Cox calls for correct mindset
18th April 2013
Paul Cox has today called for fans, players and staff to share ‘the right mindset’ as we head into the final showdown of the season this Saturday at home to Wrexham (5.15pm).
video interview with Paul Cox at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-calls-for-correct-mindset-779866.aspx?#8IRrD9UeGwmqK5VM.99
Jason Harrison (Mansfield 103.2) and John Lomas (Chad) are asking the questions at this morning's press meeting. Hereford footage filmed by official club cameraman Mike Fiddes, in association with the Junction Diner, Kirkby-in-Ashfield.
Exclusive pitchside footage of 'that' goal at Hereford included in video below:
Mansfield-fever is sweeping throughout the Town ahead of a potentially historic day at One Call Stadium, where a win would guarantee us the league title following a five year Football League exile.
Despite some premature euphoria, Cox was quick to remind the local press this morning that nothing had yet been won and to learn from last Saturday’s defeat at Braintree where pre-match talk of winning the title was rife.
“In my personal opinion, last week the whole club’s focus wasn’t right [at Braintree]. It wasn’t right at all,” said Cox. “I had many people coming up to me saying ‘this is the place where we’re going to win it’ and that was wrong. Nobody has won anything until it’s mathematically certain.
“I want to make sure that the whole club is going into this game on Saturday with the right mindset; hungry, but level. We don’t want to be over-psyched, we want to ‘play with our heads’.
“We’ve put ourselves in a position where, if we win on Saturday, we’re crowned [as] Champions. We have to be positive. We’re mentally switched on, focussed and we’re looking forward to it.”
In team news, Lee Beevers, who dislocated his shoulder on Tuesday night in a dramatic 2-1 victory at Hereford, has been declared fit to play.
"After yesterday’s 6-0 reserve win against Morecambe, Cox said: “Some people may have looked at last night and have thought ‘blustery gale force winds, playing a league team, and some may have taken their foot off the pedal. But I saw hungry players."
Stags manager Paul Cox can’t wait for Saturday title decider against Wrexham
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox can’t wait for Saturday when his side hope to end the season by winning the BSBP title against Wrexham at the One Call Stadium (5.15pm).
The match is a sell-out for Stags fans as they try to cheer their side on to victory, starting the day two points clear of second-placed Kidderminster Harriers, who will be looking to beat Stockport County at Aggborough and hope for a slip-up by the Stags on a tense day that could yet see the title settled by goal difference if Wrexham can take a point.
Cox said: “We are looking forward to it. It seems an eternity since the start of the season. There have been some lows, but also some amazing highs as well.
“Saturday is now the decider and the boys are really looking forward to it.
“I said it wouldn’t be straightforward. But we’ve put ourselves in a position that if we win Saturday we can be crowned champions. We have got to be positive and be mentally switched on and focused.
“It will be a very tough game. Hopefully we will fill the stadium and the boys can get the actual desired result.”
Reports from the Wrexham camp suggest that, with one eye on the play-offs, the visitors may rest some of their big guns.
However, Cox wasn’t concerned with the Red Dragons’ team selection, saying: “I am not thinking about that as it is an uncontrollable for me. Whatever team they put out, we will respect it. We will be geared up and ready for whatever.”
And he also warned against complacency, with some fans already talking about next year in the Football League.
Said Cox: “No one has won anything until, mathematically, someone can’t be caught. We will go into the game focused and hungry, but level. We don’t want to be over-psyched up as I want us to be able to play with our heads too. We must keep our feet firmly on the ground.
“Sometimes you need a bit of Lady Luck, though I am a firm believer that the harder you work and the more you put in, the luckier you seem to become.
“We had a taste of this against Liverpool this season. The expectation of the supporters, the buzz about the place, if players can’t play in games like that they shouldn’t be in the game. This is what it’s all about.”
Stags fans have been warned they must not invade the pitch at the end or any possible trophy presentation will have to take place indoors out of public view.“I don’t want to spoil someone’s passion,” said Cox.
“But the Police and league have said, if we win it, we can get the trophy on the pitch as long as fans don’t come on. I don’t want to dampen anyone’s spirits but we have got to use our heads.”
