Enjoy your football, Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox tells players

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PAUL Cox has told his side to start enjoy their football as they ground out a nervy 2-0 home win over Braintree Town on Saturday.

Said Cox: “We were only at 60 per cent today. We seem to play with an awful lot of anxiety at home.

“I have told them to go out there, put a smile on their faces and enjoy playing football, especially in the last third.

“In the build-up to the game some of them were walking around as if they had the world on their shoulders.

“I was pleased that we looked strong, kept our shape and Braintree never looked like they were going to break us down.

“I thought we passed the ball well at time, too, and it was good to score two goals and keep a clean sheet.

“I still have belief in the boys and think we will be there or thereabouts. That is not being arrogant. We must stick to our principles, work hard and keep our mindset and we have as good a chance as anyone.”

Cox added: “I thought Lee Stevenson looked a threat all game and Jake Speight did what he was brought in to do.

“These players will get fitter and stronger. Ryan Tafazolli was absolutely immaculate on his debut for such a young boy.”

Braintree boss Alan Devonshire said: “I was disappointed today.

“We had three or four good chances in the first half. But in the second half we didn’t pass the ball and just ended up lumping it.

“We had a go after half-time but just stopped passing the ball. Against a big side like Mansfield you have to try to pass round them and no one took responsibility.

“But we go on and we now move on to the next one.”