COX, DYER, MICKY MELLON REACTION
Paul Cox, Ross Dyer post match audio from 103.2 --->
If it had been a League game we would have been pleased with draw, say Stags Cup marksman Dyer
MANSFIELD Town's 70th minute equaliser in Saturday's battling 1-1 FA Cup Fourth Qualifying Round clash with BSBP big spenders Fleetwood Town came from Ross Dyer, who said: “It's happened once or twice this season I have just snuck round the back.
“I got on the end of it and just managed to stick it in the net.
“After going 1-0 down at home again we have gt to be pleased with a draw.
“We have been better away from home so hopefully we can go up there, get a result and push on into the next round.
“If that had been a league game I think we'd have been pleased with a point.”
Although facing a tough replay, Mansfield boss Paul Cox was pleased with his side's efforts and hoped their gutsy display shows his players can perform at home after recent failings.
He said: “Over the 90 minutes it was probably a fair result. I was really chuffed with the way they applied themselves today.
“I thought the lads were brave after last week as one or two could have shown a few signs of anxiety about playing at home.
“Hopefully we have put a few voodoos to bed about playing at home.
“I thought we played some decent stuff and maybe even overplayed it at times.
“I take nothing away from who we were up against today. When I saw their front four on the team sheet I was absolutely petrified to be honest.
“But the lads showed a good mindset and I don't think Alan Marriott had had a shot to save before they scored. So I felt a bit sorry for them at half-time.
“We had a real good go at them later on. It's the FA Cup so you may as well lose two or three nil as one nil. We just threw caution to the wind.”
“We knew this would be a tough tie, but Mansfield paid us a lot of respect by playing five in midfield and one up front at home, added Cod Army boss Micky Mellon.
“It shows how far we have come as a football club.
“It was a good old-fashioned FA cup tie played in great spirit. We knew we'd have to be at our very best to get anything out of this today.
“I played with four strikers and you can't be any more positive or show any more intent than that away from home.
“I have to be pleased with a draw as we came here wanting to make sure we were in the hat for the draw which we've managed.
“But, for a skin of paint on the crossbar, we'd probably have gone through today.
“Now we are looking forward to Tuesday night under the lights at our place with our fans behind us when we will try to close this tie out.”
Cox hopes Fleetwood draw is start of better times on home soil
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox hopes Saturday's draw over high-flying Fleetwood is the start of better times at Field Mill for his side.
The Stags have struggled to be at their best in front of their own supporters this season, the 5-0 thumping of Newport County aside.
That led Cox to conclude that his troops were playing with an 'anxiety' not present in away games.
But with the pressure off on Saturday against well-fancied opponents, Mansfield were more patient in possession, something he wants to see happening week in, week out.
"I was really chuffed with how we applied ourselves. I told our players to be brave and they were," said Cox.
"After the Alfreton game, one or two could have shown anxiety and crumbled, but we played some decent stuff.
"If anything we actually overplayed when we could have looked to slip Greeny (Matt Green) in on occasions.
"I have always said this is a team in progression and we won't see the best of them for ten to 12 months.
"But I'm hoping we have laid a few ghosts to rest after that in terms of playing at home."
Anthony Howell returned to the side for his first start since being sent off in early October's 1-1 draw at Forest Green.
Cox was delighted with what he saw from the former Alfreton man.
"I knew what I was getting when I first brought him to the club," said Cox. "People might have questioned why I did it, but they know now. His mindset is magnificent and he does what he is asked to do very well.
"Fleetwood had two very good players in the middle in Milligan and McGuire, but Anthony just seems to get over every hurdle that is put in front of him.
"He doesn't always get credit when it's deserved, but he gives us that presence that we need in what is a physical league."
Stags have not received interest for in-form O'Neill
MANSFIELD Town have not been contacted about the availability of in-form full-back Luke O'Neill, boss Paul Cox insisted today.
The former Leicester player's excellent early-season form both at right and left-back has brought him rave reviews and establish him as a fans' favourite.
It has also sparked rumours that a number of Football League clubs are keen on the 20-year-old.
But Cox is adamant that the youngster – who Mansfield have a one-year option on at the end of this season – is staying put.
"There are always going to be rumours, but we haven't had any firm interest in him so far," he said. "We know scouts are coming to watch him and several others because we have made a half-decent start and have some very good young players.
"But Luke is the type of player we want to keep here."
O'Neill played his part in Mansfield's 1-1 draw with Fleetwood in the FA Cup fourth qualifying round on Saturday.
The Stags will contest the replay up at the Highbury Stadium tomorrow night for a place in the first round proper, with the winners set to meet Wycombe Wanderers at home.
Cox said: "I'm looking forward to the replay because I thought Saturday's match must have been a good game to watch for the neutral.
"I don't want to put a curse on us but at the moment we are probably playing better away from home.