Right back Lee Beevers was the only injury doubt after he dislocated his shoulder again at Hereford on Tuesday and found it wouldn’t go back in, so had to go off.
However, the shoulder was put back in its socket under morphine in hospital and he looks set to be back in the side on Saturday.
The Conference will keep the trophy somewhere in the Burton area on Saturday as a midway point between Mansfield and Kidderminster and then head towards whichever club looks to be the likely champions.
Although goal ace Jake Speight is back on the bench after injury, fellow striker Jake Wright staked a huge claim of his own for a subs’ spot with a personal four-goal haul in last night’s 6-0 reserves win over Morecambe, Chris Clements with the other two
Mansfield Town skipper Adam Murray admits promotion would be the highlight of his career
Mansfield Town stalwart Adam Murray admitted getting promotion back to the Football League would be the highlight of his career.
Murray, now assistant manager and captain on his third spell with the club, will lead the side out for Saturday’s final day showdown with Wrexham at the One Call Stadium, knowing victory will see Mansfield crowned BSBP champions.
“If we win the league it will be the best moment of my life,” he said. “It is something I want more than anything.
“I talk to people here and have a real connection with the fans so I know what people want. It would be a big moment for me and I won’t let it slip away lightly.
“But no team will come here and lie down. Wrexham are a very good football team with some of the best players in the league. So we will go about things full throttle. We can’t leave anything in the tank.
“Saturday is a huge game and we are going to go at it with everything we’ve got. We learned lessons last weekend at Braintree.
“We will throw everything at it and hold nothing back. We will give 110 per cent with every challenge, tackle, run and pass.”
There were reports that ‘Stags’ thuggery prevailed’ in Tuesday’s crucial 2-1 win at Hereford, where the visitors took three booking. However, Murray said: “I thought that was a bit disrespectful. But we do like to get in people’s faces and we make things very uncomfortable for teams.
“We are never going to be a team that plays eight passes along the back and then plays it back to the keeper. But we are very effective at what we do.”
Murray can still savour the feeling when Matt Green’s winner hit the net on 90+2 minutes, saying: “That was a feeling of ecstasy. I have played for 16 years now and it was worth it for just two minutes of that feeling. It was amazing. But now it’s straight back down to earth.
“This week summed up football. After Saturday we were down in the dumps. Defeat was hard to take. We knew we had slipped up and didn’t take our chance.
“We had a bad weekend. But there wasn’t much time to feel sorry for ourselves and we came back in Monday bright and knowing we had to put it right on Tuesday.”
Boss Paul Cox will be going for a third promotion of a very successful managerial career so far. But Murray couldn’t explain what Cox’s X-Factor was.
“You can’t put your finger on it,” he said. “If you could, you’d sell it. But he is big on team spirit and unity. You know you can rely on the man next to you. We’ve built everything on that.”
Murray now can’t wait for Saturday to come.
“It is going to be a great occasion and a great atmosphere. But we can’t get caught up in all that. It is 11 versus 11 with three points at stake,” he said
Mansfield Town must grasp their big opportunity, says defender Luke Jones
Luke Jones warned that Tuesday’s win at Hereford won nothing other than an opportunity for Mansfield Town as they take on Wrexham for the BSBP title tomorrow (Saturday, 5.15pm).
“It was a great feeling on Tuesday - more of a relief than anything,” said the centre-half after Stags had snatched a stoppage time 2-1 victory at Edgar Street to go two points clear of Kidderminster with one game each left.
“But all it has done is set up an opportunity for us. Now we have to go out and grasp it. We have still got a lot to do. If we don’t win this last game, it’s all been for nothing.
“We had so many chances in that second half. We kept plugging away and I always thought we could get a goal.
“When we got to added time it’s in the back of your mind you’re not going to get it. The main thing was we didn’t want to get caught out and concede.
“Maybe we did go a bit overboard with the celebrations but that was the passion of the players.
“We still have a big job to do. But if we hadn’t won that we’d have left ourselves with a mountain to climb.”
