COX, PLAYERS, RADFORD, ANDY MORRELL REACTION
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox in dreamland after promotion
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox admitted he was in dreamland this afternoon after leading the club back into the Football League at the second time of asking.
But he also admitted he already had one eye on making the Stags a success in League Two next season.
Mansfield’s 1-0 win over Wrexham this afternoon took them up as champions after a five-year exile and, a year on after his tears at the play-offs exit to York City, Cox smiled: “I am dreamland to be honest.
“The sort of feelings that are running through me I don’t understand.
“The lads have been immense, and there were a few out there running on empty tanks. But they got us over the line.
“I am so proud of the players, the supporters and this club. They are all magnificent.
“I has all been about desire. We went for something we wanted and got it.
“These lads would go through a brick wall for you. Each and everyone has worked so hard.
“I believe that throughout a season the best teams get promoted and the worst teams get relegated. We won the most games and we scored the most goals. So looking at those statistics, we deserved to be promoted.
“I just love winning. That is what motivates me.”
However, he added: “Call me a miserable so and so but it’s over for me now and I want to be hungry for the next challenge.
“I have always said we can take this football club to the stars if we concentrate and are hungry.
“I will have a few pints tonight with the lads and then hopefully a few more with friends, family and loved ones.
“The lads will want to go and celebrate on their own. I am sure they will want to drink all weekend now. I know I would if I was still a player. They deserve it.
“They are honest lads. We have had a few rows and a few laughs. We have won and lost together.
“I have had very good people around me in the dressing room with my staff and they deserve a lot of credit. They are all honest people.”
On owner John Radford, he added: “We have got a great bloke running and owning this club. He is a special man and I love him to bits. He has
given me the tools to achieve what we have been trying to achieve and he is a winner.
“I have no doubt we will sit down and look at an assault next season. He won’t want to stand still.”
Reaction from the squad
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/reaction-from-the-squad-784212.aspx?#S1zp4EM6wJ1FtxBX.99
by Andrew Webb
Several of our players took time out from their celebrations to give us their thoughts on what has been a truly monumental day for everyone connected with Mansfield Town.
Defender John Dempster said:
“I’m struggling to [put this into words]. It’s a massive achievement for the group to gain promotion. It’s pretty special and to go up as champions is just something else.
“The whole club can be really proud. I’m proud of every single one of the players, all the supporters, all the staff. It’s been a special day.
“This ranks right up there [with my best achievements]. I’ve had some good times in my career, and I’ve been fortunate to play with some good teams and some good players.
“I’ve played a lot of games this season and it’s just a special occasion that everyone should enjoy.
“Over the course of the season, if you look at some of their players and some of their performances, and the likes of Matt Green, Luke Jones and Adam Murray have been immense.
“Those three stand out in my mind and the gaffer has made some good signings, and we’ve stuck together through thick and thin.”
He added: “We’ve had some ‘downs’, but this is the biggest ‘up’ that you can get.”
Frontman Matt Rhead said:
“I appreciate all the support I’ve had in the last year-and-a-half.
“It’s been amazing, and the fact that we’ve won something at the end of a season; something that you run and work hard for, is brilliant. Everyone deserves it.
“We all knew that we had to knuckle down after Christmas and put a run together, which under the gaffer we always have done.
“Thankfully today we’re champions and there’s no better feeling in football. The lads have showed mental strength to do [the business] today.
“The players are superb and we’ve all gelled really well. I don’t think you can put a price on that, especially as everyone has played their part during the season.”
Warrior Lee Beevers said:
“You just have to roll your sleeves up at the end of the day to get the work done, and that’s what we’ve managed to do. Finally!
“We’ve had a few injuries this year and far too many that I like to keep count of. This achievement is up there at the very highest level of what I’ve achieved in my career. It’s fantastic.”
Winger Lindon Meikle said:
“For a footballer, it means everything. That’s life!
“To be a champion, that’s what we do. It’s good to be back [in the Football League] for the fans, as they’ve not had a good time in the last five years.
“There’s a big togetherness and it’s great! teams can play good football, some of them better than us, but we just know how to play the nitty-gritty style of this league.
“It came down to the fact we had good individual and collective togetherness. At Christmas, people had wrote us off, but now look? Who’s the Champions? Us.
“As a footballer, when you join a team, you obviously have aspirations to progress with the team and do good things. You’re there to do a job, which is to win.
“[The gaffer] has told us to do the basics well and to just work hard as a unit. We’ve had to grind out results, like at Hereford, where we worked hard until the last minute to get a goal.
