COX, HEARN, PAUL HURST REACTION
Grimsby match was 'a great exercise' for us, says Cox
mansfieldtown.net, 25th July 2014
Manager Paul Cox hailed tonight's 1-0 win at Grimsby Town as an 'excellent' game for his players, who fought well in a tough, yet hum-drum encounter at Grimsby Town which saw us run out 1-0 victors.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/grimsby-match-was-a-great-exercise-for-us-says-cox-1783203.aspx#uvKkbETpYGgUgKwC.99
Matt Rhead's goal shortly before the half-time break proved decisive in a game of few chances.
After the match, Cox suggested to the local media that he learned more about his players during tonight's match than in previous friendlies.
"It was an excellent game for us," said Cox. "When you look at the teams we've come up against in pre-season, most of them higher in the pyramid than us, it can be easy to come away and start to [over] believe in yourself.
"We've come to a team tonight who knocked a club out the FA Cup last season who got promoted from our league, with good players throughout their side. I knew this would be a good test for us.
"This was a different type of fitness [test] for us, as well as for our menatlity, with and without the ball.
"These games give me problems to solves and things to look at which we wouldn't get from other games. A lot of questions were asked of us tonight.
"We've now kept two excellent clean sheets and I've learned so much about individuals and the group as a whole."
Meanwhile, Paul Cox said Ryan Tafazolli remains fit after the defender appear to pick up a slight knock in the first half.
Paul Cox says new Mansfield Town squad is better than before
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill
Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox believes he has an improved squad at his disposal.
Despite having a smaller squad and smaller budget available than last season, Cox is confident he has put together a squad that possesses more versatility as well as more quality.
Mansfield defeated Grimsby Town 1-0 last night thanks to Matt Rhead’s first-half winner to continue their impressive pre-season campaign, which has included wins against Notts County and Leeds.
“We have got 20/21 players and it is about gelling them together as a unit,” Cox said. “We now need to put together an 11 that can take this team forward.
“I have got an honest and committed bunch of players. This squad is an improvement on what we had available last season, we just need to be lucky with injuries and suspensions, I think that is what will affect us the most this season.
“Sascha Studer looked excellent today. He was put under pressure, but handled things exactly as I would have expected and will become a top goalkeeper.
“I will have another look at the trialists this week. They are both players who have an excellent pedigree and who have both been promoted out of this division before.
“We have lots of irons in the fire at the moment and we will be working to improve the squad further, especially in the left side area.
“There will be no players leaving before the start of the season. We have got to make sure that we have competition to keep players on their toes and push them and that we have options in all areas.”
Cox also spoke of his delight at how his Mansfield side came through the tricky trip to Grimsby.
Addded Cox: “This was a different type of test for us, but just the test I wanted. I like games like this because it gives me plenty of problems to solve and tells me a lot about my players.
“It is very easy to get carried away when you are defeating teams higher up the football pyramid. This test, and the Lincoln, test tells me much more about where we are at than Leeds and Villa.
“This game was much more like the level we will be playing at, it was a very competitive game that helped bring us down with a bump.
“There are still areas that we can improve upon, both with and without the ball.
“We have kept two clean sheets and won our last two games which is very pleasing. We did not look very fluid going forward but we looked good defensively.
“We still have Luke Jones and Sam Clucas to come back. Liam Hearn got another 30 minutes under his belt.
“Fitness levels are improving and things are starting to come together.
“I experimented with two different elevens tonight, with different combinations and formations and have learnt a lot about individuals and the team group as a whole. It was an excellent workout tonight.”
Mansfield face Lincoln City away on Tuesday night, before wrapping up their pre-season campaign at home to Walsall.
Mansfield's Liam Hearn grateful for support on Grimsby Town return
By Grimsby Telegraph
LIAM Hearn took the opportunity to personally thank everyone at Grimsby Town following his return with Mansfield on Friday.
Read more: http://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/Mansfield-s-Liam-Hearn-grateful-support-Grimsby/story-21947572-detail/story.html?#ixzz38moWk8K9
The striker, left, was back playing at Blundell Park for the first time since his Mariners exit in March.
After a rollercoaster three seasons with Town - which included 34 goals, a ruptured Achilles and a cruciate knee ligament injury - the 28-year-old joined the League Two Stags in June.
