COX, ATKINS, MASSIAH MCDONALD REACTION
audio intervews with Matlock manager Mark Atkins and striker Massiah McDonald from BBC Radio Derby here
Matlock boss Mark Atkins told the NLP that Massiah McDonald is living up to his name:
"Massiah is living up to it at the minute, which is great for the club. The boys give him plenty of stick, but that's for his timekeeping, I don't know about his name.
He's been fantastic since he came, scoring goals at vital times. He missed probably the three easiest chances he's had in a Matlock shirt before he scored, but I just kept saying to him - you only need one, just keep going and make the next one count.
We were disappointed not to have won the first game last Saturday having played so well and missed a penalty.
My big worry going in to the replay was whether the lads could play as well again. For the first 20 minutes we started slowly, but once we got into the game we had four or five opportunities, hit the bar twice and really took the game to Mansfield, especially in the second half. When you get through in the last minute, it's fairytale stuff. These are the kind of days that the players are going to look back on in years to come and think - what a great day that was."
Paul Cox interview post match
Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham: "You cannot go to any non-league football club and expect to not perform for 90 minutes and get away with a win.
audio ---> http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/20529036
"It is an arrogance for us to believe that we can just turn up at places and I need to get rid of that arrogance."
Mansfield took the lead through Colin Daniel, before Lewis McMahon levelled for the hosts.
The Stags had Gary Roberts sent off and Massiah McDonald fired in Matlock's winner.
"It was a lack of mental strength which cost us in the end," added Cox.
"Good teams, and teams which win championships, they come to places like this and they play nasty and horrible, and go away with a 1-0 win.
"We scored the goal and all we needed to do was for everyone to stick to the task and the job that they were given.
"But people switch off and have a lack of concentration and it costs you."
Matlock defeat helps Stags manager Cox make up his mind on players' futures
PAUL Cox admitted last night's shock 2-1 FA Trophy defeat at NPL Matlock Town had helped him make his mind up on the future of some of his players.
With one eye on the Lincoln City FA Cup tie this Saturday, the Mansfield Town manager made six changes to his side.
The XI he put out could and should have beaten the part-time minnows and they dominated the first half to a huge extent, leading 1-0 at half-time and forcing 10 corners.
However, for some reason they completely lost the plot after the break as Matlock forced them onto the back foot, levelled and, after Gary Roberts had been needlessly sent off for a second booking, grabbed a late winner.
Cox said: “I am gutted. For the first half-hour there was only one team in it with numerous chances bouncing around the box and we scored a good goal. No one could argue we had bossed the game. But they didn't follow it through.
“They were warned at half-time that the first 15 minutes were important like at Slough. But they didn't heed the warning. So we got what we deserved.
“It answered a few questions about players for me. I made six changes as, with so many games coming up, I felt a few needed a breather.
“You are damned if you do and damned if you don't. Our main objective this season is promotion. So I believe I made the right decision to make changes tonight for the long term goals.
“If I had put the first XI out tonight we could have lost and then been tired for Saturday and got knocked out of the FA Cup as well.
“Tonight was an opportunity for others to come in and stake their claim. This was the place to do it as it was a big game with a lot at stake.
“It was a great chance for players to prove a point and push it right up my nose that they had not not been in the side. I have some big decisions to make on players' futures and I had some questions answered tonight.”
He added: “I wanted to see desire and application to play for this club and wanting to be successful. I have learned a lot tonight. I will sit down tomorrow and analyse it and see what is the best way for me to go forward with this group of players tonight.
“This side has more ability than the side of last season. But last season's side I am 100 per cent confident would have won here tonight.
“This is a big club and we need to maintain standards like last season, and how we have of late. I don't care if we are playing Matlock or Man United, I want that hunger and players who will put in that performance to win a football match.
“The goals we conceded were absolutely criminal and the game should have been put out of sight in the first half. A weakness of character cost us. Matlock should not have been allowed into the game.”
Cox was clearly furious about Roberts' 77th minute dismissal.
“The sending-off was two bookings and I am really annoyed, so I would rather not speak about it at the minute,” he said.
“But what really annoys me too is that Junior Daniel nearly got his leg broken and there was no booking for that. There are massive inconsistencies in terms of referees.
