Cox taking nothing for granted
Paul Cox is speaking to Jason Harrison (Mansfield 103.2)
3rd April 2013
Paul Cox says his side still have it all to do, despite being made favourites to win the title with six games left of the season.
Our side are just one point behind leaders Kidderminster Harriers and with three games in hand over the Aggborough outfit.
But Cox says he is not looking beyond tomorrow night's trip at promotion rivals Wrexham, where a point would see us hit top spot.
"All we're concerned about is getting our heads down and working hard – that's all we're trying to do," said Cox.
"We'll keep going until we're told it's mathematically certain [that we're promoted].
"They're looking hungry and are looking after themselves. They understand these next six games are massive for them."
Cox's side are one win away from setting two new club records after recording 12 successive wins and 11 away from home.
And after the starlight has shone upon our striking record of late, the manager was quick to praise defensive form, which has been equally as formidable, conceding just three goals in nine outings.
"As a team, we're defending. There's telepathy between the back four – they're a rock solid unit. Tails (Greg Taylor) has come in and has looked like he's played there all season.
"But what's happened doesn't interest me anymore, it's what could happen. The lads have set high standards and have to maintain them."
Record-breaking Mansfield Town aiming to wreck Wrexham's title dreams
Mansfield Town can take a massive step towards the BSBP title and all but wreck Wrexham's chances with a win in tomorrow night's big showdown at the Racecourse Ground (7.45pm).
Stags are second, one point behind leaders Kidderminster with three games in hand, while Wrexham are now 10 points adrift on the same number of games in fourth place with hopes fading.
It looks to be a must-win game for the Red Dragons, but Stags boss Paul Cox refused to be drawn, saying: "I don't like to talk about other clubs' situations, I just want to make sure we are focused to go out there and win again. Wrexham are a very good club and a squad full of excellent players.
"It is a massive game. We will go there to attack them. I would rather do that than sit back and invite them onto you. We are in a mode at the minute and look as if we can go out there and get a result.
"Until it's mathematically impossible, I wouldn't rule anyone out, We are just concentrating on ourselves and staying in the right frame of mind.
"They are all big games now – six cup finals. We just have to get our heads down, work hard and keep going until the time someone tells us that, mathematically, someone has won it or hasn't."
Mansfield will be looking for a 13th successive win – which would be a new Conference and club record – and a new club record 12th away win in a season.
"We are not doing anything flash," said Cox. "The lads just understand their roles, what we've got in front of us and what we need to do, and sticking to our game plan. I am sure there will be twists and turns and we just have to make sure we keep those twists and turns as far away as possible from us.
"I love it when our supporters get excited – all the talk is positive. There shouldn't be any anxiety. There is no pressure. We are fighting for a massive prize and we have to keep focused only on our next game.
"I love this part of the season and the lads are enjoying it as well. We are giving them breathing space to recover and doing everything right. They are looking after themselves and look a hungry bunch.
"This morning there seemed to be no tiredness whatsover. I don't know if that's a bit of kidology from the players, but there seems to be a spring in their step at a time of the season when tiredness can set in.
"All of the top six deserve the chance to go up. If, in the end, it's not us I will be the first to ring and congratulate the winners as it's a tough task. If we then didn't win the play-offs, I would do the same again."
Although the goals are going in, Stags' recent run also shows they have only conceded three goals in the last nine games.
Said Cox: "That is exceptional, but we are defending as a team from the front. The back four and Alan Marriott have been absolutely superb. There is a telepathy there and they understand each other. And Greg Taylor has come in and looks like he's played there all season.
"The lads have set high standards and now have to maintain them."
Mansfield will stay overnight in Wrexham before going directly to Barrow where they will stay overnight for Saturday's fixture at Holker Street.
Cult hero Rhead happy to be Mansfield Town's 'super sub'
Big striker Matt Rhead admits he will be content to continue his 'super sub' role at Wrexham tomorrow night as Stags look for a 13th successive win in their chase for the BSBP title.
"Obviously as a footballer you'd rather be starting games, but I don't mind if I get 20,10 or five minutes on there. I will try to get a couple of goals and give 100 per cent," he said.
"The mood is brilliant and the lads are feeling very confident and just looking forward to the next game.
"With only six games left, there is a massive incentive to keep winning. We just want to get over that winning line as soon as possible.
"I know we've won 12 out of 12, but we now want to end the season by winning 18 out of 18 which would be fantastic. But we know teams won't just roll over for us.
"Wrexham and Barrow this week are two tough games. But, with our recent record, teams know they are in for a tough game, too. Teams know what to expect from us. We need to take the games by the scruff of the neck and get a result."
Rhead is becoming a real cult hero at the One Call Stadium with the chant of 'Rheady Rheady Boing Boing' heralding his arrival on the field in the second half.
He said: "It's nice the fans have taken to me. It's been a good season for me and I hope that will continue.
"It was more difficult for me last season, being part-time and not being here all the time. I think the fans have seen my true potential now. I am a supporter as well so I know what people expect and I will always give 100 per cent, as all the lads are doing.
Stags keeper Alan Marriott 'desperate' to taste promotion
After six unsuccessful play-offs in his career, Stags keeper Alan Marriott admitted he wanted to taste promotion more then anything, as Stags headed for their big title showdown in Wrexham tonight.
Looking for a 13th straight win, Stags can all but end Wrexham's own title hopes tonight and Marriott said: "I've never wanted anything more than promotion. I am desperate to do it.
"I got my chance to play against Liverpool in the FA Cup third round this season, which I was able to tick off my career list. But promotion is something I crave.
