Notts County v Stags: Ricardo Moniz says his side need to keep discipline against Mansfield Town

Notts County boss Ricardo Moniz says his side must not lose their heads in tonight’s derby against Mansfield Town.

By Stephen Thirkill
Friday, 14th August 2015, 10:00 am

Promotion-chasing County are looking to maintain their perfect start to the season after their 2-0 opening day victory at Stevenage.

But to do that Moniz knows his players must keep their cool against their near neighbours.

Moniz said: “I adapt to the tradition of the club, and the tradition of the derbies are very important. It is 100 per cent a big game.

“It’s lack of discipline that can cost. Aborah has already played two fantastic games, but already after ten minutes at Stevenage he was a risk.

“That’s the kind of thing they have to understand. Last season the referees made a few remarkable decisions.

“So you have to count on that and score three or four goals, then you have no problems with it.

“You have to protect yourself. Based on what I saw last season, you have to keep them sharp (mentally) every single second.

“Otherwise things can happen and the game can slip away out of your hands.

“But, on the other hand, always when people are involved in emotional things, as a coach you have to be the opposite.

“If people are euphoric now, I must calm it down. And when people are down, you must lift them up.

“So in this case, you must not over-egg the derby.”

Moniz is no stranger to derby matches having grown up with the fierce Ajax v Feyenood derby, before moving on to Arsenal v Spurs.

And although County v Stags may not have the same stature as the more illustrious derbies, the County gaffer knows it is just as important to the clubs and their fans.

“I was raised with Ajax-Feyenoord when I was young, in the 1970s. That was a big derby,” added Moniz.

“At that time, in Holland, you could sit next to each other, Ajax and Feyenoord, because it was a nice time, there was no violence.

“In the later days, they killed each other. I enjoyed it when there was no violence. It was a big derby, with class players.

“Later, when I came as assistant to Spurs, people said, ‘your first Arsenal-Spurs or Spurs-Arsenal game, it will be something you never forget’.

“It was 1-1. Ledley King scored from a set-piece. “Edgar Davids was sat next to me because he was suspended.

“You never forget it, but you must not think I think, ‘ah, that’s Premier League’.

“This club is also big. There is no difference between Arsenal-Spurs and Notts County-Mansfield.”

Mansfield go into the game on the back of a 1-1 opening day draw at home to Carlisle United.

To follow a live stream of Notts County v Mansfield Town, or to get involved in any Stags debate, click HERE