Speight may feature in derby
mansfieldtown.net, 20th March 2014
Striker Jake Speight could be in line for a place in Saturday’s squad at home to Chesterfield following after a lengthy spell on the sidelines, manager Paul Cox revealed today.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/speight-may-feature-in-derby-1432507.aspx#rruuUJW3rHiYIsfj.99
Speight has been struggling with a knee problem for most of the current campaign and last featured for our first team as a used substitute during our home match against Morecambe at the end of November.
But the former Wrexham front man netted the winner in last night’s 3-2 win at Leicester City to send our second string through to the Final Third Development League Cup Final
Speaking at his final news conference before Saturday’s local derby at home to local rivals Chesterfield, manager Paul Cox said that the 28-year-old will be re-available for first team selection following last night’s match: “We beat a decent Leicester City side 3-2. Jake Speight got 45 minutes under his belt and scored a goal; it puts him in contention for Saturday, for the first time in a while now which is pleasing.
“He had one chance in 45 minutes and put it away. It was a great finish to be fair to the kid. He is a natural finisher and showed that with the chance that fell to him."
Looking ahead to Saturday’s derby match, Cox added: “It’s a big game; local derbies usually are. We have games coming thick and fast every week now. It’s just one of a number of games [for us] and Saturday is huge for both clubs. It means a lot to both sets of supporters, players and staff.”
Asked of his message to the fans, he said: “I just want our fans to get behind our side and be as vocal as they have been. The support at Northampton was excellent and the fans have got right behind us. Just get behind the players and [hopefully] they’ll cheer us on to a win.”
In team news, Darryl Westlake misses the match after being sent off during the 1-1 draw at Northampton Town last Saturday. Ritchie Sutton and Lee Beevers, who completed 90 minutes in the aforementioned reserve match, will be fighting to fill the vacant slot at right-wing-back.
The full interview with Paul Cox from today's news conference will be available later today on Stags Player, along with previews from assistant manager/captain Adam Murray and defender Martin Riley.
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"The derby games always whet the appetite and are the games you want to be involved in. The atmosphere when we played away in the league and at home in the Cup was immense.
"I am not taking anything away from it because we know what it means to supporters, but it's only one of nine massive games that we have got.
"It's always nice to win a local derby - you get the bragging rights etc. But for me it's about three points to try to help us maintain our league status.
"It's about enjoying it but it's more about trying to win the fixture."
STAGS v SPIREITES COUNTDOWN: Speight makes shock bid for Saturday
Forgotten striker Jake Speight made a shock bid to be included in the Mansfield Town squad for Saturday’s big local derby at home to Chesterfield with the winning goal in last night’s reserve cup semi-final.
Speight has spent much of the season struggling with injury and illness, but his 75th minute strike sealed it for Mansfield in the 3-2 Final Third Development League Cup tie against a strong Leicester City side, who had just battled back from 2-0 down, at the King Power Stadium last night.
“Jake is a natural goalscorer and he showed that with his finish last night,” said manager Paul Cox. “Some players would have skied that over the stand.
“Jake only had the one chance in the 45 minutes he played and put it away.
“Now we will have to see how is he and if there has been any reaction to playing. We have been in this situation a few times with Jake and now we have to keep him fit.
“It’s the first time for a while he has been in the picture, but having a natural goalscorer in your squad is so important and, if he is all right, he is probably going to be involved on Saturday.
“We have a lot of games coming up and he could yet play a massive part for us.”
Chris Clements and Junior Daniel put Stags 2-0 up early in a game in which Ben Hutchinson made an early departure as a precaution on a tight hamstring.
Speight scored four times on loan at neighbours Alfreton this season, but the last of his four outings for Stags was the 2-1 home defeat by Morecambe on 30th November when he came on as a second half substitute.
Last night the Foxes roared back to level until Speight took advantage of a deflected pass from Lindon Meikle in the box.
Ritchie Sutton came through 70 minutes and Lee Beevers also impressed as both vie for the right wing back shirt with Darryl Westlake serving a one game ban on Saturday.
The Stags side also included two young trialists in Blackburn defender Aaron Tumwa (20) and Sheffield Wednesday defender Taylor McKenzie (19), who has just returned from a loan spell at Gainsborough Trinity.
Both impressed and Cox added: “They are both young boys and we will speak to their representatives and clubs before the weekend and see if anything materialises.
“We also have our eyes on a centre forward. But we are cap in hand to clubs at the moment as we can’t spend any money.”
Michael Cain’s loan from Leicester City expires on Friday and Cox will speak to the player and his club to see if there is any scope for extending the loan.
STAGS v SPIREITES COUNTDOWN: Stags boss refuses to play down importance of the big match
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox refused to play down the importance of Saturday’s big local derby as relegation-haunted Mansfield Town look to complete a double over title-chasing neighbours Chesterfield at a packed One Call Stadium (1pm).?Football managers can have a habit of taking pressure off the players in derbies by saying it is just another game, but Cox said: “It is a big game, I won’t tell any lies, local derbies usually are. Saturday is massive for both clubs.
“But it is one of a number of games coming up that are huge.
“Saturday means a lot for both sets of supporters, players and staff.
“The main thing for us is to maintain our status in this League and, after Saturday, we know there are still another eight massive games to come. It is an exciting end to the season.”
So far it is honours even this season with Stags’ smash and grab 1-0 win at Chesterfield in September followed by a 1-0 away win in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy for the Spireites a week later.
“I thought both were strange games to be honest,” said Cox. “ In the first game I thought Chesterfield were excellent, but we came away with a 1-0 win. But at home I thought we dominated the game without scoring and we ended up losing 1-0.
