STEVENAGE PREVIEWS / REGGIE LAMBE FIRST INTERVIEW
Paul Cox told StagsPlayer, 25th September 2014:
"Sometimes in our time of need we want them (the supporters) to forget about bad decisions and players playing badly and we need the whole of our support to get behind us.
The fans have backed the team in the 3/4 years I've been here and I hope they continue to do so."
Cox looks for better game management
mansfieldtown.net, 25th September 2014
Boss aims for 90-minute performance, following game of two halves against Carlisle.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-looks-for-better-game-management-1960646.aspx#4C5WVzQ6Vdx6rsXw.99
Manager Paul Cox wants our players to improve their game management during matches where we find ourselves in good positions.
Having been 3-0 up at half-time, our team held on to win 3-2 against Carlisle United last time out to record their fifth success this term, whilst in our last away match, Wycombe Wanderers came from behind to beat us 2-1.
“Somebody told me this morning that there’s only something like five clubs from the Championship downwards that have won more matches than us [this season],” said our manager.
“The big thing now is that we need game management. The games that we have lost, we need to make sure we don’t lose. On the bigger picture, the players are working extremely hard for this football club and playing some good stuff.”
Meanwhile, our boss was impressed with the performances of several players during a reserve match at Scunthorpe United on Tuesday afternoon, which finished in a 1-1 draw.
The Iron took the lead courtesy of a first half strike by trialist Rory Fallen, but Ollie Palmer pounced in the closing stages to earn us a deserved draw.
“It was a good run out for us and a really competitive game. It got a number of players, some of whom were coming back from injury, 45 to 90 minutes under their belts,” said Cox.
“It allowed us to have a look at a trialist and, more importantly, we got two or three of the kids in there, who I thought were exceptional for their ages.
“That’s what pleased me more than anything, as well as seeing the likes of John Dempster get back onto the pitch. There were some good performances by players who are a little bit rusty at the minute.”
When asked if any players had forced their way into our boss’ plans for Saturday’s match at Stevenage, Cox replied: “They all have. Beggars can’t be choosers, because we need all the bodies that we can get.
“We’ve got one or two doubts going into Saturday, so the [reserve] game was really important for us.”
On the trialist, who has been confirmed as Jordan Hendrie, Cox added: “I’ve got to talk to the people that first made us aware of him and we’ll take it from there. The kid did himself no harm whatsoever.”
In team news ahead of this weekend’s match at the Lamex Stadium, our boss confirmed that playmaker Fergus Bell is a doubt due to a shoulder problem.
Midfielder Chris Clements (hamstring) and long-term absentee Liam Hearn (knee) are definitely ruled out.
Cox said: “Fergus damaged his shoulder and has been struggling with that, so he’s a doubt. We’ve got a few knocks and a few bruises, but hopefully everyone else will be okay.
“He [Fergus] has been for a scan and there’s a bit of damage. Last Saturday, he played with an injection and some pain relief, but there are one or two players who are playing through the pain barrier.”
On Clements, the Stags' chief added: “He’s been excellent so far this season. He’s evolving as a young footballer and it’ll be a massive miss for us, because his performances, especially over the last two or three games, have been exceptional.”
Paul Cox's full interview will be available on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.
Boss Cox waiting on Stags’ walking wounded
chad.co.uk, 25 September 2014
Mansfield Town’s walking wounded head to Stevenage on Saturday (3pm) with manager Paul Cox waiting anxiously on the fitness of three or four players.
Midfielder Fergus Bell is already a major doubt with several others feeling the strain after soldiering on with knocks in the last couple of games.
“We have a few knocks, but I want to give everyone the chance to make Saturday,” said Cox.
“Fergus has a damaged shoulder from the Morecambe game and he is struggling with that at the moment.
“He had a scan on it and there is a bit of damage in there. He played on Saturday with a pain-killing injection in it. We had one or two on Saturday playing through the pain barrier. They are going above and beyond what is expected.
“I have given them a couple of days off this week to recuperate. You saw on Saturday that two or three players were on their knees. There are players I would like to give a rest to for different reasons but we can’t so we have to stay as we are.”
He added: “I want to give my players credit. When you see what other clubs are working with on a day-to-day basis, it can be hard. I am glad the majority of our supporters are getting behind us.
“It will be really tough on Saturday. Stevenage always work hard, are fit, strong, structured and organised. They are a League One side just relegated.”
Cox continues to look at possible new signings to bolster his ailing squad, but admitted the current situation may mean he has to draft a youth team player or two into the squad.
In midweek he took a look at 18-year-old ex-Bolton defender Jordan Hendrie in the reserve game at Scunthorpe. The match also saw John Dempster begin his comeback from injury with just over a half of football.
