COX, MURRAY, TAFAZOLLI & MICHAEL APPLETON REACTION
Cox hails tremendous character after victory
mansfieldtown.net, 16th August 2014
Boss pleased with players’ performance in 2-1 win over Oxford United.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-hails-tremendous-character-after-victory-1832984.aspx#syE5S46vGrm6VPQB.99
Manager Paul Cox was delighted with how our players ‘dug in’ to grind out their first victory of the new Sky Bet League Two season against Oxford United.
The Stags opened the scoring courtesy of an instinctive close-range header by Ryan Tafazolli just before half-time, but the visitors looked to have earned a share of the spoils when Danny Hylton equalised from the penalty spot on 78 minutes.
However, our players had the last laugh as midfielder/assistant-manager Adam Murray came off the bench to smash home a winner just two minutes from time.
“I thought we dictated the game for long periods,” said our boss. “Coming in 1-0 up at half-time was what we deserved. To then get to a certain period of the game and get a big decision [Oxford being awarded a penalty] going against you - you start to think that [the result] is going to go against you.
“But the boys showed tremendous character and what’s pleasing is that we only had 18 fit players and on the bench four of those weren’t 100% fit, so the boys showed tremendous character to beat a very good side.”
Cox continued: “Psychologically, every manager of every team wants to get that first win under their belt - especially at home in front of our own supporters.
“It’s good that in our first home game we’ve got a win. We’ve [kicked] on from our performance against Sheffield United on Wednesday where I thought we were excellent and probably deserved to finish on level terms.
“So credit to the boys. They dug in today and I think they’ll want to donate the three points to Liam Hearn.”
Regarding the injury to Liam Hearn, who will be sidelined due to a cartilage tear until close to Christmas, our boss said: “Liam is down. It was a ‘nothing challenge’, there was nothing malicious in it or anything,.
“It’s not the old injury, but the boys feel for him. The boys have really taken to him [since he joined the club] and he’d have loved to play out there today.”
Looking ahead to Tuesday night’s home game with Newport County, our boss added: “We’ll get ‘Rheady’ (Matt Rhead) back from suspension, ‘Jonah’ (Luke Jones) will be another two or three days into his rehab, so we’re slowly getting bodies back.”
Paul Cox’ full post-match interview will be available to watch on Stags Player later tonight. To subscribe, click here.
Delighted Paul Cox says Mansfield Town have more to offer after Oxford United win
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill
Boss Paul Cox says there is much more to come from Mansfield Town after they beat Oxford United 2-1 to pick up their first win of the season.
Former Oxford player Adam Murray rifled a fierce effort from 16 yards past George Long to secure all three points for Stags with just two minutes left.
Mansfield had taken the lead on 39 minutes when the impressive Ryan Tafazolli fired into an empty net after Chris Clements’ long range free-kick had cracked against the post and fallen at his feet.
Substitute Danny Hylton scored from the spot to equalise for the lacklustre visitors after he had been fouled by Tafazolli on 78 minutes.
But Murray, who had been on the pitch for just three minutes, hit a memorable winner past long Long to the delight of the 2,600 Mansfield fans inside the stadium.
The result left boss Paul Cox full of praise for his injury-hit squad.
“It was good to get our first win of the season and the players deserve great credit,” said Cox.
“We played some good stuff today and the lads had lots of energy and worked their socks off. We showed excellent character to get back in front after the penalty.
“I am not going to say anything about the build up to the penalty or I will get in trouble. I just want to talk about the positives.
“We are still struggling with injuries and the lads have had to work really hard this week. It was a bit of a battle today and there was plenty of passion, it is what League Two is all about.”
“Ryan Tafazolli is getting better and better, he is massive for us right now. For him to go on to bigger and better things he needs to become consistent and that is what he is doing.
“The back three defended well today, but I thought we were also superb as a team and defended well from the front.”
“I was a little disappointed that we panicked a bit in the closing stages, but we showed great character to get ahead again.
“We need to improve our final ball and our movement, but there is more to come from this team.”
It was perhaps an even more impressive result after news that summer signing Liam Hearn is expected to be out until after Christmas broke just 90 minutes before kick-off.
Added Cox: “I feel gutted for Liam as does the whole dressing room. It was not the results that we wanted.
“It is not the same injury that he has had before. It was a nothing challenge and it was just one of those things. It is something we now have to deal with.
“I’ve told him to stay away for a few days so he can try and get his head around what has happened. Hopefully this result helps cheer him up in some way.
“Liam looked amazing in pre-season and scored some great goals for us
“We hope that he will recover fast and can still have a part to play this season.”
Mansfield will look to build on their first win of the new campaign when they face Newport on Tuesday night.
