BRISTOL ROVERS PREVIEWS / McGUIRE SUSPENDED
video interview with Paul Cox for StagsPlayer subscribers
Stags defender Sutton hoping to be fit to face Rovers
chad.co.uk, 10 October 2013
Mansfield Town defender Ritchie Sutton, stretchered off in Tuesday’s JPT defeat by Chesterfield, is still hoping to be fit to face Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
Sutton needed treatment for a full 12 minutes before he was taken off on a stretcher, heavily strapped with suspected spinal damage.
However, examinations revealed his back was fine and he was only suffering from concussion.
Manager Paul Cox said: “Ritchie is going to have today off to try to settle him down a bit and I hope he will come in tomorrow for a light training session. Then I will let the medical team assess him and see if he is okay for Saturday.
“The pleasing thing is that there was no serious damage as it was initially thought he it was a back or spinal injury. So it’s positive news.
“It was nice to see him on his feet again as it’s always a bit worrying when someone is down for that length of time. Some things are bigger than football and one of them is a player’s health.
“I think Ritchie was concussed and was a bit groggy but I don’t think he was ever unconscious so we are hopeful for Saturday.”
Mansfield Town midfield ace McGuire to miss Bristol Rovers clash
chad.co.uk, 10 October 2013
Mansfield Town will be without suspended midfield ace Jamie McGuire as they try to get their League Two campaign back on the rails against Bristol Rovers on Saturday (3pm) after last weekend’s 4-1 home horror show against Hartlepool.
McGuire picked up his fifth yellow card of the campaign in Tuesday night’s unlucky 1-0 Johnstone’s Paints Trophy home defeat by neighbours Chesterfield.
Manager Paul Cox said: “Jamie has been outstanding since the beginning of the season. He is infectious and everything I want in a footballer at this club. Jamie leads by example and he will be a massive loss.
“The plus point is that Keiran Murtagh came in for his debut on Tuesday and looked like he had been there all season and played extremely well. We have players here that can come in and do a job.
“I thought the whole side were excellent on Tuesday. Players like Junior Daniel and Lee Stevenson need another couple of games in terms of match fitness to get the sharpness they need and if they’d had that on Tuesday I think we’d have probably scored three goals. Both of them worked very hard.
“We performed very well against a very good side, but just missed away putting one of the chances we created.
“But this is a results-based business and that is two defeats on the trot. We just have to get back on the horse on Saturday.”
Saturday’s visitors, Bristol Rovers, like last weekend’s visitors, are struggling at the wrong end of the table with just two wins to their name so far.
But Hartlepool showed Stags that they cannot afford an off day as they halted Mansfield’s eight-game unbeaten run in emphatic fashion.
Cox said: “There are no easy games at this level as we saw last week. I hope our mindset will be better on Saturday and we play with fresh impetus from Tuesday. I hope we can carry on that performance but get a better result.
“The main thing now is not to be complacent. It was a good performance on Tuesday but that’s all. This game is all about winning and if we can play like Tuesday but get three points on the board as well we will be starting to head in the right direction.”
There were reports of trouble in the tunnel and dressing room area after the Chesterfield game and Cox added: “It’s all about passion. Myself and Paul Cook are both passionate managers and the players are passionate. And it was a local derby.
“There were a few handbags afterwards but nothing serious. It was a group of men just shouting at each other really. These things get pulled out of proportion.
“It was just one of those things. I’d rather be passionate than shrug my shoulders and say it doesn’t matter.”
Mansfield Town need to be stronger to win promotion, says boss Paul Cox
Nottingham Post by Matt Halfpenny
PAUL Cox insists Mansfield Town still need strengthening if they are to challenge for promotion in League Two this season - but is excited that his squad is 'not too far away'.
The Stags have made a good start to life back in the Football League, following their promotion as Conference champions.
But they slipped to a 4-1 defeat in their last league game against Hartlepool United and then lost 1-0 to local rivals Chesterfield in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in midweek.
They now face Bristol Rovers on home soil in the league tomorrow (3pm) and boss Cox says his priority is to bring in loan signings and January transfer window additions that can convert early season promise into more glory come May.
"If we carry on in that vein we will hurt teams, while being solid," he said. "We looked like the side of last year a little bit against Chesterfield.
"The Hartlepool game was awful, but I don't think anyone, even the Chesterfield fans, could say we were a bad side after that last performance.
"I'm not going to promise the supporters we are something that we are not and that we are going to the promised land, but I don't think we're a million miles off.
"If we're going to be honest, for us to be at the top end of this division, we need that extra bit of quality added to the squad.
"That's not to say that the players are not good enough, but over a long season when you lose people through injury suspension, loss of form and tiredness you need the right quality coming in.
"We saw that last year when we knitted down after Christmas and the squad took us through."
While Sam Clucas already has five goals to his name, Cox makes no secret of the fact he would love to add another striker to his number.
He said: "We still need to add in a few areas - and everyone is looking for a 25 or 30-goal-a-season striker.