“It was a good run-out and a really competitive game,” said Cox. “A number of players got 45-90 minutes and we had a look at a trialist.
“Most impressive for me was two or three of the kids playing, who all looked excellent for their ages. They really are forcing the issue with me because of our numbers and could be involved in the first team squad.
“On Jordan Hendrie, I need to talk to the people who made me aware of him. But the kid did himself no harm whatsoever.”
Settled Lambe happy with life in Mansfield
mansfieldtown.net, 25th September 2014
New signing feels comfortable amongst new team-mates.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/settled-lambe-happy-with-life-in-mansfield-1961599.aspx#BKoExg3XqHPfwcSS.99
New signing Reggie Lambe says he already feels very much at home, having joined us on a free transfer last week.
The versatile playmaker, who can operate in several positions, put pen-to-paper on a deal at One Call Stadium a few days prior to making his debut in the 3-2 victory over Carlisle United.
“[The Football League] is where I want to play,” said Lambe. “It’s always been where I’ve wanted to set myself in my career and push forward, so I’m happy to be back [in England] and can’t wait to get started.”
Reflecting on his debut, the Bermuda international continued: “In those situations you just have to do your defensive work, keep the ball if you can, and just make sure you see the game out.
“Coming on in that situation is something that I didn’t really feel pressure for, because I knew I’d help defensively a lot. I am an attacking player, but in those situations you just need to work for the team and make sure you get the three points.”
The 23-year-old has been training with us for over a fortnight now and has some kind words to say about his new team-mates.
“There’s a lot of interesting players here,” added the ex-Ipswich Town youngster. “Matt Rhead can hold it up well and Rakish (Bingham) can run off the ball, so it’s a good combination to have up front. For me to come into that, I’d be delighted to play with them.
“I’ve found myself in and amongst all the boys really well. When I first came down I was staying with Fergus Bell and he made me feel really welcome.
“Once I got to know everyone in the dressing room, I felt really comfortable.”
Before putting pen-to-paper on a deal with us, Lambe enjoyed a two-year spell playing for Toronto in the MLS [Major League Soccer], which was followed by a three-month spell with Nyköpings BIS in Sweden.
The youngster believes the MLS is an underestimated league, which has many differences to football in this country.
“It’s a much different league than over here. It’s more athletic and there are more athletes coming through, but being here you can see more passion [that people have] for football,” said Lambe.
“I’m passionate about the game, so I like to be here when everyone around me feels the same way.
“But the standard is really good over there. It’s getting better all the time and more players want to go over there now, so the league is getting stronger.”
Asked how much he evolved as a player whilst playing in the MLS, he continued: “They have good facilities, good coaching and you can always improve your game - that’s something what depends on you and not where you’re playing football.
“As long as your head is on and you want to improve, then I think you can.”
Lambe so happy to be back in England
Bermuda international Reggie Lambe is hoping he might make his full Mansfield Town debut at Stevenage this weekend after his first taste of Stags action as a second half substitute in last weekend’s narrow 3-2 home win over Carlisle.
The 23-year-old is loving every minute of being back in England after starting his professional career at Ipwich Town before a spell in the MLS with Toronto and three-month spell in Sweden.
His move to Stags then seemed to be on-off for a week or two.
“Everything took a bit longer than I thought, but, in the end, it’s done and now I am just looking forward to getting myself started and getting a few games in,” he said.
“This is where I wanted to play. I always wanted to settle myself in my career in England.
“The MLS is a very athletic league. But here you can see the passion a lot more in the football. I am very passionate about the game and I love being here where everyone feels the same way.”
Lambe explained how he ended up in England the first time around, saying: “I used to play for Bermuda’s national team as a youngster and on a trip to Holland I was seen by some scout from Ipswich and offered a trial. I came over two weeks on and two weeks off for a few weeks and seemed to impress them as they offered me a youth team scholarship.
“It was a dream come true from a young player’s perspective.
“I pushed on and had a few years of pro contracts so I must have done well.
“Then I moved on to Toronto FC. Now I am back where I want to be.
“I have always kept tabs on the English game, especially League One when my Bermuda team mate Nahki Wells has played for Bradford and Huddersfield.
“I am still involved in the international side. Our last fixture was a World Cup qualifier against Barbados a couple of months ago, and there will be more games coming around soon.
“I spent three months playing in Sweden to keep myself ticking over while the English game had its summer break. I wanted to keep fit and ready to go, though I did pick up an injury in my last game. I feel fit again now, probably about 95 per cent.”
Playing in a league with such vast distances between clubs meant Lambe will never be fazed by away trips in League Two.
