Cox: Good feeling in the camp
mansfieldtown.net 12th September 2013
Manager Paul Cox believes there is a ‘good feeling in the camp’, ahead of our Sky Bet League Two trip to York City on Saturday.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-good-feeling-in-the-camp-1048267.aspx#yRAbaPJKsgpmouEe.99
We go into the clash at Bootham Crescent on a five-match unbeaten run, but will be without Matt Rhead, who is serving a one-match suspension.
“There’s a really good feeling in the camp at the minute,” said Cox.
“The boys seem to be on a high, but what I don’t want us to do is get over-confident.
“We haven’t started badly, but I think there is a lot more to come from this group of players. Hopefully, as the season goes on, we can progress.”
He continued: “Players are working extremely hard to try and force their way into the first eleven.
“I’ve probably spent more time with the players that haven’t been in the side of late, because I don’t want them to feel as though they are forgotten.
“They’ve responded by training well and playing well in the reserves or any behind-closed-doors game that we’ve had.
“Something will give at some point and as we’ve seen in previous seasons, it’s not how good your first eleven is, it’s about how good your squad is.
“Anyone in this business should embrace competition, and try to improve by that competitive nature.”
Our side also recorded a 7-2 victory in a behind-closed-doors match at Shepshed Dynamo last night, where Lee Stevenson, Ollie Palmer and Ross Dyer were amongst the scorers.
Paul Cox’s full press conference will be available on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.
Mansfield Town strikers battle it out for a place at York
chad.co.uk, 12 September 2013
Stags boss Paul Cox is delighted to see a queue of strikers staking their claim to replace suspended Matt Rhead for Saturday’s League Two trip to York City, for which over 800 tickets have already been snapped up by Mansfield Town fans.
Rhead misses the game after being shown two yellow cards in last weekend’s fine 1-1 draw at Newport County.
Cox has had two midweek games in which to put his reserve players through their paces this week, with a superb 2-1 league win over a very strong Rotherham side on Tuesday night followed by a 7-2 behind-closed-doors success by a different XI at Shepshed yesterday.
Strike pair Calvin Andrew and Jake Speight both notched against Rotherham while Ollie Palmer was also on target at Shepshed where another strike option, Ross Dyer, bagged a brace, as did Lee Stevenson.
“I put Andrew and Speight together for a reason against Rotherham and last night I played Matt Rhead, Ross Dyer and Ollie Palmer as a front three - and all of them have given me food for thought for Saturday,” said Cox.
“That was an excellent performance and excellent win against a strong Rotherham and keeps the reserves’ 100 per cent record, thought I am not too worried about results. I just wanted to watch the players and was very pleased with their work ethic and desire to push for a first team place.
“People might dismiss the win at Shepshed. But you have to earn the right to win any football match and the pleasing part was we had five youngsters in there.”
Cox must now pick a striker to partner Sam Clucas, who has bagged two in two games, but admits it is a major task to keep happy those not selected up front or anywhere this weekend.
“I probably tend to focus more on the players not in the side than those in it as I don’t want them to feel they are forgotten,” he said.
“They need to know that something will give at some stage - injuries, suspensions or loss of form. It will happen - then they must come in and take their chance.
“I don’t want a player that sits and smiles when they are not in my side. I want them banging my door down and asking me why they are not playing.”
York have only won one of their first six games and Mansfield, now five unbeaten, will hope to gain some revenge for their controversial Conference play-off semi-final defeat at Bootham Crescent two seasons ago.
“Supporters will be looking forward to this one and hope we can redeem ourselves a bit after what happened a couple of seasons ago. We don’t want to be over-confident, but the boys are on a high at the minute, said Cox. “We are really looking forward to it.”
Chris Clements desperate to hold onto his Stags shirt after last season’s misery
CHAD.co.uk, 13 September 2013
Chris Clements is desperate to hold onto his Mansfield Town shirt after finally winning it back following last season’s disappointment.
It was well-documented how upset Clements was to lose his place last year and his angry reaction to his demotion.
