Boss places emphasis on patience during ‘transitional’ spell
mansfieldtown.net, 13th November 2014
Manager Paul Cox says ‘patience is key’ as his side endure a run of form which resembles last year’s record at this stage of the season.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-places-emphasis-on-patience-during-transitional-spellnew-component-2082428.aspx#SufpV27sM2HFleYh.99
This time last year, Stags were six games without a win before results were turned around to see us finish in a respectable position of 11th last season.
One year later, Paul Cox’s side have been unable to collect maximum points from their last seven outings, but Cox reflected on similar runs in previous seasons at this morning’s press conference, which they have eventually overcome to finish the season commandingly.
“Patience is the key whilst we’re going through a transitional period. We will have a period where things won’t go well," said the manager.
“Like I’ve said every year, we come through this period each season. It’s how you deal with these situations that ultimately tests where you will finish at the end of the season.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s match at Shrewsbury Town, third in Sky Bet League Two, Cox said: “They flew the flag for League Two in the cup earlier in the season and I thought they were excellent in that game.
"We’ve had good reports about them and they have good players throughout their squad. They’re a side which I predict will be one of the teams in the top three come the end of the season.”
In team news, Paul Cox said that defender Ryan Tafazolli has a chance of a starting place this Saturday. Tafazolli has been sidelined for the past six matches with a hamstring injury but returned to training earlier this week.
Midfielder Simon Heslop resumed training today whilst Matt Rhead will be battling for a starting shirt.
“It’s nice to have these characters back now. When you look at the side that did so well at the end of last season, there is a massive spine of the side that has been missing in the last seven or eight weeks and we’ve felt the brunt of it.
“It’ll probably take a week or two for a few players to get back to full fitness but I’ve always said that when we start to get bodies back we will start to get consistent results a lot quicker,” he added.
Stags could welcome five back for tough Shrewsbury trip
chad.co.uk, 13 November 2014
Ahead of their tough game away to third-placed Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, a frustrating weekend off last week may at least see Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox welcome five of his injury-hit squad back to fitness.
Stags have been stung by up 11 first team players being out in recent weeks.
But last weekend’s home FA Cup postponement against Concord Rangers may prove to be a blessing in disguise as Cox is now hopeful he will have Ryan Tafazolli, Matt Rhead, Chris Clements, Ollie Palmer and Simon Heslop raring to go.
“It’s now all about getting bodies back and ending this horrendous period when we’ve had up to 10/11 good players sat twiddling their thumbs because of injury,” he said.
“It’s not been an horrendous run. It could have been a lot worse with the clubs we’ve played and the personnel we had to play with.
“Now we need to get a couple of wins to get that bit of a vibe back in the dressing room and get confidence back.”
Cox had hoped to use the midweek reserve game at Rainworth MW against Rotherham United to shake off a little rust from the injured players.
But, once he heard how poor the Kirklington Road surface was, he opted instead to throw in a side made up of largely U16 players who, against an experienced Millers side, were given an 8-0 hiding and a lesson in football.
Cox said: “We used a number of the U16s. It was played at Rainworth and we heard the pitch was a bit cut up from the night before and uneven. The last thing we wanted to do was risk any players.
“If it had been a playable surface we could have got one or two a game. But we can’t afford to risk anybody. I have to protect first team players and get them back to full fitness.
“It threw our plans into turmoil a bit. But we have some good kids coming through and, even though the scoreline wasn’t good, it will still be a good experience for them with the side that Rotherham played.
“If it helps fast-track the 14-16-year-olds into youth and reserve team football all the better. That bad experience will turn into a good experience for them.”
Cox knows how tough the game at Shrewbury will be, the Shrews boasting a 100 per cent home League winning record and having just reeled off five successive League Two wins.
“They flew the flag against Chelsea early on and I thought they were excellent that game,” said Cox. “We have good reports about them and they have good players throughout their squad.
“They are one of the sides I predict will be in that top three at the end of the season.
“But I have always said that once we start getting bodies back we will start to pick up more consistent results.
“We have some really tough fixtures ahead. But the league is so unpredictable and bottom can beat top. You win two and you jump a lot of places. I think it will be like that all season as a lot of clubs are very evenly matched. Put two or three results together you are in a good position, lose three and you’re in a bad position.”
Stags will also come up against one of the most talented players to emerge from Mansfield in recent years with the exciting Liam Lawrence now in Shrewsbury’s ranks.
When Lawrence came back from a spell in Greece, there were rumours Stags may move to bring him back.
But the reality was that the two parties would never have come anywhere close in money talks.
“People are not stupid,” said Cox. “I speak to a lot of fans and I am not the sort to walk away from someone patting me on the back or someone who wants to have a dig.
