COX, GREEN, SUTTON, GRAHAM HYDE REACTION
Cox: We're hungry to succeed
Manager Paul Cox insists there is still room for improvement, despite this afternoon's 1-0 win over AFC Telford United at One Call Stadium.
Matt Green sealed all three points shortly after the re-start, as he pounced on a mistake from Karlton Watson, before coolly slotting past Ryan Young.
Said our boss: “We weren't as tuned in as we have been lately, and I think there's more to come from the lads, but I don't want to be too harsh on them.
“All the lads are hungry to do well. However, we can't afford to get carried away. Anything can happen and our focus is only on the next game.”
He added: “For me, [winning the league] is a nothing at the minute. We still have 13 games to go and there'll be plenty of twists and turns along the way.”
Midfielder Anthony Howell missed the clash due to his current knee problem, which led to a recall to the team for Jamie Tolley. Nevertheless, Cox has indicated he may look to sign a new player.
“I spoke to the chairman last week and he's given me the go ahead to bring in a fresh face. I'm sure all the lads will appreciate someone new in the dressing room,” he said.
Our next game is on Wednesday 06 March when we travel to Kingfield Stadium to face Woking
audio interviews with Cox, Green and Sutton
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"We played a team who are fighting for their lives and there's no easy games at this level of football.
"It was really tough but give credit to the lads, it took one goal. I said to the lads if it is one goal or six, you get the same amount of points.
"Credit to the boys they are working hard and going that extra mile."
AFC Telford United caretaker manager Graham Hyde told BBC Radio Shropshire:
"Overall I am delighted with the players' efforts today, magnificent - the only problem was the result.
"We've made mistakes leading up to the goal but it was an honest mistake. We fought hard and battled well, I've no problem with what the players have given today.
"I'm not bothered with the league table, the results - time will tell. We can only give our best and if we get that from every player the results the come.
"Can we stay up? Who knows, but the effort today from the players was top class."
Stags manager Paul Cox sings the praises of 'captain fantastic' Adam Murray after Telford win
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox was full of praise for his captain fantastic, assistant manager Adam Murray, for his inspirational display in today 1-0 win over AFC Telford.
Murray, who took a nasty kick at Luton last weekend, was in the wars again as Karlton Watson's nasty challenge earned the Telford man a red card and left Murray in agony. But he battled on to win another man of the match award.
Cox said: “Adam Murray deserves a special mention today. When you need your captain to step forward and a be inspirational, it was one of those days today.
“The sending-off looked a bad tackle – but thankfully it was on his wooden leg! Adam is made of steel. He has had more injections than a dartboard since I came here, bless him.
“As well as playing very well himself, I need his presence out there to gee the lads up when we need it.”
On the overall performance, Cox added: “I personally didn't think we were at the races in terms of what we are capable of. But these are hard games against a team fighting for their lives. They are down there and everything is against them at the minute.
“They came here and set up and we had to be patient just to score a goal.
“When we hit the woodwork four times in the first half I thought it was going to be one of those days.
“But we have won a game so I am not going to be disappointed. These lads are giving the club everything – their professionalism, hunger and desire to keep going are brilliant.
“In the first half we probably over-compensated and threw bodies forward, and you always leave yourself open to the counter-attack then. And Alan Marriott had to make a very good save when their lad got through. That gave us some impetus to build on.”
Stags are now up to third, only three points off tops spot, and Cox said: “We have given ourselves a chance. But all the hard work of the last eight or nine games can go out the window if we are not mentally right for the next eight or nine.
“I won't lie and say we don't have one eye on the title. But we won't get carried away either.”
Anthony Howell's knee scan suggested that, despite a small tear, he may be able to return to action by the time Stags head for Forest Green on 15th March.
But Cox has spoken to the chairman about bringing in a loanee midfielder until then to try to keep the squad strong
Mansfield Town have a 'chance' for the title
MANSFIELD Town have put themselves right in with a shout of the Blue Square Bet Premier title.
But manager Paul Cox has warned that chance will be obliterated if they switch off for one second in the promotion run-in.
Only the champions go into the Football League automatically but the Stags moved up to third and just three points off leaders Wrexham with a game in hand following Saturday's 1-0 win over Telford.
That was a ninth league win from ten games and the Stags still have Wrexham to play twice.
And Cox said: "We have given ourselves a chance of the title and that is all it is.
"But that will go out of the window if we are not mentally right.
"The lads are doing a great job, I cannot fault their desire and attitude but it is not about what we have done in the last seven or eight games. It is about what we do in the next eight or nine games and then see where we are."
A scan has given good news on midfielder Anthony Howell (knee), who could now return within a fortnight, while defender John Dempster (ankle), who missed Saturday's match, should be back to face Woking on Wednesday.
Mansfield hit the woodwork four times in the first half and did not find a breakthrough until Matt Green's 49th-minute winner against bottom-side Telford.
Captain and assistant manager Adam Murray was a huge influence throughout against Telford, especially when it was not going his side's way.
Cox added: "When you need your captain to step forward and be inspirational, this was it and he did that. It was what we needed."
Stags' goal hero Matt Green admits Telford win wasn't pretty
Mansfield Town goal hero Matt Green admitted it wasn't the prettiest of games – but he was delighted to grab the only goal as Stags sunk bottom club AFC Telford this afternoon.
Green struck four minutes after the break for his 17th goal of the season and said: “It wasn't pretty but we got the three points and that's all we wanted to do at the start of the game.
“I was a bit fortunate their centre half dwelt on the ball a little bit and I was able to nick it off him.
