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Archived News from November 2013

STAGS TRY TO KEEP ALABI/BLAKE COULD BE HEADING OUT
18th November 2013 21:47


Palmer could miss Oxford clash
mansfieldtown.net, 14th November 2013

Striker Ollie Palmer could miss Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two match with Oxford United after suffering a slight hamstring tear.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/palmer-could-miss-oxford-clash-1175007.aspx#MxfqmSApeoqBvUJI.99

Boss Paul Cox confirmed the news at this morning’s press meeting.

He said: “We might be missing Ollie Palmer for the weekend. He’s got a slight strain in his hamstring and we’re going to test him before the weekend.

“It seems to be that when we’ve got a settled side, we don’t get little injuries, we get quite nasty ones.

“But whatever side plays, as long as we show the mindset [as we did at St Albans City] then I’ll be happy, because when we have a good mindset, we don’t lose many games.”

Meanwhile, in more positive news, trio Martin Riley, Ryan Tafazolli and Chris Clements, who has recently spent time at St George’s Park, are all set to return to training tomorrow.

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Lads will embrace tough run - Cox
mansfieldtown.net, 14th November 2013

Manager Paul Cox wants our side to ‘get back to doing what they’re good at’ when second-placed Oxford United visit One Call Stadium on Saturday.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/lads-will-embrace-tough-run-cox-1174963.aspx#d0gH9XTuL1msvhGD.99

Saturday’s home encounter with the U’s starts a tough run of matches in Sky Bet League Two for our side, all of which take place in the next fortnight.

Next Saturday (23 November), we travel to table-topping Fleetwood Town, before we make the shorter journey to the Pirelli Stadium just three days later, to face Burton Albion.

We then face Morecambe, who currently occupy a Play-Off position, at One Call Stadium on Saturday 30 November.

“All of our next four games are big games,” said Cox.

“The quality in this league is consistent. There aren’t any easy games and every team we play will have something about them.

“If you don’t give teams the respect they deserve, you will get punished - it’s as simple as that.

“We’ve travelled very far, very quickly in the last two-and-a-half years and sometimes, when you’re riding on the crest of a wave like we were earlier in the season, it’s very easy to subconsciously take your foot off the pedal.

“We need to get back to [doing] what we’re good at. We did that [last] Saturday and I think the scoreline didn’t reflect the overall game, because St Albans were a decent side.”

Cox continued: “But the pleasing thing is that away from the crowd, the boys have been working extremely hard.

“They’ve never showed any sort of attitude that would worry me. They’ve worked extremely hard every day and our team-spirit is brilliant.

“Every team go through little blips. We know that we’ve got a hard run between now and Christmas, but I’m sure the lads will embrace that.

“A massive thing is that we’ve also got good players coming back now,” added our boss.

“I could have bleated on about how many players we’ve lost through injury and suspensions, but we’ve just got our heads down and got on with it.”

Meanwhile, Cox was pleased with the displays of many players in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Bradford City earlier this week.

The clash, which took place here at One Call Stadium, saw the Bantams won 2-1, but according to Cox was ‘a really good and competitive game’.

He said: “Steve (Parkin, Bradford’s assistant manager) brought a very experienced side here and it was a really tough and competitive game.

“But that’s what I want. You don’t get players sharp and match-fit by wrapping them up in cotton wool. It was a good test for us and it has put the cat amongst the pigeons in terms of [my team selection] for Saturday.”

Finally, our boss revealed that he will be in attendance at Molineux next week, when Wolverhampton Wanderers and Oldham Athletic go head-to-head in their FA Cup with Budweiser First Round replay.

Our side will face the winners of that match in Round Two of the competition.

Cox added: “It’s a game that I’ll be taking in, just to make sure that we do our homework on both teams.

“There was someone at Notts County [to watch their game with Oldham] the other night, as we try and do things right here, to make sure that our preparation is good.

