COX, PALMER, AINSWORTH REACTION
video interviews with Cox and Palmer
Mansfield manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"That was probably the most one-sided game that I have never won.
"I thought, from start to finish, we played on the front foot and created some great chances. No one would really have questioned it if we had come in two or three goals up at half-time.
"The overall pressure in the end has told, but you have to pay credit to their goalkeeper, who made some fantastic saves."
Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth told BBC Three Counties Radio:
"It's a draw, it's a point, and we've gone up a place in the league.
"The back four were bombarded in the second half. This wind came down and really was in our face. It was a lot stronger in the second half than it was in the first half.
"Stuart Lewis has been working so hard on his finishing and that paid dividends today. It was a fantastic finish from him.
"It's all looking good for the future for us. I'm really excited to get to Tuesday now and our home game against Portsmouth. I believe we can take all three points there."
Cox encouraged by Stags fightback
Manager Paul Cox believes our side deserved all three points in this afternoon’s 2-2 draw with Wycombe Wanderers.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-encouraged-by-stags-fightback-1316176.aspx?#TBEOvuWQdwAPWHfD.99
Despite dominating majority of the game, Stags fought back from two goals down to earn a valuable point.
Cox was pleased with our players’ overall performance this afternoon, but has urged them to start picking up more points at home.
“Since I’ve been involved in football, I think that is the most one sided game I’ve never won.
“I would like to see what the stats were as I think Wycombe only had two shots on target and scored both of them.”
He continued: “I couldn’t have asked more from the boys though. In horrible conditions I thought we dominated the game from start to finish.
“The least we deserved was a draw. I thought we played excellent and passed the ball around on a really horrible surface.
“I’m hoping we have lost a bit of anxiety at home now. Full credit to our supporters too, because I thought they were excellent getting behind the boys.
“I don’t think anyone would have been surprised if we came in 2-1 or 3-1 up at half-time.
“Their goalkeeper has pulled off a number of world-class saves. You just start to think it is going to be one of those days.”
Meanwhile, our boss says morale is currently on a high in the dressing room and believes we will start picking up more home victories soon.
Cox continued: “The boys are sticking together in there. The team spirit is excellent and we know what we have got to do.
“It was a good performance - It wasn’t the result we wanted today, but we deserved the win as we played on the front foot and created majority of the chances.
“I’ve said to the boys, if we can play like that for the remainder of the season we can upset the apple cart.
“There’s a lot of positivity in dressing room. It’s the first time I have seen that with the boys for a long time. There’s a little spring in their step and sparkle in their eye.
“We need to win our home games to be successful and we want to get back to doing that."
When asked on activity in the January transfer window, Cox said that he is working as hard as he can to bring in a new faces.
“I’m not sure at the moment. I’m working my socks off to make deals happen, but to be honest, how long is a piece of string?," added the boss.
“We had a deal close and I thought we would have one done by the weekend, but it’s not rocket science the quality of players we are looking for.”
I want to keep hold of Clucas, Stags manager Cox
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox tonight said he wants to keep hold of top scorer Sam Clucas amid reports that other clubs are set to table a bid before the January transfer window closes.
Clucas, who made a lively contribution when coming on as a sub after a lengthy injury lay-off in today’s battling 2-2 draw with visitors Wycombe Wanderers, is said to be attracting interest from a Championship club.
But Cox said: “I would love to keep Sam here and I hope the club wants to keep him here.
“You could see today when he came on that he gives us that extra bit of quality.
“If we want to progress as a club we need to hold onto our best players.
“The speculation about him is just speculation until another manager rings me and puts in an offer for Sam. If he goes, it is going to cost someone a hell of a lot of money.”
Cox is still trying to bring in a striker and said: “I am working my socks off to make deals happen.
“Everyone knows the quality of the players we are looking at.”
This afternoon, in dreadful conditions of mud, wind and heavy rain, Stags fought back well from 2-0 down to earn a deserved draw, Lee Stevenson putting them back in the game and sub Ollie Palmer bagging an 86th minute equaliser.
“That was reminiscent of last season when teams came down here and got men behind the ball,” said Cox. “We were so on top and playing on the front foot from start to finish.
“That was probably the most one-sided game I’ve never won.
“I thought their first goal was a miskick and it killed us as the momentum we were creating was incredible.
“But the boys have done something today, they’ve got over a hurdle. From 2-0 down, instead of shrinking, we have grown in stature.
