Cox hopeful game will go ahead
video interview: Paul Cox is speaking to Mark Stevenson
25th March 2013
Manager Paul Cox is confident that tomorrow night's match at home to Nuneaton Town will go ahead as planned.
Cox's side have been out of action for ten days, having seen games against Wrexham and Macclesfield Town fall victim to poor weather.
But Cox has been encouraged that his players will return to their league programme after witnessing over 60 people clear snow from the pitch this morning, which included volunteers, youth players and members of the RAF.
“I'm really positive [about the game being played],” Cox said this morning, at his pre-match press meeting.
“As we speak now there are people on the pitch clearing the snow. A massive thank you must go out to those who have turned up to clear the snow. Me, my players and staff really do appreciate them helping the club out.
“Like everyone, else, we want it on. The lads are hungry and focussed and really want to play tomorrow night.”
On relegation-threatened Nuneaton, Cox said: “I don't think they've been beaten in the last six matches and I don't think many teams in the top six have took many points off them at their place. They're a team in form. If anyone's coming to the ground on Tuesday night thinking that this will be a stroll in the park then they'll need to think twice.”
In team news, Adam Murray has been classed as a doubt after suffering with a minor ankle problem, of which Cox said: “Training's been really intense – they've not held anything back and that's pleased me. Muz had a bit of a clip to an ankle. I don't think it's too serious.
Army of volunteers turn up to clear snow at the One Call Stadium ahead of Stags v Nuneaton clash
chad.co.uk Monday 25 March 2013
An army of supporters, the Stags youth team and even members of the RAF, turned out today to help Mansfield Town clear the One Call Stadium pitch of snow ahead of tomorrow night's anticipated home clash with Nuneaton Town.
Stags put protective covers on the pitch last Thursday with the threat of snow and frosts in the forecasts, and the snows duly arrived on Fruday night, dumping over two tons on the surface.
An appeal was put out for help and some fans began the task on Sunday with many more arriving first thing today.
They included members of the RAF and Cpl Gary Whitworth of RAF Wittering told http://www.mansfieldtown.net: “I've supported Mansfield all my life and don't want the weather to stop our chances of promotion
“We've not got much on at the minute (work-wise) so I thought I'd ask a few of our lads to come and help clear the snow following the club's appeal, which they were happy to do.”
Stags lost Saturday's home clash to Macclesfield Town to the snow, but are hopeful they can get the pitch and stands clear in time for the visit of in-form relegation battlers Nuneaton.
“I am feeling really positive about our chances tomorrow as we have people on there now clearing the snow away,” said manager Paul Cox. “I'd like to say a massive thank you to those people on behalf of myself, the players and the staff. We really appreciate it. It is a tough job out there in the freezing cold.
“Credit to those people, giving up their own time and I hope the club will look after them with some bacon sandwiches and cups of tea.”
Although frustrated by the growing backlog of games, Cox admitted the loss of last Tuesday's game at Wrexham and Saturday's home clash with Macclesfield to the weather may be a blessing in disguise.
“Fatigue can set in at this time of season and we looked a bit jaded in the later stages of the game at Forest Green,” he said. “But the lads looked hungry and focussed when we trained on Saturday.
“It may be that the rest has done us the world of good.”
However, one setback is an ankle injury suffered by skipper and assistant manager Adam Murray and he is 50-50 to face Nuneaton.
“The boys have been holding nothing back in training and Adam was unlucky and got clipped on the ankle,” said Cox. “I don't think it's too serious, he has had a scan done and there's no serious damage so, knowing Adam, he will want to play tomorrow.
“He is like a little piece of iron. But he is important to us and we don't want to rush him back for one game and he breaks down. If he need to rest until Saturday then so be it.”
Saturday's postponed game at home to Macclesfield has been rearranged for Tuesday, 9th April (7.45pm).
Weather break could help Mansfield Town's final promotion push, says Paul Cox
Nottingham Post Mar 26th, 2013
IT has been another enforced break due to the freak weather we have been experiencing.
But after seeing the last two games postponed at Wrexham and then at the weekend at home to Macclesfield, manager Paul Cox is drawing a positive.
Their last outing was a week last Friday, when they beat Forest Green 2-1.
But Cox believes the fatigue towards the end of that game showed how much the recent run had taken out of his players.
Now, as they look to entertain Nuneaton tonight (7.45pm) at the start of an epic run of fixtures in quick succession, he can see a zip back in his players.
