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Archived News from September 2011

26th September 2011 17:32


great to see the lads again and start some light training, thanks for all the messages of support, hoping to be playing again in 4/5 weeks.


We need to get back to basics - Cox
http://www.mansfieldtown.net, Thu 22 Sep 2011

Manager Paul Cox has called on players and fans alike to remain unfazed following the end of a five game winning streak against Telford midweek.


A 1-1 draw against the Bucks meant that we were unable to take maximum points for the first time in a long run of six fixtures - an achievement which Cox says should not be overlooked.

The Gaffer also says that although having the hunger to win every game is a healthy attribute in his players, it is important to remain grounded adding: "I think everyone was disappointed. One part of that is good and one is bad because it means that we've got the right mindset but you cannot be too harsh on the players.

"I don't mind people being upset because it shows we've got a winning mentality at this club and we will not settle for a draw at home.

"Performances will go from high to low but we just need to stay level headed. If someone had said last week that we would take four points from the Barrow and Telford games, I would definitely have taken it.

"I want to improve things in some areas but there is no panic. If we continue to average two points a game then I'm happy."

Looking towards the visit of Kidderminster on Saturday - a side who have widely been predicted to finish highly this season - Cox is anticipating a close contest as Steve Burr's men look to put their 5-2 defeat to Fleetwood on Tuesday firmly behind them.

He added: "I am expecting a tough game. They are up there and had a bad result on Tuesday which I'm sure for Steve Burr will just be a blip.

"We just need to get our heads down and keep working hard. No-one wins anything in September but we are averaging two points per game. We need to get back to basics if our run is to continue - if we don't then it will end."

In team news, there are no fresh injury concerns and the only confirmed absentees for Saturday are Lee Stevenson (fractured foot), who is to undergo an X-ray this week in order to get the green light to resume training, John Thompson (face), who has no returned to light training and Rhys Day (calf). Two behind-closed-doors fixture against Crewe and Notts County are also being arranged for next week for the benefit of fringe players.

Finally, Tom Naylor could feature against the Harriers having completed trials at both Derby and Fulham. Although there is nothing yet to report on interest in the defender from the two sides, Cox does expect to recieve an update on the situation in the next 48 hours


Spotlight on Mansfield Town v Kidderminster Harriers
Nottingham Post, Friday, September 23, 2011

Squad: Marriott, Redmond, O'Neill, Sutton, Futcher, Naylor, Riley, Kendrick, L Briscoe, Howell, Murray, Bolland ,Worthington, Meikle, Smith, Green, Dyer, Connor.


Team news: Rhys Day (calf) and Lee (Stevenson (broken toe) are certain Mansfield absentees, with the latter due to have a scan yesterday to give him the all-clear to return to training.

?John Thompson has returned to training this week for the first time since his horror injury at Ilkeston and hopes to step up his rehabilitation over the next couple of weeks.

Tom Naylor looks set to remain with the club into the weekend, despite interest from Derby and another Championship club.

Paul Cox is due to sit down with his representative with a view to resolving the on-off transfer quickly.

Squad: Lewis, Vaughan, Jones, M Briscoe, Marshall, Mike Williams, Byrne, Storer, Gittings, Matt, Wright, Marc Williams, Lyness, Medley, Hankin, Phelan.

Team news: Kidderminster's experienced former Forest striker Steve Guinan will be suspended after being sent off in Tuesday night's 5-2 defeat at Fleetwood.

But Harriers are expected to have a clean bill of health.

One to watch: Luke Jones. The former Mansfield defender has played in all ten of the Harriers' games so far this season and been an important part of their back-line, also chipping in with two goals.

Manager: Steve Burr. The former Hucknall Town boss will be out to guide Kidderminster into the play-offs this season after missing out by one place in 2010-11


Cox calls for positive vibes at Field Mill
Nottingham Post, Friday, September 23, 2011

HE would never be as up front to say it. He's far too much of a shrewd diplomat for that.


But as Paul Cox spoke to the gathered press ahead of tomorrow's game with Kidderminster Harriers you sensed he has been disappointed by some of the response to Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with AFC Telford United.

?In the first half, Mansfield were probably as poor as they have been all season, the 3-0 drubbing at Gateshead aside.

But they came out in the second period and created enough chances to have won comfortably, only to concede a late equaliser that cancelled out Matt Green's seventh of the season.

Having won five games in a row prior to that result – and having stretched the Stags' unbeaten run to eight – Cox would have been quite within his rights to expect a positive vibe.

But he has been left feeling slightly flat by some of the reaction since the stalemate with the Bucks – and wants to stamp out any such negativity quickly.