“For me, it’s like ‘finally’ to [be a Football League player]. It’s a massive achievement for me personal, and I’ve finally achieved my goals in life, to get into the [Football] League.”
He added: “It’s going to be a crazy weekend.”
Defender Luke Jones said:
“I’ve nearly lost my voice. It’s unbelievable and it means so much to the players. We’ve worked all season and promotion is massive for everyone at the club.
“I think in the end, in the second half of the season, we really had a belief that when we went on the 12-game run, we could do it. We had some consistency in our play.
“The points that we picked up helped to carry us over the line.”
Goalkeeper Alan Marriott, almost in tears, said:
“It’s been a long three days [since the game at Hereford]. It’s been an absolute nightmare at home with the missus, and she said she’d be glad when it’s out the way.
“This is something I’ve craved for so long. I’ve tasted a Play-Off defeat, but to have achieved promotion at last, it’s an amazing achievement for me personally.
“It tops the season for me. To play Liverpool in the FA Cup Third Round and to now get promotion, it’s incredible. When that final whistle went, it was absolute ecstasy.
“This means so much to me on a personal level. Apart from getting married and having kids, this is up there with the best achievement of my life.”
Player/Coach Andy Todd said:
“I had about five-heart attacks to be honest, but it was brilliant for everyone; the players, the management, the backroom staff, the fans, the town. It’s just fantastic.
“We made hard work of it in the last few games, and there was a little bit of tension in the final few minutes, but over the 46 games, I think we’ve deserved it.
“We’ve all been in it together. We’ve got a good bunch of lads, and we’ve all been singing off the same hymn sheet. We’ve now got our just rewards!”
Coach Richard Cooper said:
“I’m absolutely over the moon.
“We won it through grit, determination, sticking together, which we’ve done in abundance. We didn’t get the best of starts [this season] but we’ve stuck together.
“We’ve got some good players in this dressing and when it came down to it, we delivered. I think that’s the main thing as we always believed we could pull something off.
“I’m just glad I’m a champion, but I suppose the real work starts in a few days.”
Skipper Adam Murray said:
“I’m speechless. We’ve waited a long time for this moment and I’ve never felt as emotionally drained as I did before the game today.
“On Tuesday, we knew we had to win the game at Hereford to put ourselves in the best position, and I put everything emotionally and physically into that.
“But we’ve got over the line, so let’s enjoy it.
“I think there have been a few points where we’ve gone into the huddle before kick-off and I’ve said: ‘If we win today, it will get us the title’ and now we’ve done it.
Mansfield Town target place in Championship after sealing Blue Square Premier title
JUBILANT Mansfield Town chairman John Radford is targeting a place in the Championship after the club sealed promotion back into the Football League.
Stags defeated Wrexham 1-0 on Saturday to confirm their place in next season’s League Two leading to wild celebrations in the stands and the dressing room.
The dramatic promotion ended a five year stay in the Blue Square Premier, which saw Mansfield play more than 60,000 minutes in the fifth tier of English football.
And speaking moments after the dramatic final whistle, Radford vowed that there was more to come.
“We have got the ground back and now we have got our Football League place back. I now want to see us get in to the Championship,” he said.
“If we can take the support we have had today then we can build on promotion. I want to take this club as far as I can, but we need the support.
“You can have a good manager and a good squad, but the reality of modern day football is that you need capital as well. We need the supporters and the town to get behind us.
“I want to eventually see us in the Championship, that is the aim. I just want to take this club as far as I can.”
“The fans were fantastic today, just like they have been all season. The away support we have had has been fantastic. This is a dream come true for everyone, it is fantastic to finally be back in the Football League.”
Stags can now look forward to mouthwatering fixtures against former FA Cup winners Portsmouth and this year’s Capital One cup finalists Bradford City.
Mansfield Town captain Adam Murray revels in promotion joy
Mansfield captain Adam Murray has ranked Stags’ Blue Square Premier title glory as his ‘greatest achievement in football’.
Murray, who is in his third spell at the club, has previously been promoted with Stags back in the 2001/02 season and with Oxford in the 2009/10 season.
But speaking moments after the final whistle an emotional Murray said his second promotion with Mansfield Town was the highlight of his memorable 14 year career.
“It has been an unbelievable season and a great occassion for the club,” he said. “We knew with 10 minutes to go that Kidderminster were winning and we had to hang on and we did that.
“We did not have the best of starts, but in the end we came through. I have put my heart and soul into this season and this is the best thing I have ever done in football.
“The game felt like 180 minutes, it has not really sunk in yet. It has been a long season, the players are drained, but it is time to enjoy now.”
