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Speight close to a return
mansfieldtown.net 14th March 2013
Manager Paul Cox has been buoyed the news that striker Jake Speight is close to a comeback.
Paul Cox is speaking to Mansfield 103.2's Jason Harrison
Speight, who has eight goals from 19 league appearances this term, missed last night's reserve team clash at Hull City due to swelling in his knee.
However, the talisman could return to action very soon.
“Jake was going to feature last night but has suffered a bit of a set-back with his knee, which has swollen. He wasn't happy with it, so he decided not to play,” said Cox.
“We've took him back to see the specialist and the good news is that I don't think he'll be too far away [from a return].”
Despite Ben Hutchinson's early opener for us, our second-string were ultimately beaten by a strong Tigers side, who netted through Tom Cairney and Nick Proschwitz.
Nevertheless, our boss was able to draw several positives from the defeat.
He continued: “There were some good performances and that's ultimately what I'm looking for.
"It's important that I'm at these games, because I want to know who has the hunger. When [players] are not in the side and things aren't going well I want to see mental strength.
“As we saw with Matt Rhead the other night, some of these players could have a massive impact between now and the end of the season.
“We're not going to get away with playing the [same] starting XI, so we need fit, strong and hungry players that have that little bit of nastiness to keep their place.”
Added Cox: “One or two players impressed me last night, which was the right way to tell me that they're still here and hungry to get into the team.”
Stags can go top with success in TV showdown at Forest Green
chad.co.uk Thursday 14 March 2013
Mansfield Town will finally go clear at the top of the BSBP table if they win or draw at promotion rivals Forest Green Rovers before the live TV cameras tomorrow night.
Paul Cox's men are second only on goal difference to Wrexham, who are not in action until Saturday, when they host Luton Town.
The Stags have 10 games to go and are currently on a club record run of eight wins on the trot, and 12 wins of their last 13 games, winning eight out of the last nine away from home.
Rovers, who have been in the play-off shake-up all season, have stuttered of late, but came from behind at Southport on Tuesday to pull off their first win in six games.
Stags have seen off Stockport 4-1 (last Saturday) and promotion rivals Grimsby 2-0 (on Tuesday) and manager Cox said: “Those two games have set us up nicely for the last 10. They were tough games and a warning of what is to come.
“We have 10 cup finals to play and I always enjoy this business end of the season. We will just reassess our situation after every game ticked off
“Our supporters of late have been out of this world and they are going a long way to giving us a push for the last 10 games. I had a few pints with them after the Grimsby game and they are over the moon. They've got the bug now and we need them more than ever.
“Forest Green are a very good club with a lot of good players. They've been in the shake-up all season and I am sure there will be twists and turns still. If they put a winning run together they will be right back in it. There is an awful lot riding on this game like there was on Tuesday. But I am not worried about the opposition, I am only bothered about us.”
Cox was delighted with some fine displays from his reserves in their 2-1 defeat against Hull City at North Ferriby last night, Ben Hutchinson with the goal.
Cox said: “I wanted to see players with hunger on a cold Tuesday night at North Ferriby against a young Hull side full of desire. I want to know I have players hungry to get into my side as they will all still have a massive part to play in this season.
“I don't think I will get away with playing the same starting XI for the last 10 games.”
Stags defender Jennings nurses his wounds before Forest Green clash
chad.co.uk Friday 15 March 2013
James Jennings joined the unlucky Lee Beevers in the wars this week, but can't wait to take on Forest Green Rovers with the Stags tonight as Paul Cox's men bid for the draw or win that would put them top.
The full back, who joined Mansfield Town in January, suffered a cut head that needed six stitches during Tuesday's 2-0 win over Grimsby Town.
But Beevers, who has had stitches, a dislocated shoulder and broken nose among several knocks in recent games, was unimpressed by Jennings' injury, which saw him run back out for the second half with a protective headband.
“It was one of those things you've got to take sometimes,” said Jennings. “Their player came in and clattered me. I've had it plenty of times in my career. You just get it stitched up and I ran back out there with my old 'Terry Butcher bandage' round my head and got on with it
“The lads gave me a lot of stick as the gaffer was giving his half-time talk and they could hear me screaming. The doctor put anaesthetic in my head and then put in six staples.
“It was painful. But the adrenalin from the atmosphere of the game gets you through.
“At the end Lee Beevers was showing me all his scars and injuries. But mine is a bigger scar than his!”
He added: “It's been brilliant since I arrived and it looks like I joined at the right time. The momentum has kept us going and we look really strong at the moment.