He added: “It’s still in the balance. But we wanted to make sure it was still in our own hands and we wouldn’t be left looking at other results. If you’d said at the start of the season that it would be in our own hands to win the title in our last game, everyone would have snapped your hands off.
“This is what I came here for. If you don’t want to be involved in a game like this as a player, you may as well pack up and go home.”
Stags defender Ritchie Sutton believes ‘best team in the league’ will go up if they can beat Wrexham on Saturday
Mansfield Town defender Ritchie Sutton believes the ‘best team’ in the Blue Square Bet Premier League are on the verge of returning to the Football League after battling back from a goal down to win 2-1 Hereford on Tuesday night, writes Callum Croson.
The stoppage-time winner from Matt Green put the Stags back on top in the race for automatic promotion.
With one game to go, the Stags find themselves two points clear of closest rivals Kidderminster and Sutton is glad that their fate is in their own hands.
He said: “I think it’s always the case in football that you prefer to have the points on the board than the games in hand.
“Braintree last weekend had nothing to play for, they were safe and couldn’t get in the play-offs, so they were just so relaxed and it made them play better. But it’s still in our hands, we win at the weekend and Kidderminster can’t catch us, it’s as simple as that really.
“If we turn up, we’re the best team in the league, in my opinion. I know that’s the feeling in our changing room, so it’s just a matter of coming down to that nervy time where there is so much to lose and so much to gain at the same time, but I think as professionals you have to deal with it.”
A win at the weekend would end a five year absence from the Football League, an opportunity that would not be possible without the incredible run the Stags put together after being knocked out by Liverpool in the FA Cup.
It included a 12-game winning streak stretching from the middle of February to the beginning of April, and they have an overall record of 19 wins from 24 since the cup defeat in January.
An important factor in that success lies with manager Paul Cox.
In only his second season in charge, the relatively inexperienced manager is trying to go one step further from the disappointment of losing in the play-offs last season. Keeping the team fresh in certain areas is what Sutton believes the manager has dealt with very well.
“He’s been brilliant really,” Sutton added. “He just tries to keep routines, I think that has been the key to the winning streak. He’s kept the same back four, we’ve always had the same keeper on this run, it’s just a case of freshening up the positions like the wingers.
“We’ve had Greeny up top, who’s going to be top goalscorer in the league so that’s helped. I think it’s a case of keeping your core team and rotating positions like your wide men.”
Although the 26-year-old has been in and out of the team this season, he has still been highly reliable when called upon.
And after joining the Stags from his supported club Port Vale two years ago, many were questioning his decision to drop down a division, but Sutton feels this season he will finally be able to silence the doubters.
“When I left Port Vale, a few people said to me how difficult it would be to get back in the league,” he explained. “But it was a choice that I made and if I return to the Football League with Mansfield that will be fantastic.
“At the time it was for personal reasons. Obviously I wanted to be playing more, and I’ve played a lot of games this year and to go up as champions would put the icing on the cake.
“It would be the first time I’ve been promoted as a champion; I’ve had one through the play-offs, but this would be brilliant.”
On top of his football, the former Crewe player has decided to take up a degree in journalism.
After coming close to completing his second and final year, he may well be celebrating a league title with a graduation this summer.
“I was playing for Port Vale at the time and a few of the lads were on the course then and I thought it was something to get involved in,” he recalled. “You get help from the PFA so I enquired about it and jumped on the bandwagon really.
“I’m getting to the last stage now where I can graduate this summer. It’s stressful now getting the dissertation done and doing my third work placement, but once that’s out the way it will be brilliant.”
Work placements are one of the many modules and requirements needed to complete the degree and Sutton believes it is a massive help for the players if they ever pursue a career in journalism once they have hung up their boots.
“To be honest, I think it’s helped. It’s been easier because I’ve been with Mansfield a couple of years now and I did my first placement at the club with the media guys there.
“I think being a player, we get interviewed all the time by the local papers and radio stations, so you get your contacts sorted there. My second one I did because of my contact with Vale at the Sentinel, it all helps to be honest.”
So why do the degree now? At 26, Sutton is relatively young in the football world.
