COX, RHEAD, MARRIOTT, PAUL HURST REACTION
Trio react to club record
Paul Cox's men wrote themselves into the club history books last night with an eighth successive league victory, the latest a 2-0 scoreline at home to Grimsby Town.
video interviews with Cox, Marriott and Rhead
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"The lads deserve all the plaudits that come their way. They are working extremely hard. It's fine lines between the top five and six in this league.
"I don't think we played particularly well when we had the ball. But our shape and desire to get the thing back and our defending was excellent and Alan Marriott was in inspired form.
"Adam Chapman is such a talented footballer. He is only been with us a week or so. He has acquitted himself really well but there is more to come. He is so technically gifted."
Grimsby Town joint-manager Paul Hurst told BBC Radio Humberside:
"Yes, the performance was spot-on. I thought we were the better team.
"I thought we dominated the first half and in the second half I still thought we were the better side. We limited them to very little.
"I thought we passed it quite well on a heavy surface but you have to deal with these things.
"What gives us hope and happy is not the right word, but to be talking after a defeat it's probably as happy as you're going to find us."
Cox hails fighting spirit
Manager Paul Cox praised the fighting spirit of his side following last night's dramatic 2-0 victory over Grimsby Town at One Call Stadium.
Striker Matt Rhead came off the bench to head us infront shortly after the hour mark, before Adam Chapman doubled the lead with a sumptuous 25-yard beauty.
“I thought we showed grit and determination and you've got to give credit to Alan Marriott, who I thought had a superb game”, said Cox.
“I don't think we played particularly well when we had possession of the ball, but our shape, drive, hunger and willingness to get the ball back was excellent.
“In the first half we were like a cat that had been caught in headlights and needed to improve. We seemed to be playing the occasion and not the game.
“In the second half, I made a change because [Lee] Stevenson wasn't getting much space in the hole, and the big man [Matt Rhead] changed the course of the game.”
“He did what he does best, which is scoring from a set-piece and putting his head in where it can hurt.
“We played a little bit more direct, because we know what Rheady's about. Not many people can handle him, and he gave Greeny a bit of help upfront.”
Our boss continued: “Between now and the end of the season, there's going to be lots of twists and turns and all the squad is going to come into play.
“It's nice to have someone like Rheady, because every time he comes on, he gives his heart for this football club and puts himself on the line.”
Cox was also full of praise for midfielder Adam Chapman, whose delightful long-range strike sealed the three points and extinguished any hopes of a Mariners comeback.
He added: “It was an excellent strike from Chappy and I hope he's got a few more in his locker.
“He's a good player and he's still only getting to grips with what we're about and how we play. I think there's so much more to come from him.”
Our next game is on Friday 15 March as we travel to Forest Green Rovers (kick-off 7.45pm).
Stags boss Paul Cox sings his side's praises after crucial win over Grimsby
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox paid tribute to his side's battling qualities and to super sub Matt Rhead after last night's crucial 2-0 home win over promotion rivals Grimsby Town.
Despite good spells of possession and a string of half-chances, Grimsby were shot down by goals from Matt Rhead and Adam Chapman and denied at the other end by the safe hands of Alan Marriott as Stags sit second going into the last 10 games, on equal points with leaders Wrexham with a game in hand.
Cox said: “Tonight's win took a bit of grit and determination. I don't think we played particularly well in possession, but you must give credit to Grimsby, who are a very good side.
“You also have to give credit to Alan Marriott, who had a superb game.
“He pulled off a few good saves tonight. Alan has been a bit redundant of late, but tonight he showed what a good keeper he is.
“I though we looked like a cat caught in front of the headlights in the first half and, in front of a big, vocal crowd, we played the occasion and not the game.
“Our retention of the ball and passing were poor. We got into good positions but didn't hurt the opposition like we have been doing.
“But our shape was good and we looked structured and hard to break down. I thought the desire and hunger was there and I was pleased how we applied ourselves.”
The game swung on the 56th minute substitution of Lee Stevenson, replaced by big Matt Rhead, who had broken the deadlock inside eight minutes of coming on.
“I decided to make the change after deciding it wasn't a game for Lee Stevenson,” said Cox. “He wasn't getting a lot of room in that little hole and we had sometimes tried to be a bit too intricate.
“The big man came on and changed the course of the game. He stopped the ball coming back and got his head in where it hurts. We played a bit more direct to him and not many people like handling him or competing with him.
