Stags boss defends record and plans squad additions

Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox defended his managerial record against a section of boos boys wanting him out and then confirmed he would be adding a couple of players to his squad next week.

It was a miserable return to his old club tonight as Cox watched his players succumb to a 2-0 Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to League One neighbours Notts County.

His misery was complete as a section of the 1,386 away fans called for him to go.

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“Of course it hurts, but it’s part and parcel of football,” he said. “It’s happened every season I’ve been here and happens to every manager in the game.

“So it doesn’t unduly worry me. Some of the supporters are frustrated and so am I. That’s football and if everyone thought the same the game would be quite boring.

“I can’t stop it hurting and it’s something I have to deal with.

“Some people have an opinion and I can’t change that opinion. The only opinion I am bothered about is the man who owns the club and makes the decisions.”

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He added: “If I was to blow my own trumpet, I have one of the best managerial records in the club’s history. But everyone has his time and in football people get bored of people very quickly.

“Look at the Tony Pulis effect. He took Stoke into Europe but ultimately it was the supporters who got rid of him.

“I have immense faith in my own ability. My win ratio says I am a good manager.

“If Mr Radford tells me I am no longer manager of this football club then I would have to accept that and deal with it. Life is really short and you can’t spend it worrying.”

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Cox said he had heard nothing about stories linking him with the vacant Carlisle job.

But, in the wake of Sam Clucas moving to Chesterfield, he did say he had been given the green light to bring in a couple more players as well as new striker Rakish Bingham with the money freed up.

They would be frees or loan signings and can come in when the loan window opens from Monday.

“That’s what we really need right now,” he said.

“With our small squad it becomes very easy for players to be laid-back. It’s just human nature. Players need to look over at the bench and see competition for their place.

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“That’s a massive factor. Or they just end up with a cushion, a nice blanket.

“Just to see some new faces walk into the dressing room could raise the tempo again. It can have a massive effect.”

On the defeat, Cox said: “I am fuming as we have lost a local derby. There was a lot of pride at stake and I think tonight we just whimpered and didn’t lose a game in the manner I would want.

“You have to give the opposition massive credit. We were beaten by the better team who just seemed to have a bit of extra drive about them and deserved the win.

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“People talk about us being too direct. But that’s where I need a bit more bravery from my players in the last third. We need to get hold of the ball and create opportunities.

“We are becoming a bit of a soft touch with the goals were are conceding. We are usually resolute and hard to break down. We switch off and get picked off.

“The players are working extremely hard but not working wise. It all looks a bit uncouth and we need to get our rhythm back.

“My main concern now is to put the package together to emulate the team that came round the bend after Christmas and the season before that won a championship.

“We looked anxious tonight and need to get back to the basics.”