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Archived News from February 2013

BARROW PREVIEWS / MEIKLE LACKING CONFIDENCE
12th February 2013 0:48


Bayliss brings in two ahead of Stags trip.
http://www.barrowafc.com/news/?article=1277
Posted: 08 February 2013 21:00

Barrow have signed defenders Tom Eckersley and Sam Hibbert ahead of Saturday's trip to Mansfield.

Central defender Tom Eckersley, 21, has signed on an emergency loan deal from League 2 side Accrington Stanley until 9th March 2013 as cover for the injured Danny O'Donnell.

He has already featured in the Blue Square Bet Premier this season with Stockport County, where he spent a loan spell in October.

He began his professional career at Bolton Wanderers in 2010, where he had been a youth player for since 2000, however he was released in July 2012, when he then signed for Accrington on a one-year contract.

He will wear the number 20 shirt for Barrow.

Barrow's other signing, Sam Hibbert, has joined on non-contract terms. Hibbert, a student at Myerscough College, was released, also by Stockport, following Jim Gannon's departure from the club in January. He can play at Right Back or in the centre of defence.

Hibbert will wear the number 19 shirt.

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Players will get their chance – Cox
mansfieldtown.net 7th February 2013

Almost all of Mansfield Town's first team squad will be used in the final half of the season to help us clinch a top-five finish, boss Paul Cox predicted today.

http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/players-will-get-their-chance-cox-642937.aspx?pageView=full#anchored

The manager, speaking at this morning's pre-match press conference, indicated that the likes of Matt Rhead and Ben Hutchinson, who both scored twice in a 4-1 friendly win over Doncaster on Tuesday, will get their chance to shine before the season's out.

The door of chance even appears to be ajar for midfielder Jamie Tolley, who has not tasted first team action since he was substituted during the 4-1 defeat at Gateshead on Tuesday 14 August.

“I have some very hungry players here. I would have thought at some point that one or two will get their chance again, like [Lee] Stevenson and [Luke] Jones did, and I hope they grab it by the scruff of the neck,” said Cox.

“The attitude that the lads are showing is tremendous at the minute. I want to embrace that and keep them fired up. There'll be some players who lose form, have injuries, and I need to make sure the players that come in want to win and are hungry.

“There's a little bit of pressure for the lads because we know what we want to achieve this season. I know there are a couple of players in the first team who are looking over their shoulders, and rightly so. We have some good players, on the bench and even in the stand – and that is a real positive for this football club.”

Despite expecting to use most of his squad from now until the end of the season, Cox has not ruled out making additional signings. Tuesday's friendly game in South Yorkshire featured a young central midfielder on trial from a Premier League club – whom Cox is interested in taking on loan. The manager also revealed that a striker 'in his late 20s who has amassed a number of league games' is on trial with us.

“I have to be fair to the squad,” said Cox. “I have some hungry players at the minute. The squad need to understand that if they continue to show the hunger and appetite then I wont need to strengthen.”

On this weekend's fixture at home to relegation-threatened Barrow, Cox said: “Barrow are a dangerous animal, who are fighting for their lives. It will be a very tough game and one which we must be fully focussed on to achieve a positive result.”

We have 20 games left, where there may be a number of games where we have to bite and scratch. I'll take that at this stage of the season. Results come above performances. We have to be brave, we showed on Saturday that we can play some good stuff. When we win individual battles early in the game and earn the right to play, we're not a bad side.“

Heading into this Saturday's match at home to relegation-haunted Barrow, Cox has a fully fit squad to choose from apart from long-term absentee Ross Dyer, along with Jake Speight, who is recovering from knee problem.

Defenders Exodus Geohaghon and Ryan Tafazolli are battling for a place in the line-up after fully recovering from respective injuries

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Boss Paul Cox not deceived by threat Barrow pose to Mansfield Town
Saturday, February 09, 2013
Nottingham Post

IT WAS a fixture last year that put Mansfield Town in seventh heaven, as they recorded their biggest win under Paul Cox.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-18100221-detail/story.html#axzz2KOPPVhAM

Louis Briscoe led the way with a hat-trick as the Stags blitzed Barrow 7-0 on home turf.

And, coming off the back of a 5-0 win against Dartford last week, Cox's men are back in form – and in goalscoring mood.

