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GUISELEY PREVIEWS / PAUL COX INTERVIEWS
7th December 2017 22:11


Paul Cox - Did I walk away from Mansfield Town too soon?
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 30 November 2017

Paul Cox can expect a warm welcome back to the One Call Stadium on Sunday when he brings his Guiseley side for the FA Cup round two clash. Fans will be forever grateful to the man who got Stags out of the backwaters of the Conference, but Cox wonders if he quit the club too soon, has lots of nice things to say about his time in Mansfield and firmly believes Steve Evans is the man to get them another promotion or two . . .

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/paul-cox-did-i-walk-away-from-mansfield-town-too-soon-1-8885440

Paul Cox brings his ambitious Guiseley side back to a club that he still loves on Sunday, admitting he sometimes wonders if he should have walked away from Mansfield Town when he did.

Under pressure on a run of poor results, Cox's resignation was accepted in November 2013 after a highly successful three and half years in which they reached the Conference play-offs before winning the title as well as reaching the FA Cup third round against Liverpool.

But, looking back, Cox said he sometimes wonders if he should have battled on at a club he will always have a special place in his heart for.

Cox is now at the helm of National League Guiseley, who have gone full time under his charge and on Sunday (2pm) he will be hoping he can put one over on his former employers.

However, he admitted: “It will be lovely to come back and see everyone still there from my time there. I really mean that.

“It will always have a special place in my heart for what we achieved at that time. It is a special place - I am not going to lie.

“I have some very special memories about being at the club. I worked with some really good people when I was there and it will be lovely to come back and see them.

“I am still in touch with John and Carolyn Radford and there are a lot of good people working behind the scenes. I really want the club to do well.

“There is no bitterness, it will be a massive positive for me. I have nothing to be negative about from my time there.”

Under-pressure Cox quit the club after a run of nine games without a win culminated in being held 1-1 at home in the FA Cup by non-League minnows Concord Rangers.

But Cox's sides have always come strong in the second half of a season so he will never know what might have happened had he stayed.

“I was ready for a break, not just from Mansfield Town, but from football,” he said.

“When I look at my time going into management, which I never really thought I wanted to do, then ex-amount of years later find myself being a Football League manager, I think I needed a period of getting used to the adjustment and balancing things out in my life like seeing my kids and wife.

“I look back sometimes and think did I do it too soon? I spoke to John Radford not long after I resigned and he asked me the same question - did I think I'd made a mistake?

“I think at the time it was the right decision for me. I look back and it was my usual season. We weren't winning but I've always had belief that over a full season I'd achieve my goals.”

He added: “Now, looking back, maybe I made too quick a decision. But at the time it was the right decision.

“It's been a journey that's educated me since then and made me a better manager than I was then. Overall I'd look at it being a positive and not a negative.

“In terms of where we were and where we wanted to get to, I would have loved to have taken Mansfield further, more so for John than anyone, and then, dare I say it, even taken us up another step?

“It's someone else's job now. I have said to John on numerous occasions I am fully behind the club and want them to do achieve their goals of getting into League One initially and then pushing on again.”

Cox remembers his time at Mansfield fondly.

“When you've managed a club like Mansfield I don't think you ever lose that little bit that you gave to each other while I was in there,” he said.

“They were special times and I really enjoyed them, even though some people may say there were bits and bobs of negativity.

“They were my learning curves, and probably the club's learning curve, during that up and down period. I have a sense of pride for what I achieved there and what we achieved as a whole football club.

“We had some specials moments didn't we? Winning the league and third round of the FA Cup - such great memories.”

Cox quit Barrow after five games of the current season and took over at Guiseley in September, relishing the challenge to build the club into a Football League contender.

“Historically they are known as a club that have yo-yoed in between the Conference National and the Conference North,” he said.

“When I went to speak to Steve (chairman Parkin)and the board, they wanted to change the perception of the club and wanted it to become a club that is forward and progressive and see a growth in it.

“Anyone who knows me knows I love to build things - in a way it's not too dissimilar to Mansfield.

“Guiseley are going through a major transformation and that's exactly what excited me. The ability to build was key in me going there.”

He added: “It's been tough with the dynamics involved when you go full time and the like, but I am enjoying it. It's something I can really get my teeth into again.”

Cox continues to watch Mansfield's results with interest and believes Steve Evans is the right man to take them to more promotion glory.

“You look at Steve's record and there aren't many people with that with that kind of record with promotions,” he said.

“That's just statistical. You can't lie with that.

“I do think, if everyone is patient, that the club will achieve its goals with John Radford at the helm and Steve there. I have no doubts about that.”

