COX, MEIKLE, DEMPSTER, GUY WHITTINGHAM REACTION
video interviews with Cox, Meikle and Dempster
Boss pleased with Stags fightback
Manager Paul Cox is pleased with how our side battled back to earn a point in our 2-2 draw with Portsmouth at One Call Stadium this afternoon.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/boss-pleased-with-stags-fightback-1011957.aspx#kmqWPAdXA1H8pkmz.99
Despite Ben Hutchinson's stunning opener, Pompey led at the break thanks to quick-fire strikes by Andy Barcham and David Connolly.
However, our spirited side fought back, and substitute Lindon Meikle netted an equaliser on 72 minutes to earn us a deserved point.
"I thought that the spectators got their money's worth today. It was a really good game of football,” said our boss.
“We shot ourselves in the foot, and seven minutes of crazy defending just before half-time cost us [from winning] I think.”
He continued: “We looked good in the second half, and were a bit unlucky not to get more.
“The positives are: the boys have hit a strong foundation, they seem to be getting better and they are learning. It was a positive second half.”
Our boss also confirmed during his post-match interview that defender Lee Beevers left the pitch with a suspected dislocated shoulder.
He added: “His shoulder popped out again, but he’s a tough cookie. Hopefully, he’ll be back again for next week’s match.”
A full post-match interview with Paul Cox will be available on StagsPlayer tonight. To subscribe, click here.
Paul Cox frustrated after Mansfield Town fail to take chances against Portsmouth
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill 24 August 2013
Frustrated Mansfield boss Paul Cox says his players must learn to take their chances if they are to be a threat in League Two.
He made the comments after watching his side draw 2-2 at home to Portsmouth after substitute Lindon Meikle had levelled for the Stags on 71 minutes.
But Cox felt Mansfield should have wrapped up all three points after Meikle, Martin Riley and John Dempster all failed to take their chances as Stags pressed well in the closing stages.
It is the second successive time Mansfield have drawn at home after they spurned decent chances to turn one point in to three during a 0-0 draw with Exeter.
Said Cox: “We played well in the second half and were unlucky not to win.
“Seven minutes of sloppy defending cost us and that is something we need to eliminate.
“We got ourselves in front and we have to learn to go into the break leading in situations like this.
“If you make mistakes then good teams will punish you and Portsmouth are a good team.
“We got better in the second half and the switch to a 4-4-2 formation worked well. I thought Rheady and Palmer were a real handful when they came on, but we did not take our chances and football is all about taking chances.
“There are positives to take from the game and we just need to keep learning as we are doing.
“If we can start taking our chances then we will be a good team at this level.”
Portsmouth boss Guy Whittingham was also left feeling frustrated at his side’s failure to turn a 2-1 lead into three points.
“The lads are a bit dejected in the dressing room that we did not win,” he said.
“We are a big scalp for teams at this level and Mansfield put us under pressure. They do not make it an easy place to come
“The second half was frustrating for us. We felt we defended set pieces very well, but one error has cost us. We should have held on to our win.”
Mansfield hit the front on 32 minutes when striker Ben Hutchinson smashed home a volley from 25 yards.
But Portsmouth fought back well and levelled when Andy Barcham drilled a sweet finish past Alan Marriott on 39 minute, before veteran stiker David Connolly put the visitors ahead on 43 minutes.
Meikle then levelled for Mansfield on 71 minutes after Phil Smith fumbled a knock-back by Ollie Palmer into his path to claim a share of the spoils.
Stags will be looking to record their first home win since returning to the Football League when they entertain Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday.
More belief will help us shine - says Stags boss
Nottingham Post by Matt Halfpenny
PAUL Cox is convinced Mansfield Town can compete at the top end of League Two after seeing his side come close to beating title favourites Portsmouth.
Read more: http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/story-19711494-detail/story.html?#ixzz2dFaC0zBf
The Stags fought back from a 2-1 deficit at the break to level through Lindon Meikle but could not take their chances to force a winner.
