Stags ready for bruiser at Hednesford
chad.co.uk, Monday 25 July 2011
MANSFIELD Town are looking forward to a bruising pre-season encounter at EvoStik League Premier Division Hednesford Town tomorrow night (7.45).
Stags boss Paul Cox sees it as the perfect game in which to see his players' mental and physical reaction to a tough away midweek game of which they will see several once the real action starts next month.
Cox, who will also have a look at some of his fringe squad players, said: “I think this will be a really hard test of our players.
“I have known Hednesford's two managers for a long time and they have had great success in non-League football.
“They don't believe in friendlies and it will be a full-blooded encounter which I will be able to pick holes in for different reasons.
“I want to find out things about my players in games like these now, not going into Christmas.
“I need players who are consistent for 46 games. Games like this sort the men from the boys.”
John Thompson is likely to rest his hip injury until the weekend trip to Boston United while an illness bug has already affected several players including Martin Rily, Adam Murray, and Neil Collett.
Lindon Meikle is also likely to miss out with an ankle injury picked up in training last Friday but should be fine for Boston.
Cox was delighted to see his charges win their first friendly of the summer, 1-0 at a very strong FC Halifax Town on Saturday.
But he added: “There were still things that upset me, mistakes we haven't learned from since the Nuneaton game, and we need to sharpen things up now.”
Mansfield remain in the market for the signature of Rochdale strike ace Anthony Elding after he decided not to join Plymouth, but several other clubs, including Stockport and Grimsby are also wanting him
Places still up for grabs, insists Stags boss Cox
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, July 26, 2011
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox's insists places for the first league game of the season against Bath City are still very much up for grabs.
The Stags have so far played four first team friendlies and largely experimented with tactics and personnel during that time.
Cox is well aware he now needs to start to formulate an idea of the way his men line up against the Romans.
But ahead of tonight's friendly at Hednesford tonight, he has made it clear that nothing is yet set in stone.
John Thompson (hip) is likely to miss tonight's trip to Hednesford but could be fit to face Boston at the weekend, while Lindon Meikle (ankle) is also struggling.
Adam Murray is ill, but Martin Riley could return after being unwell for Saturday's game at Halifax.
Rhys Day (knee) returned to training yesterday but is still to regain full fitness.
"People can still force their way into my plans for the first game. It's sounds horrible, but I am still crossing the boxes on players," said Cox.
"I'm looking at their mentality as much as anything. I know they can all play."
Cox is eager to have a look at some of the club's youth team players in a behind-closed-doors game on Thursday that will also involved fringe first-teamers.
He said: "I have been hearing rave reviews about some of the youngsters and this will give me a look. My philosophy is that if they are good enough then they are old enough and will be given a chance."
Mansfield target Anthony Elding has signed for Grimsby
Green open-minded about Stags future
Nottingham Post, Tuesday, July 26, 2011
MATT Green is determined to enjoy his time at Mansfield Town – whatever the future holds.
The Oxford striker has been drafted in on loan by the Stags until December.
Green admits he is unsure whether that is with a view to a permanent move or will simply give him a better chance of regaining a first team place at the Kassam Stadium.
Either way, his only concern is to play regular first-team football and be frequently on the scoresheet.
Green will hope for another chance to impress in Mansfield's latest friendly at Hednesford tonight after playing 75 minutes of the 1-0 win at FC Halifax Town on Saturday.
"It was frustrating to an extent at Oxford but the manager makes his decisions and you have to deal with them," said Green.
"There was talk of maybe going to Wimbledon or Luton but I'm pleased to come up north, get away from things and hopefully get back to scoring the goals.
"I haven't really thought about where it could lead. I'm not looking too far into the future.
"If I can score goals at this level, as I have done before, to help Mansfield, then I will be happy."
Green, a former promotion winner with Torquay United and Oxford, has been encouraged by the calibre of player in the Mansfield squad.
He said: "I thought at times against Halifax we moved the ball around pretty smartly.
"If we can do that more consistently throughout the 90 minutes I don't see why we can't do well against most teams."
Meanwhile, boss Paul Cox believes he can help improve Tom Naylor as a defender.
The Stags boss has no doubts about the youngsters ball-playing pedigree, but has spotted room for improvement.
"I want to get Nails into the mindset that he is a defender first and foremost," he said.
"I want people not just to say that he is a good footballer, but that he is a good defender as well. He's very good on the ball but sometimes you need to take the decision to put you foot through the ball."
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