The Mansfield number two was also full of praise for boss Paul Cox, who came under heavy fire from supporters following a slow start to the season.
He added: “When I came into my new role I was right in at the deep end. I have learnt so much this year from the gaffer. He knew what the goal was all season and stuck to the plan.”
Mansfield Town Skipper Murray Sick Of Success!
APRIL 20, 2013 by STUART HAMMONDS in BLUE SQUARE BET PREMIER, BREAKING NEWS, FEATURED with 0 COMMENTS
Mansfield Town captain Adam Murray says his third Blue Square Bet Premier promotion has left him feeling sick!
The Stags’ player-assistant manager lifted the championship trophy in front of a 6,394 Field Mill crowd after Matt Green’s 27th goal of the season gave them the win they needed against Wrexham.
Second-placed Kidderminster did all they could at their Aggborough home by hammering Stockport County 4-0 in a match suspended for over half-an-hour in the second half due to crowd trouble, with the visiting Hatters becoming the biggest club ever to be relegated to regional football.
But Murray, who has previously won promotion to League Two through play-offs with Carlisle and Oxford United, told The NLP: “This is the best without doubt. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
“I’ve put so much into this season and like a lot of the lads I’m emotionally and physically knackered.
“From the moment I woke up this morning I’ve felt sick, my stomach kept turning and at times I felt as I was going to cry on pitch. It means so much to me.”
Success under Paul Cox marks a fifth career promotion for Murray, who also went up to Division Two (now League One) in his first of three spells at Mansfield.
For ex-Torquay and Oxford hitman Green, who netted for the seventh successive game with his 40th-minute penalty after Louis Briscoe had been fouled by Glenn Little, it also completes a hat-trick of Conference promotions.
Green, 26, is out of contract this summer and boss Cox knows he will struggle to hold on to a man who has netted 57 times since joining in the summer of 2011.
“I’m not stupid, I know there’s been Championship clubs down here watching him and Greeny is a free agent in the summer,” said Cox.
“If he went to a Championship club I’d be the first one to ring him up and congratulate him because he’s a terrific lad, great to work with and you can’t stop somebody progressing.
“But I’m hoping we can sit down and the chairman can work something out with him to keep him at this club for a long, long time.”
Matt Green: Mansfield Town new deal would be tempting
Mansfield Town striker Matt Green says he would be tempted to sign a new contract at Field Mill.
The 26-year-old has scored 57 goals in two seasons and netted the penalty which earned the Stags promotion to League Two at the weekend.
Green, who also did not rule out a move away, said: "Of course I would be tempted to stay. I've had two of the best seasons of my life here.
"But football's football, it's crazy, so you have to do what you have to do."
The striker is being monitored by clubs in the Championship and League One, and Green is aware he has a big decision to make about his future.
"At the moment I am out of contract, so I am waiting to hear back from Mansfield," he added.
"The gaffer [Paul Cox] has looked after me all season and so has the chairman [John Radford].
"It is one of those things now and hopefully we can get it sorted. It is all rumours at the moment for me.
"I haven't got anything in black and white to say 'here you go Matt, there's a contact', whether it's Championship, League One, Conference, whatever."
Wanted-man Green is tempted to stay . . .
FOR Matt Green it has been a spectacular season. Not only did the Mansfield Town striker score the goal that won the league on Saturday, but his tally of 25 league goals is comfortably the highest in the division.
And the 26-year-old clearly flourishes when he is such an integral part of a successful team.
"I relish the pressure and when I get the chances I rate myself highly and I like to take them," he said. "My job is to score goals, however I have to do it."
After such an emotional occasion, the hot-shot striker was almost lost for words.
"It's almost surreal, it's something you've been building towards all season," he said. "We're a very special team and the fans got behind us. It was a great day all in all."
Manager, Paul Cox, has spent much of the season praising the spirit among his players and the work ethic and desire that they have displayed. And Green clearly agrees.
He added: "I'm over the moon for them all, they deserve it. There are no individuals, we all worked so hard and we've all been through so much heartache.
"I give total respect to the boys and I don't think there's a better bunch around.
"It wasn't a great game, I don't think I was the best, but it was a typical Conference game that we had to grind out and get a result from.
"It proves we are a championship-winning team."
Despite helping to propel Mansfield back to the Football League though, it is possible that the top scorer might leave the One Call Stadium this summer - with his contract set to come to an end.
And it has been much discussed that scouts from clubs higher up the league structure have been watching him this season.
"I haven't even thought about it," Green said. "I'm going to have a few toasts and enjoy the moment. I'm out of contract so I'm going to have to sign eventually whether it's at Mansfield or somewhere else.
