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