COX, STEVENSON AND JOHN WARD REACTION
video interviews with Cox and Stevenson for StagsPlayer subscribers:
Cox: We can do better
mansfieldtown.net 12th October 2013
Manager Paul Cox has insisted that our team ‘can do better’, following today’s 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers at One Call Stadium.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-we-can-do-better-1111137.aspx?#673qlErBKbVozMeG.99
Lee Stevenson’s first goal in The Football League put us ahead, but Keiran Murtagh’s own goal in the closing stages saw the visitors earn a deserved point.
“I thought it was a lethargic display and our mentality was all wrong” said Cox. “We probably scored at the right time, but then we took our foot off the pedal.
“The game was too open and it was too spread out. If you don’t pay the game respect, then you don’t get anything out of it.
“When they scored their equaliser, we took it up 20% and started to play. I’ve told the lads that they can’t just play for the last 10 minutes and expect to win a football match.
“The conditions were the same for both sides, and it’d have probably been an unfair result if we had won 1-0.”
Cox continued: “To give the lads credit I think they put a lot into Tuesday night‘s match, but there was a little bit of stiffness and tiredness in our performance.
“We need to raise standards now. There is a lot of people who have given us pats on the back, but I thought that [performance] wasn’t good enough today.”
“Bristol Rovers aren’t a bad side. We don’t want to take anything away from them, because I thought they worked extremely hard and earned a deserved point.
“We were immense on Tuesday, but were lacking today in our mindset. I’ve told the boys to go home, enjoy their weekend and come back on Monday.
“We need to get back to doing what we’re good at, rather than trying to impress people.”
Cox blames tiredness on lethargic Stags performance in 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers
Manager Paul Cox felt his Mansfield Town side looked lethargic in today’s 1-1 home draw with Bristol Rovers, and partly blamed the exertions of the midweek derby clash with neighbours Chesterfield.
“I think that was two points dropped and I thought that was a lethargic display from us. You want to be on the front foot at home,” he said.
“We probably scored at the right time but then took our foot off the pedal.
“It was only when they scored that we started to play again and show the power, pace and passion I wanted. It was too little, too late.
“To give my players some credit, they were immense on Tuesday against Chesterfield.
“But, like the League game, I think it took a lot out of them and there was a bit of stiffness and tiredness out there.
“Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I did have players in my squad who could have come in with fresh legs. But I am a loyal person and I thought their performance on Tuesday warranted them staying in the side.
“I have told them to go home, enjoy their weekend and come back in on Monday ready to get back on track.
“We need to stop trying to impress people and get back to what we are good at which wins football matches. I have told them not to be so conformist in trying to please everyone.
“That wasn’t good enough today. That wasn’t us.
“Take nothing away from Bristol Rovers, they are not bad, worked extremely hard and came away with a deserved point. It would probably have been unfair on Rovers if we had gone on and won the game.
“We were off the pace and our mindset was all wrong The game was too open.”
“I am extremely pleased and never less than proud of my players. They worked extremely hard as they always do,” said relieved Rovers boss John Ward.
“We fully deserved to get something out of it, we deserved to win it. We have just got to work harder to win it when we are on top.
“There was a bit more noise from the home dressing room at the end than from ours which tells you more about the game than I can say. They were more disappointed than us.
“We passed the ball well and moved the ball well which we are sometimes accused of not doing.?“We started off really well against a team who have started the season on fire.
“For their goal Steve (Mildenhall) shouted ‘mine’ but didn’t claim it. Their guy has nipped in and it was a good header from their point of view.
“Then we had got it all to do. But we stayed positive to the end instead of getting edgy.
“The Mansfield supporters knew we deserved a point. One of them shouted ‘well done’ to me at the end which must have hurt him and says more than me bragging about my team.
“That was as young a back four that Bristol Rovers have ever fielded, so great credit to them. I hope I can get them a bit of support but we are still stuck with this wage cap.”
Stevenson happy with first league goal
mansfieldtown.net 12th October 2013 by Tom Lawler
Midfielder Lee Stevenson was pleased to score his first ever goal in The Football League, despite feeling disappointed with our 1-1 draw at home to Bristol Rovers this afternoon.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/stevenson-happy-with-first-league-goal-1111195.aspx?#TgvKEhlJh6JeJ3QF.99
The 29-year-old headed our team infront midway through the first half, before a late own goal by Keiran Murtagh earned the visitors a point.
Although our team missed out on all three points, Stevenson had much praise for team-mate Calvin Andrew, who provided our assist
“It was tough conditions today,” said Stevenson. “The ball slipped from under our feet a few times. The weather just seemed to get worse and worse as the game went on.
“Only drawing feels like a bit of a defeat to be honest.
“We were leading for a long time, and we know teams are going to come here and get at us, so it’s just one of those things.
“I really enjoyed my goal. Obviously it was my first goal (in The Football League) - I thought I would have to wait 10 years. It’s nice to get off the mark.
