CLUCAS OUT OF 8 WEEKS AND HUTCH FOR 6 WEEKS
19 Dec 2013
twitter Mansfield Town FC @mansfieldtownfc
Sam Clucas will be out of action for up to eight weeks, Paul Cox has confirmed. More on http://mansfieldtown.net later
twitter David Jackson @Matchtalk
More bad news to report this morning, @samclucas out for up to eight weeks and @BenHutch27 out for up to six. Nightmare! #stags
Video: Cox previews Accrington encounter
Video: Dyer and Marriott
Duo set for lengthy absence
mansfieldtown.net, 19th December 2013
Manager Paul Cox has confirmed that both Sam Clucas and Ben Hutchinson are expected to be out of action for several weeks.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/duo-set-for-lengthy-absence-1245308.aspx#JvrmKbKFrZb6xuM1.99
The duo suffered their injuries in Tuesday’s defeat to Oldham Athletic at One Call Stadium.
Clucas was taken to hospital on a stretcher following the match, and is expected to be sidelined for around two months with an ankle ligament problem.
Meanwhile, Hutchinson suffered a hamstring tear, which is expected to rule him out for at least four weeks.
The loss of the duo comes as a blow to our boss, who will also be without the suspended John Dempster for the weekend visit of Accrington Stanley.
The 30-year-old won’t be available for selection again until our Sky Bet League Two match at Cheltenham Town on Sunday 29 December.
“Its bad news for us,” said Cox. “We’re just finding out if [Sam] needs a minor operation. He’s damaged an ankle ligament and a bit of it has come away from the bone.
“Hutch will be out for around four to six weeks as he has a tear in his hamstring.
“It’s like a conveyor belt here. Just when you are getting one or two back, you lose one or two others, and both are quality players.
“But we’ve just got to get our heads down and get on with things. [Injuries] are part and parcel of the game and happen at other clubs as well.”
Meanwhile, our boss is pleased that Lee Stevenson, Chris Clements and Ritchie Sutton came through last night’s reserve team match with Scunthorpe United.
The trio, who have all spent time on the treatment table in recent weeks, are now expected to challenge for a place in the squad for Saturday’s match.
Cox added: “We have options and I hope the boys that played last night come in for training tomorrow, and are available for Saturday.”
Paul Cox's full interview can now be heard on Stags Player. To subscribe, click here.
Cox wants ruthlessness in Stanley clash
Manager Paul Cox has called for his team to become more ruthless ahead of tomorrow’s Sky Bet League Two visit of Accrington Stanley.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-wants-ruthlessness-in-stanley-clash-1247730.aspx#kgZ4DJJEzzW1kw31.99
Last Saturday, we ended a six-match losing run with a 0-0 draw at AFC Wimbledon, in which we were only denied maximum points due to the brilliance of Dons shot-stopper Ross Worner.
Then, on Tuesday, we were eliminated from the FA Cup with Budweiser as Oldham Athletic came from behind to earn a 4-1 victory at One Call Stadium.
“I’ve spoken to some supporters and they say we’re lacking a little bit of luck, but I’m a firm believer in that we make our own luck,” said Cox.
“The boys are working hard, but as we’ve seen this season, it’s fine lines [that decide the result] of matches and we need to be a little bit more ruthless.
“When you are more ruthless, people tend to say that you had a little bit of luck, but [an improvement in results] will come.
“The lads still believe in themselves, they understand what is expected of them and what they are capable of, but the FA Cup is gone now.”
“We’re disappointed because for 60 minutes against Oldham, I thought we were under no danger whatsoever.”
Cox added: “The lads probably need a bit of picking up, because a few of them were down on Tuesday and we felt that we lost the game, rather than Oldham won it.
“But it’s a case of mental strength now. We need to re-focus and get the boys back into the mode where we can get some points on the board.”
Our manager will be forced to make at least three changes for tomorrow’s match with John Dempster ruled out through suspension and Ben Hutchinson and Sam Clucas both injured.
As previously confirmed, Clucas is expected to be sidelined for around two months with ankle ligament damage, whilst a hamstring injury will keep Hutchinson out for at least four weeks.
To read a full-match preview ahead of tomorrow’s match, click here. To subscribe to Stags Player, where you can see regular interviews, click here.
Stanley test for struggling Stags
chad.co.uk, 19 December 2013
Mansfield Town will be desperate to halt their alarming slide down League Two when fellow strugglers Accrington Stanley visit for a big six-pointer on Saturday.
