COX AND NIGEL CLOUGH REACTION
Cox proud of display, but rues injuries
Boss reflects on a night of mixed emotions at Bramall Lane
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-proud-of-display-but-rues-injuries-1827559.aspx#pSmG8RiXPo0cTJDt.99
Manager Paul Cox was proud of our players’ performance in tonight’s closely-fought 2-1 loss at Sheffield United, but rued the injuries to striker Liam Hearn and centre-back Martin Riley.
Only a quarter-of-an-hour had elapsed when summer signing Hearn was forced off with an injury - the extent of which is as yet unclear.
Riley had to be replaced by John Dempster with around 20 minutes remaining after suffering a knock, and our boss admits the loss of both players is a blow.
“I stated before the game that I didn’t want any injuries, but we’re going down like flies at the minute,” said Cox.
“We took Hearnsy (Liam Hearn) off and it was nothing to do with his old injuries. He just fell awkwardly on his knee.
“Riles (Martin Riley) went off because of his groin and we took [Jamie McGuire] off because we just can’t afford to lose anyone else and he was on a booking.”
Cox continued: “I thought the lads were absolutely tremendous tonight and probably deserved to take the game into extra-time against what is a very good Sheffield United side.
“So it was mixed emotions because you want to win every game, but our main focus this season is on the league.”
When asked what the latest news is on the injuries to Hearn and Riley, our boss added: “Neither of them look good. Liam might have twisted his knee and ‘Riles’ has done something to his groin.
“It’s not something that we wanted coming into the game with only 18 fit players to choose from, but I’m proud of the players and I thought we put in a great performance.”
Paul Cox: Mansfield Town manager wants reinforcements
Mansfield manager Paul Cox has said that the injury-stricken League Two club needs to bring in new signings.
The Stags only had 18 fit players for Wednesday's League Cup tie defeat at Sheffield United , and lost both Liam Hearn and Martin Riley to injury.
Nine players were signed in the summer, but the Stags had their playing budget reduced and 15 left.
"We need some reinforcements because we are struggling for bodies," Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham.
"Anyone we can get on the pitch now is a plus point. It's no secret the fact that the resources of the club probably aren't as healthy as other clubs."
Earlier this year, Mansfield owner John Radford was forced to appeal for new investment and reduced the amount of money being put into the club.
And although Cox is disappointed with the current situation and the lack of numbers in his squad, he is positive for the future.
He continued: "The one thing that I wanted out of the [Sheffield United] game was to get away without any injuries and that's not happened. It's frustrating for me and it's frustrating for the players.
"When we do get these players fit and we don't have to chop and change all the time, if we get a nice little nucleus, we're not going to be a bad side."
Roll call for Stags’ walking wounded
Mansfield Town’s will take a roll call of their walking wounded tomorrow after losing Martin Riley and Liam Hearn to injury in tonight’s brave 2-1 Capital One Cup first round defeat League One Sheffield United.
The Blades’ 86th minute winner hurt, but not as much as the sight of two more players limping off, leaving Cox with 15 fit outfield players.
“I am feeling a bit of emotion at the minute,” he said. “Before the game we said that one thing we didn’t want tonight was any injuries as we only had 18 fit players before the game.
“Yet we lost two more. It feels like we’ve run over a black cat at the minute in terms of injury and I could end up playing on Saturday!
“Liam’s is nothing to do with his old injury but he looks like he has fallen awkwardly on his knee and twisted it. And Martin Riley has done something to his groin.
“It doesn’t look good for either of them and wasn’t something we wanted to happen tonight.
“Two of our 18 fit players tonight were keepers. I took Jamie McGuire off as he had been booked and we couldn’t afford to risk him for Saturday.”
He added: “It’s too early to say how bad the injured lads are - we will know in the next 24 hours where we are.
“We will have a body count tomorrow and see where go for Saturday.
“We need to get players like Matt Rhead and Luke Jones back fit quickly.
“We only have one striker for Saturday so it may have to be the kids we look to. I will speak to the chairman but I am up to the budget. It’s where we are. These are the problems you’re going to have and we just have to get on with it.
“The biggest problem is that, as a team, we are nearly there. The fans can see that. But, with the injuries we take two steps forward and three back.
“Everybody can see from the two games so far we have a half-decent team if we can keep them fit and on the pitch.”
On the game itself, Cox said: “The boys are down after running such a big club so close over 90 minutes. I thought they were absolutely tremendous and at least deserved extra-time against a very good side.
“But it was criminal to concede from a set piece again. United had a lot of possession as you’d expect from a higher division team at home.
“But they didn’t really break us down for long periods and never really hurt us until the goal.
“This is my fourth season here and it was a massive thing tonight as I think that’s the first time the fans have given us an ovation coming off like that after losing. They know we are nearly there with this team. We need them more than anything during the bad times.”
Capital One Cup: Nigel Clough admits Sheffield United needs to sharpen up in front of goal
Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough spoke of the need for his side to capitalise on the chances they are creating after their 2-1 win at home to Mansfield in the Capital One Cup.
Summer signing Marc McNulty scored an 86th-minute winner after Alex Russell levelled for Mansfield just four minutes after Paul Butler's opener.
Clough said: "There were some good things in the performance. I thought we created some good chances to score more than two goals.
"If you look at our first two games, we could have scored three or four in each game, really, so that's something we need to work on.
"I don't think we need to do much work on the goal we conceded. He miss-hit it and then it hit the lad on the shin and went in, so there's not too much you can do about that.
"Everybody got a game and it was good from that point of view. It's only fair to give everybody a go.
"You saw the difference when Michael Higdon came on. I thought he did very well and helped make the winning goal.
"I thought Ben Davies was the star player. You can't ask for any more than the goals he's putting in at the moment."
Mansfield manager Paul Cox spoke about his frustration with a worsening injury situation at the club.
He said: "I stated before the game that I didn't want any more injuries, but we're going down like flies at the minute.
"We had 18 fit players before the game but then Liam Hearn went off after the lad fell awkwardly on his knee and Martin Riley went off with a groin problem.
"If Hearn is going to be long-term, it leaves us with one fit centre-forward at the club, which doesn't look good for a League 2 club.
"We took Jamie McGuire off because we can't afford to lose any more bodies and he was on a booking.
"I thought the lads were absolutely tremendous and probably deserved to at least take the game into extra-time against a very good Sheffield United side.
"I'm proud of my players because I thought we put in a great performance.
"You want to win every game but my main focus this season is on the league. It would just be nice to have a fully-fit squad to choose from.
"My biggest frustration is that, as a team, we're nearly there in terms of being a half-decent side at our level of football. We're taking two steps forward and then having to come back three and it's massive frustration."
Martin Riley @LifeofRiley6
just my luck!!! Unbelievable away support tonight though! What a turnout #stags
Alex Fisher @AlexFisher37
Great away support from the stags tonight. Really deserved something out the game. On to the next one @mansfieldtownfc #stags
JAMIE MCGUIRE @JAMIEMCGUIRE23
Gutted should got something from the game boys worked there socks off ! Great following from the fans again #stags @mansfieldtownfc
Sascha Studer @BVBStuder
#unluckytoday #againstsheffield #greatperformanceoftheteam #3pointsonsaturday #goonyoustags
Latest | August 2014