“I passed the ball out wide to Calvin [Andrew] and ran into the box. He’s put in a world class ball into the area and I didn’t have to do much.
“For me, Calvin is a little bit of a mix between Matt Green and Matt Rhead, because he wins his headers and runs in behind defenders.
“We do complement each other well. I thought we played well together on Tuesday night against Chesterfield and obviously the manager has gone with us again today.”
Meanwhile, Stevenson believes our players worked extremely hard against a Bristol Rovers side, who he is tipping to do well in Sky Bet League Two this season.
Stevenson added: “We all worked hard. We don’t mean to go out there and be lethargic. All the ground was flat today to be honest it was just one of those things.
“I think Bristol Rovers are in a bit of a false position. I didn’t realise how far down the league they were. On that performance they will certainly climb up the table.”
‘We feel like we lost’, says Lee Stevenson after Mansfield draw with Bristol Rovers
chad.co.uk by Stephen Thirkill
Mansfield Town midfielder Lee Stevenson says yesterday’s 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers felt like a defeat.
Stevenson scored his first ever goal in the Football League with a sweet first half header, but it was not enough to earn maximum points for Stags.
Dominant Bristol Rovers, who bossed most of the game with some neat passing and attacking football, levelled seven minutes from time after Keiran Murtagh sliced through his own net.
Speaking after the game a disappointed Stevenson said: “It was disappointing to be held to a point, we feel like we have been beaten.
“It was a slippy pitch today and wet conditions, but it is all about grinding out results at this time of the year.
“Bristol Rovers are a club in a false position, they will climb the table.
“I am obviously pleased to have got my first Football League goal, I really enjoyed it.
“I just got into the box and got on the end of the cross. It was a great cross from Calvin Andrew,I didn’t have to do a lot at all with the header.
“He reminds me of a mix between Matt Rhead and Matt Green, he is a great player for us.”
Bristol Rovers wasted a number of good chances throughout the game to seal all three points as a mixture of poor finishing, heroic last-ditch defending and solid defending cost them.
Stevenson also had praise for shot-stopper Alan Marriott, who picked up the sponsors man-of-the-match award.
“Alan Marriott is the best goalkeepers I have ever played with. He kept us in the game and got us a point today,” he said.
The draw leaves Stags, who face a long trek to Torquay next Saturday, seventh in the League Two table.
MANAGER ON MANSFIELD
Read more at http://www.bristolrovers.co.uk/news/article/manager-on-mansfield-1111393.aspx?#YwMlvz4FREJ59RUj.99
post match thoughts of the John Ward
Manager John Ward was pleased with the way his side gained a deserved point at Mansfield this afternoon.
Rovers dominated proceedings against the home side, but still had to come from behind to earn a point.
The goal came from a deflected Alefe Santos shot seven minutes from time and was no more that Ward’s side deserved after their best 90 minute display this season.
“I’m extremely pleased and I’m never less than proud of my players because they work exceptionally hard even on days when they lose.
“I have never queried their commitment and approach to games or the way they go about their job.
“I thought we fully deserved to take something from the game today and I’m really pleased with how we went about our job.
“Our dressing room was right next to the Mansfield one and I can tell you that they were very disappointed with the way they played whereas I’m pleased with how we went about the game.”
There were a number of aspects that pleased the manager.
“Our passing and movement was excellent on a terrific surface even though there are times we are accused of not doing that. We started the game in a really good frame of mind and we improved the quality of our play in the opening ten minutes and sustained it.
“Apart from the goal and one save he made in the second half our goalkeeper was seldom troubled and that was against a side that started the season on fire, so fair play to my team.”
Until Mansfield scored Rovers had been on top and the manager realised it would then be a test of character for his side and it was one they passed with flying colours.
“We had it all to do, because we had been on top until the point at which they scored.
“However we dealt with it extremely well and stayed very positive and played some very good football.”
Although it might well go down as an own goal, Santos was initially credited with the equaliser.
‘Of course it’s Alefe’s goal. He has got that in him, but it’s a case of managing him at the moment. He does have the ability to change a game in the last twenty minutes or so and fair play to him and to Pat Keary
who have been waiting for opportunities like this.”
With defender Lee Brown leaving the pitch with a suspected hamstring injury, the manager confirmed that Andy Bond will return to Colchester following his loan spell and that he will now be searching to bring another player in on loan to help cover the defensive positions.
“Andy has worked hard for the team, but the wage cap means I have to look to cover another position.”
Pat Keary, who made his debut when replacing Brown, impressed on his first senior outing.
“He’s just getting a hug from his team mates in the dressing room and he was part of what was probably the youngest back four Rovers have fielded in a while.”
Bristol Rovers boss John Ward aiming to bolster his defence
The Bristol Post
BRISTOL Rovers boss John Ward looks set to enter the loan market this week after Lee Brown suffered a hamstring strain in the 1-1 draw at Mansfield Town on Saturday.
