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Archived News from October 2013

STAGS SIGN JACK BLAKE/BUT NOT STEVE JENNINGS
23rd October 2013 14:03


Stags sign Blake on loan
mansfieldtown.net, 10:00am 19th October 2013
We are pleased to announce that midfielder Jack Blake has joined us on a one-month loan from Nottingham Forest.

http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/stags-sign-blake-on-loan-1121227.aspx?

The 19-year-old has been a prominent figure in Forest’s development squad this term, and is a creative, skilful and ball-playing midfielder.

Blake also helped his parent club reach the Semi-Final of the FA Youth Cup in the 2012/13 campaign, where they narrowly lost on penalties to Norwich.

“I’m really looking forward to the opportunity of playing in League Two,” said the youngster.

“There’s nothing like playing first team football and for Mansfield to give me this opportunity is excellent for me. I understand that I have to work my way into the team and earn the respect of the other players here.”

Blake, whose transfer was confirmed this morning, could make his professional debut for us later this afternoon when we visit Torquay United.

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Video interview with Paul Cox for StagsPlayer subscribers:
http://www.player.mansfieldtown.net/latest-news/article/3499443/date/20131017121800/page/0/name/Video:-Cox-previews-Torquay-encounter

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Cox looks to strengthen midfield options
mansfieldtown.net, 17th October 2013

Manager Paul Cox has revealed that he is interested in signing Nottingham Forest youngster Jack Blake on loan.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-looks-to-strengthen-midfield-options-1118226.aspx#Ry0MhA625dQE4Arl.99

Our boss, who was speaking during his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Torquay United, is keen to strengthen our midfield options.

“(Jack Blake) is a very good young player, who is tremendous on the ball,” said Cox.

“We’ve spoken to (Nottingham) Forest and we’re hoping to get something done, but at this minute nothing has been finalised.”

Cox was also pleased with the performance of our reserve side in their clash at Hull City earlier this week, but has decided not to pursue his interest in trialist Steve Jennings.

Jennings, who was sent-off for a second bookable offence in the latter stages of the 2-1 loss, featured in central midfield alongside Godfrey Poku.

“Steve has been in training this week, but we won’t be taking things any further, more so because Godfrey Poku’s performance on Tuesday was excellent,” said Cox.

“We came up against a really strong team, yet we finished the game with three youngsters at the back, alongside John McCombe.

“I thought that we were a bit unlucky and we had some great chances to win.”

Nevertheless, Paul Black (ankle) and Ryan Tafazolli (knee) are both expected to miss the trip to Torquay, because of injuries they sustained during the match in East Yorkshire.

Cox added: “It was a really good game for us. We acquitted ourselves really well, but came out with a few knocks. Paul Black and ‘Tafaz’ have both been doing well, so it’s a bit unfortunate for them.”

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Hot Forest prospect Jack Blake is new midfield target for Stags manager Paul Cox
chad.co.uk, 17 October 2013

Nottingham Forest’s hot teenage midfield prospect Jack Blake is Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox’s new loan target ahead of Saturday’s arduous trip to Torquay United.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/hot-forest-prospect-jack-blake-is-new-midfield-target-for-stags-manager-paul-cox-1-6157860

Cox said today that he will not be pursuing his interest in ex-Coventry City central midfielder Steve Jennings, who was sent off while on trial in the reserves in midweek.

But, needing a spark of creativity in the middle, he now sees the 19-year-old, who has won international caps for Scotland U19s, as a possible solution.

“I would like to think we can get something done there,” said Cox. “I have spoken to Forest and we’ll have to see what happens.

“Jack is a very good young player and tremendous on the ball. At this moment, though, nothing is finalised.”

Cox admitted his side were missing the injured Chris Clements in that role, and he was delighted to see Clements back running this week.

Steve Jennings was rumoured to be coming in to bridge that gap, but Cox said today: “He has been in training with us this week, but I don’t think we will be following that one up.”

Another player in the frame for a game at Torquay, should Blake not sign, is Godfrey Poku.

The former Luton Town player has failed to win a first team place since signing a two-year deal in the summer of 2012, but was on the bench last weekend.

“Godfrey’s performance in the reserves at Hull was once again excellent,” said Cox. “He is also doing well in training, though we are still looking to strengthen that position.

“Godfrey is pushing and working hard. The door is still open for him. Last season it was Luke Jones who came in from the cold. I will never turn my back on anyone if they want to play for this football club and want to do well.”

Paul Black and Ryan Tafazolli both picked up knocks in the reserves’ 2-1 defeat at Hull and will not be involved in the squad for the weekend.

