COX AND ANDY MORRELL REACTION
Cox: We deserved something
Manager Paul Cox believes we deserved at least a point from last night's agonising 2-1 defeat at Blue Square Bet Premier title rivals Wrexham.
Despite leading 1-0 thanks to Matt Green's 50th goal for the club, the hosts hit back with goals from Dean Keates and Danny Wright securing a precious three points.
"If it wasn't for a 15-minute crazy spell, I thought we'd have got something from the game. We went 1-0 up and were in total control of the game," said Cox.
"I don't think it was a fair result. We bossed the first 15 to 20 minutes of the second half, but in the first, when we had possession, I don't think we punished them enough.
"The referee made some bizarre decisions. For our first 'goal', he's in the 18-yard box and the linesman gives a push, [and disallows] the goal.
"I thought there were some strange decisions all night, but saying that we should have defended better when we went 1-0 up.
"But you have to give credit to Wrexham. You knew they had to win it and they chucked everything at us and we went to pieces for 10 to 15 minutes."
Our side missed the opportunity to leapfrog Kidderminster Harriers at the league summit, but are back in action tomorrow (Saturday) when we make the trip to Barrow.
"We have to dust ourselves down and go again," continued our boss.
"I'm not panicking. [Losing] was going to happen at some stage and I've always said they'll be some twists and turns. We have to make sure we're ready for Saturday.
"What we've got to do now is go on another winning run. We were never going to go through until the end of the season [winning] even though a lot of people hoped we would.
"This game isn't a test when you're winning every week; it's a complete test when you're losing and there's a big prize at stake. We'll see what the lads are made of now."
Paul Cox: Mansfield boss expects team to shrug off defeat
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox insists he is more concerned with his players' ability to respond to defeat than the end of their 12-game winning run.
Wrexham stopped the Stags from going top of the Blue Square Bet Premier with a come-from-behind win on Thursday.
"It is easy when you are getting pats on the back and winning every week.
"We were never going to carry on winning ever game. Now we will see what characters we have got," Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham
The result left the Stags still trailing leaders Kidderminster Harriers by a point, but with two games in hand, with third-placed Wrexham a further seven points back.
"I'm prepared for this season to go down to the wire. Like I've said all along, there are going to be twists and turns," said Cox.
"The past means nothing - this defeat now means nothing - we have to move on to the next game."
He is confident his players will bounce back strongly against struggling Barrow on Saturday, including goalkeeper Alan Marriott, who Cox felt could have done more to prevent Dean Keates' deflected equaliser in their 2-1 defeat.
"I don't want to be too hard on the lad because he has been great for us this season," he added.
"We have five big games ahead of us and Mazza has got the opportunity to be the hero during the run-in."
Wrexham player-manager Andy Morrell told BBC Radio Wales:
"I'm really pleased for the lads - we got a slice of luck for once. They are working so hard for each other and for themselves.
"It was tight [and] both teams were going for it which was great to see.
"I thought in the second half we were tremendous and kept the pressure on and we could probably have won it by more in the second half. That's a big win for us."
Wrexham FC boss Andy Morrell insists Mansfield Town still big promotion favourites
Read more: Wales Online http://www.walesonline.co.uk/footballnation/wrexham-fc/2013/04/05/91466-33123764/?#ixzz2Pbraurf2
Wrexham player-manager Andy Morrell admits Mansfield Town are still favourites to win the automatic promotion spot, even though their 12-match winning streak was halted by the Dragons in Thursday's 2-1 Racecourse thriller.
The second-placed Stags are a point behind Kidderminster Harriers with two games in hand and seven points clear of Wrexham, who were on the road yesterday for an overnight stay ahead of Saturday's game at Woking.
Delighted by the manner of his side's first victory in three league outings, the Dragons' boss said: "It's going to be tight and Mansfield are in the box seat by a mile. But you never know and we've just got to look after ourselves.
"That was a big win for us because people would probably have said we were having a bit of a wobble because of not winning and not scoring goals.
"I think that's a load of rubbish and I've told the lads that if they work hard and work for each other then the rewards will come and that happened in this game.
"There is no blip – we've lost two in 20 I think – and we'll keep going. That was a great win and I'm sure that will really boost the lads, kick us on for the next five games and we'll see what happens."
To snatch top spot Wrexham will probably need to take a maximum 15 points, six of which will be at stake in games with Mansfield again and Kidderminster, and hope that the leading two sides also drop points elsewhere.