“I thought I was quite composed and took it well.”
The magic 20-goal mark is now in sight for last season's 30-goal star, but Green isn't too worried about targets.
“I am here to score goals and I enjoy doing it and just want to be successful with Mansfield Town,” he smiled.
“That red card early in the season threw my flow a bit. But I am probably in my bets form of the season now, playing with a smile on my face and expressing myself with the ball.
“We have a lot of experience in that dressing room with players who have won a lot of titles, John Dempster has won five. So they know what needs to be done.
“We need to keep going and we need the fans behind us like they have been. It was electric with that following at Lincoln in midweek.
“The more supporters turn up, the more the players feel it. There's nothing worse than trying to make your own atmosphere on the pitch.”
Mansfield Town defender Ritchie Sutton hoping to keep his shirt after late call-up to the side
Ritchie Sutton is hoping his part in helping Stags to a clean sheet in yesterday's 1-0 win over AFC Telford will see him keep his place for the trip to Woking on Wednesday.
Sutton was drafted in at centre half when John Dempster was ruled out with an ankle injury.
However, Dempster is hoping to be fit for Woking and Sutton said: “I just hope I can keep my short.
“It's good for the gaffer that there is competition for places.
“It was brilliant to be back and we got a clean sheet and a great win.
“Although it took a few minutes for me to get into it, as it's a long time since I've played there, centre half is a natural position for me so I was fine. It's all about positioning and doing your job as, when I play at full back, you have responsibilities to get forward too.
“I was always confident we would win it. When it was 0-0 at half-time the gaffer gave us all a kick up the backside and we went back out there with more fire in our bellies, which paid off in the end.”
Mansfield Town's Ritchie Sutton only has eyes for top spot ahead of Woking trip
RITCHIE Sutton is well aware his delight could soon turn to despair tonight after just reclaiming his place back in the Mansfield Town team.
The natural centre-half has for too long been asked to play at full-back and has done a solid job for the Stags' cause, both this season and last.
But the arrival of James Jennings back in January has led to a period of inactivity for 26-year-old Sutton.
Jennings slotted straight in at left-back, Lee Beevers switched to the right and Sutton to the bench, where he has stayed as an unused substitute for weeks as his side continued on a superb run of form, which has now reached nine wins from their last ten league matches.
But on Saturday, an injury to John Dempster meant a recall for Sutton and, ironically, he finally got to play his natural position at the heart of the defence.
Despite helping keep a clean sheet in the 1-0 win against Telford, he is aware Dempster could return from his ankle problem at Woking tonight.
However, Sutton is staying focused on the bigger picture and helping Mansfield back into the Football League after a five-year exile.
With the club now just three points off leaders Wrexham, with a game in hand, he said top spot and automatic promotion is a real possibility.
Tonight, the Stags look to make it eight wins from nine on their travels, their away form so impressive.
And Sutton said: "It was vital we got the win the other day and then to find out we had closed the gap to three points was great. It is all to go for now.
"It makes it a lot more exciting. Last year we wanted to go for the championship but in the end, it wasn't a possibility (despite the good run).
"This time it is possible and we don't want to go in the play-offs if possible because of the heartbreak we suffered in them last year.
"We are looking at the top, we have experience in the camp, also from what happened last season and the aim has to be to go on and win the championship.
"With the game put back to a Wednesday, the extra 24 hours helps with rest and recovery but we know we have to go there and do a professional job."
Last season Mansfield finished the season with 13 wins and a draw from their last 15 games to finish third, only to lose out to York in the play-off semi-finals.
Last season Fleetwood had already runaway with the title, but it couldn't be more different this time around.
For Sutton, though, he was delighted to get back out playing after six weeks without kicking a ball in anger for the first team.
"It was good for me on a personal note to come in and play and help keep a clean sheet," he said. "It was a good win and keeps us hunting for top spot.
"It was a long time since I played centre-half because I have been out of the team recently and then before that was playing at full-back.
"But I enjoyed it and now we will see what happens against Woking."
AFC Telford boss Graham Hyde targets a striker
AFC Telford United caretaker manager Graham Hyde has revealed he is on the lookout for a striker following the team's 1-0 defeat at Mansfield on Saturday.
But the current Bucks chief, who took over the managerial reins following Mark Cooper's shock departure to Swindon on Friday, has batted away talk of him applying for the manager's job full-time.
Hyde admitted the team, which lost top-scorer Steve Jones to a suspected detached retina late in the first half of Saturday's game, could do with strengthening in the striking department.
He will also have to decide soon whether to try to extend the loans of defender Karlton Watson and midfielders Charlie Henry and Bagasan Graham, who are all nearing the end of their one-month moves from Leicester City, Macclesfield and Cheltenham.
Hyde said: “I think if Jake Reid were to get injured we would be short in forward areas so that is something that can be addressed.
“We have got a couple of loans up so we need to address that this week but we are always looking to strengthen.”
Asked whether Hyde would want the Telford manager's job on a full-time basis he added: “I think we need to get to the end of the season. It's been a turbulent season. We are 22 league games without a win.
“But all I am interested in is the players turning up, training properly and giving their all for the football club.”
The former Sheffield Wednesday and Birmingham City midfielder also defended centre-back Watson' following a disappointing display at Field Mill.
Watson's error led to Matthew Green scoring the only goal of the game and the defender was later sent off for a second bookable offence.
Hyde said: “He made a mistake, but we have all made them. He's an honest lad and I think he had a good game in and around the mistake.”
Latest | March 2013