"The gaffer has been great and so has the chairman. It's all rumours at the moment; I haven't got anything in black and white, whether it's Championship, League One or Conference.
"Of course I would be tempted to stay at Mansfield," he said. "I've had two of the best seasons of my life here; if it's not broken don't fix it. But football's football, it's crazy."
Paul Cox joy as Mansfield Town seal promotion
Mansfield Town players celebrate with some bubbly in the dressing room
JUBILANT Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox heaped the praise on his players after a battling 1-0 win against Wrexham secured the Blue Square Bet title for his side.
The Stags will begin next season in the Football League again after a five-year absence and a humble Cox is clear where the credit for their achievements should be directed.
"I'm in dreamland. The lads were immense and I think there were a few running on empty but I am so proud of them, the supporters and the whole club," Cox said.
"I've got an honest group of players who would run through brick walls for me. We've had a few rows, we've won and we've lost together. Words can't describe how proud I am.
"I'm proud of the town and proud of the supporters."
It's been a season of twists and turns, with a magnificent 12-game winning streak setting up an exciting climax to the season. But for Cox, the attributes that have won the title have been present all year.
"The key word is desire. We've been hungry," he said.
"The boys took a bit of stick as I did earlier in the season but we never complained, we put our heads down and worked even harder."
"We went for something that we wanted. Even at the end when we had empty tanks, it's just credit to the boys."
Looking back on the game with Wrexham almost seems trivial in the light of their title win, but Cox praised his players for fighting on and winning the game despite serious fatigue.
"We looked as though we were running on empty throughout the game, but credit to these boys," he said.
"It's desire and hunger that has got us where we have. That was in abundance. The players were just immense and all credit needs to go to them."
When Cox speaks about the team who have worked so hard all season, his pride is clear.
"When you've got a group of lads that work hard for you it makes it so much more pleasurable," he said.
"I'm so proud of each and every one of them. They deserve it.
"There's a million emotions and chemicals running through your body - It's such a tremendous high.
"To win promotion this season - probably a year ahead of schedule - I have got to give credit to everyone; the team, my chairman, my backroom staff.
And the Stags boss allowed himself a short celebration after the game - but the hard work has already begun all over again.
"I just love winning, that's what motivates me, that's what spurs me on," he said.
"It's a massive achievement, but for me I'm focussing on next year now."
Have a look at our gallery of pictures from the match here.
Cox: There's nothing we can't do if we stay hungry and focused
PROMOTION is just the start of the journey for Mansfield Town, boss Paul Cox says.
The Stags secured their return to the Football League with a gritty 1-0 win against Wrexham on Saturday, finishing two points clear at the top of the Blue Square Bet Premier table.
Cox has no intention of ending Town's five-year exile from the League to simply end up back in the Conference again.
"I'll sit down with the chairman and I'm sure, knowing him as I do, he will not want the club to stand still. I don't want to be a yo-yo club," he said.
"I think he will be keen for an assault next season. I have always said that this football club could take to the stars."
And the former Eastwood Town boss is confident the group of players who won promotion can adapt to a higher league - and he is willing to give them that chance.
"There are going to be no mass changes, no major transformations in the close season," Cox added.
"You look through our squad and a lot have played League One. We've got players who can play at that level.
"My biggest thing will be to see if the hunger is still there."
While Cox is always quick to praise the players who have given him so much, he saves a special word for the owner and chairman, John Radford.
He said: "We've got a great bloke who runs and owns it and special mention needs to go to him - he's a special person and I love him to bits.
"He's given me the tools to try to achieve what we want to achieve. I think he's a winner. If he's steering the ship of this club then it will be successful."
It's not just the chairman and the players that Cox has to thank, though.
He said: "My backroom staff should come in for an immense amount of credit. I've got good people, honest people around me."
But overall, Cox says the recipe for the future success of the Stags is the same as the one that achieved promotion this year.
He added: "We don't want to go in and make up the numbers; I want to go and attack it and give it our all.
"I've never managed any other way and I don't intend to start now.
"It'll be hard, but as long as we apply ourselves right I will be happy.
"You can create miracles by having that team spirit and that hunger."
And for Cox, the work has already begun. Just minutes after winning the title, his mind had moved to preparations for League Two.
"I know it sounds boring but it's how I always treat everything," he said. "You've got to stay hungry for the next one.
"My job now is to focus on the future and make sure we are still concentrated and hungry this time next year.
"There's nothing we can't do if we stay hungry and focused."
The sky is the limit for title-winning Mansfield, says skipper Adam Murray
MANSFIELD Town captain Adam Murray says the "sky is the limit" for the newly promoted side.
