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Archived News from September 2014

CLUCAS NOT JOINING CHESTERFIELD + BURTON PREVIEWS
3rd September 2014 23:22


Clucas staying at Mansfield Town
mansfieldtown.net, 28th August 2014

Lively frontman stays at One Call Stadium, despite media speculation.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/clucas-staying-at-mansfield-town-1880230.aspx#mhM7dvvOtTTKDZgT.99

Mansfield Town are pleased to confirm that winger/forward Sam Clucas will be staying at the club, following recent media speculation about a potential move elsewhere.

The 23-year-old has scored 13 goals in 48 appearances since joining us from Hereford United last summer.

Arguably Clucas’ best game so far in his Mansfield Town career was in an FA Cup First Round clash at St Albans City last term, which we won 8-1. The fleet-footed frontman scored four goals in a blistering 17-minute spell - a feat which saw him rewarded with the prestigious ‘Player of the Round’ accolade.

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Cox pleased with Clucas outcome
mansfieldtown.net, 28th August 2014

Boss pleased that Clucas is staying at One Call Stadium

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-pleased-with-clucas-outcome-1881009.aspx#66RIQ8FgQ7fcPTqD.99

Manager Paul Cox believes the news that Sam Clucas staying at the club is a positive for everyone at Mansfield Town.

The club has fought off interest from elsewhere to keep hold of the 23-year-old, who scored 13 goals in all competitions last season.

Last week, local rivals Chesterfield made an enquiry for the tricky forward, but no deal was reached.

"We didn’t get anywhere with any sort of negotiations with the clubs involved," said Cox. "Nobody has met our valuation of the player so I spoke to the chairman last night and we’re going to draw a line under it and move on.”

Our boss continued: "I think it’s brilliant for everyone associated with the club. I think it’s good for the lad as well - at least he knows what’s happening now.

"We all know he’s a very good player and I want to keep hold of my players when at the minute we’re struggling for bodies. I think it’s positive for the supporters, positive for me and for everyone associated with the club."

Cox admitted that although it is harder nowadays to keep things under wraps, it is important to be honest with players when other clubs are interested in their services.

He said: "I’m not a manager that will hide and sweep things under the carpet, because there’s so many outside influences now that are going to connect with the boy.

“You’ve got social media which means you can’t keep anything quiet now. But my philosophy is that you’re always honest with the players.

"From day one, I’ve always told him what’s going off. I've told him why, realistically, he’s not been in the side of late, because we were very close at that time to him going, so we were getting the feeling in that period that he was going to be leaving us.”

It’s not the first time that the ex-Hereford United man has been linked with a move elsewhere, but Cox has impressed with Clucas’ work-ethic during the recent occurrance of media speculation.

"He’s a great kid, he’s been great to work with and he’s come on leaps and bounds since he’s come here," added our manager.

"If he carries on that level of improvement then the world is going to be his oyster. His mindset has always been good, he played in a behind-closed-doors game on Tuesday and worked his socks off as he always does and came up with the goods."

Saturday’s opponents Burton Albion have made a solid start to the season, winning three and drawing one of their opening four fixtures. However, Cox is more concerned about his own team.

He added: "I’ve always said it doesn’t matter whether Burton Albion come here or Manchester United come here, it’s not about them.

"What I want to concentrate on is my team and my own players. We’re working extremely hard to improve and we know the areas we need to improve and I want to get some players back on the training field, because I think that adds to create that competition for places.”

"We’ve looked at the games [against Burton] last year and they were tight games.

"I think we got done at their place with a late goal and we drew here. Burton are up there with the teams that are heavily fancied this year and rightly so, but it’s the next phase of our journey at this football club and if we can get bodies back and keep them fit then we’ll be okay.”

In team news, centre-back Luke Jones is making good progress on his recent injury troubles and could again be included in the squad for Saturday's match.

Hear more from Paul Cox from this morning on Stags Player.

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Relief as Stags say Clucas will not be joining Chesterfield
chad.co.uk, 28 August 2014

Sam Clucas will not be joining local rivals Chesterfield, Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox said this morning, and Clucas, named in the Sky Bet League Two Team of the Year last season, is now in line for a start against visitors Burton Albion this Saturday.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/relief-as-stags-say-clucas-will-not-be-joining-chesterfield-1-6809615

Stags and winger and top scorer Clucas have been waiting anxiously to see if the League One Spireites came up with a suitable bid after almost four weeks of talks.