"They win you football matches and you could see against Chesterfield, against the best sides, that it's a fine line between winning and losing matches."
Meanwhile, Mansfield supporters can now purchase home match tickets right up until kick-off on the day of a game.
A club spokesman said: "Previously, the box office closed for sales half an hour before kick off, but this extra 30 minute window should now make it even easier for supporters to buy tickets on the day of the match."
Supporters are reminded that there are no cash turnstiles at One Call Stadium as all spectators must be in possession of a valid ticket before entering the ground.
Supporters who purchase a single ticket for a home league game this season before a matchday can save £2 on their match ticket, but must collect their ticket before a matchday to be entitled to the discount.
Supporters who purchase tickets for more than one home game in advance of a matchday can receive a pre-purchase discount and still collect their tickets on the day of a game.
Fans will therefore be able to save £4 by purchasing a ticket for two home matches in advance of matches and can collect them at any time after purchase.
Tickets purchased and collected in advance of matchday are priced at £18 for adults, £13 for Senior Citizens/Students, £8 for aged 7 to 16 and free for aged 6 and under.
Tickets purchased on matchday are £20 for adults, £15 Senior Citizens/Students, £10 Aged seven to 16 and free aged six and under.
Palmer champing at the bit for a Mansfield Town starting place
Young striker Ollie Palmer is champing at the bit to become first choice striker for Mansfield Town.
Right now he is having to make do with bit parts from the bench and almost bagged a stoppage time equaliser in the midweek 1-0 home Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat by Chesterfield, only to see keeper Tommy Lee pull off a great save.
Ahead of tomorrow’s League Two visit of Bristol Rovers, Palmer admitted: “I have had to be patient. The squad has been doing well and you don’t change a winning side. They’ve been picking up good results home and away.
“Fingers crossed my time will come soon and I will get on the field and start taking chances.
“I didn’t come here expecting to be straight into the side. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to be starting games, though.
“I have not come here to sit on the bench and come on for 20 minutes here and there. Every player at this club wants to start or you wouldn’t be a footballer. And there is a lot of competition up there.
“I have to bide my time and show the gaffer what I can do and earn my starting place.”
Palmer has now moved into the area and started to come to terms with suddenly becoming a full-time professional footballer after a successful part-time career scoring goals at Havant and Waterloovile and Woking.
“I feel a lot more settled now,” he said. “My missus is spending all my money, turning it into a home and I feel a lot more comfortable. Once I start scoring goals I will be a lot happier.
“We have all the facilities here. I have had to strengthen up certain areas of my body. I go to the gym a lot with Ryan Tafazolli, who has been helping me as he has been a professional for a long time. I want to be the best I can be.”
Palmer thought he had levelled the game on Tuesday until the keeper managed to get up and get his hands to it to tip the ball over.
He said: “I snapped at it with my left foot. I didn’t have a lot of time as players were coming at me from all angles. I thought it was going in but it’s just one of those things.
“The boys put in a really good shift and, if we’d taken our chances on the day, we would definitely have got a lot more out of it.
“Bristol Rovers will be a tough match, we all know that. They will see we’ve just lost two games and will be hoping to come here and take advantage, thinking we are on a bit of a downhill slope at the moment. But it’s just a blip.”
Riley ready for Rovers test
Defender Martin Riley hopes our team can return to winning ways when we lock horns with Bristol Rovers at One Call Stadium tomorrow.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/riley-ready-for-rovers-test-1110250.aspx?#kr64J8LBD3F8ec6U.99
The 26-year-old, who has recently served a three-match suspension, returned to our starting line-up in our loss to Chesterfield in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy in midweek.
“It was a bad result and a bad performance last Saturday (against Hartlepool United), so we’ve got to get back to winning ways,” said Riley.
“I hope we put that right on Tuesday night (against Chesterfield).
“We didn’t win but I thought we played well. We were pretty decent at the back. It was a soft goal to concede but I was fairly happy with the game.
“If we perform like that again on Saturday, I’m sure we’ll get a result.”
Riley continued: “It was a long three-and-a-half week suspension, with no midweek games. It dragged on, so I was buzzing to be back out there.
“I was gutted to miss the first game at Chesterfield, but there wasn’t much I could do. Tuesday was a spicy affair to say the least. I was gutted to lose, but I’m glad I experienced it.”
Riley is also confident that our team can finish in the upper echelons of the Sky Bet League Two table this term, but refused to be drawn on making any predictions.
“At the start of the season, some fans said that just to stay in League Two would be an achievement,” added the centre-back.
“But, as a group of players, we think we are a lot better than that. It has showed in the first 10 games that we are a lot better than just staying up. That would be an under-achievement.
“We haven’t set any targets, but we would like to stay where we are now, and I think we have got the squad to do it.”
“We just want to win every game we play in. Everyone could tell we want to win on Tuesday night. It’s important now that we put in a good performance on Saturday.”
Stags defender Riley happy to be back in from the cold
Key defender Martin Riley was a happy man after a suspension lasting almost a month ended this week and he made his Mansfield Town playing return in Tuesday’s home Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat by Chesterfield.