"We have averaged almost two points per game so far and if we kept that up we would be very close to the championship," said Cox.

"I've only got eight months left on my contract, but we have been asked to build something for the future, which is what we are trying to do.

"The job in my head is not to just to put together a good team but also to build the whole thing.

"Some of the players had said that in the past they have won 2-0 and been booed off.

"But the fans this year have been brilliant so far, even when we were second best in the first half against Telford, and I want to continue with that.

"I don't want any bitterness or negativity to come into the club.

"We can't do it without the supporters, the players or the chairman and directors. We all need to be in it together."

Cox points out the 'unity' he craves was prevalent at former club Eastwood and at others like Histon and AFC Wimbledon during their rises.

He said: "There are differences between us and Luton in terms of the finance and history, because they have been a Division One club.

"But we can still be there or thereabouts if we stay together as one. I have never seen a team get promoted where there are factions at the club.

"You have to have a togetherness that sets you apart from other clubs.

"We have got no one here talking around corners and everyone is together and having a laugh and a joke in the dressing room.

"You also get it where they are comfortable sitting with the supporters (as they did at Darlington), which does not come overnight.

"I hope what the supporters have seen is that we are trying to do the right things."

With just one loss in their opening ten matches, Cox knows the rest of the Blue Square Bet Premier will have taken notice of Mansfield's performances, including tomorrow's opponents Kidderminster.

"People at the club are getting a lot of plaudits. Andy Sinton said it was us and Luton who were the best two sides they had played," said Cox.

"Teams are especially going to role their sleeves up now and work hard against us after seeing how we have started.

" There are different hurdles that we have to cross."

Cox has been quick to leap to the defence of midfielder Anthony Howell, whose mistake led to Telford's leveller in midweek.

He said: "If the players work hard and contribute, I will never single them out and always stand up for them.

"Anthony Howell is a player who is doing his job. He's an honest lad who made an honest mistake.

"These lads will run through a brick wall for this club and he has been magnificent."


Stags boss Cox's fitness check before naming side to face Harriers
chad.co.uk, Thursday 22 September 2011

PAUL Cox will ask his players to be fully honest with him over their current fitness before deciding if he will make any changes for Saturday's visit of Kidderminster Harriers.


Mansfield Town's current eight game unbeaten run has seen the manager keep the same side for the last five games.

They did drop two points at home to AFC Telford late in Tuesday night's game, but Cox won't make changes for the sake of it to a side that has been generally firing on all cylinders.

“I will have a chat to them all, collectively and individually, about tiredness,” he said. “Tuesday wasn't our best display, but we were only four minutes away from a win and going top so I won't be making any rash decisions.

“You don't become a bad player overnight and I am in no rush to drop five players or go out and sign another five.

“I want players to be honest with me and tell me if they feel a bit leggy as we have other players on the bench and in the stand who are champing at the bit. If they say they are fine then their performance will be judged accordingly.”

Telford boss, former England international Andy Sinton, is certainly a fan of Paul Cox's side after Tuesday and has told Cox he feels this season's title battle is between Luton and Mansfield.

“That is nice to hear though there are a lot of pounds and pennies between us and Luton,” said Cox. “They are an ex-First Division club with big aspirations. So if would be great if we could match that and be there or thereabouts.”

He added: “I would have settled for four points from the last two games, though we did it the wrong way round, but we are averaging almost two points a game and that's play-off form at least over a season. In fact, the way everyone is beating everyone else, I think the Championship could be won by a record low number of points this season.

“I understand there were a lot of scouts there on Tuesday night which comes with the territory. If you do well at this level people are interested in your players.”

It was Anthony Howell's loose ball that set Telford on the way to their late equaliser, but Cox wouldn't point the finger of blame at his combative midfielder.

“If players don't work hard for me at this football club I can be damning. But I won't have a go at someone who makes an honest mistake,” he said

“Anthony was only doing his job. He has been absolutely magnificent for us and epitomises our spirit. Every club that goes up will have an 'Anthony Howell' in the side.”

Midfielder Lee Stevenson is having an X-ray on his foot fracture today to make sure he is ready to return to training


Stags ahead of schedule, says boss Cox
Nottingham Post, Saturday, September 24, 2011

MANSFIELD Town are ahead of where manager Paul Cox expected them to be after ten games.

The Stags have lost just one match during that time – their second game of the season at Gateshead.

Since then they have put together an eight-game unbeaten run – including a five-match winning streak.

That progress has delighted Cox, handed the job in May, whose side will look to continue their consistent form when they host fellow Blue Square Bet Premier play-off chases Kidderminster Harriers today.

