As soon as Mansfield Town confirm keeping hold of their Football League status, manager Paul Cox said he will sit down with chairman John Radford to begin plotting how to make the club successful next season.
Ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Morecambe, where Stags could take another massive step to being mathematically safe, Cox said he had already begun initial talks with Radford.
“I have had a little chat with the chairman,” he said. “But we have not finished anything yet. We need to make sure we are safe.
“Once we are, then he will give me some honest feedback over the season – he is always honest with me – and I am sure he will give me an honest wage bill that he thinks I can achieve with next year.
“No matter how high or low it is, he he knows I will try incredibly hard to be successful with it.”
Radford backed Cox mid-season when the Stags were struggling badly and some fans wanted him out, and Cox said he was delighted with that loyalty and never doubted his own ability to keep the club up.
“The chairman can see I am very loyal to him and he is very loyal to me. We have a good working relationship and a good friendship away from the football club,” said Cox.
“I have never doubted myself. I knew what I was coming into here as a manager. I knew it would be tough and there was high expectation among the supporters.
“I also knew some of the politics in the club – I am not a stupid lad. I did my homework.
“But I have always believed in my own ability and tried to believe in my players. I am a young manager and I have made some massive mistakes since I have been here. But I am learning and we have come through in the end.
“You are always going to have your doubters. That’s no problem. The game is always about opinions. My job is making the club bigger and better than when I came here.
“As a manager you are always fighting for your job every three games as, lose three on the bounce, and you are in danger of losing your job.
“But this game is like a drug and I don’t want to stop enjoying it. If I did leave I would probably go and join the circus!”
He added: “When we had our bad run I think a lot of people stopped believing in us and sometimes it is hard for the players to pick themselves up and dust themselves down. So all credit to them for doing that.
“They stuck together and team spirit has always been good. I can’t fault them – they have been excellent.
“In the last three years we have always had a sticky spell at this football club when a lot of people lose their heads. But you have to be a bit single-minded and keep your focus. We have always come through it, though this season it’s been a bit different as the prize was a bit different.
“Sometimes you can’t progress until you have had a period standing still and acclimatising. I hope the club now knows what it is all about so we can go forward.”