"We seem to play quite well on the counter-attack and they will have to come at us as the home side."
With Joe Kendrick and Matt Bell out injured, Cox is looking to sign a left-back on loan
Dyer fancies Stags chances in FA Cup replay
ROSS Dyer fancies Mansfield Town's chances in their replay against Fleetwood after proving they have nothing to fear in Saturday's 1-1 FA Cup draw.
The striker collected his fourth goal of the season with a second half equaliser that cancelled out Jamie Milligan's strike.
He is looking forward to tomorrow night's replay where Fleetwood will be odds on to go through to the first round proper.
"I played there last year for Forest Green and I think we lost something like 3-0, so I know what a tough place it is to go to," said Dyer. "But I think we have got the credentials to go there and win. We are going better away from home than at home recently.
"They will be favourites, but if we can perform as well as we have done in some of our other away games, then we will give them problems.
Dyer's goal was a simple finish, but he is happy to take any strikes that come his way.
He said: "I have had quite a few tap-ins. I think three of my four goals have come that way, but I will take them to keep getting on the scoresheet. You have to be in the right place at the right time,
"It was a great ball in from Luke O'Neill and I just gambled that the ball would come across from Louis Moult."
Dyer felt it was important for Mansfield to show their capabilities against one of the Blue Square Bet Premier's top teams.
"It was important to prove ourselves against a team of their standing and also prove that we can do it at home.
"We have struggled a bit at home having lost to Kidderminster and Southport, but now we have shown what we need to do.
"We have just come together as a group and said that we need to be more confident with the ball and keep possession.
"To do it against a team who are probably favourites to win our league was encouraging."
Town ready for FA Cup replay
A HOME FA Cup tie against League One strugglers Wycombe awaits the winners of tonight's Highbury replay, but Fleetwood Town manager Micky Mellon insists his side doesn't need the incentive of a mouthwatering draw to beat Mansfield at the second attempt.
Ahead of tonight's fourth qualifying round rematch, Mellon said: “A chance to reach the first round proper should be incentive enough because this is a competition that excites us and one we love being involved in.
“We know that there is a great prize for the team that wins and that adds a bit of spice, but we have a group of players here that just wants to win games of football.”
Victory eluded them on Saturday, when Ross Dyer's second-half equaliser cancelled out another Jamie Milligan free-kick special.
But Mellon added: “We had great chances to win it and never took them on the day, but it was a terrific game and I thought both sets of players treated it like a proper tie.
“What we know is that it will be a very difficult game and that we will have to be somewhere near our best, or at our best, to get through.”
Full-back Junior Brown will be given until the last-minute to prove his fitness after an early exit on Saturday. The good news is that the injury is unrelated to the left-back's troublesome knee problems ... but is still very delicate.
“Junior got a knock where no boy over the age of 12 wants one,” Mellon explained. “We will give him as much time as possible, right up to kick-off, before we make a decision but we have enough confidence in the squad we not to risk a player who is not 100 per cent.
“We are on good run of form and all the lads are starting to reach peak fitness. We have the confidence which comes from good results.” Richard Brodie is in contention too, though Mellon fears that may not have been the case had he not withdrawn the striker at half-time on Saturday.
“Brodie had been booked and we were concerned he could get a red card,” the manager explained.
“The crowd were on his back and so we decided to act to take the sting out of the situation because we need all the squad members available.
“Richard is very enthusiastic. Sometimes that enthusiasm can be misinterpreted and we have to protect him from himself at times.”
None of Town's three recent loan recruits will be involved again tonight. Charlie Wassmer has a toe injury, while Mellon has agreed not to select the defender's Crawley clubmate Glenn Wilson and Wimbledon Ryan Jackson and so get them cup-tied. Those Mellon is looking for a big performance from tonight will definitely include the Cod Army faithful.
He said: “The fans have been superb. We need them to create an atmosphere to make it a proper cup tie. They have a responsibility tonight just as my players have.”
n Town attacker Gareth Seddon hopes for a different sort of game to Saturday's, and one in which Town's footballing qualities come more to the fore.
Seddon said: “We will be able to use our passing game a bit more and we know a little more about them.
“We have done well at Highbbury and made it a bit of a fortress. With the players we have, we can try to pass teams off the park here, and hopefully we can get a goal or two up and put the game to bed.
“It's disappointing that we did not finish the job on Saturday because I thought that for near enough all of the game we looked in control. They didn't look like scoring until they did and then they put us under pressure in the last 15 minutes.”
The 31-year-old is happy with his season so far despite the ever-increasing competition for places at Highbury.
He added: “ I was a bit disappointed to break my nose and then my finger when I was putting a bit of a run together, but I think I've done really well up front and on the wing.”
Player interviews: David Mitchell & Derick Thomas
Latest | November 2011