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Hatchet buried from past quarrels for former Stags bosses
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 30 November 2017

Guiseley manager Paul Cox said past fall-outs with assistant Adam Murray while at Mansfield Town were long forgotten as the pair prepared to return to their former club for Sunday’s FA Cup tie. Cox famously fell out with Murray when he was his assistant at Mansfield and Murray ended up going out on loan to play at non-League clubs Rainworth MW and Worksop Town in 2013.

However, reunited again, Cox said the hatchet had been firmly buried, explaining: “I have always kept in touch - we never stopped communicating. “Adam became available, we sat and had a chat, and it’s a positive appointment for the football club.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/hatchet-buried-from-past-quarrels-for-former-stags-bosses-1-8885395

“Like anyone, am I the same person as I was four years ago? I think I am a little bit older, wiser and longer in the tooth, and I think Adam is the same.

“At some point you have to look at the positives and negatives and one thing I don’t like to do is look back. I always like to look forward.

“We had some tremendous success when we were at Mansfield and we have both evolved and have more of an understanding of each other as we’ve got that bit older.

“If we can achieve half the things at Guiseley that we did at Mansfield it would be fantastic.”

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Mansfield Town v Guiseley: ‘Forgetful’ Cox caught on the hop by FA Cup date
yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk, by LEON WOBSCHALL, Friday 01 December 2017

FOR Paul Cox to say that it had escaped his attentions that Guiseley were in FA Cup action in a nostalgic ‘memory lane’ fixture at former club Mansfield Town on Sunday would represent a surprise to many.

Most onlookers would justifiably venture that the tie would have been at the forefront of the ex-Stags manager’s mind since the second-round draw opened up that tantalising prospect on November 6. Moreso when the Lions made history by reaching round two of the competition for the first time by beating League Two high-fliers Accrington Stanley on penalties on a momentous night eight days on. But for Cox, who has made no secret about the fact that the league is very much his priority as he strives to put Guiseley on an even keel in the National League, his focus on non-cup matters is genuine. Even accounting for the personal symbolism of Sunday’s meeting, which sees him return to the club that he managed for three-and-a-half years from May 2011 to November 2014.

Cox said: “I had kind of really forgotten about it - even though there has been a lot of people and talk around it obviously because of it being one of my previous clubs.

“I spoke to one of the directors of Mansfield this week and just said ‘we will meet up for a coffee at some time in the next couple of weeks’ and he said ‘so, you are not coming Sunday, then?’. I had totally forgotten about the game as there is that much I have been doing.

Read more at: https://www.yorkshireeveningpost.co.uk/sport/football/non-league-football/mansfield-town-v-guiseley-forgetful-cox-caught-on-the-hop-by-fa-cup-date-1-8886256

“I wanted his advice in terms of building the club. It has been quite surreal in a way.” Preoccupied by the here and now of getting league results to pull Guiseley away from relegation trouble, Cox is also busily stamping his own ethos on the football club, which recently brought forward a move to operate on a full-time basis. The present is keeping him pretty busy as it stands, with the Lions boss stewing after last weekend’s 2-0 home loss to Sutton United - the club’s third successive league defeat - with the Nethermoor outfit having dropped back into the relegation positions. Talk has centred on the fact that Guiseley’s cup heroics may have distracted some players from the key business of league matters and Cox can see where that train of thought stems from. Cox said: “I would be lying if I said ‘no’. There is something in there. On Saturday, we dropped below our standards, in terms of the intensity of the way we play and the way we get about teams. “Whether it is psychological; I have been there before. As much as you say to players ‘this is the most important game’, players don’t want to get injured and don’t want to put themselves on the line because, subconsciously, they are thinking of the FA Cup game in front of a half-decent crowd and the cameras being there is their priority. I would be a hypocrite if I wanted people to stop dreaming, because we could make history for the football club early on. It has been a strange ten to 12 days. I probably sounded like something I was not meant to be on Saturday and had a bit of a grump on. But I always maintain that the main aim of this club this season is to keep the club in this division. “But I understand I am working with human beings and the need was to keep them fairly focused on the league game on Saturday. But even the Alex Fergusons of the past will have struggled with (keeping focus) ahead of the bigger games. “But it (Mansfield) is something we want to look forward to and embrace and go and try and put on a good show and make our supporters proud of us and cause an upset.”

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No flash motor for Guiseley boss Cox on FA Cup return to Mansfield
thetelegraphandargus.co.uk, by Simon Parker

PAUL Cox can expect to be welcomed with open arms when he returns to Mansfield tomorrow.

