Cox: Wrexham match is first among equals
video interview: Paul Cox is speaking to our Head of Media & Communcations Mark Stevenson
18th March 2013
Manager Paul Cox has insisted that tomorrow night's match at Wrexham is not a 'do or die' encounter and claimed that our remaining eight games would be equally as important.
Cox's men, who sit top of the table, travel to North Wales tomorrow to face second-placed Wrexham in a match billed by many as the biggest game of the season in the hunt for the title.
In calm-mood at this morning's press meeting, Cox seemed keen to ensure that both players and supporters do not get carried away amidst the team's excellent winning streak, which has seen a run of nine straight wins.
“It's a big game but it's not the biggest of the season,” Cox said.
“We play Wrexham on the last day of the season, so that could be the biggest, or travelling up to Barrow [for instance].
“Whatever the scenario after Tuesday, we'll move onto the next game. If we're lucky enough to be in a position where we could be successful at the end of the season then brilliant, but if not [then] we'll dust ourselves down and go again.”
After amassing 39 points from the last 42 available, Cox's side head into the match in tip-top form. But the manager said it would count for nothing ahead of tomorrow's clash.
“Form means what you have done, I prefer to look what we have [left] to do. It probably gives us a bit of confidence, but other than that it goes out of the window. I want to make sure that as a football club, our feet are firmly on the ground and that we're focussed and go about our business the way we have done recently.”
In team news, Junior Daniel (hamstring) should be fit enough to travel after coming off during the first half of Friday night's 2-1 victory at Forest Green Rovers
Leaders Mansfield Town all set for top-of-table clash at Wrexham
Nottingham Post Mar 19th, 2013
UNSURPRISINGLY, Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox is not making a massive issue of tonight's game in north Wales.
After moving two points clear at the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier, it is top versus second tonight against Wrexham.
The Stags also have a game in hand on Andy Morrell's side so victory tonight would send out a real statement of intent when it comes to their title chances – and with it automatic promotion.
His side are on a remarkable run of 13 wins from their last 14 matches and have just beaten promotion rivals Grimsby and Forest Green.
Victory tonight would be a tenth on the spin but Cox is insistent on past form counting for nothing.
He is also certain defeat would not be the end of the world, as he anticipates further twists and turns in the remaining nine games.
But the fact is the Stags have finally clawed their way to the summit and are there to be shot down.
Tonight, at a hostile Racecourse Ground, it has all the makings of a cracking clash.
But all Cox wants from his players is focus and not to get swept up in the occasion.
He said: "Form counts for nothing because form means what we have done. I prefer to look at what we can do in the future.
"It is about the next game and keeping our feet firmly on the ground and for us to stay focused.
"We have to do about our business in the same manner as recent games.
"All I want is for us to go there and concentrate on our own game and not lose our focus on what we want to achieve.
"Then we will only have ourselves to blame if something does go wrong.
"I am not saying this is the biggest game. It is a big game, but they all are.
"We play Wrexham in the last game of the season at home so that could be the biggest game of the season. Barrow away might prove to be the biggest match.
"We have to go about each game at a time, like we have been doing during this solid run and then move onto the next."
Winger Colin Daniel went off injured in the first half at Forest Green on Friday night in the 2-1 win but is expected to be fit.
He was suffering from a tight hamstring but otherwise, it is just Ross Dyer and Jake Speight who remain sidelined with knee injuries.
With the Football League in sight, after a five-year exile, the pressure is sure to be mounting,
But Mansfield also have a squad of players who have won promotion from this league before, like Adam Murray, Matt Green, Adam Chapman and John Dempster.
Cox is simply trying to take the heat off his men.
He added: "There are nine games left and plenty of twists and turns to come.
"This is going to be a tough game because we went to watch them on Saturday and they were very impressive.
"But all I want is us to go there with a fresh mind-set and fresh impetus and not lose our focus."
Stevo: camaraderie has been key
video interview: Luke Jones & Lee Stevenson are in conversation with our Head of Media & Communications Mark Stevenson
18th March 2013
Jovial midfielder Lee Stevenson says the team's remarkable run of results has been achieved because of high morale in the squad.
The ex-Eastwood Town player has been influential in the past nine games which has seen Paul Cox's side claim a maximum of 27 points - a post-war club record.
"There's a massive winning mentality in the squad at the minute," said Stevenson. "Everyone is backing each other to go into the games and do well. There's a very good team spirit.
