COX, STEVENSON REACTION/ JIM GANNON SACKED
AUDIO INTERVIEWS WITH PAUL COX AND LEE STEVENSON
Coach Cooper happy as Stags bounce back to sink Stockport
STAGS first team coach Richard Cooper was delighted with Stags' 3-1 win at Stockport tonight as they quickly put Saturday's home disappointment against Kidderminster behind them.
Stags sunk the Hatters with three goals in 10 minutes at the end of the first half, though Stockport did waste an early penalty opportunity.
Cooper said: “That was a good job well done. We knew Stockport were going to come out of the blocks. So one thing we did was match their energy for 90 minutes as we knew they would not let up, which they proved in the second half.
“Then we managed to put the game to bed in that 10-minute spell.
“It was fine lines tonight. Both teams were really competitive and it was even-stevens for a while until we literally took the bull took the horns.
“The gaffer is over the moon with the result.
“We competed from the first minute to the 90th and we are more than satisfied.
“The boys put in some excellent work and Matt Green was absolutely on fire with his work rate.
“He had great back-up from Lee Stevenson and it was great to see him back in the side.”
Stags were put on their way on 38 minutes from a rocket free kick by Junior Daniel.
Cooper said: “When Junior hits the ball it stays hit. These balls move around a bit and his free kick was unsaveable.
“After Saturday's disappointment, it was good to get a game in. The last thing we wanted was the game being off.
“The mindset in the dressing room was to get the three points. The season is starting to take shape and we didn't want to be too far off the pace.”
Stags midfielder Stevenson hoping for a run in the side after scoring at Stockport
LEE Stevenson is once again hoping his Mansfield Town career can finally take off after he bagged a goal in Stags' 3-1 win at Stockport County tonight.
The midfielder has struggled to pin down a regular place since his arrival in the summer of 2011.
But he did what he does best with a great goalpoacher's finish in a three-goal burst just before the interval that sealed the win for Stags.
“I was surprised to be playing,” he admitted. “The gaffer normally gives me the heads up before, but he didn't this time so I was shocked.
“I am feeling fit and felt I had been doing well in the reserves where I was holding my own.
“I think I deserved my chance and it was nice to get a goal, though I did try to miss it!
“Matt Green said it was a shot from him. But it took a deflection into my path and it was an easy tap-in for me.”
He added: “We have come away to a massive club at this level tonight and done a good job on them.
“Stockport had a lot of possession. But we countered them twice to score two of the goals and the other was a blatant penalty.
“I was a bit rusty and nervous to start with. But I hope I can stay in the team now as I know I can do a job. Realistically I had one chance today and I scored it so you can't ask much more.”
Mansfield Town: Lee Stevenson hopes for his big chance
MANSFIELD Town's Lee Stevenson still feels he has everything to prove after a frustrating 18 months at the One Call Stadium.
But the 28-year-old now hopes to finally be given the run in the side he has craved since joining the Stags in the summer of 2011.
The goalscoring midfielder was one of Paul Cox's first signings when he took him with him from Eastwood to join Mansfield on a two-year deal.
But he has never reached the goalscoring heights he displayed with the Badgers and at Belper.
However, that is mainly because his chances have been limited, with his start against Stockport on Tuesday night just his ninth in total and only third this season.
He has also only come off the bench five times as well in the last year and a half.
But after scoring in the 3-1 win at Stockport – his second strike in three starts this season – he hopes Cox will finally keep the faith and give him a run of games in the first team.
And Stevenson admits he would be bitterly disappointed if he did not keep his place in the starting line-up at Southport this Saturday.
Stevenson said: "I was nervous at the start but I always feel confident I can do a job in there and I have something still to prove after 18 months here.
"I have had one shot, realistically, and scored it and I have grafted in the middle of the park. I was put in there to do a job and feel like I have done it.
"I feel like I have been doing well in training, doing well in the reserves and fitness wise I have felt good so to get a goal was great as well.
"The gaffer told me I would get my chance and the other night, I hope to have taken that chance.
"It was a tap in for the goal but you have to be there in the right place and I feel I am good at reading the game."
The victory in midweek closed the gap to the play-offs to six points, with two or three games in hand on teams in the top five.
And Stevenson said it does not matter how they get the points, but they have to chalk up maximum returns.
"Had we beaten Kidderminster 1-0 and played terrible, we would have taken that," said Stevenson. "But we didn't, we lost and we went to Stockport and did a job on them to get the three points. Now it is about doing that in every game starting with Southport."
Jim Gannon sacked by Stockport County
A SEVENTH defeat in nine league games saw Jim Gannon relieved of his duties as Stockport County boss following the 3-1 home defeat by Mansfield Town.
Fourteen months into his second spell as manager at Edgeley Park, Gannon parted company with the Hatters in the Blue Square Bet Premier relegation zone.
A club statement read: “The board of Stockport County Football Club have to announce that James Gannon has been relieved of all footballing duties.
“The board will be meeting as quickly as possible to determine his successor.”
After a successful first stint as County boss, Gannon returned to the club in November, 2011 following Dietmar Hamann's short stint in charge.
Having helped County rally in the second half of last season, Gannon's players had a promising start to the season despite swingeing budget cuts to the football department.
As the season progressed though, results took a turn for the worse, culminating in public criticism from chairman Lord Peter Snape following last month's loss at Woking.
Despite winning at Hyde on New Year's Day, defeat by Mansfield proved the final straw for the County board, who now turn their attention to finding a new manager
Latest | January 2013