SPEIGHT OUT FOR SEASON/ROBERTS LOAN/MCNULTY RUMOUR
Stags hoping to beat the snow for Southport trip
chad.co.uk Friday 18 January 2013
WITH heavy snow and freezing temperatures forecast, Mansfield Town can only train and hope they will play their games at Southport tomorrow (Saturday) and at home to Nuneaton on Tuesday.
Stags managed to beat the big freeze to get in a game at Stockport County on Tuesday night, which they won 3-1.
But they were back indoors training at Derby today, keeping their fingers crossed that Southport's Haigh Avenue ground escapes the worst of the predicted snowfall.
“All we can do is prepare as if we are playing,” said manager Paul Cox.
“Southport is another important game for us. It is a chance for the lads who did so well at Stockport on Tuesday to get some consistency and keep their shirts.
“We want the game on. We don't want a lull, especially after Tuesday night when there was definitely a bit of something in the dressing room again.”
Stags do not currently have a game planned for the following weekend with their game at Wrexham postponed due to the Red Dragons' progress in the FA Trophy.
However, with a growing backlog of midweek games building up, Stags will look to try to fit in a game if they can with this week's trip to Southport and home clash with Nuneaton possibilities if they fall to the weather this week, or even a trip to Hereford if they turn out to be free that weekend, depending on FA Trophy results.
Striker Jake Speight has already been ruled out for the season with his knee injury and central defender Exodus Geohaghon is rated 50-50 for Saturday with a hamstring problem.
However, forgotten man Jamie Tolley, out in the cold for most of the season, is back in the squad for the weekend and Cox added: “He is a very good footballer and he now needs to get his head down and force the issue.”
Stags on-loan duo Andy Owens and Godfrey Poku will not be allowed to play for Southport against their parent club tomorrow
Green: Best period of my career
17th January 2013
Striker Matt Green is eager to help us continue our excellent recent away form when we travel to Haig Avenue to face mid-table Southport on tomorrow (kick-off 3.00pm).
The 26-year-old struck a memorable goal in our FA Cup Third Round tie with Liverpool nearly a fortnight ago and was again on target in our midweek victory over Stockport County at Edgeley Park.
“It'll be a tough game at Southport and it isn't a nice place to go,” said Green.
“Sometimes it's difficult to play against them, but hopefully after our result [against Stockport County] on Tuesday, we can go there and turn them over.
“The victory [at Stockport] will certainly give us a lot of confidence and hopefully it can be a turning point for us. But we don't really mind how we get points on the table, so long as we keep doing it.”
Despite being the subject of intense transfer speculation since his goal against Liverpool, the former Oxford United star has admitted that he is currently enjoying the best time of his career.
He declared: “I'm not really interested in anything other than scoring goals for Mansfield Town. To get them in any manner that I can is my job.
“There'll always be speculation [about my future], but right now I'm enjoying the best time of my career at Mansfield Town and long may it continue.”
Stags striker Green hoping Lady Luck is now with Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk Friday 18 January 2013
MATT Green is hoping Stockport's early missed penalty on Tuesday night may be the start of Lady Luck at last smiling on the Stags this season.
Green netted a penalty of his own at the other end as Mansfield Town took full advantage of Stockport's early wastefulness to win 3-1 and set them up for tomorrow's scheduled game at Southport.
Green said: “On Tuesday it was a case of us taking our chances and Stockport not, especially early on.
“It was unfortunate for them to miss that early penalty. But sometimes you have to ride your luck – and it was about time we had some this season.
“To score three goals and get three points will really help our confidence.”
Green scored 30 goals last season, but, despite bagging one in the FA Cup clash with Liverpool, he has found goals harder to come by this campaign, Tuesday's strike taking him into double figures at last.
“It has been a bit frustrating at times,” he said. “Against Kidderminster I hit the bar and the post. Maybe they would have gone in for me last season – it's fine lines. But we have belief after the Stockport game. It is coming together.”