But while Barrow make the long journey to north Nottinghamshire rooted in the drop zone of the Blue Square Bet Premier, they have won their last two league games against promotion-chasing sides.

Mansfield are the league's form team, with six wins from their last eight, and are closing on the play-offs.

A fourth successive win today could close the three-point gap to fifth place even further.

But Cox is refusing to take anything for granted ahead of today's clash at the One Call Stadium (3pm kick off).

"Last season's result means nothing," he said. "They have had some great results of late and went to Newport and won and then beat Luton at home.

"What happened last season is just chip paper now but obviously it is a result and performance we want to emulate in every game we play.

"You want to put on those performances, score those goals but being realistic, it just does not happen.

"We will make sure we are focused and apply ourselves right and show the hunger we have been seeing of late.

"If we win 1-0 then that is great, we just need to keep winning. All I want is a positive performance and a positive result."

Last weekend, the Stags under-performed in the first-half and were lucky to go in 1-0 up at the break.

Fans were becoming frustrated but after the interval, Mansfield turned on the style to romp to victory.

"What we want the crowd to do is stick with us and even if we are playing badly but winning, stick with us," said Cox. "We have to understand we are a non-league team, with non-league players and a non-league mentality.

"We are not going to play well every game but if we can grind out results on those occasions, I will take that."

During his time at Eastwood, Cox's teams always came strong in the second half of the season and the same happened at Mansfield last time out, as they soared up to third.

As to why it happens, the Stags boss said: "I cannot put my finger on why my teams always play well after Christmas.

"We did it last year here and at Eastwood the season before and at this stage it is a test of nerves, of mental strength and who wants to get over the line the most.

"They seem focused at the minute and it is not about performances, it is about winning and we are on a bit of a streak at the moment."

Mansfield have a young Premier League central midfielder on trial, as well as a striker with Football League experience.

But Cox said: "We are still looking and have two lads in but I have to be fair to the squad.

"I want to get across to the players and supporters that if the squad keeps showing me this hunger and appetite, I do not need to go out and strengthen."

Read more: http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-18100221-detail/story.html#ixzz2KOPdv7qu
Follow us: @thisisnottm on Twitter | ThisIsNottingham on Facebook

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Mansfield vs Barrow: No issues for Paul Cox
Friday, February 08, 2013
This is Nottingham

Mansfield boss Paul Cox boasts a near fully-fit squad as they prepare to host strugglers Barrow.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-18090711-detail/story.html#axzz2KOPPVhAM

The Stags thrashed Dartford 5-0 last weekend to move within three points of the play-off places and Cox may be reluctant to make too many changes.

Defenders Exodus Geohaghon and Ryan Tafazolli are battling for a place in the starting line-up after fully recovering from respective injuries.

Forward Lindon Meikle was replaced by Louis Briscoe at half-time against the Darts and could find himself starting on the bench next time round.

Meikle is favourite to start in attack alongside Matt Green, while Nick Wright and Matt Rhead offer further options for Cox.

Long-term absentee Ross Dyer and Jake Speight, who is recovering from a knee problem, remain sidelined.

Barrow will be without defender Danny O'Donnell.

The centre-back dislocated his shoulder in the first half of last weekend's 1-0 home win over Luton and faces a spell on the sidelines.

X-rays revealed O'Donnell narrowly avoided a serious injury and may return sooner than expected, although he is unlikely to feature again this month.

Manager Dave Bayliss told the North-West Evening Mail: "The X-ray showed that there are no broken bones or any other damage - so it's a case of what his pain threshold is like and how long he will be ruled out.

"I don't know how long he will be missing. If he is out for a few weeks then we will have to look for a replacement with the loan transfer window opening."

Goalkeeper Danny Hurst is also a doubt after suffering a minor shoulder injury himself in the clash that led to O'Donnell's injury

Read more: http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-18090711-detail/story.html#ixzz2KOQ36zGG
Follow us: @thisisnottm on Twitter | ThisIsNottingham on Facebook

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Stags boss Paul Cox expects tough encounter against Barrow.
By nick.brimacombe@chad.co.uk
chad.co.uk, Thursday 7 February 2013 12:41

MANSFIELD Town manager Paul Cox believes relegation-threatened Barrow will provide stiff opposition at the One Call Stadium on Saturday.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-fc/stags-boss-paul-cox-expects-tough-encounter-against-barrow-1-5389518

Stags thumped the Bluebirds 7-0 at home last season but Cox says there will be no complacency going into the weekend clash.

