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Archived News from October 2013

28th October 2013 21:19

24 October 2013
Paul Cox is not appealing John Dempster's red card from Tuesday's game at Bury. More reaction on http://mansfieldtown.net later today.


No appeal against Dempster's red card
mansfieldtown.net, 24th October 2013

Manager Paul Cox has confirmed that the club won’t be appealing against the red card, which John Dempster was shown in our 0-0 draw at Bury.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/no-appeal-against-dempsters-red-card-1131774.aspx?#LllHIpItmaeJstOW.99

The 30-year-old, who has been an ever-present this term, received a straight red card just after the hour-mark for a challenge on Bury’s Shaun Harrad.

As a result, the centre-back will now miss our matches with Plymouth Argyle and Southend United in Sky Bet League Two, along with our FA Cup First Round tie in November.

“There is a fine line,” said Cox. “Some referees would have given him a booking, whilst others would have made the decision to send him off.

“Taking that into account, along with the fact that he could get an extra game ban [if an appeal was unsuccessful], we have decided not to appeal.

“I still think it was a good tackle. He won the ball and anyone who knows John Dempster, will know that he’s not a malicious player.”

Our boss added: “He’s captain of the side and an integral part of the squad, and you’re going to miss anyone with the calibre of ‘Demps’.

“By just looking at the goals against column, you can tell how well we have been defending. ‘Demps’ and he has been an integral part of that.”


No red card appeal as Mansfield Town try to plug the holes in decimated defence for Plymouth visit
chad.co.uk, 24 October 2013

Mansfield Town will not be appealing against John Dempster’s midweek red card as the Stags face up to a home clash with Plymouth Argyle on Saturday (3pm) without three of their back four that began the 0-0 draw at Gigg Lane.


Skipper and centre half Dempster’s straight red for a flying tackle will see him miss three games while left back James Jennings serves a one-game ban for a fifth booking and centre half Martin Riley limped off injured at Bury, though the injury is not as bad as first feared.

Cox said after the Bury game he would appeal against the Dempster red card, but today said: “I feel, to be fair, that it’s a fine line. I think a lot of referees would have given him a booking and some would have made the decision to end him off.

“Taking that into account, and the fact that he could get an extra game’s ban on top of the three, we are not going to appeal.

“I still feel it was a good tackle. I am a person who feels tackling should be part of the game.

“I think he won the ball and anyone who knows JD knows he not a malicious player.

“I don’t think the referee actually saw the incident, he came across to his assistant and they made the decision between them.

“Three games is long enough. We don’t want four. Demps is captain of our side and an integral part of our squad. You will always miss anyone of his calibre. You can tell by the goals against column how well we are defending.”

Cox now has decision to make to plug the gaps and said: “On the positive side, Ryan Tafazolli could be fit for the weekend. Then you have players like John McCombe waiting in the wings for an opportunity, which he is going to get on Saturday.

“Players coming in have to grab their chance and make it difficult for me to leave them out when everyone is available again.

“John McCombe captained Port Vale to promotion from this level of football and you don’t become a bad player overnight.

“But he has had to be patient as we have been defending well. He has worked hard in training.

“We also have Paul Black, so there are plenty of options and no panic stations.

“But this is a big month for us. We need to consolidate where we are and push on. To do that the squad may need bolstering a bit.”

Cox was also pleased that an examination of Riley’s injury yesterday suggests he will not be missing for long.

“Martin’s injury looks like a slight tear in the Achilles which should keep him out for two to four weeks - nothing like what we thought,” he said.

“We initially thought it was a rupture and then you’d be looking at Christmas or the end of the season. So that’s another positive. Martin had been playing out his skin and doing really well.”

Mansfield have drawn their last three League games, only scoring once, but picking up two excellent 0-0 away draws in the past week.

That left them with the joint best defensive record in the division with Southend and equal with Oxford and Scunthorpe on the least number of defeats, all having lost two apiece.