Big Matt Rhead is likely to make timely return to action after serving the final game of his suspension against Oxford.
Murray dedicates win to injured team-mate
mansfieldtown.net, 16th August 2014
Midfielder/assistant-manager dedicates victory to Liam Hearn.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-dedicates-win-to-injured-team-mate-1833181.aspx#JUU1GXITTY52r2cW.99
Midfielder/assistant-manager Adam Murray has dedicated Saturday’s win over Oxford United to injure team-mate Liam Hearn.
Prior to kick-off, the Stags were rocked by the news that the 28-year-old will be out until Christmas after tearing his knee cartilage in Wednesday’s Capital One Cup First Round tie against Sheffield United.
Murray paid tribute to Hearn by saying: “We’re absolutely gutted for him. You don’t come across many nice people in football, but Liam is one of them.”
“We’ll do everything we can to stick by him. He’s a strong character and we know he’ll come through it.”
Murray turned out to be an unlikely match-winner as he replaced Jamie McGuire on 85 minutes, scoring the all-important goal on the brink of injury-time.
“Jam (McGuire) was struggling a bit with his groin, so it was a like-for-like really and to keep things ticking over,” continued the midfielder.
“[For the winner, the ball] just fell nicely for me. I had a few flashbacks from last week at Northampton where I had a couple that I probably should’ve done better with, but it was great to [score] in that manner and I think that showed in the celebration.”
“After our first couple of performances this season we’ve been pleased, we just needed to get those first points on the board to get started.”
He added: “I thought we dominated the first half, they’re a good team and we knew after watching them this week on DVDs, that we’d have to be at our best.”
Murray highlighted the togetherness in the club, and said that it would be vital this season: “Everybody’s seen today the feeling that’s around the ground, around the fans, everyone seems to be on the same page at the minute and the spirit in there [the dressing room] is fantastic.”
“This is just a platform for us, we know what we’ve got in the camp, and we know that we need to push on, we need to build. Newport is always a scrap.”
Adam Murray's full interview will be available on Stags Player later tonight. To subscribe, click here.
Mansfield Town can still bag the goals without injured Liam Hearn, says Adam Murray
chad.co.uk by Stephen Thirkill
Matchwinner Adam Murray believes Mansfield Town can still bang in the goals, despite losing star striker Liam Hearn to injury.
Summer signing Hearn has been ruled out until after Christmas with a cartilage injury picked up during his full debut against Sheffield United in the Capital One Cup.
Mansfield shrugged off the setback to defeat Oxford United 2-1 on Saturday and pick up their first win of the season.
And Murray, who struck in the 88th minute against his former club to seal the win, believes Stags can still beat last year’s tally of 49 league goals without their star man.
“Losing Liam Hearn is a blow, but we have got to get on with it,” said Murray. “We are right up there with teams that get the ball in the box and in the channels and we will still cause trouble.
“We have got good strikers at this club and have got what it takes to score. Getting that first win is nice and will help settle us down.
“The boys have worked very hard to get the points today. After our previous two performances we knew there was plenty to build on and it is great to get the win at last.
“On a personal level it was sweet to score today, I have been working hard in pre-season and am glad it has paid off.
“I was brought on to shore things up in midfield, but I am comfortable in the opposition box and it is an area I can develop if that is what is required.”
Mansfield had taken the lead on 39 minutes when defender Ryan Tafazolli fired into an empty net after Chris Clements’ free-kick had cracked the post and fallen into his path.
Substitute Danny Hylton scored from the spot to equalise for the visitors after he had been fouled by Tafazolli on 78 minutes in one of their few attacks up to that point.
But super sub Murray, who had been on the pitch for just three minutes, drilled a fierce effort from 16 yards low and hard past George Long to deservedly wrap up the points.
Mansfield Town face Newport County at home on Tuesday night as they look to make it two wins on the bounce.
Tafazolli: We deserved the victory
mansfieldtown.net, 16th August 2014
Defender believes we were the better team in victory over Oxford United.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/tafazolli-we-deserved-the-victory-1833412.aspx#CfoxoEFKYiXg3ADZ.99
Ryan Tafazolli hailed midfielder/assistant-manager Adam Murray after his decisive late strike earned us a vital 2-1 win over Oxford United.
Tafazolli put us on course for three points with a close-range header late in the first half, but the visitors looked to be on course to snatch a point when Danny Hylton converted a spot-kick.
However, Murray who had only just came off the bench, struck in the dying minutes to earn us our first win in Sky Bet League Two this season.
Tafazolli said: “I’m not sure how easily the referee gave [the penalty to Oxford], but Adam Murray made amends for me.”