On the trip to Southport this Saturday, he added: “It is not a nice place to go. The coast, the weather – everything seems against you sometimes when you go there. And they don't play great football. They just win games and get points as and when they can so it be difficult when the game is not so open. Hopefully we can go up there and turn them over.”
Mansfield Town striker Matt Green not letting speculation ruin his form
MATT Green insists he is not going to let any speculation about his future get in the way of his recent goalscoring form.
It was last January that the striker made permanent his loan move from Oxford, signing until the summer of 2013.
And he bagged 30 goals as he helped fire the Stags into third in the Blue Square Bet Premier and the play-offs in his first season with the club.
This time around, he is in double figures again, after bagging his tenth goal of the campaign in the 3-1 win at Stockport on Tuesday night.
With his contract up at the end of the season, he is now free to talk to other clubs.
But he said: "I am not too interested in anything else apart from scoring goals for Mansfield Town.
"There is always going to be speculation that can put you off your game or sidetrack you and before you know it, it has put you in a place you do not want to be.
"But at the minute I am scoring goals and enjoying myself and having the best time of my life in my career at Mansfield Town so long may that continue."
Yesterday morning, Southport insisted they were very confident today's match would go ahead, despite the weather forecast.
But they also said a precautionary inspection would be held at 8.30am today before the Mansfield coach set off for Merseyside.
And Green hopes they can build on that midweek win.
He said: "It was a case of us taking our chances at Stockport and we take a lot of confidence from that.
"Sometimes you ride your luck and it is about time we got some and maybe it can be a turning point. It has certainly given us a lot of confidence."
Stags midfield Lee Stevenson aiming to become a complete midfielder
LEE Stevenson is hoping he can prove himself as a regular central midfielder with Mansfield Town in the coming weeks.
Stevenson, best know for playing in the hole behind the striker and scoring lots of goals at Blue Square North level, feels he has been typecast and that has meant he has struggled to get in the side.
But, after playing a more regular central midfield role – and scoring – in Tuesday's 3-1 win at Stockport County, he now hopes that will see him being taken seriously as a central midfielder.
Speaking ahead of today's scheduled trip to Southport, he said: “I have had to bite my lip and bide my time, but the gaffer always said I would get my chance.
“Now I am hoping to get a good run in the side. Richard Cooper has just said he wants 10 goals from me this season, so I have got to keep him happy.
“I have been playing more of a central midfield role in the reserves, getting my fitness in, and on Tuesday I was told I there would be times when I would have to sit back and hold my position and not get forward, which I did.
“Hopefully, I am maturing into a more overall midfield player and not just a headless chicken running all over the place.”
Stevenson enjoyed his return to the side at Stockport when, like today, there were serious doubts over the pitch with the weather.
He said: “It was a lovely pitch at Stockport. I didn't know they had covers until we got there. When we were warming up just off the pitch it was frozen solid. So when we were 3-0 up at half-time we were saying, let's get back out there and get it finished off.”
He added: “This time last year we went on a daft run when we won about nine on the trot and, fingers crossed, we can do that again.
“This league is wide open. We have games in hand and it really is still up for grabs.
“We are expecting a hard game at Southport. We just nicked it against them here 1-0, but it was a very tight game. We will go up there, be tight, and make sure everyone knows their individual jobs.”
Cox confirms interest in McNulty
mansfieldtown.net 17th January 2013
Manager Paul Cox has confirmed that, amongst other targets, he would be interested in signing Fleetwood Town defender Steve McNulty.
Speaking at his weekly press conference, our boss stated that the 29-year-old would be “a good addition” to our squad, but insisted that numerous other clubs are watching the player.
Cox also quashed rumours linking Luke O'Neill with a move back to One Call Stadium.
The 21-year-old joined Burnley last summer on the back of a fabulous 2011/12 season with us, but has appeared only once for the Championship side so far this term.
Cox said: “I spoke to Luke O'Neill the other day. They [Burnley] see him as a major part of their plans and want to keep him there, so he won't be re-joining us.
“My phone has been ringing constantly and I've done lots of talking to others over the past week. As of this minute, there's no news as we're still talking to players.”