“I said the whole squad would come into play – everyone will be needed. And you need someone like Matt Rhead. Every time he comes on he shows his heart for this football club and puts his health on the line – where he put his head for the goal was immense.”
On Chapman's 20 yard blockbuster second goal, his fourth in four days, he added: “It was an excellent strike and I hope there are a few more in the locker.
“I have told him not to waste them all and we may need a few in the next 10 games. It is testament to what a good player he is.”
Although the whole town is now buzzing about Stags' chances of automatic promotion, Cox was keen to play down the situation and keep feet firmly planted on the floor.
He said: “This was a good win, but it's chip paper tomorrow. All we've done tonight was chalk another game off – that's all we can do. We are not getting too above ourselves and we have another tough game on Friday. If we are still in a position to have a chance of going up near the end of the season then good, if not we just dust ourselves down and go again.”
Last night's win also set a new club record for successive wins since the Stags first joined the Football League.
“That's nice and I am well chuffed for the players,” said Cox. “They've worked ever so hard for each other. Tonight they didn't play that well with the ball but worked extremely hard without it. They have earned all the plaudits that are coming their way.”
Even though Grimsby brought an army of 806 fans with them, the current run is finally starting to bring a few stay-away fans back with just under 3,000 home fans creating a cauldron of noise last night.
Cox said: “I say it time after time, this crowd have a massive part to play in where this club goes – and I don't just mean into the Football League. When they get behind the team you can see the lads running for them.”
Alan Marriott says Mansfield do not feel under pressure
Goalkeeper Alan Marriott says Mansfield Town do not feel under pressure after putting themselves in with a great chance of winning automatic promotion.
They trail Blue Square Bet Premier leaders Wrexham on goal difference after eight straight wins.
"We've not really put pressure on ourselves talking about top spot," Marriott told BBC Radio Nottingham.
"The gaffer says there will be a spell when we drop points. It's important everyone just stays positive."
The Stags, who beat Grimsby 2-0 on Saturday , play Forest Green on Friday and face a crucial match against Wrexham next week.
"I don't even look at the table. I just go one [match] at a time and see where you go. That's the best thing to do to take the pressure off yourself," Marriott added.
"Last year we went on a fantastic run again from Christmas. We lost two since Christmas in that year as well.
"I don't know what we do differently - I'd love to know what it is because you could sell it to all the managers around the country.
"It's just the togetherness that comes through. Everyone's got that determination to get out of the league."
Mansfield now 'in the driving seat' for title, says Grimsby Town joint boss Paul Hurst
Mar 13th, 2013
GRIMSBY Town joint boss Paul Hurst conceded that Mansfield are now 'in the driving seat' in the Conference title race after watching his side go down 2-0 to the Stags last night.
The co-manager admitted that his side felt hard done by after coming off on the wrong side of the result following a bruising night in Nottinghamshire – in more ways than one.
Skipper Craig Disley had to go off at half-time with a hamstring injury – before the Stags' two second-half goals – and Andy Cook and Ross Hannah were both nursing knocks after the full-time whistle.
The result left the Mariners still in fifth, seven points off leaders Wrexham with two games in hand.
And, after the game, Hurst admitted that the result made things 'very difficult' for the Mariners.
Speaking to the Telegraph, he said: “It makes it extremely difficult.
“We looked at the table at full-time, if not in great detail, and we can go a point behind Wrexham if we win our games in hand. But Mansfield and Kidderminster – Mansfield especially, look like they are in the driving seat at the minute.
“But there will be a lot of twists and turns to come and Forest Green are now on our heels at only three points behind.”
“We need to get back to winning games – there's no doubt about that.”
Hurst felt his side did enough to leave the One Call Stadium with something to show for their efforts, but as it was, the Stags made it a club record eighth win in a row, thanks to goals from Matt Rhead and a stunning strike from Adam Chapman.
Hurst continued: “We feel a little hard done by. You don't always get what you deserve in this game but ultimately, they put the ball in the back of the net.
“One goal was a set play, which is always disappointing and the second is a wonder strike.
“Overall, I thought the first 45 was pretty much all played in their half. We were well on top and for their keeper to get man of the match for them says it all really. But ultimately it's a disappointing night because I'd rather be saying we'd played awful and taken three points.
“The fact is now that we've picked up an injury with Dis (Craig Disley), Cooky's ankle is all swollen up and Ross (Hannah) has got a slice down his Achilles where a defender has gone down the back of him.”
Latest | March 2013