“All credit to him, he’s taken away the attention from me. I didn’t want to be held responsible for us losing two points.”
Tafazolli thought the Stags deserved the win over the 90 minutes.
He continued: “We limited them to only a number of chances, so I think we definitely deserved to win.”
“We were solid, our structure looked good today. They didn’t really have that many chances so it was a shame when we conceded.
“All credit [goes] to the gaffer for making two changes, bringing on Muz [Adam Murray] and Fergo [Fergus Bell]. They made the difference when they came on and for the better.”
With regards to his own display, Tafazolli said that he’s pleased with both his, and the teams start to the season: “I just go in to every game giving my everything and I’m pleased that I’m putting in some good performances.”
“We looked quite solid today, when we did give away cheap free-kicks and corners, we didn’t look like we were going to concede. Everyone needs to take their good performances in to Tuesday night.”
Ryan Tafazolli’s full post-match interview will be available on Stags Player later tonight. To subscribe, click here.
United boss Appleton expresses his frustrations after Mansfield loss
Oxford Mail: By David Pritchard, Chief Sports Reporter
Michael Appleton was hugely frustrated at the way his Oxford United side failed to heed the warnings about Mansfield Town’s game plan as they went down to a 2-1 defeat.
The below-par visitors looked like they had salvaged something when substitute Danny Hylton equalised from the penalty spot.
But with two minutes of normal time remaining, Adam Murray pounced on a weak clearing header and fired home the winner against his former club.
United struggled to find a rhythm all afternoon against a direct Stags side, which went about the game in exactly the way Appleton had briefed the squad.
The head coach said: “We knew what was coming, so it was nothing that surprised the players.
“Probably concentration is really the only thing that cost us.
“With the second goal we could’ve done better with the first ball, but we’d spoken to the players about dealing with the first and second balls.
“It let us down and we paid the price.”
Appleton limited his post-match comments in the changing room solely to praising the impact of substitutes Hylton, Josh Ruffels and debutant Alex Jakubiak.
The U’s boss’s irritation with the performance boiled over at one stage, lashing out to damage the plastic dugout.
He said: “I’m surprised what happened did happen, but I said I’d pay for it, so I’m sure they’ll be happy about that.
“Sometimes you wish some of the players would probably show just as much frustration and passion as I do at times, but these things happen.”
After drawing level, United had a decision to make in the closing stages.
While some felt the priority should have been on protecting a point, Appleton argued given the state of the game it was worth going for all three.
He said: “The game was there for the winning, so we’re not going to make those type of excuses.
“That’s an easy excuse to make and a couple of players mentioned it coming in, but for me at the end of the day they are beaten once we get that equaliser.
“We need to do better, we had a couple of half chances, but as I said to the players we’re two games in.”
United’s search for reinforcements goes on, but Appleton thought it was unlikely anything would happen before tomorrow night’s game at Morecambe.
United midfielder Collins: We should never have lost that game
Oxford Mail: By David Pritchard, Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United.
Michael Collins thought Oxford United should have done more to hold on for a point as they conceded a late goal to lose 2-1 at Mansfield Town.
The misfiring visitors were handed a lifeline 11 minutes from time, when Danny Hylton won and converted a penalty to make it 1-1.
Buoyed by the goal, United went in search of a winner, but were instead stung by Adam Murray’s 88th-minute strike.
For Collins, it was a point squandered.
He said: “I just believe through experience that sometimes when you’re away from home and not playing your best, when you’ve got a point in your hand with five minutes to go it’s a case of shutting up shop.
“That’s what we should’ve done, but there was a bit of inexperience and their lad sneaks in. All we can do is learn from it.”
United came into the game in a high after winning at League One side Bristol City in the Capital One Cup four days earlier.
Collins was well aware the game at Field Mill was going to be in stark contrast, but was disappointed the side were unable to find a way to play their game.
The midfielder said: “We played some really good football (at Bristol City), but League Two doesn’t allow you to do that.
“It’s an unforgiving league and there are some horrific games to be battled out.
“This was one of them and unfortunately we’ve come out second best.”
He added: “The gaffer will continue to tell us to play in the right way and we have to believe it will come, starting Tuesday (at Morecambe).”
JAMIE MCGUIRE @JAMIEMCGUIRE23
Buzzing great result today first home game off the season 3 points lads dug deep for it ! Fans were different class again @mansfieldtownfc
Sascha Studer @BVBStuder
Importan win today..Superb game of the Team..Next win on Tuesday!Go on you stags!!! #mansfieldtownfc
Liam Hearn @Hearnz10
Great result for the boys. Just what was needed after some very frustrating news! Thanks for the messages #stags
Latest | August 2014