COX, DYER AND BRIAN LAWS REACTION
Post-Match Interviews - Paul Cox And Ross Dyer - from Mansfield 103.2
Cox takes positives from season-opener
mansfieldtown.net 3rd August 2013
Manager Paul Cox insists there are several positives that our side can take from today’s performance, despite our 2-0 loss at Scunthorpe United.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-takes-positives-from-season-opener-965844.aspx#oDVgE7itP6RTuqpc.99
On our return to the Football League, we endured a nightmare 15 minutes prior to half-time as Matt Sparrow and Sam Winnall struck the decisive blows.
“I think there are sometimes very fine lines in football,” said our boss.
“I thought we were the better team in the first 30 minutes, then we conceded a sloppy goal and lost our shape and mindset.
“When you go a goal down, you need to stay focussed and we didn’t do that.”
He continued: “I don’t think there was a massive difference between the two teams though, and we created some very good chances.
“Scunthorpe were in League One last season and they’re tipped to do very well in this league and I thought we competed very well against them.
“For the first 30 minutes, we were excellent, but goals win matches, and we didn’t take advantage of the chances that came our way.
“I’m not going to panic, but we’ve got to learn very quickly.”
Stags boss Cox philosophical after opening defeat at Scunthorpe
chad.co.uk by John Lomas
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox was philosophical after seeing his side pipped 2-0 in a very close game away to a Scunthorpe side, who played in League One last season, in today’s first game back in the Football League after a five-year absence.
“I think it is very very fine lines as we have seen today,” he said.
“I thought we bossed the first 30 minutes but ended up conceding a sloppy goal. Then we lost our shape and mindset and ended up at half-time 2-0 down.
“In the second half we missed a great chance when Ross Dyer should have scored his header and a penalty miss by Louis Briscoe - we probably had the best three chances of the game, including the one by Lee Stevenson after two minutes, which we should have scored.
“The lads also reckon the one that Ross put in was a perfectly good goal, too.
“You have got to take your chances when you get them. We could have come off the pitch with three goals and that should usually be enough to win a football match.
“We have got to grow up quickly and punish sides when we get the chance. We have to be ruthless at one end and keep clean sheets at the other.”
He added: “What disappointed me was that, when you go a goal down, you have to stay in the game.
“Scunthorpe were League One last season and hotly-tipped as promotion contenders, but I don’t think there was a massive margin between the sides and I thought we were excellent for 30 minutes.
“There are no panic stations. In my opinion the game looked pretty even - but goals win games.
“It is a long season and this result would be fundamental come the end of it. We have just to quickly understand this division and get to grips with it.
“Sam Clucas gave us another dimension up there and I thought Ollie Palmer looked lively when he came on.
“He is like a bottle of pop when he comes on and just explodes. He is young and raw but I think he is going to be a very good players and he will score goals for this football club.”
Mansfield Town set to bring in new striker today
Nottingham Post by Matt Halfpenny
PAUL Cox is confident he can add to Mansfield Town's firepower today with a striker signing, after seeing his side go down 2-0 at Scunthorpe on their Football League return.
Read more: http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-19613487-detail/story.html#ixzz2b59J3Z00
There was no fairytale beginning for the Stags at Glanford Park as they failed to make the most of their chances in a bright first half hour and then saw the Iron take control with Matt Sparrow and Sam Winnall scoring before half-time.
And while Ollie Palmer - signed from Havant and Waterloovillle on Friday - made an encouraging debut off the bench, Cox is keen to add more experience.
In his sights ahead of tomorrow's League Cup tie at Tranmere Rovers are trialist Calvin Andrew and another, unnamed hitman who has played in the Championship.
"We are bringing another centre forward in, but we couldn't get the paperwork through in time for the Scunthorpe game. We should have one with us today," said Cox.
"One has played at League One and higher. We just need that bit of maturity up top and someone who can tap one in.
"We're talking about lads who have the power and pace to stretch teams, but also know when to calm things down when the ball is played into them."
Cox insists the rest of the Mansfield squad need to learn quickly after defensive mistakes proved costly.
"We didn't give a bad account of ourselves but we collapsed for 10 minutes when we were heavily on top. I'm glad it's out the way and we've seen the benchmark now.
"We need to learn quickly, we are going to have to fight and scratch for everything and be mentally stronger."
Stags striker Dyer rues miss, but delighted to be back after a year out injured
chad.co.uk by John Lomas
Ross Dyer was a happy man to be back on a football pitch 12 months after his dreadful knee injury - but admits his second half miss was costly in yesterday’s 2-0 defeat at Scunthorpe in Mansfield Town’s first game back in League football.
“It meant everything to me,” said the striker, who missed the whole of last season after a knee injury on the opening day. “It was a big day for the football club and a big day for me.
“This year has been really tough. So it was a dream come true for me today and an added bonus that it was in the Football League.
“My miss was probably our last snippet of hope. Lee Beevers put a class ball in and I tried a diving header. I should have put it in the back of the net but it went wide. It is something for me to work on.
“But I thought I did okay otherwise and I really enjoyed it.