But Cox said today: “Sam will be staying here. They couldn’t meet our valuation so we now draw a line under it and move on.

“I think we were close at times and we did as much as we could in a professional manner.

“But I think this is brilliant news for everyone associated with the club and for the lad himself as he knows what is happening now.

“We want to keep hold of our best players, especially when we are struggling for bodies.

“I know anything can happen in football and I am not ruling out the other 91 clubs that could come in for hum before the window closes. But this was dragging on and not doing either club or the player any good.

“You have always got to be honest with players and I have told him what has been going on from day one. There are so many outside influences now and with social media you can’t keep anything quiet.

“Sam knows I haven’t picked him in the last couple of games as we thought he could be gone within 24 hours. Now he is very much in contention for a starting place on Saturday.”

Cox added: “There is no grey any more. It’s all totally black and white. Sam has been great throughout it. He has worked hard and been top drawer as a player and a person which can only hold him in good stead for the future.

“Sam is a great kid who has come on in leaps and bounds since he’s been here and, if he can carry on that level of improvement, the world will be his oyster. We played a behind-closed-doors game on Tuesday and he worked his socks off.

“I am sure the lad will be a bit disappointed as he is only human and everyone wants to better themselves and earn a few more quid, which will ultimately come to him if he keeps working hard.

“It can be hard as a player as the bubble has burst in front of you. But now Sam can become totally focused on proving he is one of the better players in League Two.”

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Clucas Bid Remains on Table
chesterfield-fc.co.uk, Thu 28 Aug 2014

Chesterfield chief executive Chris Turner says that an offer for Mansfield Town forward Sam Clucas remains on the table.

Read more at http://www.chesterfield-fc.co.uk/news/article/20140828-clucas-bid-remains-on-table-1881222.aspx#502zbC0grBvhRqLF.99

Turner confirmed last week that a bid for the player had been lodged and manager Paul Cook later revealed that talks were ongoing.

Mansfield have today put a statement on their website, saying that they are "pleased to confirm that winger/forward Sam Clucas will be staying at the club, following recent media speculation about a potential move elsewhere".

Responding to the development, Turner said: "The bid we have made for Sam Clucas still stands. We are not prepared to make a higher offer so the ball is in Mansfield's court."

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twitter
Sean Taylor @seantaylorpress, Thu 28 Aug 2014
Get the feeling we may not have heard the last of this Sam Clucas stuff.
#Scunthorpe & Orient also interested. #spireites #stags #iron #lofc

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Murray could be back to face Brewers
chad.co.uk

Influential Stags skipper and assistant manager Adam Murray could be back in line for a place for Mansfield Town’s tough home clash with in-form Burton Albion tomorrow (3pm).

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/murray-could-be-back-to-face-brewers-1-6810187

With speculation over a move to Chesterfield for Sam Clucas ended, the 23-year-old winger and top scorer could also find himself in a side needing a boost after last weekend’s 2-0 flop at Dagenham & Redbridge.

Midfielder Murray has shaken off a back strain and looks ready to rejoin the side for what looks a very difficult game against the fourth-placed Brewers, who have taken 10 points from their first four League games and knocked Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers out of the Capital One Cup.

Cox was disappointed with his side’s surrender at Dagenham, despite the threadbare squad he had at his disposal.

He said: “One or two players were a bit fatigued but my hands are tied over making changes with being short on bodies. The boys don’t deliberately go out there to lose. But we did look lethargic.

“On the positive side we have won two of the first four games after everyone was saying it looked like an incredibly hard start to the season.

“We will be working on getting their minds right again and, more than anything, getting their bodies right again. Hopefully we will clear up a few more knocks and bruises.

“We have lost a football match so no one is happy. But, if you do lose, there are ways to lose a game and that wasn’t us on Saturday.

“I can probably count on one hand the number of times we’ve put in that sort of performance since I’ve been here.

“Sometimes you just have to drive on through this scenario and I don’t want to make any excuses. We have a good group of players. I just don’t want our lack of bodies to catch up on us. Once we get some bodies back I know will will be decent.”

On the Brewers, he added: “Burton are a good side with a good squad of players. They have kept the nucleus from last year and added some quality to it.

“They deserved to beat Wigan and QPR and, make no bones about it, they are going to be up there this season. They are ones to watch. Burton are heavily fancied and rightly so. Both games with them were very tight last year.”

Stags were beaten by a late goal at Burton last season with a 0-0 home draw between the sides at One Call Stadium.

