COX, MURRAY, STEVE BURR REACTION
audio interviews with Paul Cox and Adam Murray --->
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"I thought in the first half we never turned up. We were lethargic, off the pace and I have nothing good to say about our first-half performance.
"There were harsh words said at half-time and I thought we were the better team in the second half.
"It is disappointing and I think there are one or two still living off the Liverpool game."
Kidderminster Harriers' manager Steve Burr told BBC Hereford and Worcester:
"It's a good three points coming here to Mansfield and, yes, I am really pleased.
"I would have liked to have seen us get a third just to kill it off but we lost Sean [Clancy] late in the game.
"We had to defend well and the boys all around the park today were tremendous - every single one of them."
Furious Stags boss Cox looks set to strengthen squad after Kidderminster flop
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox looks set to delve into the transfer market this week as he slammed the lack of 'mental toughness' of some of his players in today's 2-0 home setback against in-form Kidderminster Harriers.
Cox spent all week telling his players to forget the Liverpool FA Cup tie heroics of last weekend and concentrate on the task in hand of gaining promotion. But he felt some failed to heed that warning and were still dreaming of the Liverpool tie as Harriers made it four seasons without defeat at the One Call Stadium.
“I thought we were an absolute disgrace in that first half today,” raged Cox.
“There were some harsh words at half-time and second half we were much better and gave it a right go. We needed one to go in early and then it might have been very different. But you can't just turn up for one half.
“We set our standards against Liverpool and we were nowhere near them today.
“You need mental toughness, not just when the cameras and the big boys are in town.
“It looked like we were nowhere getting the Liverpool game out of our systems. One or two out there were still living on dreams. But dreams don't win you championships or get you promotion. It is my job now to do something about it.”
He added: “We didn't look hungry in the first half. Kidderminster looked hungry and they had come here for a football match while one or two of our side looked like they were still playing in front of the TV cameras and the bright lights.
“That was the halfway point of our season today and we still have a great chance to do something this season. But I need mentally tough players who, while not being brilliant every week, will be consistent and grind out results like we did last season.
“One or two need to wake up and smell the coffee and put down the signed shirts. Now it's time to graft
“I want to see passion, desire and hunger like we showed against Liverpool.”
Harriers boss Steve Burr said: “It was a good first half and we played well. The pitch was heavy but I thought the lads did well and defended well when we were down to 10 men.
“The lads dug in and we are playing some great stuff at the moment. But the other side to our game is when we have to defend. When it gets scrappy we can mix it up as well.
“We scored two quick goals but I knew that wouldn't necessarily kill the game off, as I told them at half-time.
“In the end it was backs to the [ends]
Cox says the time has come to be ruthless with his Mansfield Town side
FURIOUS Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox said the time had come for him to become totally ruthless if his side is to achieve anything this season.
The Stags returned to Blue Square Bet Premier action against Kidderminster on Saturday, but slumped to a 2-0 defeat.
It came six days after their heroic performance against Liverpool, where they were edged out of the FA Cup 2-1 in front of the television cameras.
But the shocking first-half display cost them at the weekend and they are now nine points off the play-offs, albeit with games in hand.
And with exactly half their season to go, starting at Stockport tomorrow night, Cox said: "People will either wake up and smell the coffee, put down their photo book, the signed shirts and look at what we want to achieve here or they will be out in the cold. I will have to do something about it.
"The time has come to be totally ruthless. We are halfway through the season and have games in hand.
"We had a nice spell where the cameras were here but now it is time for the graft and the hard work.
"If people are starting to sit down and admire what they think we have achieved this season, it is not going to wash with me.
"The season finishes on April 20 and that for me is when we sit down and take stock of what we have done or haven't done.
"After the Liverpool game I said it had whetted my appetite and coming into this game I had a hunger to achieve and make the season magnificent.
"And if people do not want to come behind me and step up to the mark then I am going to have to be ruthless."
Mansfield Town skipper calls for more steel from inconsistent Stags
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
ADAM Murray might be softly spoken but when it comes to his opinion, he is not one to mince his words.
The Mansfield Town captain is as straight-talking as they come and after the 2-0 defeat to Kidderminster at the weekend, he was not holding back.
Combining his role as player and assistant manager to Paul Cox means he takes on more responsibility than most and he is not shirking away from it.
Murray is a player to rally the team in the dressing room but the feeling is, more stronger characters are required to do the same.
With Mansfield nine points off the play-offs, they need to start winning their games in hand, the first of which comes tonight at Stockport, weather permitting.
And Murray says there needs to be a lot more steel to the performance over 90 minutes if they are to have any chance of winning the game.
"If we are going to achieve something we can't put in performances like that first-half against Kidderminster," said Murray.
"We have some must-win games coming up and it is Saturday/Tuesday for a while and if we perform like we did in the second half, put teams on the back foot, we can open teams up.
"We have to be in people's faces. like we were against Liverpool in the second half, like we were against Kidderminster in the second half.