"You feel sometimes like you are having to create miracles by hitting the ground running, winning and playing good football," he said.

"If the players were that good then they would be playing at a different level. They are going to make honest mistakes.

"But we are talking six to seven weeks into the season with 17 new players who you have to get to gel. In that regard I think we are ahead of schedule.

"I don't want many like Gateshead, which was down to mindset, but they are all schooled now in what we are trying to do.

"The lads have learned by some of their mistakes. For a start, they are cutting down the goals being conceded from set-pieces and starting to score one or two as well.

"We still have to work on running the game down, which we did against Barrow but not against Telford, because you can win by grinding it out.

"It's all about making the right decisions, but this team is still in its infancy."


O'Neill ready to take rough with smooth at Stags
Nottingham Post, Saturday, September 24, 2011

MANAGER Paul Cox remarked in August that some of his summer signings for Mansfield Town would sink and others sparkle over the course of the following nine months.

On the evidence of early season, Luke O'Neill looks to be a gem of a player who is falling into the latter category.

Ever present since the start of 2011-12 after injury to Ritchie Sutton forced manager Cox to re-evaluate his thinking at right-back, the 20-year-old's consistent performances have been one of the highlights of the Stags' campaign so far.

Right now, O'Neill is on the crest of a wave and he's loving life at Field Mill.

But, as he readily admits, the true test will come when things aren't so plain sailing – and the same goes for the Mansfield team as a whole.

"I've got a lot of confidence at the moment. I'm just enjoying playing week in, week out," said O'Neill.

"I wasn't playing every week at Leicester and that is why I came here, so it's worked out well so far.

"When I first came here I thought I was going to start, but the more pre-season went on I started thinking that I wouldn't.

"But then Sutts got that injury at Ilkeston and I have come in and I would like to think I have done quite well. I think the gaffer trusts in me now, which is good.

"It is going to be a test for us when we have a bad spell – we have to make sure we don't drop our heads.

"The same goes for me on a personal level.

"If you have a bad game you have to put it to one side and move on.

"If you dwell on it for too long it doesn't help and it is going to happen again."

Former England under-17 international O'Neill has played his part in an improving a Mansfield back line that has conceded only nine goals in their opening ten games, with only one of those ending in defeat. But he has also caught his eye with his assured distribution and willingness to get forward and support the attack down the right flank.

O'Neill said: "You don't want to be predictable in what you do and you don't just want to play long balls all the time.

"At Leicester it was all about the passing game, but you can't pass it every time in this league.

"Sometimes it has to go long, I think it is doing what the situation demands."

O'Neill has enjoyed playing behind Louis Briscoe, who has already bagged four goals this season following his 19 last season.

They are set to continue in tandem down the right flank when Mansfield host Kidderminster this afternoon.

"It's good to play behind Louis because he is such a good player," said O'Neill.

"He puts greats crosses into the box and has pace and the ability to go past people.

"We have a good partnership going. I think we can tell that and the fans can too."

O'Neill feels his form since joining has been helped by previous loan stints.

He said: "I grew up in Slough and I was at Reading, but we moved up to Northampton when my family moved for work and it was too far to travel.

"That's when I joined Leicester and I was there for about six or seven years, during which time I had spells at Tranmere and Kettering.

"I think managers need experience and that's why I went out on loan.

"I got used to playing in professional games and I already had that under my belt when I came here."

The Stags have scored 18 goals this season so far, with O'Neill doing his bit.

"I was at Kettering for three months and I managed to get two goals, so it's nice to have chipped in with a couple for Mansfield too," said O'Neill.

"I certainly wouldn't knock scoring a few more goals."


Fans' backing cheers Stags skipper Murray
chad.co.uk, Thursday 22 September 2011

STAGS skipper Adam Murray is enjoying playing in front of cheering crowds so far this season – and hopes the Mansfield Town supporters can keep that up when their club hits a bad spell.


Murray spent many nights last season with the boos from the stands still ringing in his ears.

But, despite dropping two late home points against Telford, on Tuesday, Stags were still applauded from the field and Murray said: “The fans have been absolutely excellent this season.

“I think last season we would have lost Tuesday's game. Even though we weren't quite up to the standards we've set in the first half, I think we deserved to win it in the second half and we are still eight unbeaten.

“It's when things aren't going to well we will see the true colours of everyone involved at the club.

“Last season wasn't great and people had a right to give opinions. A lot of their opinions were right.

“But a club that wants success and promotion needs to stand together through the bad times.

“I know Tuesday felt like a loss. But I did hear people questioning things already and I thought what's going on? At the end of the day we have started the season well. We are still up there and fighting for it.