“That’s only one defeat in six now and we are building a bit of momentum. We now need to carry this on when we play Bury on Tuesday and use it as a building block.
“The players’ mindset is back in that dressing room and I must say a massive thank you to the supporters. The majority today really got behind the boys and really gave them a boost and deserve a massive pat on the back.”
Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth said: “I thought we could have got more out of the game.
“We had a couple of the better chances if I’m honest and we could have won it right at the end. They just seemed to lump the ball into our box and get bits off it.
“I do feel a little bit down. But I am proud of my boys as they ran themselves into the ground.
“The conditions were horrendous with the wind in our faces and they brought a lot of big lads on.
“Their equaliser came off the bar and we didn’t react as quickly as Ollie Palmer. We have to react quicker than that. It’s that second phase that kills us. If it was down to a bit of tiredness that I will address that.
“I was pleased with the performances of the new signings which was a real positive today. They looked like they wanted to play for Wycombe Wanderers which I can work with.
“We scored two superb goals, Stuart Lewis has been working hard on his finishing and deserved that and Josh Scowen ghosted in well to score a superb volley.
“When you go 2-0 up and score twice away from home you expect to win a game. But they really came at us in that second half and rammed everything down our throats and then we conceded at the death.
“I was disappointed with their first goal as we didn’t clear our lines and someone has put their hand up and taken the blame.
“If we had held onto our 2-0 lead a bit longer then I think panic would have set in. So to pull one back quickly was a big boost for Mansfield and 2-1 is always a dodgy score away from home.”
Paul Cox hopes Mansfield Town can hang on to Sam Clucas
BOSS Paul Cox believes it will take one hell of an offer to tempt Mansfield Town to part with winger Sam Clucas.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Paul-Cox-hopes-Mansfield-Town-hang-Sam-Clucas/story-20504615-detail/story.html#ixzz2racPqJLl
The Stags' top scorer was reportedly the subject of interest from a Championship club last week, but Cox says, as yet, a bid has still to be tabled.
Clucas made a lively return to action as a substitute in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Wycombe Wanderers following a five-week lay-off with ankle ligament damage.
Mansfield are likely to face a test of their resolve before the transfer window closes on Friday, but their manager hopes the club stand firm.
"I want to keep him, the club wants to keep him. All the speculation is just that at the minute," said Cox.
"Until somebody rings me and puts an offer in for Sam Clucas he will be a Mansfield Town player.
"And I'm hoping if somebody actually does put an offer in, we want to hold on to our best players.
"We want the club to go forward. This is a building block season for us in terms of our progression, and to do that we've got to keep our good young players.
"We work really hard to get them into the club, we're working hard on nurturing them and we want to work hard to help us into a different level.
"If we can't, it's going to cost someone a hell of a lot of money because we've got good young, quality players at this football club."
On his own bid to bring in a new face, Cox admits he is unsure if it will happen after coming up against 'tons of stumbling blocks'.
"A new face would be nice, but if it doesn't happen then it doesn't happen and we have to get on with what we've got," he said.
Palmer targets more goals
Striker Ollie Palmer believes our side were unfortunate not to pick up all three points in this afternoon’s 2-2 draw with Wycombe Wanderers.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/palmer-targets-more-goals-1316135.aspx?#s1LPz8DQs70XlHI2.99
The Stags had to fight back from two goals down to earn a well-deserved point as Palmer grabbed an all-important equaliser in the 86th minute.
The 22-year-old was pleased to get back on the score sheet this afternoon, as he also praised our team’s fighting spirit.
“It was a bit of a poacher’s goal, but it was an important goal as well,” said Palmer.
“Obviously we didn’t want another loss at home, but it felt good getting a goal and picking up a draw.
“The boys worked really hard today and I thought we were quite unfortunate not to pick up all three points really.
“I think from the beginning we were on the front foot and really should have come away with all three points.”
He added: “We have turned a corner with our fighting spirit. Maybe a month or two months ago, we may have taken a beating, but we didn’t and everyone fought back. We got what we could today and come out with a point.”
Meanwhile, Palmer is looking forward to our Sky Bet League Two clash against Bury on Tuesday night, as he aims to score more goals heading into the remainder of the campaign.
“It’s good to have the game against Bury on Tuesday night. It was important today that we showed fighting spirit - at least we have come away with a point.
“It’s not a bad run at all, and if we can start turning our draws into wins it will be even better.
“I think obviously I’ve come out the side where I haven’t scored goals. I know a lot of people say I work hard, but at the end of the day my role is to score goals and I haven’t been doing that.