Cox confirmed that the cash-strapped Stags would not be making any more signings before Monday’s transfer window, despite the current squad size.

He said: “No new players will be coming in, though we are running the rule and had some players down for the behind-closed-doors friendly the other day, some of whom were excellent.

“It’s something we’ve got to deal with and we may have to bring or or two of the kids through, though we have to make sure we don’t kill them by bringing them through too early.”

But, despite the current situation, Cox has lost none of his ambition, saying: “I want to win the league - simple as that. I have that desire and I will never lose it.

“At the start of the season I said this will be my hardest season yet. Sometimes you need the right tools and, with our squad size as it is now, we are going to have to be more patient than other clubs and build.”

One player still struggling to make a return is centre half Luke Jones, though he could be involved at Notts County for Tuesday night’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie if he continues to improve over the weekend.

“Luke went for a second scan and it showed nothing serious - just a bit of tendonitis still in there.

“It is a massive frustration not having him available as he is excellent in both boxes and can weigh in with a goal. Luke was one of our marquee signings this summer.”

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Rhead looking to add more strings to his bow
mansfieldtown.net, 28th August 2014

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/rhead-looking-to-add-more-strings-to-his-bow-1881547.aspx#6746fFvYZzJI23i5.99

Rhead aiming to stay one step ahead of his opponents.

Mansfield Town striker Matt Rhead is aiming to stay one step ahead of the opposition by adding more facets to his game.

The 30-year-old frontman believes that his maiden season in the Football League last year has helped him to mature as a footballer and add different aspects to his game.

He said: "When you play in the league and people know what you’re about then people counteract what you do, so it’s important to re-invent yourself and make a different opportunity elsewhere.

"For instance, maybe I’d make a different run, because obviously they [the opposition] watch videos, so it’s important that we try and free up a bit more space.”

“Last season, I was a bit of an unknown quantity with it being my first season in the Football League. However, this year it seems like teams have done their homework and they’re trying to put a few more bodies around me."

The burly frontman also intends to keep in the referee’s good books this term, after missing the first three games of the 2014/15 campaign through suspension.

Rhead continued: "It’s important that I stay on his [the referee's] good side, because I don’t want to be missing any more games.

"With the squad that we’ve got it’s important because we can’t afford anymore suspensions. It’s important that we’re competitive, but also mindful of not getting silly red cards.”

“Going through pre-season knowing that I was going to miss the first three games was frustrating. Now it’s important to hopefully get a run in the team and create another partnership with whoever plays up front as well."

Rhead also had words of encouragement for team-mate Ollie Palmer, whom he formed a good partnership with towards the tail end of last season.

“I think me and Ollie played quite a lot of games together towards the end of last season," added Rhead. "He’s a big physical lad and he puts himself about, similar to myself.

"Hopefully he can get a few goals and Fish [Alex Fisher] can chip in with a few as well as myself, then hopefully we can push up the league and give a good account of ourselves.”

After our inconsistent home form hindered our progress at times last season, Rhead is hoping that we can improve on that this time around.

"Any team that wants to do well in this league has to have good home form," said the forward. "We can’t rely on winning games away, but if we can continue that and keep doing well at home then that’ll do us.”

Rhead hopes to make a good impression this weekend when we lock horns with high-flying Burton Albion - opponents who we haven't scored against in our four previous competitive meetings.

He said: “Last season, Burton were a tough side. They were very disciplined and they were structured in the 4-4-2 that they played.

"It was difficult to create opportunities, but they played in midweek so hopefully that will give us the advantage. We’re at home as well and if the fans get behind us I'm sure we can get a result.”

Matt Rhead's full interview will be available on Stags Player later today. To subcribe, click here.

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Stags striker Rhead ready to reinvent himself
chad.co.uk, 28 August 2014

Mansfield Town’s man-mountain striker Matt Rhead has endured a frustrating start to the campaign after finding himself a more heavily marked man.

http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/local-sport/stags-striker-rhead-ready-to-reinvent-himself-1-6810193

And he admitted he may need to reinvent himself to create some space and get himself on the scoresheet.

He said; “It has been difficult. Last season I was a bit of an unknown quantity in the Football League.

“Teams have now done their homework and I get a few more bodies around me which makes it hard to find the space. It is something I’ve got to overcome.

“But I have had a few obstacles in my way throughout my career and I am sure it won’t be long before I start to get a few goals.