Mansfield have now not won in 11 League games and failed to win any of their last seven homes games in all competitions, piling the pressure on boss Paul Cox and his depleted squad.
On Saturday they host a visit from an Accrington side who spent the early part of the season rooted to the bottom, but have now found a bit of form.
They sit 21st in the table and have just lost their last two games after putting together three wins on the bounce.
However, they are only two points behind Mansfield so could leapfrog them with a win at One Call Stadium. And their away form of late has been good with two wins and two draws in their last five trips.
Stags produced a gutsy 1-1 draw at Oldham and were then desperately unlucky not to take all three points in last weekend’s 0-0 draw at AFC Wimbledon.
So Cox will be hoping his players’ confidence hasn’t taken too much of a knock by their second half collapse against Oldham in Tuesday’s 4-1 home replay defeat.
“I thought at Wimbledon on Saturday we were getting back to our old selves and for 60 minutes against Oldham we were in no danger whatsoever,” he said.
“We just need to tidy up our decision-making at both ends of the pitch.
“The lads will probably need a bit of picking up today because we felt we lost the match on Tuesday rather than Oldham winning it.
“It’s all about mental strength now and getting some points on the board.
“We need to concentrate on climbing the table and putting ourselves into a bit more of a healthy position.
“I have had some nice texts and spoke to some supporters after Tuesday’s games, and those who are clued up and know the game say we are just lacking a bit of luck at the moment.
“I am a firm believer that you make your own luck by working a little bit harder at both ends of the pitch.
“After only losing two of our first 13 games, we have been on an horrendous run. But the last three performances have seen us coming out if it and we just need to be a bit more ruthless.
“I know it will come. The players still believe and they understand what is expected of them and what they are capable of.”
He added: “We seem to go on a bad run every season at this time and people use phrases like ‘Dark November’ and ‘Black December’.
“But last year and the year before I called for us to get back to basics and we have done that and got back to winning football matches.
“You have to look at the bigger picture and over the two and a half years I have been here we have had undoubted success, even though there have been periods of lows.
“We have been here before. People do get upset. People do lose their heads. But we have always come through and been successful.
“But it is not a nice place to be in. I don’t enjoy football when I am not winning. I want us to get back to winning and put a smile on supporters’ faces.
“I am not greedy. One step at a time. I can’t ask for too much, but my main goal is just to get us back to winning consistently.”
Cox will be without the suspended John Dempster and injured pair Sam Clucas and Ben Hutchinson, though could welcome Lee Stevenson and Ritchie Sutton back from injury after both played in a midweek reserve game.
Double injury hammer blow for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, 19 December 2013
Struggling Mansfield Town suffered a double hammer blow yesterday when they learned that influential pair Sam Clucas and Ben Hutchinson face lengthy injury lay-offs.
Both players had to go off during Tuesday night’s 4-1 home FA Cup replay defeat by Oldham and now leading scorer Clucas faces two months on the sidelines while midfield ace Hutchinson will be out for up to six weeks.
The Stags will be further depleted on Saturday when centre half John Dempster will have to sit it out suspended following a red card on Tuesday.
“It’s bad news for us,” said manager Paul Cox, whose side have not won in 11 League games. “I think we are going to lose Sam for up to eight weeks.
“We are just finding out if he needs a minor operation. He has damaged an ankle ligament and a bit of it has come away from the bone.
“Hutch will be our for four to six weeks as he has a bit of a tear in his hamstring.
“It’s like a conveyor belt here. Just when you are getting one or two back you lose one or two others, and both are quality players.
“There has been a lot of talk about Clucas this year and I though Hutch was playing well and looking sharp too.
“But we just have to get our heads down and get on with it. It’s part and parcel of the game and happens at other clubs as well.
“We are still waiting to hear about John Dempster’s suspension but we think he may be out for two games as he has already had one suspension this season.”
The good news for Cox was that injured pair Lee Stevenson and Ritchie Sutton played in the 2-0 home reserve win over Scunthorpe United last night, a game somehow completed in atrocious conditions.
Chris Clements got another hour of fitness under his belt while Ryan Tafazolli and John McCombe also impressed.
“We do have options and I hope the boys that played last night settle down and come in for training on Friday and are available for Saturday,” said Cox.
Stags in talks with strikers ahead of transfer window
chad.co.uk, 20 December 2013
Goal-shy Mansfield Town are in talks with two strikers ahead of the opening of the January transfer window.