“You don’t usually know what you are going to get from a derby game. But as long as we apply ourselves right and focus then we will be okay. If we go about our job the right way we are a match for anyone in this league.
“Chesterfield have a good side and a good manager and they are geared to get promotion.
“The two clubs are in different places right now. They have that ambition to get out of this league while we want to maintain our status and build from there.”
Chesterfield, beaten 2-1 at Plymouth on Tuesday, have only won one of their last six away games and only won once in five games overall, but will be boosted by the knowledge that Stags’ home record this season has been poor until recently when they have won three of the last five.
“I don’t think Chesterfield losing in midweek will hinder them,” said Cox. “They have good players throughout with experience at this level and above.”
“At home in the last two years we had made this a bit of a fortress. But for some reason this season our away record is decent but our home record not as impressive.
“Sometimes our concentration levels at home need to better as we have lost two games late on and had games when we should have been out of sight and punished sides by scoring more goals.
“Hopefully the fans will get behind us, be as vocal as they have been, and cheer us on to a win.”
Mansfield are now on 43 points with nine games to go and Cox knows they don’t have enough points yet to be out of the mire.
He said: “I think we need to get into the early 50s. With clubs playing Saturday/Tuesday/Saturday, the league changes amazingly and it is so tight down there.
“If you don’t put consecutive results together you can get dragged into it. But the bottom two still have it all to do as games are running out. It is a hard one to call.”
Both sets of supporters should be aware that there is a maximum stay of one hour for any vehicle parked at Portland Retail Park, at the side of One Call Stadium.
A parking ticket will be issued if this stay is exceeded, local authorities have informed the club.
The club has said that any away fans found in the home areas of One Call Stadium will be ejected without a refund for their ticket and will be subject to a dispersal order.?Stags’ fans should be aware that the Sandy Pate Sports Bar will open from 11am for home fans only.
Only supporters with a valid match ticket can enter the bar. Sausage and bacon cobs will be available instead of foods on the normal menu.
The bar will re-open to the general public at 3.30pm, when the normal menu will also be re-available to order from.
It should also be noted that the gate between the North Stand and Ian Greaves Stand will be closed throughout the day, following a request by the police. Stags fans should enter the stadium via Quarry Lane.?The club has again reminded supporters that the match kicks-off at the earlier-than-usual time of 1pm and, based on police advice, no tickets will be sold on matchday under any circumstances.
Tickets can be bought from the One Call Stadium ticket office for home fans only by 6pm this Friday.
STAGS v SPIREITES COUNTDOWN: Riley desperate to make up for missing Proact victory
Having missed the win at Chesterfield through suspension, Mansfield Town defender Martin Riley is desperate to see his name on the Stags team sheet for tomorrow’s big return game at One Call Stadium (1pm).
“There is big excitement around the place with me more than anyone looking forward to it,” he said.
“I was a bit gutted not being involved at Chesterfield, but what a day out for all involved. The players know exactly how much this means to the fans and the town, especially me living in the town. We know what it’s all about and I hope we can do the same again.
“We have nine games left and the main target is to stay in the League, so we want the three points on Saturday.
“It means so much to everyone, not just playing Chesterfield, but gaining three more points. Everyone here is up for it, it is a local derby.”
He added: “After Chesterfield lost on Tuesday night I am sure they will be even more up for it. There is a lot at stake for both teams and it should be an exciting game.
“I spoke to a few supporters when I was out injured and they told me to make sure I was fit for the Chesterfield game. I have tried to get back as quickly as I could and now I just hope I am in the team on Saturday.”
Riley is also hoping Stags get a fair deal from the match referee after falling foul of some crucial decisions in the last two games, particularly from Darren Drysdale in the home defeat by York.
“No one is stupid,” said Riley. “Everyone could see what was going on. It wasn’t just the manager and players moaning about the referee.
“Even opposition players I know from York were both astounded how bad he was. But we just have to get on with it and I hope we get a decent referee on Saturday.
“It will be a tasty affair and we need a strong referee and, most importantly, a good referee.”
Riley was a reluctant spectator at the Proact Stadium for September’s 1-0 smash and grab victory and said: “The boys gave absolutely everything that day. It was a bit of an Alamo, but credit to the boys. That’s football and it doesn’t matter how you get the points at times.
“It should be a sell-out on Saturday and the atmosphere will be great. I hope the fans get behind the boys as it really can make a difference and we appreciate it.”
STAGS V SPIREITES COUNTDOWN: “We are going to Mansfield to win,” says Spireites’ manager
There will be respect from both sides as Chesterfield prepare for a tough head to head with Mansfield tomorrow.
Both managers are fully aware how much such a crucial derby means to both sets of supporters but are definitely playing for points.
Spireites manager Paul Cook said: “It is a very special day for the supporters. You must go and play the match. Football is a tough game at times and Mansfield do compete well and put you under pressure.
“Mansfield are a really difficult team to play again.
“We are going over there to win make no bones about that. We are going over there to attack, to play attractive football and to make our supporters happy.”
Dan Gardner is unavailable for Chesterfield as the midfielder is still out with the ankle injury he picked up against Accrington Stanley.
Drew Talbot also remains sidelined as he recovers from the abductor injury that has kept him out of action for a number of weeks.
Mansfield manager Paul Cox said: “It means a lot to both sets of supporters, both sets of players and staff but the main thing this season is to maintain our status in the league.
“They’re a good side, they’ve got a good manager and they’re geared to get promoted. Chesterfield have the ambition to get out of this league whereas ours is to maintain our status.”
Get the very latest match news on Twitter @DTimes_Sport
Latest | March 2014