COX, GREG TAYLOR, JONES AND BELFORD REACTION
audio interviews with Cox, Greg Taylor and Luke Jones
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"I thought it was one of the ugliest games I've ever been involved with and I said to the lads at half-time that it's not about performances.
"It was a second-ball game - the ball seemed to be up in the air all the time and we needed to adapt and overcome everything that happened.
"Luckily enough we did, we scored a good goal. Give credit to Tamworth, they threw the kitchen sink at us at the end, but we were resilient and we ground out a very good result."
Cox: An ugly three points
Manager Paul Cox believes we showed exceptional desire and fighting spirit to record an ugly three points, which extended our superb winning run to 11 matches.
During a game in which both teams created numerous chances, Luke Jones was the only player to find the net; his shot from a Matt Green lay-off in the 62nd minute eventually sealing all three points.
“I thought it was one of the ugliest games I've been involved in and I said to the lads at half-time, it's not about performances,” declared the former Eastwood Town boss.
“I'm glad the game is chalked off, because we knew coming here it was going to be a hostile environment, a bobbly pitch and we had to make sure we ground out a result.
“Although there wasn't an awful lot of quality about us, there was a battling, fighting spirit. It was a second ball game, the ball seemed to be up in the air a lot, and we had to adapt and overcome that.
“I said at half-time it was going to be one goal that decided it, and it took 'Jonah' [Luke Jones] to score and set us on our way. The lads all worked hard for the cause.”
Our boss was also pleased with the performance of debutant left-back Greg Taylor, who joined us on loan from Luton Town for the remainder of the campaign earlier this week.
“He was solid and we had to be solid today,” continued Cox.
“We knew coming into it that it wasn't going to be pretty. It was going to be a second ball, retention game, and I think the back four as a unit looked very solid.
“Against the boy Greg came up against today, [Adam] Cunnington, he's six-foot-five and an absolute monster in the air, but I thought Greg coped admirably with him.”
Cox also admitted he was humbled with the visiting support today. More than 1,000 Stags fans descended on the Lamb Ground, outnumbering the home fans in the process, to cheer us on.
“A special credit has to go to the supporters. It's very humbling when you see so many people turn out in force to support the lads. I'm proud of the support we had today.”
Our next game is against Gateshead at One Call Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday (kick-off 3.00pm)
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox avoids talk of titles
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox continued to avoid talk of winning the BSBP title, despite an 11th straight win – 1-0 at Tamworth today – that left them sitting pretty in second place, one point adrift of Kidderminster with three games in hand.
With just seven games to go, Stags now take on Gateshead at home on Monday before a crunch game at title rivals Wrexham on Thursday. But Cox's feet remain firmly on the floor.
He said: “The Gateshead game on Monday is massive and we will have the lads in tomorrow early for a cool down, to make sure they get the right fluids and right food in them. We want to get them rejuvenated and make sure they get this game out of their legs.
“As soon as you get too big for yourself in this game, it comes down and bites you. Let's just take it one game at a time, enjoy the ride and see where it takes us. I can't afford to let my mind falter or get side-tracked in any way.”
An army of over 1,100 away fans backed Stags at The Lamb today and Cox said: “It is humbling to see that many come out to support us. The lads appreciated it and clapped them at the end.”
It was a tough, scrappy game, settled by a second half strike by defender Luke Jones and Cox said: “I am glad we've chalked off coming here. It is a hostile environment, a bobbly pitch, and we just had to grind out a result like we did last year.
“That was one of the ugliest games I've ever been involved in. It was a second ball game and we needed to adapt and overcome which, luckily, we did.
“We showed a battling, fighting spirit. At half-time I said it was one of those games that just one goal would decide, and it had to take Jonah to score it.
“Once you score you have to have the belief you can keep a clean sheet and grind out a result.
“We've been here before so we knew it wasn't going to be a pretty game with much football played.”
He added: “I though Greg Taylot made a solid debut and the back four as a unit were solid. Greg was up against Adam Cunnington, who at 6ft 5ins is a monster in the air, and coped admirably.
“We were up against a team trying to avoid relegation and they threw the kitchen sink at us. But the lads put their heart and soul into winning the match. There wasn't much quality, but the lads put in a hungry performance.