Mansfield boss Paul Cox said it wasn’t rocket science what they needed and revealed: “We are always looking and I have already touched base with a couple of players.
“It will all depend on what happens between now and 1st January.
“The players I am looking at will be coveted by a number of clubs, but I’d like to think we have got in there first. We are talking to some decent footballers at the minute.
“It is obvious we need more goals at the moment. But it will all be down to finance and we will probably have to move one or two on to free up a bit of money. I am looking for goals and that bit of nous.”
Luck will change with win, says Dyer
Stags striker Ross Dyer believes that supporters will see a quick turnaround of fortunes at the club once Mansfield Town have put an end to the current winless streak.
Ahead of tomorrow’s crucial home clash with Accrington Stanley, when Stags will be looking for their first League win in 12 and first home win in any competition in eight, Dyer said: “We’ve gone on a long run without a win, but I think we have turned a bit of a corner. We just need a win and hopefully we can pick that up on Saturday.
“If we can get that I think you will see a big turnaround here.
“On Tuesday we had the sending-off, our top scorer injured and another player injured which is how it goes for you when you are down there.
“If we can get a win, that luck will turn as well. I don’t think we are that far away from doing that.”
On Sam Clucas and Ben Hutchinson, who face long lay-offs with injuries sustained in Tuesday’s 4-1 home FA Cup defeat by Oldham, he said: “I am gutted for them. Ben (Hutchinson) had come back in and started to play really well and Sam (Clucas) was our top scorer and has done well in a side that hasn’t been picking up points.
“But we have a big squad with strength in depth and we have boys capable of coming in and doing a job.”
Dyer was disappointed to see his first half goal wiped out by four second half Oldham goals on Tuesday to end Stags’ hopes of a third round tie at Anfield.
“I think people could see from the effort we put in, especially in the first 60 minutes, how much it meant to the lads,” he said. “We know it meant a lot to the fans as well.
“In the end it was a gutting feeling coming so close. We felt we had one foot in the tie which made it all the more disappointing.
“It wasn’t a 4-1. I think we were comfortable until the equaliser. After that I can’t really put my finger on it. Maybe after the run we have been on, some players had negative thoughts. But it was then one-way traffic the other way
“It (Dyer’s goal) was quite a weird one. I think a few people thought Lindon (Meikle) was offside. But we have played to the whistle and I was in the right place at the right time.
“I am glad to be scoring goals and think I am doing well. I am in a rich vein of form right now. But I would rather the team was wining as well.
“In the last two home games I have put us 1-0 up and both times we have come out losing both games which isn’t nice.”
Marriott calling on Stags fans to stick behind the side for Stanley clash
Mansfield Town goalkeeper Alan Marriott is calling on Stags’ long-suffering home fans to stick behind the side when Accrington Stanley visit tomorrow.
Mansfield have not won in 11 League games and have failed to win any of their last seven games at home in all competitions, and Marriott admitted: “We now need to get on a run. We went on a fantastic run after Christmas last year.
“We need to keep plugging away and need the fans to stick with us.
“They give us a fantastic lift when you are down on confidence. It makes all the difference when people are clapping you.
“I do understand their frustrations as they pay their hard-earned money to come and watch. They want to see exciting football and something to cheer. But we are not really producing that at the moment so it’s a Catch 22 situation right now.
“A win on Saturday has go to be a must as it’s getting to that stage when the table takes shape at Christmas time. It’s about time we turned our home form around.
“Saying that, Accrington are on a half-decent run themselves and will be coming here thinking we are a wounded animal.”
Stags’ latest disappointment was a midweek 4-1 FA Cup replay defeat by Oldham that ended hopes of a third round tie at Anfield.
Marriott said: “People will say it stops the crazy build-up for Liverpool through Christmas. But it was a once in a lifetime opportunity we threw away and it hurts me personally as it was there for the taking, but we didn’t peform in the second half.
“Now Saturday has come round really quickly and three vital points are needed.
“Three of their goals came from set pieces and the free kick was right into the top corner. I couldn’t do anything about it. But it was disappointing to concede four goal live on TV.
“We are working extremely hard on the training ground on our shape and organisation. We are a work in progress. We have moved up a league where there is a difference in quality, no disrespect to the Conference where we sometimes came up against part-time players.
“There are no easy games in League Two. Players are a bit cuter and a bit wiser at times.”
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