“Everyone understands I can’t afford Liam Lawrence. I would be crazy to pick up a phone and start talking to him. I know the figures that have been banded about. As much as we’d love to sign someone of his quality, we have to cut our cloth accordingly.”
Cox was pleased the club’s finances were given a good airing at the club’s annual meeting last night, with predictions that this season’s cuts to his budget and squad size will help the club possibly break even by the summer.
He said: “I have had plenty of chats with the chairman and I said from the beginning of the season that it would be the toughest season. So it’s nice that it is now a bit more transparent.
“Now I hope people will understand the situation. But I do want us to be competitive and I want to take the club forward.
“The injuries we’ve had have made this a very tough six to eights weeks.
“But I have had some positive chats with the chairman about available resources and hopefully that will manifest itself and I can bring a bring a bit more quality in depth into the squad.”
He added: “The chairman gave me five years to get us out of the Conference. We are now in a transitional period where we need to take stock, build the youth set-up and bring kids through, be competitive and build into a promotion. That’s not going to happen overnight. Patience is the key.
“The chairman wants the club to go forward and, even though I know I will end up frustrated and rowing about stuff as he know I am a bit bullish, he is my boss and he is doing the right thing for this football club.
“At some stage John Radford will no longer be here and Paul Cox will no longer be here, but you still want there to be a football club here for years to come. That is the main issue.
“He has a lot of experience running big companies and he knows what he is doing.”
Elder statesman Riley facing competition in Stags backline
At 27, Martin Riley is aware he could be the grand old man of Mansfield Town’s central defence as they head to Riley’s old club Shrewsbury Town tomorrow for what will be the sternest of tests.
Riley has the promising Ryan Tafazolli, back from injury, as well as on loan pair Jamie Sendles-White and possible debutant Luke Waterfall battling it out with him for the three central defensive slots away to a Shrews side that has a 100 per cent home League record.
“That’s a scary thought,” he smiled. “We did an old versus young game here a while ago and I was on the old team. I am getting on a bit now.
“I have been joking that I have taken Jamie Sendles-White under my wing and he’s looking up to me as a role model.
“But coming from a Premiership team into League football, it’s a different kettle of fish. He is a young kid learning the game and I will do all I can to help him.
“I have only trained with Luke for the last week but he has already played a fair few games. He looks solid and I know the gaffer rates him quite highly.
“We now have Ryan Tafazolli and Luke Waterfall as competition and it is needed.
“Healthy competition is so important. We are going to be fighting for places. It’s always nice to have someone pushing you from behind. It is a subconscious thing, but I know I am a player that needs to be pushed.”
Shrewsbury, where Riley spent a few months in 2008, have just reeled off five straight League wins and he said: “Shrewsbury are doing well - they are flying. So it’s a great game for us.
“I think over the years I have been here we have always turned up for the big games. We always relish them and the boys are looking forward to it.
“It’s not far from my home so I have a few friends and family coming over. It’s a nice ground, I spent a short time there a few years ago after I left Wolves, though I don’t think there is anyone still there from that time. But it’s a great club.”
Stags haven’t won in seven games, ending a run of four draws with a home defeat by Southend two weeks ago before their FA Cup tie with Concord was postponed last week.
“Everyone is eager to bounce back and put that game (Southend) to bed,” he said. “More importantly we need to get some wins on the board. Drawing is all well and good, but if we are to make an impact on this league we need to be winning games.
“We have some of injured players coming back which will freshen things up and helps push the boys already playing games.”
He added: “Once again it’s a very tight league. A couple of wins and you are right up there.
“You saw this at the end of last season when everyone was talking about us getting dragged into a potential relegation battle and we ended up a few points off the play-offs. It is a strange league.”
As soon as Shrewsbury are out of the way, Stags can turn their attentions to the rescheduled FA Cup visit of Concord Rangers, of Conference South, on Tuesday with Cambridge away awaiting the winners in round two.
Former Wolves player Riley knows only too well that victories in both those games could land the club with another dream tie in round three.
“That’s the plan, that’s the magic,” he said. “Wolves away at Molineux would be nice.
“I have reached the third round a few times and played against some big teams.
“Southampton was my last big one at St Mary’s when we came up against the Theo Walcotts and Oxlade-Chamberlains - those top players.
“Look at last year, we drew Wolves or Oldham in the next round and I was absolutely buzzing thinking Wolves would definitely beat Oldham at Molineux in their replay. But they went and lost.
“Then we drew Liverpool again but went and lost our replay with Oldham. We were inches away from playing Wolves at Molineux and Liverpool at Anfield.”
Beevers confident Stags can hit form
Experienced Stags defender Lee Beevers is confident that, with players back from injury, Stags don’t need to change much to get back to winning ways.