With such a good defensive basis, Cox knows scoring goals is now the key to moving onward and upwards.

“We are creating two or three good chances we should put away per game,” he said.

“If we put them away we will go higher than we are. If not games will become games of chess. We can’t always rely on clean sheets. We need to get on the front foot and put teams to the sword.

“Sometimes we just need to relax in front of goal. Junior Daniel and Ollie Palmer both had great chances at Bury. All they had to do was beat the keeper and it could have changed the course of the game.

“Ollie is a young boy and Junior had just come back into the side, but we need to have that killer instinct.”

He added: “I think we do have the players in the club that can score us goals. Ollie’s goals to games ratio is amazing and he is learning at this level of football.

“Sam Clucas is joint second top scorer at the moment. Junior Daniel can score goals too. Last season we had goals from all over the park and, yes, we did have a player who scored goals for fun

“We may need to tweak it and we may need adding to.

“When you see the league’s top scorer is only one ahead of Sam you can see that everyone at this level has got the same problem. Everybody wants someone who can score 30 goals a season. They are very hard to come by.”

Cox concluded: “It sounds like a scratched record but Plymouth will be a tough game. You have to earn the right to win and to get three points would be amazing.

“We are already in the play-off places and if results go our way we could find ourselves back in the top three.

“This is such a tight league. If we lose we could find ourselves back in 10th.”

Plymouth have gone seven League games without victory and slid into 19th place.


Riley set for short absence
mansfieldtown.net, 24th October 2013

Defender Martin Riley is expected to be out of action for up to a month, after scans revealed that his achilles injury isn’t as bad as first feared.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/riley-set-for-short-absence-1131850.aspx?#tx2Iu1JEYjZE2wb6.99

Riley, who re-joined us from Wrexham in the summer, hobbled off in the closing stages of Tuesday night’s stalemate with Bury at Gigg Lane.

“We think he could be out for between two and four weeks,” said Cox. “There’s a slight tear in the Achilles, but nothing like we first thought.

“Initially, we thought it was a rupture, which would have kept him out for much longer.

“‘Riles’ has been playing out of his skin and doing really well, but it’s one of those [situations] where we just have to get our heads down and get on with it.”

The 26-year-old, along with fellow defenders James Jennings and John Dempster, both of whom are suspended, will miss Saturday’s match with Plymouth Argyle.


Cox assesses defensive options
mansfieldtown.net, 24th October 2013

Defenders John McCombe and Ryan Tafazolli could be in contention for a place in the starting line-up, when we lock horns with Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/cox-assesses-defensive-options-1132191.aspx?#kU8pmJ5ZeYgKgp5z.99

Both John Dempster and James Jennings are ruled out of the clash through suspension, whilst Martin Riley is set to be sidelined for up to a month.

Our side finished the midweek clash at Bury with a makeshift back-four, which included Ritchie Sutton and Lee Beevers operating at centre-half.

McCombe hasn’t featured for us at first team level since our 2-0 loss at Tranmere Rovers in the First Round of the Capital One Cup in August.

Meanwhile, Tafazolli made a 45-minute appearance for our reserve side in their clash at Hull City last week, but was taken off at half-time with a knee injury.

Left-Back Paul Black could also feature against Argyle at One Call Stadium this weekend.

Manager Paul Cox said: “Ryan Tafazolli could be fit and we’ve got people like John McCombe, who has been waiting in the wings, and is going to get an opportunity.

“Hopefully, the players that come in will grab their chance and make it difficult for me, when the likes of ‘Riles’ and ‘Demps’ are available again.”

“John (McCombe) captained Port Vale to promotion at this level of football last season and he hasn’t become a bad player overnight.

“If you look at the goals against column, it proves that we’ve been very hard to beat this season. He’s had to be patient, but he’s worked extremely hard and will get an opportunity.

“We’ve got some good options and some good players here.”