“Players are getting a bit closer to me. So it is important to reinvent yourself and maybe make a different run to free up a bit more space for everyone else.”

Equally frustrating for Rhead was missing the first three games of the season through completing a four-game suspension from last season for a second red card. The striker admitted he, and the rest of the small squad, need to stay on the right side of referees this campaign.

“It is important to stay on their good side,” he said. “We can’t afford any suspensions. It is important we are competitive but mindful of not getting any stupid red cards.

“It was tough through pre-season knowing I was going to miss the first three games. It plays with your head a bit. It was so frustrating as no one wants to be watching football matches. Now it’s important for me to get a good run in the team and creating a good partnership with whoever is up there with me.”

Last Saturday Rhead rarely looked like scoring as Stags turned in a poor display that saw them lose 2-0 at Dagenham & Redbridge.

“It wasn’t like us not to put a performance in,” he said. “We let ourselves down a bit which is uncharacteristic. We didn’t really offer anything during the game and I think the goal just before half-time killed us. We are now just looking forward to the next game.

“Since I have been here we have very rarely had matches like that. We didn’t do anything all over the pitch and I didn’t get many chances. We need to bounce back this weekend and get a result.

“Looking at our fixtures, I don’t think two wins is too bad though it would have been nice to pick up a couple of draws away from home.

“Any team who wants to do anything in this league has to have good home form. You can’t rely on winning away. I hope we can keep doing that and picking up a new more points away as well.”

Now Rhead is preparing to face unbeaten Burton, who knocked QPR out of the Capital One Cup last night, saying: “Last season they were a very tough side, very disciplined in their 4-4-2 formation and difficult to create opportunities against.

“But they played in midweek which gives us the advantage. I hope there are a few tired legs in there. We are at home as well so, with the fans behind us, I am sure we can a result.”

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Stags new boy Fisher so happy to be back home
chad.co.uk

Well-travelled Mansfield Town striker Alex Fisher admitted he is loving being back home and relishing the physicality and directness of League Two football.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/stags-new-boy-fisher-so-happy-to-be-back-home-1-6810196

The 24-year-old came through the ranks at Oxford United and broke into their first team back in 2007 aged just 16.

But, after being released a couple of years later, he ended up at the Glenn Hoddle Academy in Spain, moving on to play football in Belgium and Italy.

Now Fisher is now delighted to be part of the One Call Stadium family, saying: “I have been waiting for this for a long time. At the end of each season I thought I would love to be back home so I am very happy to be back here now.

“It is strange how things work out. Playing in Belgium you are only a few kilometres from Holland and Italy so word can get out quickly. But I thought while I was out there I should make the most of it.

“It started out as just a season, but the next contract offer was abroad and I thought I should take something concrete rather than a trial back home. I really enjoyed the experience, but there’s nothing like being back home.

“The League is everything I have ever wanted from football. The more I feel I can adapt to it and get used to it the better. I have really missed being at home. I know this is a fantastic opportunity for me.

“I am living with Ryan Tafazolli. He is a top man and he and everyone at the club has made me feel really welcome. There is a real family feel at this club.”

Fisher loves the rough and tumble of the English game and said it was a huge contrast with what he had become used to abroad.

“You could be sure from a goalkick, they would pass it out of the box,” he said. “It could be really boring to play up front and go 20 minutes without going over halfway just passing the ball side to side.

“I really like how it’s more direct over here as I like to be in the thick of it.

“It is certainly more physical here and you can make challenges you would get a ludicrous yellow card for abroad.

“I now feel like I can adapt to different styles quicker than before I went abroad.

“I scored in the Capital One Cup but still have to score my first League goal. My first priority is that the team wins and if I can contribute to that in any way that’s fantastic. Personally I think I have a lot more to give yet.”

Fisher is one of three strikers fighting for two places with Matt Rhead and Ollie Palmer with Liam Hearn out injured until Christmas.

“Rheady is a master at what he does which frees me up to express myself, Ollie is a fantastic player and Liam is another great asset up front,” he said.

Saturday’s visitors Burton Albion arrive with an unbeaten start and two great Capital One Cup scalps in Wigan and QPR.

But reputations mean little to someone who has been out the country for a few years and Fisher pointed out: “Being abroad for a few years I don’t know what these teams are totally about which can be an advantage as you don’t get bogged down and always focus on them. But I do know it will be tough.”

Fisher was also delighted to hear the news that transfer talks with Chesterfield had broken down and team mate and fellow former Glenn Hoddle Academy player Sam Clucas would be staying with Stags.