“You can pick so many holes in Tuesday night's game that it sounds a hundred times worse than it was. Telford did their homework and deserve some credit for that.” He added: “It will be a really tough test against Kidderminster on Saturday.

“They may have lost heavily at Fleetwood on Tuesday but reports are that they were the better side before the sendings-off.

“We must be on our mettle, firing on all cylinders and do what we are good at.”


Mansfield defender Kendrick paying no heed to league table
chad.co.uk, Thursday 22 September 2011

JOE Kendrick admits he will pay no heed to the league table until after Christmas.


The Mansfield Town left back has played a vital part in the current eight game unbeaten run but said: “At this time of the season I don't look at league tables that much.

“I know there is only one point between the top six at the moment. If that's still the case come January or February I'll take it.

“It is great for the fans that we are up there now. But I won't be looking at it until February when you start to look at your run-in and the points you need to pick up.”

Two points were dropped when Telford scored a late equaliser in Tuesday night's 1-1 draw at Field Mill when the Bucks capitalised on a loose pass by Anthony Howell. But Kendrick said: “We won't blame any individual here.

“There were a lot of things leading up to that played their part so to just blame Anthony is a bit harsh. Their lad still had to pull away and score.

“Looking back, we should have won it. But confidence is really high here right now after eight games unbeaten and we can push forward again with three points on Saturday.”

Opponents Kidderminster, who have won once in four games, will be without experienced striker Steve Guinan after he was sent off in the 5-2 defeat at Fleetwood on Tuesday, the Harriers' heaviest defeat under boss Steve Burr.

Kendrick does not feel that will make too much difference, though.

“Guinan is a big loss as he has scored a few goals for them,” he said. “But they do have a quite a few other decent players and missing the one player won't make much difference.

“We are not conceding many goals and we look pretty solid throughout the team We just need to get Tuesday out of our heads quickly and move on.”


Kendrick satisfied with Stags points haul
Nottingham Post, Friday, September 23, 2011

JOE Kendrick feels Mansfield Town's haul of 19 points from their first ten matches is a fair reflection of their start to the season.


The Stags have lost only once but been denied a larger tally by drawing four games 1-1 – all of which they led.

The latest example was Tuesday's stalemate with AFC Telford United, when the visitors grabbed an equaliser four minutes from time and denied Mansfield Blue Square Bet Premier top spot.

The team instead sit fifth in a congested table where just one point separates the top six ahead of tomorrow's visit of Kidderminster.

But left-back Kendrick says Mansfield should not rue dropping points – because they have also picked them up where they might not have been expected.

"It could have been so much better if you look at the games we have drawn, but it could also have been worse as well," he said.

"We weren't particularly good in the game at Barrow but came away with three points when we might have only got one or even none at all.

"I think it evens itself out over the course of the season, with all the teams getting little bits of luck here and there.

"It was disappointing not to beat Telford considering the chances we had, but it's important we move on now and look to Kidderminster.

"We won a few games in a row and want to keep the momentum going, but sometimes you have to take a draw."


Stags defender Thompson battles to overcome mental scars
chad.co.uk, Thursday 22 September 2011

FORMER Irish international John Thompson is back in light training as he tries to work towards a Mansfield Town debut following his horrific pre-season injuries.


Star Summer signing Thompson was the worst-hit of three victims of Gary Ricketts challenges in the 'friendly' at Ilkeston and, after having his face forced into an iron surround bar at the ground, had needed an operation to re-set his nose as well as 40 internal and external stitches.

Thompson was a spectator at Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with AFC Telford and is now starting work to get physically fit, though boss Paul Cox feels that may the least of Thompson's worries as healing the mental scars could prove tougher.

“It was nice to see him back at the club with a smile on his face on Tuesday and his scars have healed really well,” said Cox.

“The players are really excited about him coming back into the fold.

“But I won't be putting any time on when he will play again. That has to be down to him when he is ready.

“I won't put any pressure on him. He has to be physically fit and, more importantly, mentally fit.”

With Ben Futcher already on four bookings and unavailable when his loan ends on 5th November until January, Thompson's return could be perfectly time.

However, Cox added: “That's true but we also now have Martin Riley fully fit who is a good player and the forgotten man at the moment and Rhys Day is back in training too. And that's not counting Tom Naylor, who is still here at the moment.

“We have some very good centre halves at this club – it's a manager's dream.”


great to see the lads again and start some light training, thanks for all the messages of support, hoping to be playing again in 4/5 weeks.


Burr demanding a Harriers reaction
By Michael Reeves, Friday 23rd September 2011

KIDDERMINSTER Harriers manager Steve Burr wants to see a positive reaction from his players as they head to Mansfield Town tomorrow (3pm).