“Now we have a massive game ahead on Saturday, I hope the boys have recovered and we can get that win, as they have been doing well for us of late. I want to get tonight out of my system as quickly as possible.”
Stewards had to keep angry Stags fans away from Cox at the end with one fan managing to clamber onto the roof of the dug-out to vent his spleen in the manager's face. But Cox said: “It's been happening for quite a few weeks.
“It happens. People are going to get upset. I would have been upset if I had been in the stadium.
“People just want to make their opinions known. They are passionate people. It's football.
“People were crooning about us last Tuesday when we won at Macclesfield. But I never get too high or too low after results. We won't play well every week and we won't win every single game. All I ask is a bit of application, which we showed in the first half.”
It certainly seems Cox is ready to freshen up his squad for the promotion push and he added: “I will be looking hard between now and January.
“It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see out squad needs a bit of quality adding. That's not just about technically gifted footballers. We need a bit more mental toughness and a bit of ruthlessness.”
Big guns set to return for Mansfield Town in Cup, after Trophy exit
Thursday, November 29, 2012 Nottingham Post
PAUL Cox is set to revert to type as Mansfield Town look to bounce back and ensure they reach the potentially money-spinning third round of the FA Cup.
The Stags boss saw his side suffer a humiliating exit in their FA Trophy first round replay at Matlock on Tuesday night, losing 2-1 to a last-gasp strike.
Mansfield made six changes as they lost to a side two tiers lower than them in the pyramid.
That included bringing back Gary Roberts from the wilderness, but the midfielder was dismissed for two yellow cards.
Now Cox is set to recall the rested Ben Hutchinson, Lindon Meikle, Louis Briscoe, Chris Clements, Adam Murray and Matt Green for the FA Cup second round trip to Lincoln City on Saturday, where they will be backed by over 1,000 Stags fans.
Cox said: "I am annoyed by going out. But I believe I made the right decision in making changes for the long-term goals and gains we should get from it.
"The lads who have been rested can come back now and we have a big game on Saturday in the FA Cup to make an impression."
Gladiators 'need the points' but Atkins may rest Trophy heroes
Friday, November 30, 2012 Derby Telegraph
AFTER the sheer delight of knocking Conference side Mansfield Town out of the FA Trophy, it's back to Evo-Stik League Premier Division action for Matlock Town tomorrow.
They travel to Whitby Town with manager Mark Atkins thinking about resting one or two of the Gladiators' Trophy heroes.
"I told the players to enjoy winning the Trophy replay on Tuesday night – but now everything is focused on beating Whitby tomorrow," he said.
"We need the points in the league and it will be a good test for us to show what character we have in the team.
"We now have a good squad of players. We have about 18 players who I wouldn't think twice about starting with if I had to.
"Oscar Radford and Anthony Griffiths-Junior are both available for the Whitby game and with those back, we might give a couple a bit of a rest."
Matlock's reward for beating Paul Cox's side is a home game against either Luton Town or Dorchester Town on Saturday, December 15. The two sides drew 2-2 at Dorchester in midweek and will replay tomorrow.
The Gladiators were unlucky not to beat Mansfield at the first time of asking, as Stags goalkeeper Shane Redmond pulled off a cracking save from Lewis McMahon and an even better stop from James Ashmore's follow-up last Saturday.
Then, in the dying seconds, a Bradley Grayson shot was hacked off the line and the Stags – described as "arrogant" by Cox – earned a replay at Causeway Lane.
In that, Mansfield led at the interval but Matlock dominated the second half, equalising through Lewis McMahon and then scoring a late winner through Massiah McDonald, who made his move from Worksop Town permanent last week.
"I've watched Massiah for the last two years and like what I've seen," said Atkins.
"He's been played out on the wing but I've always felt he would be great as a centre forward playing down the middle.
"He came to us on loan, scored goals and worked hard for the team, so he deserves credit.
"He's won us games, is a fantastic signing and his and everyone's hard work has been rewarded."
Atkins dedicated the Trophy win to the Matlock committee, behind-the-scenes workers and the supporters.
"We couldn't have got this result without the tremendous backing from our committee," he said.
"During the past six or seven weeks especially, I've had tremendous support from the committee.
"There are so many people working behind the scenes, unsung heroes.
"They're all vitally important and this football club couldn't run without them."
Latest | December 2012