When asked whether the club may dip into the loan market, Cox replied: “It’s a big month coming up for us. We want to consolidate our position and even try to push on. To do that, the squad may need bolstering.”

Meanwhile, our boss has confirmed that the club won’t be appealing against the red card, which was shown to Dempster during our match with Bury. For more on that story, click here.


Speight extends Alfreton stay
mansfieldtown.net, 23rd October 2013

Striker Jake Speight has extended his loan spell at Alfreton Town until the New Year.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/speight-extends-alfreton-stay-1131240.aspx#3LaOzz26SBmlw516.99

The 28-year-old, who scored eight goals for us last season, bagged the winner for Nicky Law’s team in their clash at Aldershot Town on Saturday.

Speight is eligible to stay at the Impact Arena until New Year’s Day, when Alfreton face Wrexham.

The Reds currently sit in 12th position in the Skrill Premier, but are just two points behind fifth-placed Grimsby Town.


Stags striker Speight’s loan extended at Alfreton
chad.co.uk, 24 October 2013

Mansfield Town have agreed to extend the loan deal for striker Jake Speight at neighbours Alfreton Town until 1st January.


The Reds have also given permission for the player to play in this season’s FA Cup, FA Trophy and Derbyshire Senior Cup for them.

Speight scored his first goal for Alfreton last weekend when his 56th minute strike proved to be the winner in a 3-2 Skrill Premier success at Aldershot Town.

Mansfield manager Paul Cox said: “Jake is ultimately looking beyond this season. He wants to put himself into the shop window for next season.

“He has a family to feed and a mortgage to pay like everyone else.

“I couldn’t guarantee him first team football here. I spoke with him and we decided it would be best if he got the three months under his belt.

“It frees me up a bit of money and puts him in the shop window.

“At Christmas time we should also have a fit and strong Jake Speight if need be to come back and try to score us goals.”


Can Poku finally kickstart his Mansfield Town career?
chad.co.uk, 24 October 2013

Godfrey Poku will be hoping he can finally kickstart his Mansfield Town career after the midfielder made his debut as a late substitute at Bury on Tuesday, almost 17 months after signing for the Stags.


The midfielder, who was out on loan at Southport last year, was a whirling dervish in his cameo in the 0-0 draw and manager Paul Cox suggested the youngster may now be maturing into the player he believed Poku could become.

“All I want is people to show they have desire. Godfrey has had his head down this season and is like a man possessed in training sessions,” said Cox.

“He was out of this world against a very strong Hull side in the reserves and has earned the right to be in there.

“I spoke to a supporter the other night who asked why it had taken 14 months for him to make his debut.

“But the lad is only young - he is still a baby.

“I think it’s taken him a bit of time to understand what I want off him and he has matured that little bit.

“If he continues doing what he is good at and doesn’t stand still he will be knocking on the door.

“Knowing him as I do and the mindset he is in at the minute, it will be hard to get him out of the side once he is in. He is a like a little bundle of energy.”


Rhead eager to find the net

Striker Matt Rhead has emphasised the importance of taking our chances, as our team aim to earn all three points against Plymouth Argyle.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/rhead-eager-to-find-the-net-1133482.aspx#ezZkQfoXBtla8ywk.99

The burly frontman, who scored in our 3-0 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge in August, has started in our games at Torquay United and Bury during the past week.

Nevertheless, both have finished goalless, and the 29-year-old is eager for that to change when Argyle arrive at One Call Stadium tomorrow.

“It’s brilliant to be starting in games and be given the chance to do as well as possible,” said Rhead.

“The last two games have been a bit of a battle, but I feel like we’ve done well. We’ve created quite a few chances, but we just need to start converting them.

“More consistently this season, we’ve come up against better defenders. Every game has been a test and learning [curve] for us.

“It’s important now that we push on and get some good results.”

Rhead continued: “In League Two, the players are cleverer. When the balls come long, there seems to be more players around me, to stop me heading the ball.