A lively cameo off the bench on Friday reminded everyone what a fit Hearn can do, although he admitted it was a slightly surreal experience.
"It felt a bit strange coming back as an opposition player," he told the Telegraph.
"Obviously, having spent three years here, it's always going to be tough returning - especially after I enjoyed my time here so much.
"But at the end of the day that's part of my profession and something you have to do.
"The Town fans gave me a really good reception and I got a bit more footie under my belt, so that was great for me.
"The supporters have stood by me through all the things I've experienced since I came to Grimsby, and I'll never forget that.
"It was nice to get such a warm reception, and you never know, I could end up coming back to Grimsby at some point - you can never rule out anything in this game."
Explaining why joining Mansfield was the right move for him, Hearn continued: "To be back in Nottingham close to my daughter, friends and family is a big thing for me.
"I appreciate everything I've got so much more after the injuries that I've had. Hopefully, I can have a successful year with Mansfield in the league and get back to scoring plenty of goals.
"My time at Grimsby has made me a stronger character and also a stronger player.
"Working with the people at the club has definitely improved me and I can take that into the remainder of my career.
"Everybody around the club always wanted me to do well. They always put time and effort into me and that's something I'll always appreciate.
"If anyone ever asks me about Grimsby Town, I've only got nice things to say."
Grimsby Town boss praises solid defending in friendly defeat to Mansfield
By Grimsby Telegraph, By Lee Jones
GRIMSBY Town boss Paul Hurst was content with his side's defensive display - if not their finishing - in last night's friendly defeat to Mansfield.
Read more at http://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/BOSS-PRAISES-SOLID-DEFENCE/story-21941927-detail/story.html#etUWcay4UX42o7uL.99
The Mariners were ultimately beaten by hefty striker Matt Rhead's 43rd-minute tap-in at Blundell Park.
But the hosts enjoyed long periods of possession and arguably created the game's best chances as their pre-season preparations geared up.
"I thought we looked very solid," Hurst told the Telegraph. "Their goal was disappointing but in general against a physical team we defended set-plays well and looked pretty solid.
"We should have got on the scoresheet, and hit the woodwork a couple of times.
"But it was 90 minutes for some of the lads that needed it and there are some positives to take. It's certainly not doom and gloom, that's for sure.
"They're a handful up front. I'll get some stick from the Town fans for saying it, but Matt Rhead is a handful and hard to play against, and he seems to have a habit of scoring against us.
"He asks questions of defenders and the lad Ollie Palmer is again a big lad and a handful.
"Then you've also got Liam Hearn coming on, looking to impress and looking lively.
"Overall, James McKeown has not had too many saves to make, though, and from that point of view, I was quite happy."
Hurst's three trialists - Jon-Paul Pittman, Joe Ironside and Craig Clay - all played the first half before making way at the break.
And the manager was keeping his cards close to his chest regarding who stays or who goes.
"It will be Monday or Tuesday before I say what I have decided, but certainly two of them know what my thoughts are," he added.
"With one, we've had a conversation and will be speaking again over the weekend."
Craig Disley return was massive boost for Grimsby Town boss
By Grimsby Telegraph
CRAIG Disley's return to action, against Mansfield, was a big plus for Grimsby Town manager Paul Hurst.
Read more at http://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/Disley-return-big-boost-boss/story-21947574-detail/story.html#6c51M2UjguvWR2fI.99
The Mariners' skipper sat out last week's loss to Doncaster Rovers with a knee injury, but was back on the pitch for Friday's narrow defeat to Mansfield.
And Hurst wants to see his captain involved again when a Sunderland XI visit Blundell Park tomorrow evening.
"There were no problems that I'm aware of for Craig, so that's another positive," remarked the boss.
"He looked like he needed five minutes to get himself going again, but there were a couple of little runs and the header at the end which just went wide - a trademark of Craig's play really.
"So I'm glad to have him back involved, and he's another one that may need some more minutes tomorrow."
Sascha Studer @BVBStuder
#woningrimsby #cleansheet #teammakesitpossible #happy #goonSTAGS
Alex Fisher @AlexFisher37
Testing 0-1 win tonight for @mansfieldtownfc at Grimsby tonight. Thanks to the stags fans who made the journey over! #stags
Liam Hearn @Hearnz10
strange experience coming back to bp today but great to see some familiar faces. Wish everyone at the club best wishes for the future #utm
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