Yet however friendly the reception, there won’t be an expensive motor with his name on it waiting in the club car park.

Cox and missus Natasha remain close to Stags chairman John Radford and his wife, chief executive Carolyn, after a successful three-year stint in charge of the club.

So the Guiseley boss is guaranteed a cosy catch-up over a glass of wine in the boardroom afterwards, however the FA Cup second-round tie pans out.

But Cox is well aware of the generosity of his host - Radford did, after all, once hand over an Aston Martin to reward a big win!

During his second season in charge, Mansfield were on their way to thrashing Barrow 8-1 when there was a knock on the dressing room door at half-time.

“I wasn’t impressed at first,” admitted Cox. “That’s my place of work so my reaction was fairly angry.

http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/sport/15696570.Interview__No_flash_motor_waiting_for_Guiseley_boss_Cox_on_FA_Cup_return_to_Mansfield/

“But it was John to say he’d got a gift for me - and dangled these car keys.

“I thought it was something off Jeremy Kyle or something like that - I was sure it was a wind-up.

“But we went outside and he’d given me his Aston Martin. It even had my name on the number plate.

“I’ve got a wife, kids and a dog, so I’m more Brooke Bond than James Bond! But that’s the essence of John. He’s a special person.

“It’s not because he gives out gifts but the way he thinks about people. He’s a really decent guy.”

The pair have been in regular contact by text since the draw threw up the delicious prospect of Cox facing the club he took back into the Football League in 2013.

That season was equally memorable for taking Liverpool so close in the FA Cup third round - and bringing his wedding, planned for the following summer, forward to two days ahead of that game as a “bet” struck with Carolyn after the plum tie came out of the hat.

The marquee in the car park served a dual purpose for the wedding breakfast as well as match-day hospitality.

Cox said: “It’s probably one of those seasons, and I’m sure John will think the same, that you could look back on as a one-off.

“Not only did we win the championship but also put ourselves up against one of the biggest clubs in Europe. That year was such a thrill.

“It was a special time for me, not just in my professional life but personal as well.”

Having reached the Conference play-offs in his first season, Cox then steered the Stags out of the non-League wilderness after a five-year absence.

“I felt the club were a little bit disengaged when I first arrived.

“With them being a Football League club for so many years, you could sense the supporters were just beginning to think they were going to be consistently non-League.

“You’ve seen that happen at other clubs. The Conference can be relentless and can consume you.

“It’s like seeing all these ship wrecks of football clubs, who don’t realise the complexity of the league. If you don’t bounce back straight away, it can be so hard to get out from.

“I think the highest Mansfield had finished was only tenth and the supporters had lost belief. Promotion was the aim and I’m so pleased we achieved it.

“They were fabulous years and we really enjoyed them.”

A friendship with the Radfords flourished that has stood the test of time since Cox left the club in November 2014.

He said: “There has always been plenty of communication between us, which is nice because I believe we’ve always had a very good personal as well as working relationship.

“We’ve built that friendship, not just between myself and John but also my wife and Carolyn. They probably keep in more contact than we do.”

Cox retains just as much affection for the FA Cup and believes the stage for Guiseley’s debut appearance in the second round proves that the often-maligned competition can still work its magic.

“On the night of the draw, Mansfield came out and my wife said ‘it just had to be’. But that’s the romance of the cup. It can pull up a tie like this.

“(Guiseley number two) Adam (Murray) was my captain and my assistant manager when we won the championship and played Liverpool.

“Now we go back to a place where we’ve had so many happy memories.

“It says everything about the FA Cup for me, although it won’t feel romantic for 90 minutes.”

Steve Evans’ presence will ensure it could get lively on the touchline. But Cox is an admirer of Mansfield’s former Leeds boss, who he first encountered on the non-League scene when the colourful Scot was in charge at Stamford and Boston.

Cox said: “That was the education that we both had but Steve’s obviously gone on to manage as high as the Championship - and rightly so.

“This game is about winning and Steve does a lot of that.

“There are a lot of people who turn their nose up and think it’s easy. But it’s not.

“It’s hard to win games, never mind championships, and Steve has got a lot of promotions on his CV.

“That’s no fluke. That’s being good at your job and being shrewd in a very tough, uncompromising business.”