“Hopefully now I have the monkey off my back and I feel a bit calmer now, so maybe I’ll score a few more goals.”
Palmer back on the Stags goal trail
Ollie Palmer was delighted to again be the tormentor of Wycombe as his goal yesterday earned Stags a late, but deserved, 2-2 draw.
Palmer had scored the only goal of the game at Wycombe early in the season, but had only added one more until yesterday when he netted after coming on as a late substitute.
He said: “My role is to score goals, but I came out of the side as I wasn’t scoring goals. “Hopefully today I have got that monkey off my back and I can start picking up a few more.
“I am a goal poacher and it was good to get that one today.
“It has taken me a bit of time to get up to the level of fitness I needed. I have done that now and I am feeling good.”
He added: “The boys worked really hard today and we showed our fighting spirit and came away with a point.
“It was raining hard and we had thunder and lightning. But you are going to get that in England and you just have to get on with it.
“We ended up with four up front but we had to go for it.
“It is good to have another game against Bury coming up almost straight away, and we will need to show the same fighting spirit as we did today.
“It’s not a bad run we are on now and we just need to start turning the draws into wins.”
Palmer was also happy to see top scorer Sam Clucas back from injury, also coming on as a substitute, and said: “It was great to see him back. We don’t really have anyone else like him in the side and it was a big boost to have him back today.”
Ainsworth: Slow reactions cost us
By Andy Carswell, Bucks Free Press
GARETH Ainsworth said Wanderers’ defence was punished for failing to react quickly enough as he saw his side give away a two goal lead in the draw at Mansfield Town.
Blues had been on course for only their second win in 14 games as midfield partners Stuart Lewis and Josh Scowen - who netted a screaming volley - both scored to put them in command.
But five minutes after going 2-0 up Blues switched off to allow Lee Stevenson to pull one back before one-time Wanderers target Ollie Palmer made it home and away goals against the Chairboys as he earned Mansfield a share of the spoils.
And Ainsworth was annoyed at the manner the goal came about, as goalkeeper Matt Ingram made another great save to tip a shot onto the bar - only for Palmer to be the only man to react to the loose ball and tuck it home.
He said: “I’m disappointed because the goal that equalised was off the bar and we didn’t react as quickly as Ollie Palmer. I can’t have one of their players reacting quicker than one of our players. We need to be there and react as quick as they do.
“We need to react quicker, that’s the bottom line. We’ve got a keeper like Matt Ingram in goal and you expect him to make those saves. If he tips it over the bar it’s a corner and there’s no danger, but he’s tipped it onto the bar and we have to react quicker. It’s the second phase that kills us a lot, and that’s an issue.
“I’m really pleased with the goals but disappointed to concede. Somebody put their hand up and took the blame for the first one - the second one, I want the reaction to be better.”
Ainsworth added: “I thought we could have got more out of the game. We had the better chances and at the end we could have won it. They seemed to just lump it in the box and got the bits off it.
“I’m OK, a little bit down. If you go two up you expect to win a game, if you score two away from home.”
While Ainsworth was left tearing his hair out at the equaliser, the Blues boss added his defence should have been more alert in the period immediately after going 2-0 up.
Aerial bombardment was Mansfield’s main tactic and the conditions in the second half that saw a strong wind swirling around Field Mill played into the hosts’ hands.
Ainsworth said: “Conditions were horrendous - second half we couldn’t get out our half. The wind was in our face. They had a lot of big lads around and we tried to counteract that.
“They really came at us second half and lumped everything down our throats, and we’ve conceded right at the end again.
“If we kept it at 2-0 for a bit longer, panic would have set in and they would have lost their quality a bit. They got it five minutes after we scored, which gave them a good impetus to get the second.”
But the Wanderers boss was satisfied with the performance of a team that included two new faces - striker Reece Styche and full back Jordan Mustoe - from the start before another, Arsenal youngster Anthony Jeffrey, was introduced from the bench in the second half.
He said: “People will see the performance is there. It’s not as though we collapsed - we’ve had one collapse in a season and a half. They ran themselves into the ground - Matt McClure and Reece Styche are absolutely shattered in there. We are quite positive.
“The lads who’ve come in, they showed they are ready to play for Wycombe Wanderers. We can work on them. Reece Styche only came in yesterday, Anthony Jeffrey on Thursday. There’s plenty of work to do and I’m looking forward to doing it.”
Latest | February 2014