“Barrow are a dangerous animal, they are fighting for their lives and it is going to be a really tough game but we're really focussed on achieving a positive result,” he said.

“They've had some great results of late - winning at Newport and beating Luton, what happened last year is just chip paper now.

“But we want to emulate that type of performance, not just against Barrow, but in all our games and play like that and score that amount of goals against other teams.”

Cox says his team will have to scrap for every point between now and the end of the season if they are to have a realistic chance of promotion.

“We are focussed, we are hungry and we are working extremely hard,” he added.

“We have about 20 games left and there might be a number of matches where we have to scratch and bite to get a result.

“We have to be brave, win individual battles early on and earn the right to play but at this point of the season results are the most important thing.”

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Meikle hopes to kick-start season
mansfieldtown.net 7th February 2013

Winger Lindon Meikle is hoping to kick-start his season after he won his fourth international cap earlier this week.

http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/meikle-hopes-to-kick-start-season-643610.aspx

The 24-year-old played the full match, as Paul Fairclough's England C team were beaten 1-0 by Turkey infront of a capacity crowd of over 3,000 at Dartford's Princes Park.

In a refreshingly honest interview, Meikle said: “I've not played anywhere near my best this season, compared to last, but I got a bit of a confidence boost from the England game.

“It was a good honour to be in the squad again. We put up a great performance until the last five minutes or so, when they scored, but with the gaffer [Paul Cox] watching me, it spurred me on more.

“I'm a confidence player, but what I've got to do now is be more positive.”

Meikle bagged seven goals from 42 appearances in league action last term, and also netted a fabulous brace in our 3-2 win at Kidderminster Harriers in the early weeks of the current campaign.

And the winger believes it could take just 'a couple of games' for him to re-discover his form.

He continued: 'I'm very frustrated about things at the moment. When I'm on the pitch I'm probably thinking too much and when you do that, you know it's never a good thing.”

“If I have two good games and have my 'player on toast', as we call it, then I'll get back to where I was. I want to work on impulse and instinct rather than over-thinking things.

“The gaffer has always shown faith in me and he keeps telling us that we're the best team in the league. Mentally, it helps us a lot hearing things like that and makes us all feel good. As footballers, sometimes that's all it takes.”

Meikle added: “As a team we're doing well and seem to be on the up. It's down to the gaffer whether I start on Saturday, but I don't expect to. I know I need to improve.”

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Mansfield Town's Lindon Meikle lacking confidence – but promises to bounce back
Friday, February 08, 2013 Nottingham Post

LINDON Meikle arrived back in Mansfield following another international appearance.

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-18088826-detail/story.html#axzz2KITnA6rS

It ended in defeat, but England 'C' put up a good performance in front of a big crowd as they lost to Turkey at Dartford on Tuesday night.

Meikle again played the full 90 minutes and the winger was buzzing afterwards.

His club manager Paul Cox and his wife had made the long trip to watch the game, as had chairman John Radford and his wife and chief executive Carolyn.

But despite playing on that stage, Meikle is fighting demons of his own now back in north Nottinghamshire.

The former Eastwood star is struggling with a lack of confidence and in an honest and frank confession, he says he must improve.

After a superb debut season last time out, after making the step up, he feels he has fallen well below his own high standards.

And, last Saturday, he was taken off at half-time with the Stags 1-0 up against Dartford at the One Call Stadium.

Louis Briscoe replaced him and he went on to help Mansfield romp to a 5-0 win.

As they prepare to entertain Barrow, Meikle said: "I do not expect to start against Barrow, I am expecting to be on the bench. Louis came on at half-time, worked really hard and we won 5-0 – what more can I say. I want to be playing but I don't expect to start.

"I am lacking in a bit of confidence, well, quite a lot to be honest so going away with England has helped to bring it up a little. When I do get a chance again I want to take it.

"I would say I have been lacking confidence all season and I would struggle to pick out a game where I could say I played really well.

"I know myself I have not played anywhere near my best this season compared to last season. It is going through my head all the time and I have to work on it.

"This season, I am thinking about things too much. Last season, I just got on the ball and did things and now I am thinking too much and when I do that it leads to mistakes and starts getting on top of me.

"I am just frustrated with myself and it plays on my mind and my last couple of games have not been the best and it shows.