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Mansfield Town v Guiseley: Cox builds for future as Lions bid for a Cup upset
yorkshirepost.co.uk, by LEON WOBSCHALL, Saturday 02 December 2017

Guiseley manager Paul Cox will probably have to settle for something rather less grand than an £85,000 Aston Martin Vantage Coupe if he masterminds an FA Cup upset tomorrow. Famously, that was the decadent gift given to him by his former boss, Mansfield Town chairman John Radford when he orchestrated an 8-1 Conference win for the Stags against Barrow in February 2013 - having been challenged to eclipse a 7-0 victory over the Bluebirds achieved in the previous year. Then Mansfield boss Paul Cox with chairman John Radford, and chief exec Carolyn Stills Such largesse is somewhat unlikely from his current board if the Lions turn the tables on his former club Stags and rewrite FA Cup history for the second time in just under three weeks by reaching round three for the first time. But the sense of achievement will be considerable. As for a ‘present’ from Radford? Well, a nice glass of wine might just have to suffice. But it would be an undeniably sweet one. Whatever happens tomorrow, ultra-ambitious Cox, seeking to reconstruct Guiseley in much the same vein as he rebuilt the foundations of Mansfield during three and a half eventful years from May 2011 to November 2014, is eyeing bigger footballing prizes and riches. It was John and Carolyn who actually cajoled us into getting married! That shows the level of background with us and the club. Paul Cox on Mansfield But in the here and now there is still time for a touch of sentiment with a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane waiting at the One Call Stadium tomorrow. It will be a special day not just for the Guiseley manager, but also for his wife Natasha, good friends with Mansfield CEO Carolyn Radford, wife of the chairman. It was Mrs Radford who played a leading role in the Cox’s famously getting married ahead of the Stags’ glamour FA Cup tie with Liverpool in January 2013 -with the happy couple agreeing to bring forward their nuptials if Mansfield beat Lincoln City in a second-round tie to book a marquee round-three date. A wedding reception was held at Field Mill and, should Guiseley instigate a cup shock, there is likely to be an impromptu and euphoric party mood among the away followers too. Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans On meeting good friends, Cox told The Yorkshire Post: “Carolyn talks to the wife more than probably me and John talk. “Those two have kept in contact, but they (the Radfords) have played a big part. I had my (wedding) reception around there and John sorted all that out and made it happen. “It was John and Carolyn who actually cajoled us into getting married. That shows the level of background with us and the club. “Whatever happens on Sunday, my wife will be sat with Carolyn in the directors’ box and win, lose or draw, I will have a glass of wine or beer with John and the board and may the best team win. “It is exciting, romantic and what you want in a cup tie. I will have a drink and my wife and the two girls will be coming up and it will be nice to spend a little bit of time with them. “But I don’t know, maybe John or (Mansfield manager) Steve (Evans) might want to go for a glass of wine somewhere else, which would be nice.” After toasting plenty of success during his time with the Stags - which saw him lead the Nottinghamshire club back into the Football League in 2013 after a five-year absence - the desire to spread his managerial wings saw Cox take flight elsewhere. A driven individual who clearly loathes complacency and feels energised by moving out of his comfort zone, Cox has since managed at opposite ends of the country, in Torquay United and Barrow, before being enticed by the grand plans at Guiseley, seeking to consolidate as a full-time National League outfit, but with ultimate designs upon the Football League. An avowed builder of clubs, right from cutting his managerial teeth at Eastwood Town, the 45-year-old is content in having left his previous places of employment in a better place than when he arrived, particularly with regard to Mansfield. He added: “I will always have a sense of pride and look back at what I have done, at every club I have been at. I am probably lucky in that sense. “I have a sense of overwhelming pride at what I achieved at Mansfield. People ask me why I left. I was probably in a comfort zone. I hero-worshipped the chairman and loved him to bits and had a great working relationship with him. “But I needed to grow as a person and find myself and understand different parts of my game and I have educated myself - good and bad. “About six weeks before I left Mansfield, the club was approached by a Championship club for my services. All these things add up and I am a very single-minded person and I will do something because I like to ask questions of myself. “The reason I came to Guiseley, when I had a number of easier options, was that I am a believer that the people here want the club to grow and progress and I get an unbelievable sense of pride in developing clubs, the first team, the infrastructure and the kids. “In terms of comparison with Mansfield, there’s a lot more to do at this football club, but that is why I came here. I had easier options to go abroad and do other things which would have been less challenging.” In the here and now, Cox’s aim is making history with Guiseley and it is a challenge that sits well with him. “We know what we are going to come up against - a team who have aspirations to get promoted,” said Cox. “But as I said before the last round, come the Monday, there will be some giant-killings. That is what the FA Cup does and if we approach the game right then you can cause an upset.”

Read more at: https://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-v-guiseley-cox-builds-for-future-as-lions-bid-for-a-cup-upset-1-8889185

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