“Exeter is a short trip to me,” he said. “Every trip in Toronto we had to fly because everywhere was so far. Being on a coach for a couple of hours is not too bad - better than standing in those lines at the airport.
“The MLS had good facilities and the standard is good and getting better. More players want to go out there and play.”
It was a tough debut for him last week as Stags wilted under heavy Carlisle pressure.
“In those situations you need to do your defensive work, keep the ball if you can, and see the game out,” he said.
“I am an attacking player but in those situations you work for the team and make sure you get the three points. The boys have made me feel really welcome and I feel comfortable.”
One Stags player who knew who Lambe was before he signed was Ryan Tafazolli who came up against him as a Southampton youngster in youth team games with Ipswich.
Lambe said: “I remember him slightly from Ipswich, but he says he remembers me for my pink boots I used to wear. It’s always a good sign when you stand out.”
Strong-minded Clements aims to return better
mansfieldtown.net, 25th September 2014
Midfielder frustrated to be sidelined through injury, but aims to make positive return.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/strong-minded-clements-aims-to-return-better-1961003.aspx#3WuUo5hJOIwWDDjz.99
Midfield playmaker Chris Clements is aiming to return to our team better than ever before, but admits he feels frustrated to be currently sidelined with a hamstring injury.
The 24-year-old, who has enjoyed a great start to the season, picked up the injury in the early stages of the second half against Carlisle United last Saturday and had to be replaced by team-mate Jamie McGuire.
Scans have since revealed that he could be out of action for up to a month.
“It’s a horrible time to get injured,” admitted Clements. “I think I’ve established myself in the team, started playing well, and then this happens.
“I was tracking back and then I just felt it pop. I thought it was cramp, but then I couldn’t run on it. I’ve had the scan results and it says I’ve got an 11 centimetre tear.”
He continued: “I thought I was doing pretty well, but this seems to happen when you’re doing well. The same thing happened last year when I got myself in the team then got a bad injury against York.
“But I think that’s going to help me this year, because I came back even better last year and I’ll be hoping to do the same this year.”
Having bagged the winner in last month’s 1-0 win over Newport County and enjoyed a solid start this term, Clements believes our team must now ‘kick on’ in order to continue climbing up the Sky Bet League Two table.
“I think we’ve done well this year and started well,” added the playmaker.
“We’ve just got to ‘kick on’ now and keep playing how we’ve been playing lately - apart from the second half against Carlisle which wasn’t us, as we just had a bad second half at the office.
“But I think we can kick on from here. To actually concede two goals, in previous years we would have collapsed and conceded a third or a fourth, so it just shows there is still a bit of resilience in the team to hold on for victory.”
On our team-spirit, which has drawn widespread praise in recent weeks, Clements said: “We’ve got people working for each other and fighting for the cause and that’s what we’ve got to do this year.
“Obviously the squad is smaller, so everyone has got to pull their weight. We’re a tight-knit group and we’d run through a brick wall for each other. That’s basically what it is - us against the world, proving we can [succeed] as a small squad.”
Chris Clements' full interview is now available on Stags Player. To subscribe, click here.
Clements put a brave face on injury
Chris Clements was trying to put on a brave face as he began trying to shake off a torn hamstring which brought his promising Mansfield Town season to a shuddering halt last weekend.
Midfield ace Clements, who missed a chunk of last season with injury after also finding top form, limped off just after the break in last weekend’s home 3-2 win against Carlisle.?He said: “It is a horrible time to get injured as I was just establishing myself in the team and starting to play well. But it’s something I have got to get over and I hope I will come back stronger.
“I was just tracking back - something I have started doing - and I felt a pop. I thought it might be cramp, but then I thought cramp just after half-time - what’s wrong with me? Then I couldn’t run on it and I just knew.
“I thought I was doing pretty well, and this sort of thing always seems to happen when you’re playing well.
“But when I got injured last year I came back even better and I hope to do that again this year.”
Clements has been impressed by the club’s start to the campaign.
“I think we have done well this year,” he said. “We have started well like last year and now we need to kick on and keep playing like we have been lately.
“We battered Morecambe in the game last week and we don’t fear anyone in this league.
“The first half was a pretty easy game to play in. But they just threw everything at us in the second half. That was not us in that second half. It was a bad second half at the office. But after actually conceding two goals, in previous years I think we’d have collapsed and conceded three or four. It just shows the resilience in the team to hold on for that victory.
“Players are working hard for each other and fighting for the cause. That’s what you’ve got to do with a smaller squad. Everyone has got to pull their weight. We would all run through a brick wall for each other.”
Knows as a ball player, Clements is quite happy with the side playing a direct game as long as they know when to mix it up.