Ben Hutchinson had given the hosts a first half lead, only for two goals in quick succession from Andy Barcham and David Connolly to put Pompey ahead.
"You look at the Portsmouth side and they have quality and experience all the way through it, not just for this level, but the level above," said manager Cox.
"I expect them to be up there challenging for top spot at the end of the season, yet we have given them a really good game and it was a shame we couldn't quite go on and get the winner we were pressing for.
"But it shows that we are doing something right and I think once the lads start to believe in themselves, we are going to be a really good side at this level.
"We just need to show a bit more consistency throughout the 90 minutes rather than playing well in patches."
Cox was delighted for Hutchinson, whose 25-yard thunderbolt put Stags ahead, but is now demanding the player produces the goods week in, week out.
The boss also hinted there could be more comings and goings before the end of August's transfer deadline.
He said: "Hutch was excellent at Wycombe and scored a great goal against Portsmouth, but what I want from him now is consistency.
"I would like to think we will have players coming in, but I may need to do a bit of wheeling and dealing - I have a budget to work to - and there may be one of two going out first."
Ollie Palmer backs Mansfield Town to challenge in League Two
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill 24 August 2013
Striker Ollie Palmer says Mansfield Town can be part of the League Two promotion race if they can find their goalscoring touch.
Mansfield drew 2-2 against Portsmouth on Saturday, but failed to turn one point into three after substitute Lindon Meikle, Martin Riley and John Dempster all wasted good chances to hit a late winner.
It is the second successive home game that newly-promoted Stags have drawn after failing to take chances to win the match.
Palmer, who is enjoying his first season as a pro footballer after signing from Havant and Waterlooville, said: “If we can find some goals then we will become a threat at this level.
“We want to be up there going for promotion and to be the best team that we can be.
“To do that we need to take our chances and make our home games count. Our home form was vital last season and it can be again this season.
“We need to start taking our chances and turning draws into wins, if we can do that then we will be right up there.
“We are a decent team and the goals will come. I am not putting any pressure on myself and have not set any goal targets, but if I managed to get to 15 goals in my first season I would be very happy.
“The second goal involved all three substitutes and shows that we have got good strength on the bench to change games when needed.
“We gave Portsmouth a run for their money and have proved we can compete against any team at this level.”
Mansfield had hit the front on 32 minutes when striker Ben Hutchinson smashed home a magnificent volley from 25 yards.
But Portsmouth fought back well and levelled when the impressive Andy Barcham drilled a sweet finish past Alan Marriott on 39 minutes.
Veteran stiker David Connolly put the visitors ahead on 43 minutes after turning home a loose ball from close range.
But Meikle, who had been on the pitch for just four minutes, levelled for Mansfield on 71 minutes after Phil Smith fumbled an Ollie Palmer knock-back into his path.
Riley blew a good chance for Mansfield on 85 minutes after failing to connect with a Chris Clements corner, before Dempster headed over the bar seconds later.
Mansfield go in search of their first home win of the season when they entertain Dagenham and Redbridge next Saturday.
Pompey boss frustrated by dropped points
Guy Whittingham admitted his frustration as Pompey let victory slip through their fingers at Mansfield.
The Blues had battled back from 1-0 down to lead through goals from Andy Barcham and David Connolly.
Barcham was particularly impressive and it was his brilliant 60-yard run that teed up the second.
However, Mansfield profited from a Pompey defensive error to net a leveller with 18 minutes left - and earn a point.
‘It was frustrating to concede that goal but we always knew what we would get from Mansfield,’ said Blues boss Whittingham.
‘They are big, strong side but I thought we dealt with it really well.
‘It was good that we turned it around before half-time and we have that attacking quality in our side.
‘We know we are going to create chances.
‘Andy has shown exactly what he is capable of doing with his running.
‘We have a few players in our team - and some who aren’t even playing - who are capable of doing just that.
‘But overall a draw was probably a fair result.’