Brown left the field of play soon after Mansfield midfielder Lee Stevenson had scored the opening goal and was replaced by debutant Pat Keary, who produced a competent display alongside Tom Parkes on his senior debut.
Alefe Santos is congratulated for scoring Bristol Rovers' equaliser at the weekend
Ward, however, already has one 18-year-old in Tom Lockyer playing in his back four, and the absence of Mark McChrystal and now Brown will persuade him to send loan midfielder Andy Bond back to Colchester United in an attempt to free up some money to bolster his defence with an experienced campaigner.
Ward said: "We'll be looking to get a bit of support in to help us out if we can do it this week.
"We are hindered by the wage-cap business, but we will try to address the issue if we can.
"I can probably do one by sending Andy Bond back to Colchester to free up a wage to use elsewhere in the team.
"Mark McChrystal is struggling and now my left-back (Lee Brown) is as well and we don't have any natural cover for those guys.
"Andy has worked hard for the team, but I can't keep him if I want to bring someone else in. That is where we are at the moment and I have to go with that."
Ward believes his players deserved more than a point for their efforts after watching young winger Alefe Santos plunder an 84th-minute equaliser.
Rovers looked to be heading for another defeat at the One Call Stadium following Stevenson's opening goal for Mansfield, against the run of play in the first-half.
Ward said: "I'm extremely pleased. I'm never less than proud of my players because they work exceptionally hard, even on days they get beat.
"I've never queried their approach, even if some days they play better than they do on others. They are always a pleasure to work with because of the way they go about the job.
"We are a bit disappointed because I think we fully deserved to win the game. We just have to find that little bit extra to turn these types of situations into wins.
"It was frustrating that they managed to score their first goal against the run of play, but what was important for me was the way we responded to that disappointment.
"We stayed pretty positive and we played some very good quality football.
"We sometimes get accused of an inability to move the ball, but I thought we passed it extremely well on this occasion. We started in a good frame of mind and managed to sustain it.
"Steve Mildenhall has had to make a couple of vital saves, but other than that I think we dealt very well with a side that has started the season on fire."
Ward, meanwhile, had words of praise for youngsters Santos and Keary for their contributions to an impressive team performance.
Ward said: "Alefe has got that game-changing ability about him.
"We threw him in against Dagenham a few weeks ago and he wasn't ready, so we've had to take him out again since then.
"People would probably like to see him more often, but it just isn't possible for a young lad of 18, who is nine-and-a-half-stone when wet through, to play like that week-in and week-out.
"I have to man-manage him, but Alefe is someone that comes into your thinking when you are looking around for someone who can come on and make an impact."
On Keary, Ward added: "He did well when he came on and was part of what was probably one of the youngest back fours ever to play for Bristol Rovers."
Read more: http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/story-19929438-detail/story.html?#ixzz2hgSG8FCF
Our confidence is returning says Bristol Rovers' Ollie Clarke
The Bristol Post
MIDFIELDER Ollie Clarke says last weekend's performance at Mansfield Town offered Bristol Rovers a timely confidence boost.
Rovers produced their best performance of the season in a 1-1 draw at Field Mill and Clarke, pictured, said: "We were at a stage where we needed a confidence-booster and that performance has given us that.
"It is important we try to build on that when we play Wycombe on Saturday, at the start of a week in which we have an opportunity to pick up a few points with three games in seven days."
He added: "We started quite well on Saturday and then suffered a setback when Mansfield scored, but we worked hard to get over it and we dominated for long spells after that.
"The gaffer was pleased with us at half-time, and said he didn't need to add anything to what all of us were saying and thinking we needed to do when we went back out for the second half.
"We moved the ball around pretty well, and I was a bit disappointed not to take one of the chances I had early on. We had about 15 shots and were close to scoring on a few of those occasions. We need to be a bit more clinical or ruthless and, perhaps, have that little bit of luck you need to bobble a few goals in here and there."
Clarke was playing his first game of the season after hamstring and knee problems.
"The gaffer asked me on Friday if I fancied a game," said Clarke. "It has been a long-time coming and I was pleased to get through 90 minutes. I felt we played quite well and it was good to get a point, even though I felt we probably deserved to win the game.
"I thought I would try to ease my way back into it and not get to caught up in the game. I withdrew myself a bit in the first-half, but I felt I came into it more after the break."
Clarke was one of five players to finish the game on Saturday to have come through Rovers' youth set-up. Defender Pat Keary was handed a senior debut when called on to replace Lee Brown in the first-half, while Alefe Santos arrived as a second-half substitute to plunder a late equaliser.
Welsh duo Eliot Richards and Tom Lockyer completed the set, and Clarke said: "That is credit to the club for their commitment to the youth system and credit to the gaffer for showing faith in us."
Read more: http://www.thisisbristol.co.uk/story-19945154-detail/story.html?#ixzz2hy0EKkXR
Latest | October 2013