AFTER much speculation over his future in recent weeks, Stags boss Paul Cox gave the club a massive boost today when he announced he had agreed to sign a new two-year contract after talks with chairman John Radford last night.
Cox, who has taken the club to within two points of the play-offs at the first attempt, was recently linked with a move to Burton Albion and other League clubs were also said to be showing an interest.
But Cox today said: “I had a very positive meeting with the chairman last night and I have agreed to a new two-year deal.
“We just need to dot a few I’s and cross a few T’s and the chairman is out the country again today. But I expect to sign it very soon.
“I have a good relationship with the chairman and he is really positive about where he wants to take the club. More than anything I am enjoying it and I am working for a man I respect and like.
“There is a lack of loyalty in football and it is sometimes frowned upon. But that’s how I am as a person. I was the same at Eastwood.
“The chairman wants me to grab hold of the club and take it in a positive direction.
“I am hoping the players take it as a positive. I felt it was important to sort this at this stage of the season for my sanity. Something needed to be done and nailed down.
He added: “We have not spoken about playing budgets. I will sit down with the chairman when the times comes to talk about figures. But I know he is very competitive and he wants to win.
“I believe he will give me a wage bill, whatever league we are in next season, that will be competitive and help us to achieve what we want to achieve.
“Obviously I want to win this league. You need the wage bill of Crawley and Fleetwood to win it. Fleetwood’s wage bill would make them competitive in the league above.
“Although we are third now, it feels like a failure to me as we won’t finish champions. That is what I always crave and I hope the players are now starting to understand what it takes to be champions.
“We have laid some good foundations here to build on. Now the scenario is we need to improve certain things to progress.
“I want more kids coming through to the first team and I am looking for a reserve side next year.
“The building blocks we have made with the fans here have been absolutely immense. They have been out of this world. There have been certain games this season when they have given us the patience we have craved.”
Stags head for Hayes & Yeading on Saturday, needing just two points be be sure of fifth place and the play-offs, while Hayes are now four points off safety in the drop zone.
But Cox warned against complacency, saying: “They are fighting for their lives and are a very hard side to play against as we saw at home.
“They are very fluid in when they attack you, they throw bodies at you. We have to be on our mettle.
“If we win on Saturday then we are mathematically in the play-offs and if we show the mental toughness we have shown since Christmas, there is no reason why we can’t get a positive result.”