The Aggborough side capitulated to a 5-2 defeat with a poor second-half display in their feisty mid-week clash at Fleetwood Town when both teams had a player sent off.

The Cod Army's Jamie Vardy was given his marching orders for a reckless two-footed tackle on Lee Vaughan and veteran striker Steve Guinan got involved in the aftermath which led to his dismissal.

Fleetwood then struck either side of the break before romping to victory and the Aggborough boss wants to put that debacle to bed.

“We were all back in on the Wednesday morning to go through that match, just like we would with any other defeat,” Burr said.

“Now we look forward to Mansfield where the aim is to improve on the Fleetwood match.

“The lads' response in training has been very good and now we have to show it on the pitch.”

One thing Burr will be looking for is a better defensive display as Harriers, who are only three points off the Blue Square Bet Premier summit, have conceded 16 goals in 10 matches.

“If we want to stay in those top places then we do need to do better in defence,” Burr said.

“We have conceded some sloppy goals this year and that is something we need to improve on.

“It has been a reasonable start to the season, we are only three points off the top, but we want to stay in the pack so we do need to improve.”

With Guinan suspended for the trip to Field Mill, Jamille Matt is likely to replace the former Hereford United forward.

But Burr has also added ex-Darlington striker Tommy Wright on a non-contract basis following a trial match.

Wright, 26, scored more than 20 goals for Darlo and won the FA Trophy final with them last season.

The former England youth international has also played for Leicester, Barnsley, Aberdeen and Grimsby.

Midfielder James Vincent is rated as 50-50 after picking up a hamstring problem.

Burr hopes Callum Gittings can overcome a groin injury to face the fifth-placed Stags, who have only lost once this term.

Fellow midfielder Scott Phelan should be fit despite a back problem.

Centre-halves Tom Sharpe and Michael Briscoe will also be keen for a chance to impress ahead of current pairing Tom Marshall and Luke Jones


The Harriers will have a new face in the side for the trip to Mansfield tomorrow following the club agreeing non-contract terms with the former Leicester City and Darlington striker Tommy Wright (left) yesterday. Without a club since he left Darlington at the end of August he trialled with us against Crewe the other week and now, with Steve Guinan out for three games following his red card at Fleetwood on Tuesday, Steve Burr has signed him up for the indefinite future with possibly a view to a permanent contract.

In addition to the two clubs named above he's also played for Walsall, Blackpool, Brentford, Grimsby, Barnsley and Aberdeen during his career but has never been a really prolific goal scorer. Let's hope that changes with us.

As already touched upon we lost at Fleetwood in what was our worst defeat since Stevenage hammered us 5-1 at home in the FA Trophy in March 2010. We could easily have got a result on Tuesday but Guinans stupidity cost us dear and dropped us down to eighth place in the League but amazingly still only three points behind the top four clubs. At the moment the table is wide open and it only takes one club to slip up for it all to change round.

Apart from Guinan we have no real worries on the injury front although Callum Gittings and Luke Medley have been strangely absent lately. Gittings had a slight groin strain a couple of games ago and Medley is supposed to be fit but has failed to make it to the bench for the last two outings. Medley, in particular, will want to be back to face his former team mates.

After a poor start to the season, when they drew three out of their first four games, Mansfield then went on to win five in a row and send them shooting up the table. That run came to and end this week with the 1-1 draw at home to AFC Telford but they sit in fifth place still.

Their only confirmed absentees for Saturday are Lee Stevenson (fractured foot), who is to undergo an X-ray this week in order to get the green light to resume training, John Thompson (face), who has now returned to light training and Rhys Day (calf). Tom Naylor could appear against us having completed trials at both Derby and Fulham. Mansfield expect him to be leaving them within the coming week.

We'll be up against two former players with Martin Riley now playing for them along with Adam Murray. He's been there quite a while now though.

Last season we won this corresponding fixture 2-1 with goals from the now departed Chris McPhee and Keith Briggs. Will we repeat this and who will be on the scoresheet this time?


Championship duo chase Mansfield defender Tom Naylor
bbc.co.uk, Thursday, 22 September 2011

Naylor seems certain to leave Field Mill Derby County and another unnamed Championship club are both keen on signing Mansfield Town defender Tom Naylor, BBC Sport understands.


Naylor, 20, spent a week on trial with the Rams and also had a week with Premier League side Fulham.

And Blue Square Bet Premier side Mansfield also rejected a bid from League One Bournemouth.

The defender has been with the Stags since being a trainee and has made two appearances this season.

Naylor was sent off in Mansfield's 3-0 defeat at Gateshead earlier in the season.



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