Despite the weather forecast predicting heavy snowfall in the North West of England tomorrow, our boss has also stated that the squad are preparing as normal for Saturday's scheduled game at Southport.
He continued: “We want the game to be on, because we don't want a break at the moment.
“We've prepared properly and had a very good session today and we'll do the same tomorrow. The way the players trained today, there was a real hunger about them.
“But I think only the weather forecasters can predict what's going to happen in the next few days.
“Everyone is in the same boat and we want to make sure that whenever we do get out of this cold snap, whether it be this weekend or next week, that we are fully prepared."
He added: “You have to plan and prepare for every eventuality and that's what we're doing.”
At present, the Haig Avenue pitch is playable. However, should this situation change (as is highly likely), we will endeavour to inform supporters as soon as we receive information from Southport
Fleetwood defender McNulty linked with a move to Mansfield
chad.co.uk Thursday 17 January 2013
PAUL Cox refused to be drawn on speculation linking Fleetwood heavyweight central defender Steve McNulty and a move to Mansfield Town.
With the transfer window open, Stags boss Cox has already admitted he is looking for quality players in a variety of positions with which to strengthen.
McNulty's name has been strongly rumoured, speculation that was heightened when he was seen in the crowd at the Stockport v Stags game on Tuesday.
However, manager Cox would only say: “If he is available then we would be very interested as he is a quality player at this level. We are currently talking to a lot of players of his calibre.
“He is a player I get on with really well and you have to respect the fact he has won championships. He is one of the better lower league defenders.
“But there will be a number of clubs chasing him and talking to him and we do have other targets.
“That is the kind of quality we are looking at right now, though every player like that will have four or five clubs chasing him. We want players of that stature and mindset. Look at his (McNulty's) history and he comes from a winning background which is what we want to instil here.”
Speight ruled out for season
mansfieldtown.net 17th January 2013
Striker Jake Speight has been ruled out for the rest of the season due to a knee cartilage tear.
The 27-year-old, who has scored eight goals in all competitions this term, is set to go under the knife in the next few days and will be out of action for a minimum of ten weeks.
Manager Paul Cox said: “It looks as though Jake is out for the rest of the season, which is a major blow for us.
“We can't put a finger on when he's actually picked up the injury, but it looks like one of those where he's just twisted and accidentally tore a little bit of the cartilage.”
Cox added: “We feel for the lad because it's been a bit of a stop-start season for him, but we've got to get on with things.”
Meanwhile, Exodus Geohaghon, who missed our midweek win at Stockport County due to a hamstring problem, is unlikely to feature for us at Southport this weekend
Stags striker Jake Speight is ruled out for the season
chad.co.uk Thursday 17 January 2013
MANSFIELD Town suffered a big blow today when they learned striker Jake Speight is set to miss the rest of the season.
Speight, back with the club for a second spell this season, has been struggling with a knee problem over the past week and an examination has revealed a tear in the cartilage which will need an operation next week.
“We will get the operation done as soon as possible, hopefully early next week,” said manager Paul Cox.
“Recovery is then 10-12 weeks plus, so that's the end of the season for him.
“I feel for the lad. It's been a stop-start season for him. Jake can't put a finger on when he actually picked it up, but it looks like it could be another training ground injury.
“He scored 20 goals plus last season, so any club at this level would miss someone like that from their squad. But it's no use us crying over spilt milk.
“We still have some good players here with Nick Wright and Matt Rhead and people forget that Lindon Meikle can play up front too.”
Mansfield Town boss looks for his hungry side to make an impression
Friday, January 18, 2013, Nottingham Post
AFTER a victory boost in midweek, Paul Cox is itching to get to Southport tomorrow to chalk up back-to-back wins.
After beating the big freeze on Tuesday to seal a 3-1 win at Stockport, he hopes to do the same on Merseyside.
But he is also no fool and given the continued big freeze and expected further snow, he knows it is a big doubt.
However, whatever happens, he is preparing his players as if it is game on until he hears otherwise.