“But before [the FA Cup Second Round] we have some big games, and all we want to do is make sure that we are focussed and our mindset is right for Saturday.”

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Stags skipper Dempster shakes off the rust for return
chad.co.uk, 14/11/2013

Club captain John Dempster this week shook off the rust in a behind-closed-doors friendly as he prepared to return to the Mansfield Town squad after a three-game suspension for Saturday’s visit of high-flying Oxford United (3pm).

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/stags-skipper-dempster-shakes-off-the-rust-for-return-1-6244277

But, after a fine display from the Stags’ defence in last weekend’s 8-1 FA Cup victory at St Albans City, Dempster must wait to see if he walks straight back into the team.

A Stags side were beaten 2-1 by a very strong Bradford City side at One Call Stadium on Tuesday in which Dempster completed the 90 minutes.

Manager Paul Cox said: “Steve Parkin brought an excellent side down and it was a really competitive game, not a friendly.

“It was a full-blooded game which is what I wanted. You don’t get your players match-fit and sharp by wrapping them in cotton wool. Some of them have put the cat among the pigeons for Saturday.

“But I think the boys in the back four were outstanding last Saturday.

“They had to withstand a lot of pressure in the first half and a lot of teams might have given up when they were 1-0 down.

“It’s nice to have options. The side has picked itself of late with the injuries and suspensions.”

Starting a tough run of four games against top seven sides this month, Stags go into the game without a goal in 428 minutes of League football and without a League win in six.

But they did end their overall drought in style last weekend with the eight goals against St Albans and Cox said: “It’s nice to get that monkey off our backs, scoring goals and getting that win.

“I know we have only lost four all season, but it still seems an eternity since we actually won in the League with all the draws.

“The win gives us the right kind of impetus building into Saturday.

“The boys have never shown me any sort of attitude that would worry me. All teams go through this blip.

“Sometimes at this place, if you don’t win every game in succession then everyone seems to be on a downer. But the boys have got an unbelievable team spirit. It was nice to see them put the performance in and get the result as well as scoring a lot of goals.

“They are good players. But it is easy for those little doubts to set in. So last Saturday’s win will do their confidence a power of good.

“They are all big games and we are playing chase with the four sides we’ve got to play.

He added: “It’s a tough run now until Christmas and I think we’ve only got two home games after Saturday.

“But we do have players coming back now. I could have bleated about woe is us with so many injuries and suspensions. We lost more or less the complete spine of the side that started the season. But you just get your head down and hope you come through the other end.

“The quality of this league is consistent. There are no easy games. You can’t take your foot off the gas. You have to give every game the respect it deserves or you get punished. We have come a long way in the last two years and we now need to get back to what we are good at.”

The queue for the treatment table is now diminishing with Chris Clements completing a rehabilitation spell at St George’s Park in Burton today.

“Chris Clements is back training with us tomorrow, which is a massive plus, as are Martin Riley and Ryan Tafazolli,” said Cox.

“But we may lose Ollie Palmer for Saturday with a hamstring injury. We will give him a test before the weekend.”

Stags will also welcome back defender Lee Beevers on Saturday after a one-game ban while Oxford look set to lose skipper and important defender Jake Wright with a hamstring strain.

The visitors are on a roll away from home, winning four and drawing two of their last six games on the road.

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Stags try to keep Alabi, but Blake could be heading out
chad.co.uk, 14/11/2013

Mansfield Town are still hopeful of keeping Stoke City loanee striker James Alabi, possibly until the end of the season, but young on-loan Forest midfielder Jack Blake could be on his way back to the City Ground.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/stags-try-to-keep-alabi-but-blake-could-be-heading-out-1-6244189#.UoTP9d2J27A.twitter

Stags boss Paul Cox is a big fan of Alabi and is trying to find out what Stoke are prepared to let them do with the burly striker, who was sent off early on his debut a fortnight ago.

But, with Chris Clements almost ready for a return, Blake’s chances look to be limited and it is unlikely the loan will be extended after this weekend unless more injuries crop up.