“We came out like a house on fire and, had we put away out chances, it could have changed the game. But it was an uphill battle and very difficult to come back against a good, organised side. But there were still a lot of positives to come out of it for us.”
Defensive resilience and second-half nous are Laws' highlights of opening win
By Chris Sumpter
‘DELIGHTED’ Brian Laws believes Scunthorpe United have many reasons to be encouraged by their 2-0 success over Mansfield Town on the opening day of the League Two season.
But while praising the contributions of Matt Sparrow and Terry Hawkridge - and Sam Winnall’s goal-scoring ability - the Iron’s defensive resilience and second-half nous were their manager’s personal highlights.
Sparrow struck just before the half-hour mark and Winnall 11 minutes later as Scunthorpe won at Glanford Park on the opening day of the campaign for the first time in nine years.
The goals though came after a nervy opening quarter of the match, during which time the newly-promoted Stags bullied their hosts with a series of long throws and balls into the penalty area.
“I’ve seen something today that we didn’t have last year - resilience,” said Laws, post-match.
“As a unit I thought we defended really well.
“At times we showed our old Achilles heel of trying to over-play, but when the ball came into the box we dealt with it very, very well. Sam (Slocombe) didn’t really have a lot to do in those moments.
“We had a 15 or 20 minute period that was nervy, but that was probably to be expected after relegation. We are building our team whereas Mansfield have got confidence and a togetherness.
“They certainly brought an enthusiasm to the first 20 minutes and showed what they are about and capable of.
“There were a lot of balls being thrown into our box and a number of bodies thrown in there.
“But we said all week that if we defended our box well, we’d win the game.”
Once in front, Scunthorpe rarely looked like relinquishing their grip on the game.
That was despite losing Eddie Nolan in injury-time when the Iron defender was shown a second yellow card for stopping a Sam Clucas cross with his hand just inside the penalty area - a decision Laws described as ‘contentious’.
United’s clean sheet though was at least preserved when Stags substitute Louis Briscoe blasted the resulting spot kick over the bar.
As well as that miss, the Iron boss said the experience his side have acquired in the transfer market during the summer - most notably Andy Dawson and Deon Burton - helped them see the match out.
“In the second half we didn’t go chasing it, we tried to be the calm with the ball and we had some knowledge about how to win the game,” he continued.
“The lads who have come in have got that knowledge and it showed.
“I even heard the players talking about it, which was refreshing because we had such a quiet bunch last year.
“At one point, Deon Burton was stood next to me shouting at the players. That tells me we’ve got the right people in to help us to see games out when we’re in a winning position.
“That’s what we did today - and quite comfortably in the end.”
FIRST GOAL WAS CRUCIAL
by Joe Bowden
One of Scunthorpe’s stars of the afternoon - midfielder Matt Sparrow - was understandably pleased with United’s curtain-raising 2-0 win over Mansfield Town on Saturday.
Read more at http://www.scunthorpe-united.co.uk/news/article/first-goal-was-crucial-968277.aspx?#L5ERkbQYp5gEsEfd.99
The Stags, last season’s Conference winners, were playing their first match back in the Football League following a five-year hiatus, and looked particularly dangerous in the opening twenty minutes.
However, Sparrow reckoned that after a resilient United steered through that period unscathed, they were great value for the three points.
“We knew that Mansfield would come here and try and start off their league football campaign with a point at least,” he told The Iron Player.
“And to be fair, in the first fifteen or twenty minutes they did throw a lot of balls in the box from throw-ins and set-pieces.
“But I thought we weathered the storm a little bit, and once we got a few pass and moves we relaxed a bit.”
Furthermore, it was during the period of the game when United relaxed, that they took they took a 1-0 lead on the afternoon.
Sparrow himself scored it, meanwhile, volleying home a left-wing cross to set United on course to victory.
“To get the first goal was always crucial,” he admitted, before talking THE IRON PLAYER through his goal.
“I can remember Terry Hawkridge going down the left, and he’s clipped it back-stick.”
“And I’m not sure if Deon (Burton) has dummied it or tried to get a shot off himself.
“He says to me that he’s dummied it, so I’ll take his word for it!” he joked.
“And then I couldn’t afford to take a touch really, so I’ve tried to hit it as accurately as I can.
“Luckily, it’s gone into the net, and I was absoluetely delighted to get off the mark.”
The Iron then doubled their lead through new striker Sam Winnall, who rounded goalkeeper Alan Marriott, before slotting into the empty net.
They then snuffed out the vast majority of Mansfield attacks in their preliminary stages, and Sparrow was keen to praise the Scunthorpe defence for securing a clean sheet.
“Niall (Canavan), Mirf (David Mirfin), (Andy) Dawson and Eddie (Nolan) did well,” he said.
“Their positions were right - they dealt with a lot of knock-downs - because they (Mansfield) are quite a direct team.
“To win is great and to keep a clean sheet is important.
“But it is one win, so let’s not get carried away.”
See much more from Matt Sparrow, Brian Laws and Sam Winnall on The Iron Player.
Latest | August 2013