He said: “As a team we are direct and that’s what got us out of the Conference and into the Football League, so it shows it does work. But you do have to mix it up sometimes. When teams know you are going to go direct, you have to mix it up, play some football and bring them out.”
Clements will miss out on tomorrow’s trip to Stevenage as he put in the hours on his rehabilitation.
“Stevenage is a tough place to go but we are confident we can get something out of it. Even a draw would be a good result, but I think we can beat them,” he said.
“I will be working hard in the gym or swimming and trying to get back as soon as possible. It is weird and very surreal not to be walking out at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon.”
Manager Paul Cox said: “Chris has been excellent. He is evolving as a young player and will be a massive miss for us. His performances, especially over the last two or three games, have been excellent.”
Stevenage boss Graham Westley knows his side are in for a big battle against Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by Stephen Thirkill, firstname.lastname@example.org, 26 September 2014
Stevenage boss Graham Westley says his side will have to go toe to toe with Mansfield Town if they are to claim all three points.
Westley also believes 15th-placed Stevenage will take a big step towards throwing Stags off their game plan if they can stop Matt Rhead from playing.
Said Westley: “We know exactly what we will get from Mansfield. We played them in pre-season last year and it was probably the most physical match we had all year.
“Mansfield are a physical team, they will be physical and will give no quarter. They will be direct and bang the ball up to Matt Rhead.
“They expect him to be very aggressive and to pick up the second ball. Credit to them for doing what they do, they got out of the Conference in this way and are progressing.
“We are not a team to grumble about how they play. We know that to win any football game you have to match the physical play of the opposition and battle.
“We will look to win the first ball and play our football on the back of that. We will be aggressive and ready for the contest.”
Relegated Stevenage, who are without a win in two, struggled to adjust to life back in League Two and shipped 11 goals in their opening six games.
But Westley’s men have turned their leaky defence around in recent weeks to give them a platform for prgoress.
“We conceded 11 goals in our first six games, that is not what my sides do,” added Westley.
“We have now conceded two in our last three games and sometimes it is about taking small steps as you progress.
“Two clean sheets in three says a lot about the character of the young players.
“We have not got a solid base. Add to that our experienced players coming back from injury and that bit of extra quality and we will be progressing in a good direction.”
'Long ball' Mansfield will provide stern physical test for Stevenage, says boss Westley
By Hertfordshire Mercury, September 25, 2014, By ALAN SCOTT
BORO boss Graham Westley has warned his defence to expect a tough, aggressive challenge from a Mansfield Town side that likes to bomb the ball up to a big man.
Read more: http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/Long-ball-Mansfield-provide-stern-physical-test/story-22981125-detail/story.html#ixzz3ELIzZ6DC
The Stevenage manager is well aware of the test his team will endure against the Stags, as his side look for a second successive home league win, a feat they last achieved on October 26 last year.
Westley, speaking at his press conference today (Thursday September 25) said: "We played them in a pre-season friendly last year and that was probably the most physical game we had all year.
"There was no quarter given by them at all. They are very physical, very direct.
"They bang the long boy to the boy [Matt] Rhead up front.
"They expect him to be very aggressive. I'm sure it was him [that was] sent off against us last time for a horrible foul. But he's a very, very aggressive player. They bang a lot at him and they try and pick the seconds up.
"They are a direct side. Credit to them for doing what they do. They got out of the Conference doing it.They have progressed and they are in a decent league position.
"We are not going to be a club to grumble about what another side does and the way they play. We know to win any football match you have got to be more than a match for the physical contest that comes your way, in a disciplined manner.
"We have never been shy of those kind of games. We beat them in the pre-season friendly last year by standing to -to-toe with them, but by playing our football off the back of that.
"You know we will be courageous. We will be an aggressive side in the way we play our football. We will be ready for the contest that will ensue.
"They [Mansfield] want to go forward early. They hit a lot of long balls. They have got that big target man and he fights and works hard. You have got to match that. You have got to compete for those long balls. You have to win those long balls and pick up the seconds. We have got some very good footballers coming back.
"Providing we can get the side that I think we can put out there, I think we can do a lot of damage."
Stevenage have injury concerns and it is feared that key midfield signing Simon Walton (hamstring) could be out for eight weeks.
Chris Whelpdale is doubtful after coming off injured against Oxford, but Andy Bond is back from a three-game ban.
Left-back Jerome Okimo (hamstring) is doubtful, as is keeper Sam Beasant.
For Mansfield, midfielder Simon Heslop, who joined from Stevenage in the summer, could be on the bench. Centre-half Luke Jones, who also switched to the Stags, is out with tendonitis.
Latest | September 2014