“Winning tonight would put the pressure on the teams around us. It is a day less recovery from Tuesday but is also an extra day's rest for Tuesday.”
Paul Cox hopes to keep Mansfield Town purring as finishing line approaches
Nottingham Post Mar 15th, 2013
FOR Paul Cox's cat, life is sweet. There is no need to hide behind the sofa or cower in the spare bedroom.
Spring is definitely the favourite time of year for the Mansfield Town manager.
And, when he returns home from work, he jokingly admits he is normally in the mood to lavish some attention on his feline friend – rather than being tempted to give it a kick up the backside.
A club record run of eight consecutive wins – and 12 victories in their last 13 games – has lifted the Stags firmly into promotion contention.
And Cox's habit of finding a timely run of form at the most vital stage of the season appears to be continuing, as they prepare to face Forest Green tonight (7.45pm).
Mansfield won 16 of their final 20 games last season, to surge into the play-offs under Cox.
And, even during his days as Eastwood Town boss, his side always finished the season strongly.
Now things seem to be taking a familiar path as Mansfield appear to be finding their feet at the right time yet again.
"I do enjoy this stage of the season, I don't honestly know why. We always seem to do well after we come around the final corner and into the home straight," said Cox, whose side beat promotion rivals Grimsby 2-0 at the One Call Stadium on Tuesday, to leave themselves trailing leaders Wrexham only by goal difference – but with a game in hand.
"Right from the moment I started in management at Eastwood it was the same, we were seven points adrift at the bottom and we ended up finishing just outside the play-off places.
"I don't know what it is. But I do enjoy the thrill of competing for a title, for a trophy or for a place in the play-offs.
"Whatever it is, I just enjoy it. I can't explain why. Perhaps it is because I have been down at the bottom, I have scraped around in the relegation places and that is proper pressure.
"This is not pressure, this is something to enjoy. After a game you go for a drink, you have a laugh and a joke.
"I don't go home miserable. Instead of getting in and giving the cat a kick, I pick him up and give him a stroke."
Stags will go top of the Conference Premier outright if they win tonight and, while that position may bring a certain level of expectation, Cox hopes his players will relish the final ten games of the campaign.
"This is the best part of football; the best part of my job," he said. "I enjoy it and the players do as well. I don't know why it is that way, but I am not going to worry about that.
"I have just told them to tick one game off at a time. If we are lucky enough to be in a position, then excellent.
"We are trying to build strong foundations at this football club. We are trying to take it back to the level it should be at.
"That is something you should be able to enjoy."
If Mansfield were to win another eight games on the bounce, it would almost certainly be enough to see them back into the Football League.
But Cox is determined to stay grounded.
"I am not going to lie to anyone, I would rather win eight games on the trot than to be losing matches, of course I would," he said.
"But the main thing is to keep it going. We cannot get carried away, we have to enjoy our football, we have to enjoy having the crowd behind us.
"We have a run of cup finals now and I would love to win every one of those.
"If we could do that, we would give ourselves a chance.
"If it was Christmas I would be asking Santa for ten wins now, that would give us a great chance.
"But there are good teams in this league and we cannot get too big for our boots.
"We will respect our opponents, we will go about our business with focus and we will stay grounded.
"If we can carry on this run, we will give ourselves a chance of being where we want to be. And we will enjoy every step along the way."
And, in all probability, so will a certain manager's cat.
Stags winger Meikle full of belief ahead of Forest Green clash
chad.co.uk Friday 15 March 2013
Winger Lindon Meikle is relishing Mansfield Town's promotion bid run-in, and he believes Stags can win at Forest Green tonight and again at title rivals Wrexham on Tuesday to set the pace at the top afterv Tuesday's crucial 2-0 win over Grimsby Town.
He said: “I believe we can do them (Forest Green), which would give us more confidence, and also do Wrexham on a double. That would say it all. Then it's got to be.
“There is a massive buzz with the supporters now. I had some mates there on Tuesday and they said fans were going crazy just when we made a tackle, It was electric. I will always work hard for my friends and my family – that's how I was brought up.”
He added: “Tuesday was a bit tense. But the gaffer said at half-time to calm and down and chill out a bit, then we came back out flying like we did against Liverpool.
“I enjoyed starting again. But I've not played a full 90 for a while so I was feeling a bit leggy in a tough, tough game.
“It is so tight I think we've got to win every game. Lose one and that could be it. So there is a real pressure on us as there is on everyone in the top four.”
Latest | March 2013