But a year on he feels he has matured and knuckled down to again force his way into the side.
“It’s always good to get a few games under your belt,” he said. “Obviously I was disappointed not to start the season, but it’s one of those things. You have got to fight for your place - I have fought for mine and I think I have done well since I got in there.
“It feels very downgrading not to be picked when you feel you are doing well and you don’t get that chance. It’s hard to take. But I am learning how to deal with it better.
“I have sorted my head out from last season and got my head down.
“If I keep doing what I am doing then I hope my performances will keep me in the team. We have a lot of good central midfield players here with Adam Murray, Keiran Murtagh and Anthony Howell all wanting my shirt.
“I think my game is improving. I am working harder off the ball from last year.
“It’s good when the gaffer has got faith in me and thinks I will be a good player and go higher.”
Clements is currently playing well in a midfield trio, but admits he needs to weigh in with a long overdue first goal for the club.
“Two of us sit in there, you get forward when you can, but you must make sure your defence is protected,” he said. “With Jamie McGuire in there, he is a good player to play alongside.
“I have not got a goal for Mansfield yet and I need to chip in with a few. I need to start getting forward more.”
Clements and the Stags squad head to early strugglers York tomorrow, looking to extend their unbeaten run to six games and he said: “ “York is always a tough place to go. But the way we are playing now we know we are good enough to beat them. We need to start turning our draws into wins.”
Clements does feel the slightly calmer waters of League Two suit his game rather than the frantic action of the Conference, though that wasn’t the case last weekend when Newport and Mansfield slugged out a real bruiser.
He said “I didn’t play at Newport last year but it was physical. This year it was just crazy football with tackles flying in everywhere.
“But League Two does seem to be better quality. There is hustle and bustle but there is also more of getting the ball down and trying to play which suits me.”
Stags defender John Dempster enjoyed the battle of Newport
John Dempster thoroughly enjoyed last weekend’s bruising 1-1 battle at Newport County.
And the Mansfield Town central defender is confident Stags can bring home all three points from their revenge mission at York City tomorrow.
“It was a hostile crowd at Newport who really tried to wind us up and get into us and it was a real tear-up,” he smiled.
“I said to their assistant manager afterwards that it was a really good battle and he agreed. I really enjoyed it.”
The game saw two red cards - one to home player Lee Minshull for an elbow to the face of Martin Riley and one to Stags striker Matt Rhead for two questionable yellow card decisions.
“I don’t think their player meant to elbow ‘Riles’ in the face, but he did catch him,” said Dempster.
“The Matt Rhead sending-off was a bit soft, he didn’t deserve that. But we just have to move on.
“We have looked solid at the back. A set piece did us at Newport, but in open play we looked pretty good and kept a good shape. The two players alongside me - Martin Riley and Ritchie Sutton - have been outstanding which makes it a bit easier.
“But keeping the goals against tally down is a team effort.”
He added: We don’t want to get too carried away as we know it will be a difficult game at York.
“They have a good, experienced manager and will want to get their season started.
“They are probably expected to be up there at the end of the season and will want to get some points on the board as soon as possible.
“But we are going there in confident mood and there is no reason why we can’t bring all three points home, though even a draw would be a good result.”
York City land loan midfielder Elliott Whitehouse from Sheffield United
Thursday 12th September 2013
YORK City today signed Sheffield United midfielder Elliott Whitehouse on a one-month loan deal.
The Worksop-born 19-year-old trained with his new team-mates this morning after the Minstermen gained clearance for his switch from Bramall Lane.
Whitehouse, whose stay could be extended until January, made his senior debut for the Blades earlier this year and has made a total of three appearances.
The arrival of Whitehouse follows the return of winger Josh Carson, who has signed until the end of the season after being released by Ipswich Town.
The duo are expected to be in manager Nigel Worthington’s squad for Saturday’s all-ticket Sky Bet League Two game against Mansfield Town at Bootham Crescent.
Latest | September 2013