But Jamie McGuire is back from suspension and almost certain to go straight back into the team.

“We will train and then head down to Torquay on Friday so we can relax,” he said. “It is a long way. But Torquay and Plymouth have to make journeys like this every other week so there are no excuses on our part.”

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Nottingham Forest youngster Jack Blake targeted by Mansfield Town
By Nottingham Post, October 17, 2013

NOTTINGHAM Forest's highly-rated young midfielder Jack Blake could be on his way to Mansfield Town on loan.

The Stags might even be able to push a deal for the Scotland Under 19 international through before their League Two clash at Torquay United on Saturday.

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Nottingham-Forest-youngster-Jack-Blake-targeted/story-19949112-detail/story.html#ixzz2i05FjYm0

Town boss Paul Cox said: “I would like to think we can get something done there.

“I have spoken to Forest and we’ll have to see what happens.

“Jack is a very good player and tremendous on the ball. At the moment though, nothing is finalised.”

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16 Oct 2013

twitter @SkySportsPeteO
Nottingham Forest midfielder Jack Blake set to join Mansfield on loan. #nffc #stags

twitter Peter Blackburn ?@petermblackburn (Nottm Post)
Delighted to hear Jack Blake could be on his way to #Stags - a talented boy and could do with some first team football in a good side. #nffc
Blake's got real potential. He's a classy central midfielder with a good engine. All the attributes to be a decent pro. #nffc #stags

Jack Blake details:
DOB: 22/09/1994
First team appearances: one unused sub (vs Peterborough, Jan 2013)
Nationality: Scottish

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Stags boss Cox planning showdown meeting with assistant Murray tomorrow
chad.co.uk, 17 October 2013

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox and assistant Adam Murray will have a showdown meeting tomorrow to sort their differences ahead of Stags’ long haul down to Torquay United.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/stags-boss-cox-planning-showdown-meeting-with-assistant-murray-tomorrow-1-6157510?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

The pair have entered into a war of words in the press over the past week with Murray, currently on loan at neighbours Rainworth MW, claiming Cox wanted him out of the club and upset that he felt his manager had made comments questioning his character.

Cox, in turn, has said he didn’t force Murray out on loan and had not been told anything about his assistant getting involved with coaching at Rainworth’s proposed new U19 scholarship scheme.

Their public spat has taken centre stage this week and Cox admitted: “It’s one of those. I would rather start answering questions about football that a situation that for me is irrelevant.

“From my point of view there is no row rumbling on. I will meet with Adam tomorrow and see if we can get this sorted.

“It’s been needed to get sorted for a while now if I am honest and hopefully that will be tomorrow.”

Mansfield will then head off for an overnight hotel stay in Torquay ahead of their League Two game at Plainmoor on Saturday.

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Dempster: Preparation is key
mansfieldtown.net, 17th October 2013

Defender John Dempster is pleased with how preparations are going ahead of our Sky Bet League Two match at Torquay United this weekend.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/dempster-preparation-is-key-1118665.aspx#1Zy1tB89KYTDCOOk.99

Our side, who currently sit in seventh position, are set to make the gruelling 245-mile trek to Torquay tomorrow, before staying overnight in the English Riviera.

Nevertheless, Dempster insists that long journeys are just ‘part and parcel’ of the game.

He said: “We’re fortunate that we have got a chairman willing to put us up in a decent hotel, a good bus to travel down on, so there are no excuses on our behalf.

“The coach journey isn’t exciting as you might think. It’s a bit of a ‘chill out’ journey, where you can get your feet up and relax.

“Generally, journeys go pretty quick. There’s a poker school that goes on, one or two of the lads tend to listen to music and some of us just read a book.”

The clash at Plainmoor promises to be an intriguing affair, as Alan Knill’s Torquay side have won just one of their five matches on home soil so far this term.

By contrast, our team have registered 10 points from their last four away trips, and haven’t lost away from home in league action since the opening day of the campaign.

“So far this season, we’ve been half-decent on the road and we’ll look to continue that,” said Dempster.

“Torquay is a tough place to go, so a point wouldn’t be a bad result, but we want to go there and try to collect all three.

“Torquay know the majority of clubs they play have either had a long journey, or stayed overnight in a hotel, so they’ll probably try and use that to their advantage.”

On assessing our season so far, which has seen us win five of our first 11 matches in Sky Bet League Two, the 30-year-old added: “It’s been very positive, but we’ve got to remember where we’ve come from.

“We were a Conference (Premier) side last year and there are a lot of decent ex-Football League clubs, still trying their best to get out of that league.