And, to his delight, he can sense a hunger back among his men after a hangover from their FA Cup exploits.
Whether Southport is the next time they taste action or Nuneaton on Tuesday night, he wants to see that fire when his players take to the pitch.
Cox said: "The weather will predict what happens but we trained properly yesterday, we turned it up a notch and all thoughts are that the game is on.
"I want a hungry group of players, a real desire and not people living in the past and after the good result on Tuesday night, I can see that in the team.
"I have told them if they want to be in the team, they have to show those qualities. We have the ability, we have to have the hunger.
"If we get that, and find the consistency, we can have a good season but if we don't find it, it will be back to the drawing board and one or two will be moving on.
"But if the game is on, it gives a chance to one or two lads to stake a claim again and keep their shirt after the other night."
Colin Daniel and Lee Stevenson both came into the starting line-up and scored at Edgeley Park and are almost certain to make the first 11 tomorrow.
Cox added: "There is a spring in that dressing room again after the other night and that is great to see.
"I thought we could have scored a few more but it was a great result. We rode our luck a little bit early on but after that I thought it was a very professional performance.
"And for me, it is not about how we play now, it is about winning games. We need to keep picking up points, no matter how they come."
Cox's search for new blood goes on and Fleetwood defender Steve McNulty is on the radar, with the Stags believed to be closing in on a deal.
Other irons are in the fire but Cox has had a double blow this week after finding out Championship Burnley will not let Stags have former full-back Luke O'Neill back on loan.
And eight-goal Jake Speight is set to miss the rest of the season with it looking likely he will need knee surgery on a cartilage problem.
The striker had not been involved much of late but it is a blow, although Cox is refusing to be downbeat.
"We have been talking to a lot of players and still negotiations are ongoing with players," said Cox. "It could happen before the weekend, it could be after.
"If Steve McNulty was available he is a quality player at this level and I would be very interested in bringing him in.
"I am talking to players and they have to have the right mind-set if I am to bring them in.
"As for Luke O'Neill, Burnley want him to stay and their manager sees him as part of his plans which is a positive for him and I move my search on.
"But the news with Speighty is a big blow because he is a quality player.
"However, I am not going to cry over spilt milk. We have to get on with it.
"We have Matt Green doing very well and then Nick Wright and Matt Rhead to come in, not to mention Lindon Meikle.
"At the end of the day I want to see hungry players, I am looking to bring players in as well but as long as that hunger and desire are there, we have a chance."
Roberts loaned to Floriana
mansfieldtown.net 17th January 2013
Midfielder Gary Roberts has today officially joined Maltese side Floriana on loan until the end of the season.
The 25-year-old had been awaiting international clearance from FIFA to complete his move, but this has now been received and he is free to make his debut against Melita FC on Sunday.
Floriana are currently in eighth position in the Maltese Premier League, four places above bottom-of-the-table Rabat Ajax, with 22 points from 18 matches.
Nicknamed 'The Greens', Floriana are one of the most successful clubs in Maltese football and play their home matches at the 3,000-capacity Independence Stadium near Valletta.
Regular qualifiers for UEFA competition throughout their 119-year history, Floriana's only competitive game on English soil came in the 1962/63 campaign when they lost 10-0 to Ipswich Town in a European Cup qualifier
No Mansfield Town return for Luke O'Neill
chad.co.uk Friday 18 January 2013 09:00
FORMER Stags right back Luke O'Neill will not be returning to the club on loan.
Manager Paul Cox had been hoping that O'Neill, still a regular visitor to Mansfield Town games, might come back if parent club Burnley would allow it.
However, Cox said today: “Burnley have told him he is a major part of their future, which is a positive thing for him.
“We just have to move on from that and look elsewhere. I have other irons in the fire.”
With two more weeks of the transfer window left, Cox added: “My phone is ringing continuously and I am continuously talking to people. But no one is coming in or going out at the moment.
“Something may happen before or after the weekend. It all depends on how negotiations go.
Latest | January 2013