COX, GREEN, ALAN NEILSON REACTON
Cox hails great result
Manager Paul Cox was delighted with our overall performance in today's stunning 3-2 victory over Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.
Substitute Lindon Meikle struck a dramatic winner on the stroke of added time, which gave us our sixth victory in seven away trips in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
As a result, we are now level on points with fifth-placed Forest Green Rovers, who remain in the play-off zone by virtue of a marginally superior goal difference.
Cox said: “I'm proud of both the lads and the supporters, both of whom I thought were excellent.
“It was a good day all round. This is a hard place to come and get a result and I thought we played some good football. We went at Luton and for periods of the game and we put them on the back foot.
“The shape of the side looked good, and more than anything, hunger and desire [was there] in abundance. The lads worked extremely hard and deserved to win.
“But I always try to keep myself level. There's always a defeat round the corner, or injuries and suspensions, so it's important not to get too carried away.”
On an afternoon when right-back Lee Beevers bravely completed a full 90 minutes having earlier dislocated his shoulder, our boss also explained the situation regarding midfielder Anthony Howell.
The 26-year-old was originally named in our starting XI, but instead it was team-mate Chris Clements who took to the field in Howell's place at kick-off.
Cox added: “He [Howell] took a knock in training yesterday but he wanted to give it a go, which is testament to his character, so we named him.
“He had a fitness test and then broke down, so we had to change things about fifteen minutes before kick-off. Hopefully he'll be alright for our next game.”
Our side have now accumulated 56 points from 31 league games this term and have a chance to improve that tally when we face Lincoln City at Sincil Bank on Tuesday night
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox stold Radio Nottingham:
"The first 20 minutes I think both teams nullified each other. But after that it was a cracking game of football.
"Both teams played the right way - it was a great spectacle - and at 2-2 I don't think anyone in the ground could actually complain.
"But we nicked the winner late on and I thought it was what we actually deserved today."
audio interviews with Paul Cox and Matt Green
Mansfield Town: Don't write us off
MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox watched his side snatch a dramatic win at promotion rivals Luton – and still ended up outside the play-offs.
But despite still sitting sixth in the Blue Square Bet Premier after seven wins from their last eight games, the battle for promotion has been blown wide open, with the Stags right in the mix for top spot rather than just the top five.
Only one goal separates them from fifth-placed Forest Green, with the Mansfield level on points with two games in hand.
And leaders Wrexham are just five points ahead, with Cox's men having a game in hand and still to play the Welsh outfit twice.
It is that what makes Lindon Meikle's last-gasp winner so vital, after the Stags won 3-2 at Luton on Saturday ahead of a trip to Lincoln tomorrow night.
Cox said: "I am delighted with the form at present and where we are. I would not write anybody off at this stage, it is so open and everything is to play for. It is so tight now.
"I always try to keep myself level and there is always a defeat around the corner, injuries and suspensions. We will enjoy this win and see how we are ahead of another massive game at Lincoln."
"Luton is a hard place to go to and get a positive result. The lads worked extremely hard and I thought we deserved to win.
"It was a good performance because we did not go there to defend. We came out of the blocks and our shape looked good but that hunger and desire was there in abundance."
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twitter.com/Mazza_78 Alan Marriott
What a win that was!! That's what we're about!!! #grafttillend Great support too from stags fans also!!!!
lee8stevo lee stevenson
What a result!! What an atmosphere! Lads are buzzing.. To the top! #promotionpush
twitter.com/Howellsy13 Anthony Howell
it shouldn't be too long. I will have a scan on Monday .
AN: DEFEAT SUMMED UP OUR SEASON
Post-match thoughts from stand-in manager
Caretaker boss Alan Neilson thought the last-gasp defeat to Mansfield epitomised the Town's season.
The Hatters twice came back from behind to level thanks to goals from Scott Rendell and Andre Gray but, despite looking the more likely side to go on and win the game, Lindon Meikle's 90th-minute goal won it for the Stags.
“I thought the defeat was harsh,” said Neilson to Hatters Player. “We got back in the game and in the last 25 minutes we were in the ascendency.
“We were hit by the sucker punch in the final minute - and that almost summed up our season.
“We were on top and haven't scored the goal we deserved, and then we make a mistake and the game turns on its head.
“We've been making mistakes all season and today, when we thought we might get three points, or even a point, we're left with nothing. Mistakes have to stop if we've got any chance of getting in the Play-Offs.”
The Town have failed to win any of their last six matches in the Blue Square Bet Premier and Neilson hopes the team can turn a corner at Braintree on Tuesday.
“We just need to win a game,” he said. “It's not going to be easy, though. They've beaten us already this season and they beat Grimsby last week.
“We have 16 games left but you need to take it a game at the time. We'll go there and roll up our sleeves and we have to cut out any mistakes and go there with confidence hoping to start a run going.”
Football: 'Luton Town fans know more than the players'
Written byLUKE PETERSON
Wayne Thomas on his Luton debut. Picture: Gareth Owen Wayne Thomas on his Luton debut. Picture: Gareth Owen
HATTERS debutant Wayne Thomas says his mum knew about the departure of Paul Buckle before any of the players.
Buckle left as manager of Luton just hours before the midweek game at Macclesfield and Thomas says neither he nor his teammates have been kept abreast of the situation.
“The fans seem to know what's happening before the players do,” said Thomas. ]
“My mum text me to ask me how I felt about Paul leaving about one minute after we'd had the announcement from the chief executive.”
Thomas had a brief spell playing alongside Buckle at Torquay during the mid-nineties and was awaiting his first game under the 42-year-old's guidance since signing in early February.
However, during the three weeks it took for the defender's international clearance to come through, Buckle had vacated his post as manager.
“It was a bit of a weird one that he was no longer the manager and I hadn't had the chance to play for him,” said the 33-year-old. “He was influential in me coming here.
“I liked his direction and I liked what he'd done with Torquay. He half made my mind up for me to come here. It was disappointing that I wasn't able to play for him.”
Having made his long-awaited debut in yesterday afternoon's 3-2 defeat at home to promotion-pushing Mansfield, Thomas, the former Stoke defender, hopes the squad can adhere to Buckle's parting words and get their own chase for promotion back on track.
“We came in and everyone had a chat with him individually,” said Thomas. “He spoke to the lads as a group and that was that.
“He's wished the lads good luck and said he's got real belief in us that we can achieve something this year.”
Latest | February 2013