HOWELL SUSPENDED/PLAYERS PLAYING FOR FUTURES
Cox: Players are playing for future
mansfieldtown.net, 1st April 2014
As we head into the last six matches of the campaign, manager Paul Cox says there is pressure on his players to perform in their bid to earn new contracts for next season.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-players-are-playing-for-future-1460066.aspx?#jZ754of4Z79heMrI.99
Speaking at this morning’s news conference, the manager said that ‘the majority’ of his squad were out-of-contract at the end of the season.
“Players need to know that they’re playing for contracts for next season," said Cox.
"There’ll be a lot of players out of work in the summer. I’m looking to finish the season well and for the players to really put themselves in the frame for next season, and to impress."
“I love my players, they’ve been great to work with this season, but I don’t want this club to stand still. There are some tough decisions [to be made], but ultimately they will be in the players’ laps. I want to see drive, mental capacity, desire and hunger to improve from where we are this season.
“Anything can happen between now and the end of the season. Somebody who maybe isn’t in my plans at the minute could end the season on a high and make me think differently.
“Supporters will be paying to watch us home and away and they deserve for us to finish the season well. There’s pressure on myself and the players to perform. Everyone is playing for their futures and that’s an important statement that I want to make."
After amassing 50 points following Saturday’s home win against AFC Wimbledon, Cox said: “Until it’s mathematically safe, we’ll keep going.
"I will be looking at the camp to see who wants to finish strongly. If anyone wants to take their foot off the pedal then they won’t be playing, it’s as simple as that. We’re paid to play right until the end of the season. “
In other news, midfielder Anthony Howell collected his tenth yellow card of the season during Saturday’s win against AFC Wimbledon and will miss the next two matches through suspension.
The manager's news conference can be viewed on Stags Player.
Howell suspended for Morecambe trip
chad.co.uk, 01 April 2014
Anthony Howell will join James Jennings on the suspended list for Mansfield Town’s trip to Morecambe on Saturday.
Howell picked up his 10th booking of the season last weekend and will now sit out the next two games while Jennings will complete his two-game ban for the same offence.
Howell’s midfield partner Jamie McGuire also remains on tenterhooks on nine yellow cards.
“It’s part and parcel of the game and we just have to get on with it,” said manager Paul Cox.
“It is the same for every club and in the next two or three games you will see players starting to disappear through suspension as they walk that tightrope.”
Stags also now have two players on the treatment table following a 5-0 reserves capitulation at Rotherham United in the Final Third Development League (East Division) yesterday, when they let in five second half goals, with Ross Dyer breaking a nose and young prospect Jack Thomas suffering an ear injury, initially though to be a perforated ear drum.
“Ross broke his nose and Jack took a clout round the ear which damaged his eardrum,” said Cox. “Ross will be sore for a few days and we will have to leave it five to 10 days to let the swelling go down before we see if it needs resetting.
“We thought Jack may have a perforated eardrum, but thankfully it doesn’t look as if it was as bad as we first thought.
“He is a tough cookie and I am hoping we might see him back in training today.”
Thomas is thought to be one of the young players Cox is hoping to blood in the first team once League safety is achieved.
Although Stags are 12th they are not mathematically out of the mire yet and will make the long trip to Morecambe overnight on Friday in preparation for what Cox sees as a ‘very big game’ for the club on Saturday.
Cox warning as Stags prepare for Morecambe
Paul Cox will not allow his Mansfield Town players to take their feet off the gas pedal as they try to edge further towards League Two safety at Morecambe on Saturday (3pm).
Stags’ first back-to-back wins since September saw them beat AFC Wimbledon 1-0 last weekend to move up to 12th, 10 points ahead of Northampton and 14 points clear of Torquay in the relegation berths with just six games to go.
But the Stags manager wants mathematical safety achieved as soon as possible and insists his players keep their feet on the pedal to impress with most of them out of contract this summer and Cox weighing up how he can move the club forward next season.
Cox will take his side up on Friday for the long haul to Morecambe and said: “This is one of a number of big games still to come and I want us to finish as high as we can.
“Beating Wimbledon took a bit of the anxiety away though not all of it.
“It was nice to get to the 50-point mark and you could tell the whole stadium knew it was a big win.
“A lot of managers in our league will be aspiring to get to 50 points as quickly as they can.
“But if any of our players want to take their foot off the pedal, they won’t be playing. It’s as simple as that. They are getting paid to play until the end of the season and most of them are playing for contracts for next season, knowing there will be a lot of players out of work in the summer.
“I love my players, some of them have been with me for a number of years, and they are great to work with. It has been a pleasure to see them come into the Football League and develop and evolve.
“But I don’t want this club to stand still. We need to improve as a football club, and that includes me.
“I need players who can take this club forward. Players with the desire, ability, and hunger to improve us. I look at the top three and I am envious. I have the hunger to see us up there.”
“Also, supporters are still paying to come and watch us home and away and they deserve us to finish the season well.”
With 18 points still to play for, Cox knows that his side have now edged to within nine points of the play-off spots too, but said: “All we want to do is go out there and win the next game.
“Morecambe will be a tough game, though we are in a bit of form at the minute, even though we had to grind out a horrible win on Saturday.”
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