Ex-boss Paul Cox: Andy Cook is part of a dying breed and a great signing for Mansfield Town

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Former Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox believes Mansfield Town have a real gem on their hands after signing Andy Cook, who played under Cox at Barrow.

Cox said big, old fashioned centre forwards were a dying breed and a valuable commodity after Stags forked out a reputed club record-equalling £150,000 to Walsall for the 28-year-old.

“He will always score goals. If you look at his record from the Conference to League Two and League One, his goals to games ratio is always excellent,” said Cox.

“More importantly, it’s his presence. He’s that kind of player – a big strong boy.

“He is a good size, good with his back towards goal, and he is effective when the ball is put into the box from wide areas.

“I don’t think there are that many of his type around at the minute.

“You look at the way a player like Matt Rhead at Lincoln made the step up into the Football League and has progressed and affected games at those levels like I am sure he will at League One level last year.

“They are a dying breed now and I think people with a bit of nous in the game know there will always be room for that kind of player, especially the ones that score the amount of goals that Cooky does.”

He added: “I think he is a very, very good, positive signing, I really do.

“If I am going to be honest I think he was probably something Mansfield lacked last year - a plan B – an option to come off the bench or a change in tactical approach for a game.”

Cox said Cook was a good squad member and excellent personality off the pitch too.

“He is a good lad in the dressing room,” he said.

“He is a nice lad to get along with and I can’t see John having any problems with him as a personality. I never had any problems with him. He is a good team player.”

He continued; “When I was at Barrow he has been at the club for quite a number of years and was already consistent in his play and his goalscoring.

“We were sad to see him go. He was out of contract and we tried to move heaven and earth to get him to re-sign.

“But he knew other clubs were interested in him and he moved from there to Tranmere, which compared to Barrow was a major step up in his career. He went there and scored goals.”