Morrell added: "Who knows how Mansfield will react now? They have to get back on the horse and if they do they have had a fantastic run. Twelve wins in any league is unbelievable, but I'm pleased we have stopped it because we needed to, simple as that."
Ahead of his side's fourth game in eight days at Kingfield, the Racecourse boss hinted at a rare start for veteran Glen Little, who came off the bench on Thursday and within seconds set up Danny Wright for the winning goal
"Glen has not played a huge amount of football, but I know he can change the game for us," said Morrell.
"He might not be the quickest, but he just knows where to be on the pitch, he knows how to dribble a ball and he knows how to keep it for you.
"It was a lovely little cameo and he comes into the reckoning to start on Saturday. He's fresh, he wants to play and he's keen for the lads to do well. It was a great little ball into Danny (Wright) and a great finish as well.
"Danny has been great for us this season and he's stacked up the goals, unlike last season when it was (Jake) Speight and (Matthias) Pogba who were stealing the thunder, so he did not get as many as he would have liked. But he's a key player for us and he's a great lad."
After a 3-1 victory against Woking on the opening day of the season, Wrexham are going for the double on Saturday, and Morrell wants a similar level of performance as on Thursday
He said: "Woking are great at home, though obviously we beat them on the first day of the season, but that was a tight game that could have gone either way and they have an excellent home record. We have to go there and do the same again to try and play on the front foot.
"I've got tired bodies hanging off the wall because it's tough. All the teams are in a similar situation with the exception of Kidderminster, but I'd rather be playing games and, if we can rotate the squad like we are, it keeps everyone happy."
No panic, says Stags manager Paul Cox after winning run is ended at Wrexham
Stags boss Paul Cox said there was no panic tonight after Stags' 12-game winning run was ended and one of their three games in hand on leaders Kidderminster earned them nothing in a 2-1 defeat at title rivals Wrexham.
The Red Dragons came from behind with two goals in 11 minutes to keep their own title hopes alive and Cox said: "There is no panic. This was always going to happen at some stage.
"There was no way we would go winning every game until the end of the season, though I know some people were hoping we would.
"We will just dust ourselves down and go again on Saturday. We have been done for 15 crazy minutes to be totally honest.
"The mark of a good side is how they bounce bacjk so now we will see what they are made of.
"On the crest of a wave, with everyone patting you on the back, this game is easy."
He added: "I thought the lads had big hearts tonight but didn't use their minds as well as they might.
"At 1-0 up we were totally in the control and we should have defended better.
"We went to pieces for 10-12 minutes and paid the price.
"I think Alan Marriott will be a little disappointed with the first, but he has been brilliant for us this season and we have another five games in which he can be brilliant for us again.
"Credit to Wrexham, they knew they had to win this one and did. I though the referee made some bizarre decisions tonight and I have no idea why he didn't allow our first goal."
Stags remain second,a point behind Harriers with Wrexham third, even points adrift of them
Briscoe glad he stayed on at Mansfield Town
Nottingham Post Apr 6th, 2013
Stags star Louis Briscoe could have left Mansfield Town for pastures anew last summer.
After four seasons with the club, the winger had seen an influx of new players and would have to fight for his place.
But, coming into the business end of the season and with Stags second in the Blue Square Bet Premier just a point behind leaders Kidderminster with two games in hand, the 25-year-old knows he did the right thing.
"The chairman has heavily invested and I could have had a chance maybe to go in pre-season, with all the players coming in," said Briscoe.
"But I've dug in, stuck it out and got my shirt."
With just five games to go until the end of the regular season Paul Cox's men looked well placed to gain automatic promotion back into the Football League – despite Thursday night's 2-1 reverse away to third-placed Wrexham that brought to an end their 12-game winning run.
The midfielder, who scored a trademark stunner against Gateshead last weekend, believes in what manager Cox is trying to do at the club.
"He wants a high tempo in training and if it's not done right he's not happy," added Briscoe.
"But he's quite laid back as well. It's that fine line between being one of the lads and being a manager and I think he's got that down to a tee at the moment.
"His record over the last few years, particularly at the end of the season shows that. We've looked at what we've been poor at and it's working."
Mansfield make the long trip to Barrow today, looking to bounce back from their midweek loss.
The games seem to be coming every few days for the Stags and Briscoe is keen to remain in the side.
"We've got five games (to go). With wide players it's hard to play well every week. The centre halves deserve their shirt every week, but wingers are a bit of a novelty," he continued.
"You want to play every game, but if you are winning football matches you are not too fussed."
Latest | April 2013