“It can be cut-throat, football, especially at this level,” he concluded. “You could be finding this is the last level that is full-time so I just wanted something to fall back on.
“I didn’t want to leave it until a lot of people do and do the course in their 30s and using it straight away. I wanted to get it out of the way when I was younger and I’m really glad I’ve done it.”
Morrell won't take risks against champions-elect Mansfield
Published date: 19 April 2013
Published by: Richard Williams
PLAYER-BOSS Andy Morrell admits he is unlikely to pick his strongest possible side for Wrexham’s final game of the regular season against Mansfield Town for fear of picking up more injuries ahead of the play-offs.
Striker Danny Wright, leading scorer with 18 goals, dislocated his elbow in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw against Braintree Town at The Racecourse and will not feature again this term.
And with a number of other players battling to shrug off injuries, Morrell is not willing to take risks at Mansfield who are in pole position to clinch automatic promotion ahead of Kidderminster Harriers.
“Mansfield nicked a win (at Hereford on Tuesday) so they can win it at home against us,” said Morrell.
“If I have got 11 players I will sent them to Mansfield, if I haven’t we might have to play them with eight so we will see
“I simply can’t (field my strongest possible side). The play-off on Tuesday or Wednesday is too important so we will have to suck it up and see.
“I don’t want to hand the title to anybody or do anything like that, I will send what I can because people will need games and stuff.
“But I can’t risk losing any more players because I haven’t got 11 to play them.”
Morrell admitted it was a massive blow to lose Wright, who was ruled out of action for six weeks last season after dislocating the same elbow in the FA Cup defeat against Brighton and Hove Albion.
"A horrendous night," said Morrell. "Not the result, not the pitch, not the performance, nothing like that. I don't know if I have walked under a ladder or in front of 100 black cats but our luck at the minute is horrendous.
"I feel for Danny because he has been superb and deserves to be in the play-offs and playing on a big stage. It couldn't have been a worse night.
“To say I am depressed is an understatement.”
Wrexham will definitely be at home for the first leg of next week’s semi-finals after failing to beat Braintree and Morrell commented: “We will see if we can do alright and will go for it.”
Morrell had given Wrexham an early lead with a well executed lob following a defensive slip before Wright was stretchered off with less than 10 minutes on the clock.
“Quite a lot actually went through my mind,” said Morrell. “These things are sent to test us I suppose.
“When you are flying, everything seems rosy and stuff but at the minute, it just seems that every-thing is conspiring against us.
“But I think we are best when our backs are against the wall.”
Braintree equalised in the 18th minute while Wrexham had chances to win the game in the second half but never took them.
“I thought we were poor in the first 15 minutes but we got the goal with a bit of luck and then it was fairly equal,” said Morrell.
“Second half, I thought we were the better team and put the pressure on them but couldn’t score.”
Morrell described the condition of The Racecourse pitch as “horrendous” but knows there won’t be a big improvement before the play-offs.
“Nothing can be done about it so we are just looking at trying to get it as best as we can,” added Morrell. “I want to play the beautiful game the beautiful way but you simply can’t.
“We will just have to get on with it, there is nothing we can do in a week so we will get it as right as we can.”
Manager asks fans to stay off pitch
mansfieldtown.net 17th April 2013
Fans heading to watch our match this Saturday are being urged to celebrate from their seats if the team gains promotion.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/manager-asks-fans-to-stay-off-pitch-777961.aspx?#oqzIGcDAUmibvvfB.99
The request comes from Manager Paul Cox, who has been liaising with Nottinghamshire Police to ensure fans enjoy the game but remain safe.
Cox’s side face Wrexham at the One Call Stadium in a 5.15pm kick off, which could see us gain promotion from the Blue Square Premier back to the Football League.
If successful, a presentation of the promotion trophy will take place - but only if fans do not encroach on the pitch.
Tickets for the match sold out this morning. Allocated seating has again been introduced in the stadium. The game has also been selected on Premier Sports for live television coverage.
Said Paul Cox: “There’ll no doubt be much passion amongst our supporters this Saturday in the home ends for the final game of the season. We want our supporters to enjoy the whole day but remember not to encroach onto the pitch at the end of the game. We must adhere to league rules at this very important time.
