Mansfield on their toes to avoid Newport TV horror show

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PAUL Cox has every member of his squad on their toes to avoid a TV horror show against Newport County tomorrow evening (5.15pm).

The big-spending Exiles have lost three on the bounce in an unexpectedly poor start to the season.

Stags, in contrast, have won three on the trot without conceding and Cox knows the Newport game, in front of the live Premier Sports cameras, is a potential banana skin.

“The fact that we are on live TV and the fact we are kicking off later than usual are all potential excuses for players,” he said.

“Mentally, we need to be prepared even more for this than we did away at Stockport and Darlington and it could easily be a case of ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’ for us.

“We need to concentrate, stay level-headed and apply ourselves like we have the last three or four games. There are a lot of things that could go wrong and we must make sure we don’t take our foot off the pedal.

“Newport are off to a bit of a bad start. But they have invested heavily in the side and have a good, young manager. It is early days yet and I don’t think they will be pushing the panic button.”

“Similarly people will look at our results but only say we have potential. We still have weaknesses to iron out and people will not be taking us seriously yet.

“If we work hard to maintain our consistency, though, we will win a hell of a lot more than we lose.”

Cox added that the fans had played a huge role in the recent success.

“Supporters have played a massive part,” he said. “I feel the building blocks of the club are coming together. Credit where credit is due, they have been like a 12th man, especially when we have had to dig in.”

Striker Ross Dyer confirmed that, adding: “The fans have been unbelievable, especially away from home.

“At Stockport I’ve never seen anything like it to be honest. We have great numbers going away and staying behind us and we feed off that.

“They come and pay their money and we have to put on a show for them. They’ve been fantastic and we couldn’t ask for more.”

Central defender Martin Riley was not fit enough to play in last night’s reserve friendly at Shepshed so won’t be involved on Saturday in what is expected to be an unchanged side again.

With midfielder Lee Stevenson fracturing his foot, his place on the bench will go to Adam Smith or Paul Bolland.