Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox tells his players to believe in themselves

Paul Cox has told his players to start to believe in themselves as they head for Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow looking for a first goal and first win of the season.
Mansfield Town's manager Paul Cox  -Pic by:Richard ParkesMansfield Town's manager Paul Cox  -Pic by:Richard Parkes
Mansfield Town's manager Paul Cox -Pic by:Richard Parkes

“Once we start to believe in ourselves I think we will be decent,” said Cox.

“It annoys me we are playing with some anxiety at the moment. They need to understand they are good players who have just come off winning a very tough league.

People talk about the step-up to the League and perhaps one or two are panicking. But the goals are the same size, the ball is the same size and the pitch is the same size.

“Everyone knows my philosophy – this game is all the head. My job is to get them understanding what they are good at and what made us successful last season.

“I don’t know what it is but we never seem to start a season well – it’s all down to belief. At least we’ve made a better start than last year as we’d conceded eight goals already and not got a point at this stage!”

Cox feels his new strike pair of Ollie Palmer and Calvin Andrew will produce the goods after seeing then make a promising start against Exeter last weekend.

“That was Calvin’s first game since Gainsborough pre-season and he will score goals for us. And we all know about Ollie and how he is going to improve.

“Ollie’s goalscoring history is excellent and I have no doubt once he scores his first they will come through in bundles as we are creating chances all over the place.”

Against Exeter Cox went with three central defenders, but said: “I have not made up my mind what system to use at Wycombe. I have a lot of reports about them being collated and I won’t rush into anything.

“I played the three last weekend to give us a base to start from and try to keep a clean sheet which worked. The lads were well worthy of the point and I am a bit annoyed we didn’t steal all three with the good chances we had to win it.”

Apart from midfielder Keiran Murtagh and reserve keeper Ian Deakin, Cox has a fully fit squad to select from at Adams Park, where the Stags have only ever managed one win in their seven visits, that being the last time there, 2-1, in 2008.