And that, he believes, sets them up for the finale as the Stags look to secure the Blue Square Bet Premier title and with it automatic promotion.
"When the game was called off on Saturday, we went to an indoor place to train and if one good thing came from that, it was the lads looked refreshed," said Cox, whose second-placed side are three points off leaders Kidderminster with three games in hand following a remarkable run of 13 wins from their last 14 matches.
"It has given the lads a bit of a rest and the spark was there in that training session. Now we want to get this game on and take that zip from training at the weekend onto the pitch against Nuneaton."
The club called for volunteers to help clear the pitch of up to six inches of snow yesterday, which lay on top of the frost covers.
Even members of the Royal Air Force came down to clear the snow as Mansfield are desperate for the game to go ahead, with nine games to fit in during the last three-and-a-half weeks of the campaign.
Cox said he could not thank the helpers, and youth team players that worked throughout yesterday, enough for their efforts.
"I am really positive the game will go ahead," said Cox. "It is just a massive thank you to the people who came down to help clear the snow.
"They have given up their own time and the youth team have been brilliant too because they are desperate to get the game on.
"The lads look ready, there looks that little bit of something about us and we are ready to go."
Nuneaton are fighting for their lives at the bottom end of the table and are managed by Mickey Moore, who was Cox's assistant at Mansfield last season when they finished third before going out in the play-offs.
But they are unbeaten in their last five games.
The Stags could be without captain Adam Murray tonight, after he suffered an ankle injury in training. The midfielder is rated at 50/50.
Cox said: "You look at their record and they have not lost in their last five matches and I saw them beat Grimsby and they deserved it.
"If anybody is heading to the ground thinking this is going to be a stroll then they really need to think twice.
"Our mind-set has to be even stronger for these games because Nuneaton are fighting for their lives and have a lot of youth and energy about them.
"Right through this league there are good players, coaches and managers and Mickey is one of those.
"He will have his side organised and structured, hard to break down and they will be up for it.
"That is not just because Mickey is coming back but because they are desperate to avoid relegation.
"But we have to be on our game."
Mansfield's home game with Macclesfield, postponed last Saturday because of the weather, has been rearranged for Tuesday, April 9
Nuneaton Town positive going into Mansfield challenge says Wilkin
Written by MATT DAVIES Tuesday 26 March 2013
NUNEATON Town manager Kevin Wilkin insists being plunged back into the relegation zone will not affect his players as they prepare to face the Mansfield Town juggernaut tonight, kick-off 7.45pm.
If the game beats the weather, Boro will face a Stags team who have won 13 out of their last 14 games to go second in Blue Square Bet Premier.
Nuneaton on the other hand are back in the bottom four despite their own good form after watching relegation rivals Lincoln City, Stockport County and Hyde all win at the weekend.
Wilkin said: “I don't think being in the relegation zone again will affect the players.
“We've been doing well. We've only lost one in seven.
“I've said all along we want to be in the shake-up with four games to go and it looks like we will be.
“I don't think we should take too much notice of other results. All we can do is keep trying to pick up points.”
Bearing in mind Boro are scheduled to play on Thursday, Saturday and next Monday, it is possible Wilkin could make changes to focus on more winnable looking games against Woking and AFC Telford United even though that is not something he has done too often in the past.
“I'll have a think about the team. The players will be well rested after not playing at the weekend but I'm mindful we've got players on the bench who are ready to come in,” he said.
Tactically, Wilkin says he will approach the game in the same mind-set as ever despite Mansfield's form and long ball reputation.
“I don't think we can look at the game any differently no matter their form,” he said.
“They've got their style of play. If we thought it was difficult from restarts against Braintree then Mansfield will be a whole other test.
“They are a very direct side but they've got very good players to go with it.”
One possible edge for Boro is the fact Wilkin's assistant Micky Moore was No. 2 at the Stags last season.
“Micky will know their players and have plenty of connections to the club,” said Wilkin.
“We can give the players all the advice and tips in the world, but they are the ones who have to go out there.
“We'll know them inside out but once players cross the white line they are the ones who have to deal with the challenge.”
Nuneaton are again set to have the same squad available. Midfielder Mark Noon (broken leg) and forward Connor Taylor (broken arm) are out for the rest of the season.
BORO FROM: Burge, Collett, McNamara, Phillips, Cartwright, Dean, Gordon, Cowan, Forsdick, O'Halloran, James, Armson, Adams, Sleath, Walker, McNamee, Dance, York, Moult, Brown
Latest | March 2013