He said: “That’s fantastic news and bodes really well for the future. Sam is a fantastic player and a great asset to this club. I have known him for a long time and he is a great lad.”

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Burton Albion boss Gary Rowett tells team to expect physical battle at Mansfield
By Tom Sloan, derbytelegraph.co.uk, August 29, 2014

Gary Rowett says Mansfield have added guile.

GARY Rowett says his Burton Albion players got a warning last week at Newport County of what to expect at Mansfield Town tomorrow.

Read more at http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/Burton-Albion-boss-Gary-Rowett-tells-team-expect/story-22844528-detail/story.html?#gatGZBCgc6C0DSIf.99

The Brewers visit Field Mill (3pm) for another test of their physical mettle after a tough battle in the 1-1 draw at Newport.

Rowett says the Stags, known as a muscular team, have added some guile to their steel this summer.

He will not underestimate them as he looks to avoid a case of after the lord mayor’s show following Wednesday’s outstanding Capital One Cup win over Queens Park Rangers.

“The Newport game was ideal preparation, even though we didn’t play well,” said the manager.

“It gave us a warning for Saturday. We know what we’ve got to do to win the game.

“Yes, I’m going to have to tailor the team to Mansfield and also work out who’s going to give us the energy levels we want.”

Rowett could be forgiven for enjoying the moment after the 1-0 win over QPR - but his mind had already turned to tomorrow.

“People asked me after the game what was going through my mind,” he said

“The answer was simple - what team was I going to put out against Mansfield?

“They’re a lot like Newport, only they play a three at the back.

“They’ve got size in the team, but we’ve watched them and technically they’ve got some very good players.

“The striker, Alex Fisher, has come back from playing abroad and is a good player.

“We certainly won’t undervalue what they can do.

“We’ve got to be up for the fight.”

Rowett prepared for Mansfield by resting Stuart Beavon against QPR and giving John Mousinho and Robbie Weir 45 minutes each on Wednesday.

Lucas Akins, who missed out altogether, is expected to be absent tomorrow as his injured hand is given more time to recover.

“By bringing two or three players into the team it helps,” said Rowett.

“We took a gamble taking Moose (Mousinho) off but we did it because he’d got a booking.

“I knew he’d have to be competitive in there and I didn’t want him picking up another one and missing the Mansfield game - as well as the rest of the QPR game.

“Two or three had a rest - we certainly won’t be tired going to Mansfield.

“We’ve just got to make sure we’re focused.

“We’ve got to bring that same desire, determination and quality to the table at Mansfield.

“People always talk about after the lord mayor’s show.

“We’re not going to say that and be disrespectful to Mansfield.

“it’ll be a very, very difficult game and one we know we’ll have to perform very well in to win.”

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Burton Albion play safe over Lucas Akins' broken hand
By Tom Sloan, derbytelegraph.co.uk, August 29, 2014

LUCAS Akins is set to miss Burton Albion's visit to Mansfield Town tomorrow to allow his broken hand to heal - and avoid a potential two-month absence.

Read more at http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/Burton-Albion-play-safe-Lucas-Akins-broken-hand/story-22844534-detail/story.html?#jZMSrm2aBCDIfJeY.99

The 25-year-old Burton Albion winger missed the historic victory over Queen’s Park Rangers on Wednesday night with the injury.

Brewers boss Gary Rowett had been tempted to gamble on keeping the influential Akins in his side.

But now the danger is that a further blow to the hand - which he injured in the win over Dagenham - would rule Akins (pictured) out for a long spell.

“The thought process a few weeks ago was to have a gamble,” said Rowett.

“We’ve been playing him and psychologically he’s only going to be 80 per cent because he’s going to be aware of his hand.

“He’s going to know the injury is there every time he goes up for a header.

“He’s not going to play at his full capacity and how long would that go on?

“He could no longer have it pinned, he would have to have it wired which would mean more than two months out.

“So, do we leave him out against QPR and Mansfield and therefore have two weeks’ rest.

“Then it’s well on the way to healing and he’ll be psychologically better.”

Rowett admitted he did not want to leave Akins out and that the player himself wants to carry on playing.

But, the manager says, his long-term health is more important than a handful of games.

“I don’t want to leave him out of any game and he doesn’t want to be left out because he’s a great pro,” said Rowett.

“But if we were to lose him for two months it would be a devastating blow to us.”

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Latest | September 2014