"I have never stared at a table as much, even though I know it's not going to change. You try to work out the different permutations and I know there will be a hell of a lot of twists and turns.
"Someone said on the messageboard that the title is ours to throw away. But you can't afford to be naïve and jump the gun. Kidderminster are on a fantastic run and our games in hand are against very good teams.
"A lot of people thought Luton would do us a favour last weekend, but Kidderminster produced a fantastic win."
He added: "I have a terrible play-off record. It would be amazing to go up. I am not about money, none of the lads are money-orientated. They are driven by the desire to get promoted.
"I can picture us celebrating on an open-topped bus in town. That would be a fantastic experience and live long in the memory.
"To be fair I've not had a great deal to do recently, apart from the Grimsby game. The lads have been a good, solid unit in front of me.
"The mark of a good keeper is having nothing to do for 88 minutes and then having a save to make. You can be a hero and contribute something then."
Marriott knows the game at the Racecourse Ground will be a massive hurdle tonight and said: "Everyone will want to stop our run and spoil our party. It is a cliché, but we just have to take it a game at a time.
"This is probably a game Wrexham need to win. They will come out all guns blazing and we expect nothing less."
Morrell Targets Stags Scalp
Wrexham player-manager Andy Morrell feels his side could be back in the battle for automatic promotion if they see off the challenge of Mansfield Town on Thursday.
The Dragons have dropped off the pace recently, picking up just two points from their last three Blue Square Bet Premier fixtures.
Their latest result, a goalless draw with Macclesfield Town at the Racecourse Ground on Easter Monday, leaves them trailing league leaders Kidderminster Harriers by 11 points as the season heads into the final stretch.
However, the Welsh outfit do have three games in hand and Morrell is refusing to give up on claiming top spot at the end of the campaign.
He told the Daily Post: "We have six games left, so you never know.
"We'll keep in it, try and get as many points as we can and see where that takes us.
"Obviously it's going to be really tough, but we start here on Thursday and you never know. We've got to look after ourselves and try and beat Mansfield, who are flying.
"A team that wins 12 on the spin are obviously doing something right so we have to make sure we compete with them and if we do nick it, who knows, the cat is among the pigeons isn't it?
"We just have to try and win the game, like we did today, and I thought we did everything we could bar put the ball in the net."
Wrexham FC boss Andy Morrell tells team they have nothing to fear
Apr 3 2013
Read more: Wales Online http://www.walesonline.co.uk/footballnation/wrexham-fc/2013/04/03/91466-33112082/?#ixzz2PULCe8Qn
WREXHAM player-manager Andy Morrell will tell his players they have nothing to lose against promotion rivals Mansfield Town at the Racecourse tonight.
The Stags arrive in North Wales looking to set a new Football, Conference record of 13 successive victories after a magnificent run that has earned them the tag as firm favourites to win automatic promotion back to the Football League.
Although currently second in the table to another in-form side, Kidderminster Harriers, Mansfield are just a point behind with three games in hand, while Wrexham have slipped to fourth place behind Welsh rivals Newport County and still have work to do in order to ensure their place in the end-of-season play-offs for the third year in a row.
The Dragons have picked up just two points from a possible nine in three matches either side of their FA Trophy final victory at Wembley and, like Mansfield, will be lining up for their third game in the space of just six days this evening.
Morrell, who played in the Wrexham team 10 years ago that enjoyed a 14-match unbeaten run and climbed from 10th in the table to automatic promotion, appreciates the scale of Mansfield's achievement.
But he has urged his players to rise to the occasion and go for the victory that will deny the Stags a new record and might even sew some seeds of doubt.
"That Wrexham team I was a part of went on a great run and in that sort of situation you feel that no-one is going to beat you," said the Dragons' boss.
"Mansfield will have that same feeling at the moment and it's probably not very different at Kidderminster as well because both sides are going great guns." "But we have been in a similar situation earlier in the season and we are not doing so badly ourselves at the moment. However it comes, we just need to get a goal and when that happens we'll be able to push on from there." Morrell concedes, however, that even three points tonight might not be enough to close the gap on the top two, particularly as the Dragons also have a game against Kidderminster and a season-finale visit to Mansfield still to come in the last five.
"It's a big ask against Mansfield and it will be a good test for us," he added. "And if we manage to beat them, no-one can say what will follow because that's football.
"A win for us would be a huge morale-booster going into the final few matches and in a lot of ways we have got nothing to lose tomorrow.
"We can go into the game and really go for the result because even if we win there is still a mountain to climb and that's down to the way Mansfield have been playing for the past couple of months.
"It's a massive ask but you never know. One positive result for us might spark a winning run, a negative one for them might dent their confidence a bit. We can only worry about ourselves and concentrate on winning our next match." With continuing fitness doubts over striker Danny Wright (neck) and defender Neil Ashton (ankle), Morrell's selection options will include loan centre-back David Artell and young striker Nick Rushton, who has not figured in a match-day 16 since the beginning of February The Racecourse boss said: "It's such a big game I think we'll be fine in terms of motivation and everyone will really be up for it.
"David Artell could come back into the equation because he has trained for the past couple of days and we could freshen thing up in that sort of way.
"But we don't feel there has been too much wrong with the performances over the weekend, it's more a case of maybe having a rub of the green and being more clinical in front of goal.
"Danny (Wright) is getting better but we'll have to see how he is and we are not short of players who can play up front, including Nick Rushton who hasn't figured recently.
"Neil (Ashton) is still feeling a little bit of aggravation, so it's likely he'll need a little bit longer."
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