Cox said: “James is back training with us today after a couple of days training with Stoke. Nothing has been agreed as yet. We are still negotiating and talking to Stoke.

“I would like to keep him here, but we have to be respectful he is still a Stoke player.

“I think the boy has an incredible amount of potential. Supporters that travelled down to Southend and saw the 20 minutes he played saw the potential in him. He gives us options.”

Cox left Blake out of the Stags side that won 8-1 at St Albans in the FA Cup last Saturday and said: “Chris Clements is coming back and we have one or two decent footballers in there.

“I had to be honest with Jack on Saturday and leave him out as, if we didn’t extend the loan, I didn’t want him to become cup-tied if he wanted to play for anyone else in the competition on another potential loan.

“Jack has been like a breath of fresh air to us. But we are looking strong in that department now and I don’t want to keep him here for the wrong reasons when we have players already contracted here who can do just as good a job.”

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Nottingham Forest midfielder Jack Blake likely to return from Mansfield Town
nottinghampost.com, By Nottmtails, November 14, 2013

JACK Blake could be on his way back to Nottingham Forest following Mansfield Town’s clash with Oxford this weekend.

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Nottingham-Forest-midfielder-Jack-Blake-likely/story-20081082-detail/story.html#ixzz2kdPdJ6gB

The highly rated Reds midfielder’s loan spell at the One Call Stadiumexpires after the game.

And manager Paul Cox, who has several players - including Chris Clements - close to returning to full fitness, is unlikely to extend the deal, which has seen Blake play three games for the Stags.

Blake did not play in last weekend’s FA Cup clash at St Albans, but could be involved on Saturday.

“I had to be honest with Jack and leave him out as, if we didn’t extend the loan, I didn’t want him to become cup-tied if he wanted to play for anyone else in the competition on another potential loan,” said Cox. “Chris Clements is coming back and we have one or two decent footballers in there.

“Jack has been like a breath of fresh air to us. But we are looking strong in that department now and I don’t want to keep him here for the wrong reasons when we have players already contracted here who can do just as good a job.”

Cox also revealed that Mansfield had attempted to land Kieron Freeman on loan from Derby County, before Notts County swooped for the former Forest player.

“We were in negotiations with Derby. These things happen. I get along with Kieron really well. He wanted to play football and he is getting better and better,” he said.

“Do we want to bring extra quality in? Yes, we do. But sometimes it is not that easy.”

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Howell eyes more goals
mansfieldtown.net, 14th November 2013

Midfielder Anthony Howell is targeting more goals after scoring in last Saturday’s 8-1 rout of St Albans City in the FA Cup with Budweiser.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/howell-eyes-more-goals-1175945.aspx#8ofEceoxU5PVDsAm.99

Howell struck his first goal of the campaign just seconds before half-time in the clash at Clarence Park, which put us on course for a memorable victory.

“What I want to do is get more goals,” said Howell.

“I played in the reserves the week before and I scored. That just gave me the motivation to go out on Saturday for the first team and get a goal.”

The 27-year-old, who featured on the left flank for our reserves in their recent victory over Doncaster Rovers, is also hoping to cement a starting place in the coming weeks.

He continued: “[In the reserves] I went out on the left of a [midfield] three. I enjoyed it there to be honest and it rolled back the old days, when I was a winger.

“It was a different role, but one that I can also play - even if the gaffer just wanted to change things for the last minute of the game, it’s a job that I can do.

“It’s been busy in the midfield since the start of the season, but we’ve got a lot of quality players who can come in to the team and do a job.”

Howell also believes the importance of last Saturday’s victory at St Albans cannot be underestimated.

“I think everyone needed a victory,” said the midfielder.

“Everyone knew that they were the underdogs and they were going to come strong out of the blocks and give us a hard time, and that’s what they did.

“The first half was pretty close, but we still went in at half-time 2-1 up, which gave us a boost to go on and score a lot more goals.”