"I am a confidence player and I need to get it back up there and do it for myself and the team.

"Hopefully this time of year is when I can come good. I have been there before and I need to get myself out of it."

While Meikle is suffering his dip, Mansfield have emerged as the form team in the Blue Square Bet Premier.

They have closed the gap to the play-offs to three points, winning six of their last eight matches and will hope to add to that tomorrow against struggling Barrow, ahead of a trip to Newport.

But once he does get the nod, 24-year-old Meikle hopes it can all turn around quickly for him.

"On the up side the team is doing really well and is on the way up so as long as we are winning, that is the main thing," said Meikle.

"I just need to be doing better myself.

"It could just take a couple of games. If I get on the ball a lot then I can soon be flying – a player on toast as we say in football.

"That would follow on into another game and it will lead to a streak of good games. That might come soon.

"I need to act on impulse. I am an instinctive player and hopefully it will come back to me.

"The manager always has faith is us as individuals and as a team. He always tells us how good we are and that helps."

The run out with the Three Lions on his chest has perked Meikle up a little.

And, while it might be from the bench, Meikle will hope he can produce a performance that can help inspire him back to his confident best

Read more: http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-18088826-detail/story.html#ixzz2KIUWV9ao
Follow us: @thisisnottm on Twitter | ThisIsNottingham on Facebook

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Spotlight on Mansfield Town v Barrow
Friday, February 08, 2013 Nottingham Post

Squad (from): Marriott, Beevers, Dempster, Jennings, Jones, Murray, Daniel, Wright, Howell, Stevenson, Green, Rhead, Meikle, Briscoe, Sutton, Clements, Redmond, Geohaghon, Thompson

http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-18088850-detail/story.html#axzz2KITnA6rS

Team news: Mansfield boss Paul Cox is expected to bring in Louis Briscoe for Lindon Meikle, in a tactical swap, but otherwise could name the same side. It means Exodus Geohaghon might not even get a place in the bench again as the strength in the squad comes to the fore. Jake Speight and Ross Dyer (both knee) are out.

SQUAD (FROM): Hurst, Skelton, Hessey, Flynn, Pearson, Rutherford, Baker, Owen, Boyes, Rowe, McEvilly, McConville

Team news: Barrow have a threadbare squad but will welcome back Danny Rowe and Lee McEvilly, who were cup tied for the midweek FA Trophy defeat to Gainsborough Trinity. Central defender Danny O'Donnell is sidelined as he recovers from the dislocated shoulder he suffered by colliding with Danny Hurst last Saturday. But Hurst is expected to be OK to play after recovering from sore shoulder of his own.

Danger man: Adam Boyes. The 22-year-old striker has scored four times in his last six games, including the winner in their last league outing when they beat Luton 1-0. He has 11 goals in total this season

Read more: http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-18088850-detail/story.html#ixzz2KITvwsoA

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Stags keeper wants winning run to continue
By Nick Brimacombe
chad.co.uk, Friday 8 February 2013 17:23

MANSFIELD Town goalkeeper Alan Marriott is looking for three points and a clean sheet against relegation battlers Barrow tomorrow (Saturday).

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-fc/stags-keeper-wants-winning-run-to-continue-1-5395246

The 34-year-old shotstopper impressed in the 5-0 rout away at Dartford last weekend, but says sixth-placed Stags need to be wary of a side which will scrap for every point.

“Barrow are a bit of a Jekyll and Hyde team, they do fantastically well at home, they will come here and no-one will give them a chance and the expectation is for us to beat them but these sorts of games can be quite tricky, they can make or break your season,” he said.

“I think the bigger games suit us better as players as has been proven before when we have played the likes of Luton and Liverpool.

“We raise our game - I'm not saying we take other opposition lightly but sometimes, when the pressure is on us to win comfortably and convincingly it can be a bit of a burden on our backs.”

Stags have won eight out of 13 home league games this season and have won their last three matches scoring 10 and conceding just twice in the process.

“As a goalkeeper you are always judged on your clean sheets and it is something you should pride yourself on,” added Alan.

“But, ultimately, getting three points and keeping that run going - that's the bigger picture, but personally I'd like more clean sheets.

“Our home form has been good and I don't think we should fear anybody but there can be expectation from people for us to be 5-0 up at half time - that does not always happen at this level.”

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