And, as he prepared to face Bristol Rovers in League Two action at One Call Stadium tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm), Riley was quietly confident that Stags will be competing at the right end of the table this season.
“It was a long three and a half weeks with no Tuesday games. It dragged on. So I was buzzing to be back out there,” he smiled.
“I thought we played well. We were pretty decent at the back. It was a soft goal to concede but I was fairly happy with the game.
“I was gutted to miss the first game at Chesterfield, but there wasn’t much I could do.
“Tuesday was a spicy affair to say the least and I was gutted to lose. But I am glad I experienced it.”
Riley suffered a series of elbows to the face and head in the early games before an elbow off the ball by York City’s Richard Cresswell finally made him see red at Bootham Crescent and he followed Cresswell down the tunnel for retaliation.
Said Riley: “There seems to be something about me that people want to elbow me. Maybe I get under their skin?
“I had taken an elbow the game before, stayed down and their player was sent off. If I had done that at York I think the same result would have happened. But something went off in my head and I lost my cool There was a bit of afters and he sent us both off.
“At the time I didn’t really think I’d done anything. But when I spoke to the referee afterwards and saw the replay I did raise my hands and grabbed him or whatever.
“It’s easy to say you shouldn’t react. But it’s hard in the heat of the game.
“The ball was nowhere near us at the time and that’s the reason I lost my cool. He’s really tried to do me. It’s not like me, I am normally the coolest one on the pitch to be honest. But something happened that made me lose my head.”
Riley refused to make any predictions about where this Stags side could end up this season but said early targets of just staying up would be seen as an underachievement by the players.
He explained: “I know some fans were saying at the start of the season that just to stay in this league would be an achievement. But, as a group of players, we think we are a lot better than that. It has showed in the first 10 games that we are a lot better than just staying up. That would be an under-achievement.
“We haven’t set any targets. But we would like to stay where we are now - and I think we have got the squad to do it.
“We just want to win every game we play in. Everyone could tell we want to win on Tuesday night. It’s important now that we are back at it on Saturday.
“We have got to get back to winning ways. It was a bad result and a bad performance last Saturday. I hope that we put that right on Tuesday night. We didn’t win but the performance from the boys was brilliant. If we do that again on Saturday I am sure we’ll get a result.”
WARD - WE HAVE TO BE READY FOR A BATTLE
10th October 2013
Manager on Saturday's game
Read more at http://www.bristolrovers.co.uk/news/article/ward-on-mansfield-1108098.aspx?#duBMFCr2S2srT5Rv.99
John Ward will be without a number of players for this Saturday’s trip to Mansfield, but the manager sees this as a chance for other people to step up.
Ellis Harrison and Seanan Clucas are away on international duty, while Matt Harrold and Mark McChrystal could miss the game with injuries.
John said: “Ellis and Seanan are away with their under 21 teams, which is great for them and good for the football club, but we could do with them at Mansfield.
“Tom Lockyer should be available, he us on stand-by for Wales, but they have not called him up, and I have my fingers crossed they don’t do that.
“Mark McChrystal has tendonitis of the knee and will need three to six weeks rest.
“I am going to speak with him today to see if there is one more game left in him, as we could do with that if we could get him out there. But there is no way I will risk his career or his fitness to do that.
“Mark epitomises what we are trying to get throughout the squad, and if he is fit and able to play I am sure he will be out there, he is a good person to have around.
“Matt Harrold is struggling with a groin injury, and he is unhappy with it, so he is a doubt for Saturday
“If he is not able to play then we have to go without him and move on with the boys who are available to play.”
The manager will also be without Garry Kenneth, but Matt Gill is available if called upon.
John said: “Garry joined in the training session on Monday but he couldn’t finish the session because he is injured again.
“Matt Gill is fit and well, the possibility of him going out on loan is still available to him, and we will see what develops.
“If he is required on Saturday, which he may be, to be in the squad, he will do that.
“He is a really good pro, we will help him as much as we can and if he is required at Bristol Rovers, he will do the same for us.”
The manager believes his side will be in for a tough battle, after Mansfield attempt to bounce back after two defeats at home.
He said: “We are training well it has been a good week. It will be a tough one; they have just lost two at home, and some people might look at that and think they move another one, but you don’t often do that.
“They will be annoyed at their couple of defeats, and looking to take it out on us, so we have to be prepared for that.
“The whole league is full of mixed results, and we have to go there and tighten our game a little bit and make sure we are in for a battle, and we have to be strong.”
And John is keen to take the positives from last Saturday’s performance, despite the disappointing result.
He said: “Football is full of ifs and buts, but it is results that count. We did put in a good performance, but it gets changes by the two late goals against us.
“We have got to remind the players that for a large part of that game and stayed with it.
“We have got to stay with it, keep the confidence of the players as high as we can, and if we can go and get a result at Mansfield it will take us on.”
For the full interview visit Gas Player.
Latest | October 2013