Ahead of tomorrow’s trip to bang-in-form Shrewsbury Town, he said: “If we keep doing what we are doing it will drop for us and we can get on a bit of a run.
“Big games like this are something we always relish as a club.
“Shrewsbury have had a fantastic start to the season and it’s going to be a hard place to go and get anything. I’ve played there a few times and it’s a tough place to go.
“But we are getting a few players back and, with no game last weekend, we have managed to rest a few people with injuries.
“We started the season a bit indifferently. We then got a bit of consistency as we drew a few but we now need to turn them into wins.”
After tomorrow, Stags will quickly focus on Tuesday’s FA Cup first round visit of Conference South Concord Rangers, which was washed out last weekend.
“Concord will be looking at the other results already in the cup and hope they can come here and do the same,” said Beevers. “We have just got to be professional and do what we can do.
“The postponement wasn’t good, especially when everyone had travelled. But I did have a look at the pitch and it wasn’t in a good way.
“We did get in a bit of training on the Astroturf, but that was starting to get a bit flooded too.”
Stags this week extended the loan spell of QPR’s Jamie Sendles-White, who has impressed so far. Beevers said the player will learn so much from regular League Two football.
“There is nothing like first team football and you learn so much more in the first team than in the reserves or development league games,” he said. “Every game there is something riding on it and, lower down, you have people fighting for their livelihoods.”
Lee Beevers happy with Mansfield Town's return to 3-5-2
Nottingham Post, November 15, 2014
MANSFIELD Town defender Lee Beevers has welcomed the return to playing a 3-5-2 formation.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Lee-Beevers-happy-Mansfield-Town-s-return-3-5-2/story-24538646-detail/story.html?#ixzz3J7ulXOXH
Boss Paul Cox experimented with a flat back four earlier in the season.
But defeat to Southend United in the Stags' last league game saw him stress the need to get back to doing what his team does best.
And Beevers (pictured) insists that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
"The manager seems to like playing that formation and I think the players have adapted to it this year," said the wing-back.
"We kept a couple of clean-sheets back-to-back by doing it.
"We just need to focus on that.
"We started the season a little bit indifferent - win one, lose one - then we got a bit of consistency where we managed to draw a few games.
"Now we just need to turn those draws into wins.
"If we keep doing what we are doing, I think it will start dropping for us and we'll get on a bit of a run."
Mansfield head to Shrewsbury Town today, one of three matches against top seven opposition this month, with Plymouth and Luton still to come.
Cox's men are currently 18th in the table, but Beevers expects them to raise their game when it comes to the tougher tests.
"It's something we've always relished as a club, the big games," he said.
"As long as we keep doing what we have been doing, I think we'll be fine in any of those games.
"Shrewsbury have started the season fantastically.
"It's going to be a hard place to get anything from, especially with the way they've been playing this year."
Mike Jackson Pre-Mansfield Town
shrewsburytown.com, Thu 13 Nov 2014, author: ShrewsWeb
Now it's back to the league and we want to keep that momentum going - Mike Jackson
Assistant manager wants to keep run going
Read more at http://www.shrewsburytown.com/news/article/13nov14-mike-jackson-pre-mansfield-town-2082244.aspx#Me4W3Cp0vHFM255D.99
Assistant manager Mike Jackson has been pleased with Shrewsbury Town's recent performances and results and wants to see that form continue against Mansfield Town on Saturday.
Micky Mellon's Shrews host the Stags in Sky Bet League 2 at the weekend (3pm kick-off) looking to record their sixth straight league win and potentially climb to the top of the table if results go their way.
And Jackson wants to see Town keep that run of good form going against Paul Cox's side in the Greenhous Meadow clash.
"The results that we've had recently have been very good," said Jackson.
"The performances more than anything else have been excellent, so we're really pleased.
"It's another home game for us, we've had a tough game at Walsall last Saturday in the FA Cup.
"Now it's back to the league and we want to keep that momentum going and keep everyone wanting to be a part of this group, which they are, so we're looking forward to it."
Goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler came off injured in the 2-2 draw at Walsall last weekend but has been back in training to fight for the number one jersey with Mark Halstead and Callum Burton.
"All the goalkeepers have trained so we'll have a look at Jayson," said Jackson.
"But Mark (Halstead) has been training well and he'll be ready to go. If he gets his chance, he'll take it."
Midfielder Ryan Woods will miss the game against Mansfield as a result of the five yellow cards he has picked up this season, but Jackson feels there is plenty of quality ready to step into his place.
"There's quality players ready to step in for Woodsy," he said.
"You've got players like Weso(lowski), (Bobby) Grant, (Liam) Lawrence, Jordan Clark, and Aaron Wildig who is coming back to fitness."
Latest | November 2014