“We’ve achieved that goal and are now trying to establish ourselves at a higher level.

“I think that we’ve done well over the period of time we’ve been back in the Football League, but we’re looking to ‘kick on’ again now.

“We’ve had a couple of disappointing performances at home against Hartlepool United and Bristol Rovers, so it’s important that we bounce back and get to standards that we set earlier in the season.”

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Dempster bracing himself for Stags’ gruelling trip to Torquay
chad.co.uk

John Dempster and the rest of the Mansfield Town squad were this morning bracing themselves for the gruelling coach journey down to the South Coast for an overnight stay ahead of Stags’ League two clash at Torquay United tomorrow.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/dempster-bracing-himself-for-stags-gruelling-trip-to-torquay-1-6158290?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

“You have to have a bit of a chill-out journey. It is a long way and you have to get your feet up and relax,” said Dempster.

“It’s all part and parcel of the game. It’s a long trip but so far we have been half-decent on the road and we’d like to continue that.

“Torquay is a tough place to go and a point would be a good result there, though we’d like to collect all three if possible.

“For the majority of clubs going there, it’s a long journey or teams will have had a night in a hotel and Torquay will always want to take advantage of that.

“We are fortunate we have a chairman who puts us up in decent hotels and gives us a nice bus to travel down in. So there are no excuses.”

He added: “The journey down is not as exciting as you think. There is a little poker school that goes on and one or two tend to listen to music.

“Two or three of them that can read might read a book.

“I tend to stick my head in a book or have a chat with one or two of the players and it generally seems to go pretty quickly.

“I might borrow a book off Ritchie Sutton as there are one or two he rates at the moment. They are probably junior school books, though - Roger Red Hat!”

After a week in which they failed to win any of three home games, the Stags now have two games in four days away to sides at the wrong end of the table.

But just two defeats in the first 10 games and a place in the play-off positions have convinced Dempster Stags can make an impact this season if they keep their feet on the ground.

“It’s all been very positive so far,” he said. “But we have got to remember where we have come from.

“We were a Conference side last year and there a lot of ex-League clubs still down there trying to get out. It is a very hard goal to achieve. The club is back where it belongs in the League, no doubt about that.

“Now we are trying to establish ourselves in League Two and I think we’ve done well so far. Now we are looking to kick on again.

“We have had a couple of disappointing results at home. But we are a new team at this level and our performance levels will drop from time to time. It’s important to bounce back.

“This is an important little period for us over the next three, four, five games and, if we can collect a good number of points from this next batch of games we will be right in the mix where we want to be.

“It is great that some of our fans are making a weekend of it at Torquay. It’s a lovely part of the country but a long way down and to reward them with three points for their long journey would be fantastic.”

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Sutton happy to stay in Stags side after serious injury scare
chad.co.uk

The sight of defender Ritchie Sutton back in a Mansfield Town shirt last weekend just four days after being stretchered off during the Chesterfield game was both welcome and a big surprise last Saturday.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/sutton-happy-to-stay-in-stags-side-after-serious-injury-scare-1-6158270

Sutton was warmly applauded from the field on the Tuesday night by both sets of fans and players with heavy strapping around his face and neck suggesting a serious injury after 12 worrying minutes down on the turf.

But, thankfully, doctors said Sutton had escaped with just concussion from his heavy collision with keeper Alan Marriott and the player wasn’t about to give up his place in the side without a fight.

Ahead of tomorrow’s game at Torquay United, Sutton said: “I was happy to play.

“I spoke to the gaffer a few times before and it felt right. I had been in a good run of form and didn’t want it to end with a situation like that.

“I think it looked worse than it was. My wife was scared by some of the messages she was getting as someone thought I had a broken neck.

“I was blacking out and stuff so they had to take precautions. But I just had a couple of days off and felt fine.

“I think he (Marriott) took three of us out! The ball was in the air a long time and he made the decision to come. I didn’t know and I had to make the challenge and couldn’t pull out. But no one was at fault.

“It was a weird feeling. I had never been in that position before. Things just kept going black, though I was conscious and knew what was going on. I thought the floodlights had gone out at one point and that’s when they made the decision to take me off.

“I was a bit groggy afterwards and Rheady (Matt Rhead) looked after me and carried my bag.

“The supporters were brilliant. I can remember them cheering and I think I doubled my Twitter followers from that situation, so it’s nice to know everyone was so concerned about me.”

However, Sutton’s return saw Stags held 1-1 by Bristol Rovers after a late Pirates equaliser.

“I think a lethargic performance sums it up. But at 1-0 up I never thought we would concede,” he said.