A 1-0 win at home to Wrexham on Saturday was enough to end a five-year absence from the Football League for the Stags.
The central midfielder, who is also Stags' assistant manager, believes that manager Paul Cox and owner John Radford will prove a combination capable of spurring the Stags on to better things.
Speaking about Cox, Murray said: "He's been different class. At the start of the season he took some stick, but he knew what we were about, what his target was and how we wanted to go about it and I don't think anyone can question his success.
"The sky is the limit - we've got a chairman that wants to push and push and push.
"Myself and the gaffer don't want to stand still.
"We're ambitious people and we want to go as far as we can - this is just the start for us."
After a 12-game winning streak, the climax to the season seemed to be fraught with twists and turns, but Murray always believed the side would be successful.
"We knew that eventually it would come good - we've got a very strong team here, a very strong unit," he said.
"We've always believed in what we do, what we are about. I've never known a league like it where it's so tight at the top and at the bottom but we've always believed in what we do and eventually it prevailed.
"You look to your left and your right and you know you can rely on the man next to you. We've got a solid base and no one lets anyone down and that's what we've built it upon."
Despite the joy of winning the league, it has been a tough time for the 31-year-old, who played 38 league games during the season.
"I'm physically and emotionally shot - it's been a long season and I am glad we are over the line," he said.
"It's been tough - I've put my heart and soul into everything I've done.
"The game (against Wrexham on Saturday) was always going to be a tense occasion.
"We knew what was going on at Kidderminster and we knew we just had to get over the line. It's been a long hard season and we have come through some battles. We've always done it - that's the main thing."
VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Wrexham player-manager Andy Morrell told BBC Radio Wales:
"The result did matter because I want to win football matches and I thought we matched them, especially in the first half.
"In the second half I thought we tired a little bit and they saw the game out. I always thought we'd get a chance in the second half to maybe nick one.
"But it was not to be and they've got the most points in the league so they deserve to be top.
"The young lads that played, I think they found out what it's like in this league. They're strong and they try and bully you. We need to stand up to that a little bit more."
Wrexham FC boss furious over David Artell red card
WREXHAM player-manager Andy Morrell was fuming over the last-minute dismissal of defender David Artell at Mansfield Town on Saturday and is considering an urgent appeal to try and have the decision rescinded.
The veteran centre-back was shown a straight red by referee Nick Kinseley as the Stags were seeing out the final moments of a 1-0 victory that sealed the league title and automatic promotion back to the Football League.
Morrell will view television footage of the incident before deciding whether to try and overturn a three-match ban that would rule Artell out of both this week’s play-off games against Kidder-
minster Harriers and provide him with another unwelcome selection problem
“I’m going to have another look at it because I thought it was a horrendous decision,” the Dragons’ boss said afterwards.
“I felt the ref got it wrong and when he puts his report in he will probably say it was dangerous, but both lads were high and Dave just missed the ball and got the lad who jumped up straight away. It was in the last minute of the last game of the season and officials do my head in.”
Having fielded an unfamiliar line-up at the One Call Arena, Morrell was reasonably satisfied with his team’s performance, Mansfield needing a first-half Matt Green penalty to secure the victory that edged Kidderminster into the play-off semi-final against his side.
“The result mattered because I want to win football matches and I thought we matched them, especially in the first half,” added the boss.
“I thought their lad made a meal of the penalty, but I’ll have to see it again. Glen (Little) went for the ball with his wrong foot and the lad has gone over him rather than Glen going into him. But you don’t get those decisions when you are away in front of a crowd of 6,000.
“The young lads who played have found out what this league is like - teams are strong. We played some decent football and we had a couple of half-chances, but after the break we tired a bit and they saw the game out.
“I always felt we’d get a chance in the second half to maybe nick one but that wasn’t to be and Mansfield have got the most points in the league so they deserve to win the title. They are strong, they are organised and they play one way and understand what it’s all about. So they deserved it.”
Defending his decision to rest key players, the Racecourse boss said: “I could have brought everybody half-fit to try and win the game but I might have caused myself more problems next week. So I think I did the right thing and the young lads did themselves no harm at all whatsoever.
“It was fantastic for them to play in an atmosphere like that and in a game of that importance.
“The young lads were brilliant. Rob (Evans) has played four on the spin and he’s done ever so well. Bradley Reid is always a handful and we were able to get Jonathan (Royle) on for his debut, so I’m made up for all of them and I’m sure a few of them have got bright futures.
“We’ve learned a little more about all the players today, which helps when we have to make decisions about them going forward.”
Latest | April 2013