PAUL COX REACTION AFTER NAXXAR LIONS GAME
After the game against Naxxar Lions, Stags manager Paul Cox spoke to StagsPlayer’s Nigel Pinnick:
“We came up against a really stubborn side. There were things we really need to improve on but I thought our fitness levels were really good and that’s what it is, it’s not really about results in pre-season, it’s about conditioning. We mixed the two sides up and it’s given me a look and it just shows you what we could do with bringing in, but I thought the lads worked hard and they’ve worked hard all week here.
“I was pleased with the following. It’s always nice when a number of people follow you. I hope they’ve enjoyed it. We couldn’t put the ball in the net. We looked a little bit rusty in the last third. But it’s 45 minutes for a lot of them.
“We’ve kept a clean sheet and if I’m going to be totally honest I can’t remember the opposition having a shot on target throughout the game. It was a small tight little pitch on a 3G surface that’s hard to play on, but it’s all about conditioning.
“Hopefully we can finish off the tour well and we’ve got some good games coming up next week.
“To be totally honest I was worried about some of the challenges. I thought some of the referee’s decisions were absolutely atrocious. I’d rather have a competitive game but I thought we were lucky not to come away with a few injuries because of some of the tackles. And all of a sudden the referee thought he had to book JJ for what was just a normal tackle.
“If you look at the state the lads are in at the moment, .. you look at the likes of the players like Rhead and Hutch, their body shape is a lot better than it was this time last year. But it’s early days yet, no-one’s singing from the rooftops. We know we can get better at a lot of things but there were a lot of good aspects here tonight. I thought our fitness levels were excellent. I thought there was only going to be one team that went on to win it. But we looked a bit rusty in certain areas. But that will come with more games and better fitness.
“We’ve just lost a centre-forward that scored 57 goals in 2 seasons so it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that I’m in the market for a centre forward that can score goals. But we’ve got others: Clucas has come on in the second half and has good movement. I thought Lindon looked sharp. Stevenson, Rhead .. we look through the side - there’s good players there. There’s a lot we can improve on and I’m sure we will.
“It’s really humbling to have all the fans here. It’s not as if we’ve just come up the motorway. We’re a couple of thousand miles away. It’s testament to just how big this club can be.
“The lads are going to have the night off. They’ve worked extremely hard. They’ll have a pint, they’ll mingle with the supporters and hopefully there’s a really good atmosphere in town tonight and I hope everyone enjoys the night. It’s the first of what I hope is going to be many trips.”
Transcribed by Martin Shaw
Latest | July 2013