Stags boss Cox delighted with tough Lincoln work-out
chad.co.uk by John Lomas
Paul Cox was delighted with the work-out Conference neighbours Lincoln City gave his Mansfield Town side in tonight’s hard-earned 3-1 pre-season friendly win at Sincil Bank.
A full-blooded affair was exactly what Stags boss Cox had wanted as he saw Lincoln wipe out Stags’ 29th minute lead from a Fergus Bell strike before second half sub Liam Hearn took over with a brace and several other near misses in another mouthwatering showing from his new striker.
“That was a great work-out for us and asked questions of us that haven’t been asked so far in pre-season,” smiled Cox.
“I thought Lincoln looked a good side and I think they are going to have a good season looking at that.
“I was pleased with the way we’ve gone about it tonight. You could say we’ve ground out a good win. But different facets of our game are improving. Our fitness is getting better and the new players are learning about each other.
“So I am over the moon with the night, the win itself is irrelevant.
“It was the game we wanted with a tempo and the physicality of it. We have come through it. It was tough on the legs and mind.”
On his two-goal hero Liam Hearn, Cox added: “I don’t need to talk about the lad. I have known him for years and I know what he can do.
“Some people thought it was a bit of a gamble to bring him here, and in some facets it was with the injury he had.
“But scoring a goal every two games for 237 games is no fluke and he was a bit unlucky not to get a hat-trick tonight.
“It is early days for him yet and the rest of the team.
“We are still trying to bed the new players in. But some of the old guard threw the cat among the pigeons tonight. I thought John Dempster was out of this world.
“Saturday we get Luke Jones and Sam Clucas back, then we will see the true us with lots of competition for places.
“Luke and Sam will play some of Saturday’s game then get a few more minutes behind-closed-doors against a Championship side on Tuesday to help them with their match sharpness.”
On trialists Rob Taylor and Anthony Griffith, he said: “Both have been promoted out of this league before and both are good players who have a desire to want to play for us.
“But I have to be realistic in terms of finances. I need to sit down with the board and chairman and see if we can afford one or both.”
Continued improvement impresses Cox
Cox reflects on impressive 3-1 victory over Lincoln City last night.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/continued-improvement-impresses-cox-1792121.aspx#H24T30Iub8D4IG52.99
Manager Paul Cox believes our players are going from strength-to-strength ahead of the Sky Bet League Two season-opener at Northampton Town on Saturday 09 August.
Our team made it four wins from five pre-season matches with an impressive 3-1 success over Lincoln City at the Gelder Group Sincil Bank Stadium last night.
New signing Fergus Bell fired us ahead with a spectacular 30-yard thunderbolt on the half-hour mark, before Hamza Bencherif equalised for the Red Imps prior to the break.
However, another summer arrival, Liam Hearn, made a blistering impact after half-time with two goals in quick succession to continue his impressive pre-season.
“It was a great workout for us,” said Cox. “They asked loads of questions, probably some of which have not been asked in pre-season.
“Lincoln had a strong side and looking at that [performance] they’re going to be having a good season, but I was pleased with the way that we went about the game.
“You could say that we ground out another good result. There are different facets of our game that are improving, our fitness is getting better and the new players are learning all about us all the time.
“So I’m ‘over the moon’ with the night. That’s not saying that the win is irrelevant, but in a game with a [high] tempo and the physicality of it, we did very well.”
On Hearn, who has now scored four goals in three pre-season outings, our boss continued: “I’ve known him years and I know what he can do.
“Some people may have thought it was a gamble to bring him in, which it was in terms of the injury he had, but I know when the lad is playing he’ll score goals - it’s as simple as that.
“If someone scores one in two over 237 games, it’s not a fluke. What it gives to any team is just a natural finisher, and, as we saw, he was probably a little bit unlucky not to get a hat-trick.”
Cox added: “But it’s early days for him and all the team. We’re still coming together and trying to bed some of the new players in.
“There were some good strong performances and some of the ‘old guard’ are chucking the cat amongst the pigeons. I thought John Dempster was absolutely out of this world so there’s loads of competition.
“We get (Luke) Jones and (Sam) Clucas back for Saturday[‘s friendly with Walsall] and that’s when I think we’ll start and see the true us, because there’s competition for places and adding that little bit of quality to the squad will improve us.”
You can hear a full post-match interview with Paul Cox on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.
Liam Hearn @Hearnz10
Great to get another 45 under my belt. Thanks for all the messages #stags #utm
And by the way, @fergus_bell is right footed! what a finish #tekabow
Well, that's another good win in a game we had to work hard to win. Well deserved, and chuffed to get on the scoresheet @mansfieldtownfc
hearnzy on flames!
Sascha Studer @BVBStuder
#wonfriendlyinlincoln #3:1 #welldoneStags
Latest | August 2014