"We're all mates, we all get on. The gaffer did trim the squad down after Christmas and I think every lad enjoys coming into worrk at the minute and [we] enjoy each other's company."
Mansfield manager Paul Cox doesn't believe that crunch game in Wrexham is title-decider
chad.co.uk Monday 18 March 2013
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox doesn't believe tomorrow night's game at rivals Wrexham is this season's title decider.
Stags go into the crunch game top of the table after nine straight wins, two points ahead of the Welshmen with a game in hand as well.
However, Cox said: “I won't tell a fib – it is a big game. But it isn't the title decider. There will be plenty of twists and turns yet. You can't write off any of the top five. The standard is unbelievable this year.
“Look at Grimsby, they've had their worst dip of the season and are now fifth, but they have good players, good staff and good management. With 27-30 points still to play for, there is almost a third of the season still to go and anything can happen.
“Every one of of the nine games we have left is a cup final. They are all big games and important for different reasons. Whatever the scenario after Tuesday night we will just move on to the next game.
“I went to watch Wrexham on Saturday and I was very impressed with them.
“The last four weeks of the season will just fly by. Whoever win the championship will have won more games than anyone else and also needs that little bit of luck. So I am hoping we are a lucky side.
“I gave the lads the weekend off as we put a lot into the Grimsby game on Tuesday and I think that showed in the last 15 minutes at Forest Green on Friday where we had some tired legs.
“I am now hoping they will come back in today fresh and focused.”
Winger Junior Daniel is expected to be fit, despite coming off injured in Friday's 2-1 win at the New Lawn.
“I think he will be fit,” said Cox. “It was just a tight hamstring and we brought him off as precautionary measure. It's going to happen at this time of the season.”
Wrexham FC full-back desperate to tackle Mansfield
Published date: 18 March 2013 |
Published by: Richard Williams
Neil Ashton admits he is more desperate to face Mansfield Town in tomorrow's top of the table clash than line-up for Wrexham at Wembley in Sunday's FA Trophy final against Grimsby Town.
Ashton missed Saturday's goalless draw against Luton Town, a result which leaves second placed Wrexham two points behind leaders Mansfield, because of an ankle injury sustained in Tuesday's 2-1 victory at Lincoln City.
And although he would love to taste victory at Wembley for the third time of asking - Ashton has been on the losing side twice in League Two play-off finals with Shrewsbury Town - the 28-year-old insists being part of Wrexham's promotion push is more important.
“It is huge to play at Wembley. I have done it before so I would love to do it again and hopefully get the win that has eluded me all these years,” said Ashton.
“I am just taking it a day at a time to give myself every opportunity to be fit for tomorrow and if not then, for Sunday.
“To be honest, I was heartbroken missing Saturday's game. I would much rather have played on Saturday and tomorrow and get massive points than play on Sunday because the league is want we want.
“I have played at Wembley before, it is a huge occasion that you can tell your kids and grand-children about, and for that reason alone I would love my family and little girl to be there and if we win maybe I can get her on the pitch with me.
“Obviously there are all kinds of emotions going through my head, I just want to get it sorted as soon as possible.”
Ashton, who scooped last season's Player of the Year Award, has rarely missed a game since joining Wrexham in the summer of 2010 and would be gutted to be absent for tomorrow's clash against Mansfield let alone the Wembley final.
“The team comes first but it is nice to get as many appearances as possible,” said Ashton., who will be the guest speaker at tonight's Wrexham Supporters Trust meeting in the Bamford Suite (7.30pm).
“I think I have only missed seven or eight games in the near three years I have been here so obviosuly I just want to get back as soon as possible.
“But if the team is winning, you don't really mind.”
Hoping he recovers from the ankle problem sustained at Lincoln, which forced him off at half-time, Ashton added: “There was no-one near me, my foot has just got stuck in the ground and I have just gone over on it and hurt a few of the ankle ligaments.
“Fingers crossed, I will be okay as soon as possible. It is round the clock treatment so I am giving myself every chance for Mansfield.”
Player-boss Andy Morrell admitted there will have to be an improvement if Wrexham are going to secure victory against Mansfield, the side who the Reds face at Field Mill on the final day of the season.
“I said this was a big week, we have not started great but no great disasters,” said Morrell. “We are a point closer to where we want to be but we have to be a bit more creative in the final third. We will have to be better if we are going to get anything out of the game.”
Latest | March 2013