“It’s a more physical league, which is probably a little bit quicker. The quality of play is a lot higher and the teams seem to be more organised.

“But there’s nothing to fear. In every game we’ve played, we’ve competed well, and given ourselves a chance of winning.

“We believe that we’ll do well this season.”

Rhead, who is now in his third season at One Call Stadium, has appeared in all but one of our matches this term, and has earned many plaudits.

On our style of play, he added: “We try to get teams on the back foot as soon as possible.

“We know we’ve got the pace in the team, both out wide and up front, to cause problems, so we try and put teams under pressure early on and nick a goal.

“[Alan Marriott’s] kicking has been pretty good so if we can create chances from it, it’s something that we probably need to do more often.”


Rhead enjoying run in Stags side

Matt Rhead is trying to shake off his ‘super sub’ tag as he hopes for a third successive start for Mansfield town against Plymouth Argyle tomorrow.


The big striker began both matches at Torquay and Bury this week and said: “It’s been brilliant to be starting games and playing as well as possible. I hope it will continue.

“Now I need to keep my place. We need to push on as a team and get some results.

“It’s been good and I have enjoyed the battle. Both games have been away from home and it’s always going to be competitive. We have created a few chances and we now need to convert a few.”

Rhead, who only became a full-time professional footballer last season, admits he has found the standards of the Football League much higher than the Conference.

“Players are a lot cleverer,” he said, “When the ball is coming from long, there are a few more players in and around me to stop me heading the ball.

“It’s a lot more physical and perhaps a bit quicker too. Teams are a bit more organised and they have better defenders. Every game is a test and a learning curve.

“I think I’ve done well a couple of times I’ve come off the bench. But I believe it’s better for me to be starting as you begin to get stronger when you are playing more regularly.”

Now Rhead is hoping he can keep his shirt as, after two games without scoring, Stags try to win their first home League game in three after a couple of recent blips.

“We need to take what we got from Saturday and Tuesday into it and get a couple of goals as well. We have set ourselves up nicely,” he said.

“We are quite strong defensively If we can score goals you will see more confidence in the team going forward. We just need a goal to be fair. It’s just not dropping for us at the moment.

“We need to keep knocking the door down and hope it will come sooner than later.”


McGuire - no defensive worries for depleted Stags

Despite losing three of their back four for tomorrow’s home clash with Plymouth Argyle, Mansfield Town midfield ace Jamie McGuire is confident the Stags’ rearguard will stay watertight.


Mansfield have the division’s joint best defensive record alongside Southend, but after Tuesday’s 0-0 battle at Bury, they now have John Dempster and James Jennings suspended and Martin Riley out injured for tomorrow.

But McGuire said: “Nothing will change. Whoever comes in will know their jobs. We are a team and know what to do.

“Plymouth will be tough but we will be fine. They are a young side, full of enthusiasm and they are not doing bad at the minute.

“We will have the fans behind us on Saturday and three points could take us third and kick us off on another run.”

Stags return home after two battling 0-0 draws on the road - just the sort of games the tigerish McGuire relishes.

“They were perfect games for me and two good draws,” he said. “We dug in well at Torquay and then at Bury, when John Dempster was sent off, we had to dig in again.

“I ended up at right back at Bury. Lee Beevers was talking to me throughout and I though JJ (Jennings) was brilliant at left back.”

Summer signing McGuire is enjoying every minute of life with Mansfield.

He smiled: “I love it here. The lads are great and I love coming into training and love playing Saturdays. I love playing in front of the fans even more and have a smile on my face.

“I had four years at Fleetwood and wasn’t sure if I should be moving on. But as a soon as Mansfield showed an interest it gave me the kick I needed and gave me my enthusiasm back.

“This is only my second year in the Football League and I am enjoying every minute. I love playing football - that’s me.”


video - Latest: Head physio Simon Murphy on Chris Clements injury (should be back playing in about 4 weeks)




Latest | October 2013