“No one wants to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm, but we must abide by league stipulations to ensure the safety of everyone inside the stadium on Saturday.”
Supt Mark Holland, Nottinghamshire Police’s match commander for the fixture, said: “This is potentially going to be a great celebration for Mansfield Town and all its fans after a wonderful season, and we want people to come along to enjoy the game. Whatever the outcome, we are appealing to the fans to remain in their seats at the final whistle.
“We have been in discussions with the club and if they are successful at winning promotion, there will be a presentation, but only if we don’t see any pitch invasions. We know people will be excited if the Stags get promoted, but we need to ensure the safety of all those attending and so need to provide strict policing measures.
“We will be working with the club’s security team who will be on the lookout for anyone who thinks it is a good idea to run on the pitch. Not only will they face arrest as this is a criminal offence, but it will ruin the opportunity for everyone else watching the celebrations by stopping it from happening.
“We ask that everyone remain in their seats, and experience the game in a sensible and responsible fashion that makes the day thoroughly enjoyable for all.”
Supt Holland continued: “With the game starting later on Saturday it does give people a chance to drink more alcohol. We have been liaising with local licensees and I would ask people to drink responsibly and know that if they are drunk they won’t be allowed into the ground. While we want to see everyone enjoying themselves, spectator safety is paramount.”
PAUL COX SET FOR MANSFIELD PROMOTION BONUS
20th April 2013 By Graham Nickless
PAUL COX will be in the money if he leads Mansfield back to the Football League.
Chairman John Radford gave his manager a £60,000 sports car earlier in the season after they thumped Barrow 8-1.
And millionaire businessman Radford promised Cox a new contract if the Stags win their final-day title shoot-out with Kidderminster.
Mansfield must beat Wrexham in front of an 8,000 sell-out Field Mill crowd to pip Kiddy to promotion.
Radford said: "Paul has had his Aston Martin but I am sure we will sit down and sort something out for him if we go up.
"And you won't see me for two days if we do because I shall be out celebrating."
If Mansfield draw, Kidderminster can snatch the title on goal difference if they thump Stockport, who must win to stay up
Storer: We know what we need to do
Friday 19th April 2013
CAPTAIN fantastic Kyle Storer believes his team-mates won't be distracted by events at Field Mill as they strive for the title.
The Aggborough outfit must beat relegation-battling Stockport tomorrow (5.15pm ko) and hope Blue Square Bet Premier leaders Mansfield drop points against Wrexham in the East Midlands to seal automatic promotion to the Football League.
Harriers must win by a two-goal margin if Mansfield only draw, although victory for Paul Cox's side would seal the league championship for the Stags and mean the Reds go into the end of season promotion play-offs.
Mansfield have the edge after beating Hereford 2-1 on Tuesday night but Storer is sure the players are looking forward to one last push for the top spot.
He said: "The lads were all a bit down after Tuesday night but the manager spoke to us and told us our job is to beat Stockport.
"We can't worry about what happens at Field Mill, although I am sure the fans will let us know.
"We know we need to turn up for this game and if we do that we will win it and hopefully Wrexham will do us a favour."
Steve Burr's side face a County outfit desperate to give themselves a chance of escaping relegation.
Managed by former Harriers player Ian Bogie, Stockport need all three points to give themselves a chance of escaping the bottom four, although they also require Gateshead or Tamworth to slip-up.
Storer added: "If we can go out and score early that could put some pressure on Mansfield and test them again.
"We're clear of what we need to do and let's hope there's another twist."
Harriers have been given an injury boost as it looks as though winger Danny Pilkington's hamstring injury is not as bad a first thought. He was set to be out for three weeks but is expected to recover quicker than that.
Fans unable to make the game can follow the game before, during and after Saturday's climatic match.
Peter McKinney will be covering the action on the pitch with a live match blog, which will also feature team news and all the important scores as they happen.
Meanwhile, news reporter William Tomaney will also be running a blog reporting thoughts and reaction from fans, club officials and anyone at Aggborough from 4pm
Latest | April 2013