“Even though we were under a lot of pressure and they were creating a lot of chances, I thought it was one of those games where we didn’t play well but still picked up three points.

“When their goal came it was a bit of a fluke. If Keiran (Murtagh) had not touched it then Mazza (keeper Alan Marriott) would have lapped it up. Keiran was unlucky. It could have been anyone making that challenge - and it was a challenge that had to be made.

“The two Chesterfield games were close together and took a lot of energy out of us, but there are no excuses. We felt good and we had fresh legs.

“Conditions were difficult and we never really got going. We have to put it down as a lesson learned and move on from that.”

Now Mansfield face trips to early strugglers Torquay and then Bury on Tuesday and Sutton added: “We now have two away games against teams down there and, having dropped points at home, I think the pressure is off a bit away from the home crowd.

“I feel confident we can pick up some good points in these next two games.

“I have played at Torquay before when I was at Stafford so I know what to expect. They are a good team and a good club so we will have to be on our game.

“I think we have been exceeding everyone’s expectations. But we know what good players we have got here and we set the bar very high.

“We are not looking to finish mid-table. There are more chances up for grabs this season with three up and then four in the play-offs and, now we have weighed the league up, we think we have more then enough here.”

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CHOOSE THE RIGHT ENGINE
Posted: Thu 17 Oct 2013
McCourt Adds to Manager's Options
THE arrival of Jak McCourt on loan from Leicester has added a new dimension to the United midfield.
Manager Alan Knill now has a decent number of options in that crucial area of the pitch and when Ben Harding returns to full fitness, the choice becomes even wider.
‘’We took Jak from Leicester and he came on against Wycombe last Saturday, and did pretty well,” said Alan. “He adds to what we already have in midfield.
“We’ve also got Nathan Craig, Damon Lathrope and Lee Mansell, so we’re ok in central midfield. It’s just a case of picking who will play.
“I would say that if you bring somebody in, you bring them in to play. I don’t need people sat on the bench, I need them to play.
“First of all, they have to come in and prove in training that they’re good enough. You then make the decision but I’ve told every club we’ve spoken to that we bring people in to make us better.
“Ben is not fit yet. He had an injection in the bottom of his foot yesterday and he’s sore today, which is what we expected. He will hopefully be a lot better tomorrow but we can’t see him figuring on Saturday against Mansfield.”

Read more at http://www.torquayunited.com/news/article/choose-the-right-engine-1119420.aspx#uLIpLjZ0iuREkm25.99

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York City loan star Luke O’Neill fired-up to satisfy Championship football ambition
http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/sport/10744660.York_City_loan_star_fired_up_to_satisfy_Championship_football_ambition/

Thursday 17th October 2013
By Dave Flett, Sports reporter

ON-LOAN right-back Luke O’Neill is hoping his move to York City will help him to realise his ambition of playing regular Championship football.

The 22-year-old defender has been frustrated in his attempts to break into table-topping Burnley’s first team since a 2012 move from Mansfield, due to the form of highly rated ex-Manchester City trainee Keiran Trippier.

Even Minstermen chief Nigel Worthington raved about Trippier’s performance during the Clarets’ 4-0 Capital One Cup victory at Bootham Crescent earlier this season and O’Neill, who once played alongside Jack Wilshere and Jack Rodwell for England Under-17s, has only managed one minute of League football during 16 months at Turf Moor.

Having also only played one 45-minute half in the Championship during three years on the books at first club Leicester before dropping into Conference football with Mansfield, O’Neill is determined to still be a success in Lancashire but is pleased the Minstermen have given him a chance to prove his worth.

He said: “Burnley are flying and I am glad because I want to be a part of that as well but Keiran Trippier is a quality player and he’s showing that at the moment. I feel I’ve been doing well too though and, at 22, I just need to play games.

“The gaffer told me I could go out on loan but I would like to think if Trippier was to get injured then I would be called upon, so I have to make sure I am ready if that happens.”

...
Fletcher and O’Neill played regularly together for Burnley’s reserves last season and the latter admitted his old team-mate was a factor in his decision to move to North Yorkshire, along with the lure of playing under former Northern Ireland boss Worthington.

“Wes rang me to say that York were interested and told me it was a great club so he played a part in me coming here but so did the gaffer because he’s obviously well-known in the game,” O’Neill revealed.

“I know Chambo (Ashley Chambers) as well from Leicester so there are a few familiar faces here which helps.

“Mansfield were also interested but I just decided to come to York and play games instead. I already feel a part of the group here and want to help the club push on now.”

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Latest | October 2013