“Credit to Tamworth, some of the blocks they put in during the first half were immense.”
Stags defender Luke Jones savours his winning goal at Tamworth
Central defender Luke Jones once again showed his prowess at the other end of the field to notch the only goal of the game against Tamworth yesterday and keep Mansfield Town on course for the title.
Jones struck the second half winner, and said: “I have been lucky enough to get a few goals this season, that was my seventh now.
“I was pleased it was the winner, but it was a massive three points for us and that was the most important thing.
“It was a tough game and it's a horrible place to go.
“I was up there for a set piece and Greeny (Matt Green) did really well to square the ball off to me. I just tried to keep it low and I was thankful I did.”
Jones, like manager Paul Cox, is not getting carried away by title talk.
He said: “All the games will be tough now and the table is tight. So it might be we don't get to play much football, just grind results out.
“There is still a long way to go with seven games left. If we lose them all we won't win the league.
“The fans were massive today and they were right behind us from the minute we went out there for the warm-up. They got us through in the end.”
Luton loanee Greg Taylor enjoyed his debut at left back and said: “As soon as I knew Mansfield wanted me I was interested.
“They have been very welcoming lads, very helpful, and the atmosphere and buzz around the place is noticeable straight away. The lads are all very positive and upbeat.
“You are nervous coming into a winning side, not wanting to make a mistake, but the gaffer just told me to play my game, keep it simple and do the right things.”
Jones, who played alongside him at the back, said: “I though Greg was excellent. It is tough to come in like that, but he is quality and he's got to be happy with that debut.”
Paul Cox pays tribute to battling Mansfield Town
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MANSFIELD boss Paul Cox paid tribute to his team after they
ground out a 1-0 victory away at Tamworth this afternoon.
Greg Taylor impressed new boss Paul Cox today
The Lambs created the more clear cut of the chances, but, despite that, a
second-half goal from Luke Jones ensured it was Mansfield who took all three
Speaking after the match Cox said: "We did what we had to do.
"We came up against a hostile environment, a bobbly pitch, a slope on the pitch
and yet we overcame all of that to take three points.
"We ground a result out really, as we did here last year, and we showed a
battling fighting spirit that is going to be key to get us up this season."
Cox also paid tribute to his new signing Greg Taylor, who made his debut
against his former side Tamworth.
He said: "Greg was great today. He came in and slotted in great.
"The whole back four were in top form, they were up against a side who are down
there fighting against relegation and who were lumping it in there at times.
"Greg personally was up against a 6ft 5inch forward in Adam Cunnington and yet
he held his own and put in a great performance.
Dale Belford: Performance against Mansfield Town shows Lambs have fight for Hereford United
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DALE Belford has challenged his side to put the disappointment
of Saturday behind them, today, and show the same battling spirit against Hereford.
The Lambs travel to the Bulls this afternoon fresh from a hard-fought 1-0
defeat at home to Mansfield at the weekend, a game that Belford believed his
side deserved at least a point from.
They were cruelly denied that, though, after hitting the woodwork twice in the
second-half and the Lambs boss is now challenging his team to dust themselves
down and go again.
Belford said: "Hereford themselves are in a good run of form, but we have just
got to go there today and show the exact kind of spirit we did against Mansfield.
"Hopefully that will be enough, but it will be another tough game regardless.
"Hereford are fourth in the current form
guide I think and they were in the Football League last year, we are seventh or
something like that since I came in.
"It will be a tough game but all I want from my players in the same kind of
spirit they have shown of late.
"Over the last 13 games these boys have put in everything in terms of effort
and commitment but we need that to carry on now."
If that spirit does drop then regardless of previous good form under Belford
the Lambs could find themselves in the relegation places come the end of the
It is a position that Belford believes the Lambs are going to have to break
club records to avoid.
He said: "Our form in the last 13 games has been good, but the sad thing is
everyone else around us keeps picking up results at the same time.
"I think it is going to take 52 points possibly 53 to be safe which in my
opinion will be the highest points total you will ever need in the Conference
to stay up.
"That total would certainly be a record for us in this division, in-fact we
have already surpassed the points total from last year and are still not safe."
Belford added: "Despite that the result against Mansfield was not the best but
the performance in my view shows the lads are up for this fight and have got
what it takes to get those points needed."
Latest | April 2013