Get Used To Being A Scalp
Read more at http://www.portsmouthfc.co.uk/news/article/get-used-to-being-a-scalp-1012515.aspx#PUQxsBk1BxqDucuo.99
by Neil Weld
Boss says teams will raise their game against Blues
We’re a scalp in this league and teams are going to be up for it"
Guy Whittingham believes Pompey have to learn to deal with the pressure of being a big fish in the League Two pond.
The Blues looked to be heading for a first away win of the season at Mansfield.
Andy Barcham cancelled out Ben Hutchinson’s superb opener before David Connolly fired the visitors ahead before the break.
But Pompey were unable to hold on for victory, with Lindon Meikle taking advantage of a defensive mix-up to level.
And Whititngham feels that sides will always put in a good performance when they come up against his troops.
The Blues boss said: “The first goal gave them a lift - we’re a scalp in this league and teams are going to be up for it.
“They are going to raise their game when they come up against us and we have to deal with that pressure.
“People were dejected in the dressing room afterwards because we weren’t able to keep hold of the lead.
“But as a group, we’re constantly learning and we said it would take time before we reach our best.”
Despite not being able to hold on for victory, Whittingham was happy with aspects of Pompey’s play.
He said: “I think we played some decent stuff in the first half and should have got in front before they did.
“But I was pleased with how we got back into the game and took the chances that we did.
“Mansfield put the ball in the box at every opportunity, but we dealt with it really well.
“They put us under a lot of pressure and our defending from set-plays was magnificent.”
Whittingham also had words of praise for Barcham, who set up Connolly’s goal as well as scoring himself.
He said: “Andy’s an exciting player. We’re pleased we were able to get him and are hopeful he will take more chances.”
Whittingham let down by Pompey
Guy Whittingham was disappointed that Portsmouth did not kick on in the second half in their 2-2 draw with Mansfield.
The visitors struck twice in four first-half minutes with Andy Barcham and then David Connolly both netting.
Substitute Lindon Meikle denied Portsmouth all three points with 19 minutes remaining and Whittingham was frustrated by the second-half display.
"The lads are a bit dejected in the dressing room that we did not win that game," he said.
"We are a big scalp for teams at this level and Mansfield put us under a lot of pressure. They do not make it an easy place to come.
"It was important that we hit back after falling behind and it was a good response from the boys.
"Andy Barcham looked very dangerous for us, he has been doing that all season. He is an exciting player who can score goals.
"The second half was frustrating for us. We felt we defended set pieces very well but one error cost us. We feel we should have held on to our win."
Barcham: A Frustrating Afternoon
Read more at http://www.portsmouthfc.co.uk/news/article/barcham-a-frustrating-afternoon-1012600.aspx?#UkI6bLKf3aiShIVf.99
by Neil Weld
Winger felt it was two points dropped for Pompey at Mansfield
We’re disappointed that we’ve gone in front and not seen it through"
The winger also played a pivotal role in Pompey’s second, with his saved shot landing kindly for David Connolly.
But it was a sense of frustration rather than joy that enveloped the summer signing as he left the pitch.
Barcham was annoyed that the Blues let slip their interval lead and had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
He said: “It was very frustrating. We’re disappointed that we’ve gone in front and not seen it through.
“We know Mansfield like to get the ball into the box and it’s something we’ve been working on in training.
“We defended so well for most of the game and dealt with everything they could throw at us.
“It’s just a shame that we were unable to hang on for the three points. We know it’s a case of two points dropped.
“It’s something that has happened before this season and it’s something that we’ll work on.
“We can’t keep getting in front and settling for a draw - we need to turn them into wins when we’re performing well.
“It doesn’t feel like we’ve got a point because it’s a game we could have won. You could see the same reaction on everyone’s face.”
Despite being disappointed with the result, Barcham was happy to get his first Blues goal.
He said: “I was delighted to score and feel like I should have got one sooner. Jed did well to pick me out and it was nice for me to get on the scoresheet.
“We knew there would be a lot of room for us in certain areas and we tried to take advantage of that.
“We caused them a few problems in the wide areas in the first half, although it didn’t work out quite as well in the second.”
Latest | August 2013