"We have to put the opposition on the back foot, we have to be horrible because that is what we are all about and if we think otherwise, we'll get nothing."
Despite the gap to the play-offs, Mansfield have up to four matches in hand on some of their rivals.
They have lost two of their last three league games – both at home – but beforehand, had been on a good run of form.
Now, with just the league to focus on, they need to be picking up maximum returns sooner rather than later.
Last season, the Stags ended the campaign with 13 wins and one draw from their last 15 games as they finished third.
But Murray said you cannot live in the past and to replicate such good form, there needs to be more character demonstrated within the dressing room.
"It is alright having beliefs and feelings and looking back at the past but that does not get you your future," he said.
"This group of players must step forward now and I put myself in that bracket as captain and it is up to me to rally them.
"It is about what we do on the training pitch and then go again.
"We have showed what we can do. At points this season we have proved we can beat anybody.
"But if the group do not have that mental strength to do it for 90 minutes, we won't win anything.
"We have to be stronger, we need personnel who will grab somebody by the throat and say, 'do your job'."
So, do Stags need to strengthen?
"In my opinion, yes," said the 31-year-old. "I think we have more ability in the changing room than we did last year but we need characters, mental strength, somebody in there to get us going.
"Winning teams know how to win week in, week out – not just when it suits them."
Mansfield's away match at Wrexham will now be played on Tuesday, March 19 (7.45pm).
The match, originally scheduled for Saturday January 26, has had to be re-arranged due to the Red Dragons' progression in the FA Trophy
Burr hails Vaughan wonder strike
HARRIERS boss Steve Burr hailed Lee Vaughan's wonder goal after watching his side beat play-off rivals Mansfield Town 2-0.
Vaughan's spectacular strike had doubled the Aggborough outfit's lead at Field Mill.
His fellow full-back Mickey Demetriou had opened the scoring with a brilliantly taken free-kick.
Harriers had to work hard to earn the win as the Stags launched a second half aerial bombardment, while the visitors also had substitute Sean Clancy sent off for a straight red card.
"Lee's goal was class. I've seen him try that in training and most weeks they go flying in," commented Burr.
"It was another good performance by Lee but all round it was another great display by all the lads."
Burr was also delighted with the way his side mixed their stylish football with a steelly defensive display, with centre backs Josh Gowling and Chey Dunkley dealing with everything thrown at them and keeper Danny Lewis making several good saves.
He said: "When we have to dig in we have done, we can mix it up.
"We can play football but we've got that steel to us as well.
"I didn't think there were much in Sean's tackle myself.
"It may have been a yellow card but to see the red come out, I was quite astonished."
Victory was Harriers' ninth in the last ten league games and lifts them back into fifth in the Blue Square Bet Premier
BURR PRAISES HARRIERS' STEEL
Steve Burr hailed a 'tremendous' performance from Harriers as they kept up the play-off pace with a 2-0 win over Mansfield at the One Call Stadium.
The reds took the game to their visitors for a large part of the first half and took a two-goal lead into the break.
The second half was a different story to an extent – the Stags certainly came back into it yet Harriers were determined, solid and resolute and in the end their three points were fully deserved.
It once again takes them back into the play-off places and, speaking after the game, Burr admitted that while many a side may have a game in hand or few on his charges, points on the board is all he and his players can concern themselves with.
On a comprehensive result and performance, he commented: “I think that's the good thing about the side at the minute.
“When we've had to dig in, we have done and we can mix it up when games haven't been flowing so much with football.
“We've got that steel to us and we've shown that today – it was a tremendous performance.
“We scored two great goals – a set-piece we've worked on in training and obviously Vaughany's was a class goal.
“All round, every single one of them has done well today.”
More reaction can be found on Harriers Player during the weekend as we have the exclusive video interviews with Burr and one of the scorers, Lee Vaughan
Vaughan lauds 'unbelievable' win
Kidderminster Harriers defender Lee Vaughan has hailed his side after a 2-0 win over Mansfield Town, as he scored the second with an incredible driving shot.
It was a game of contrasting halves at the One Call Stadium, but Vaughan believes the Harriers were fully deserving of the three points.
"[There were] two different halves - in the first we tried to get it down and play our football and in the second we've defended unbelievably," he told the club's official website.
"It's an unbelievable three points, to come here and take everything - not a lot of teams will do that.
"Mickey hit the post with a header; his [other] free kick was just over and his goal was unbelievable; I stood right behind it and it swerved right round. We deserved to be in front, there's no doubt it."
Vaughan's goal was a lovely driven shot into the far corner and the 26-year-old explained that it was the first time he had pulled it off in a competitive fixture.
"I do it in training a lot but it never seems to come off in a game," he added.
"So I am chuffed to bits. I was that excited I thought I was going to run down the tunnel - I didn't know what to do!"
never played against a side who just hoof the ball in the box as much as them!
Latest | January 2013