He added: “We got eight goals last Saturday, so hopefully we can carry that forward and take confidence from it.

“It’s going to be a tough test against Oxford [United], but we know we can score goals and I’m sure that the lads will go out, roll their sleeves up and do their best.”

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Week to remember for Stags’ new father Howell
chad.co.uk

Stags central midfielder Anthony Howell had a week to remember last week as he celebrated the birth of his first son with a first team recall and a crucial goal.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/week-to-remember-for-stags-new-father-howell-1-6244381

That followed a midweek wing role in the reserves when he also found the net.

Howell bagged the important second goal just before half-time, 60 seconds after Lee Stevenson had levelled, giving Stags the platform to hit the goals trail in the second as they saw off St Albans City 8-1 in the FA Cup.

It ended a run of six games without a win and five games without a goal, and Howell said: “Everyone needed that victory.

“They came strong out the blocks and gave us a hard time. But we went in 2-1 up at half-time and that gave us the boost to go on and score all those goals.

“It was a good finish by Lee, but we really needed my goal just before half-time so I think mine was the more important to be honest,” he smiled.

Howell also enjoyed his midweek outing playing wide, adding: “It was like rolling back to the old days when I was a winger. But it is a job I can do. I will do a job wherever the gaffer wants me to play.

“The midfield has been busy since the start of the season with a lot of quality players. So I am keen to cement my place at the moment.”

Howell admitted the embarrassment of seeing yourself make an error on TV now the club is back in the League is an extra spur not to err.

“You can’t get away with mistakes in the Football League like you could in the Conference. Make a mistake and you more or less give away a goal,” he said.

“It is more important to keep the ball and work hard as a team.

“You don’t want to see yourself on the Football League Show giving away goals at the end of the day.

“Sometimes when I’ve made a mistake I won’t record it! But we are a team and we are all in it together.

“After eight goals on Saturday I hope we can carry it on this Saturday. But it will be a tough task. The lads must go out there, roll up their sleeves and do their best.”

Howell is already enjoying fatherhood but the sleepless nights are proving a shock to the system.

“It’s great, but I am tired - I’m not going to lie,” he said.

“I am getting a lot of information at the club, getting lots of advice, and they say I will get used to it.

“It’s early days yet. But it’s hard getting up early and then going into training. I make sure I get my rest in before games, though.”

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Team will relish tough games - Sutton
mansfieldtown.net

Defender Ritchie Sutton believes our side will relish our next few matches in Sky Bet League Two.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/team-will-relish-tough-games-sutton-1177655.aspx#2tPwrDczojMxQFsP.99

In the next few weeks we travel to table-topping Fleetwood Town and Burton Albion, as well as entertaining Jim Bentley’s Morecambe at One Call Stadium.

But tomorrow afternoon, we lock horns with second-placed Oxford United, who boast the best away record and have the tightest defence in the division.

Sutton said: “It’s going to be a tough challenge for us - especially after recent league results, but it’s a great game for us to show what we can do.

“We do perform well against the better teams and we raise our game for some reason, so we’re really looking to the next few games.

“I only know one of [Oxford’s] players, which is (Sean) Rigg, and they have got a good centre-forward in (Dave) Kitson, who has been around, so we’re expecting a tough game.

“But we’ve played against good teams before and done well, so we’re looking to concentrate on our own game and continue forwards [from the win at St Albans].

“These teams [who we face in the next few weeks] have been up there for a while now, and they’re teams who are probably going to be up there at the end of the season.

“If we’ve got any aspirations [of doing well] this season, we’ve got to compete against them and pick up some points.”

Reflecting on last Saturday’s 8-1 win over St Albans City, Sutton added: “The FA Cup is a great competition, but I think our priority is on the league.

“We believe that we’ve got the strength to be in the top seven, if not the top three, so we’ve really got to focus on that and not think about the FA Cup too much.”

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Latest | November 2013