Stags manager Paul Cox can’t wait for Saturday title decider against Wrexham

NMAC11-1913-13'Stags v Notts County'Paul Cox
NMAC11-1913-13'Stags v Notts County'Paul Cox

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox can’t wait for Saturday when his side hope to end the season by winning the BSBP title against Wrexham at the One Call Stadium (5.15pm).

The match is a sell-out for Stags fans as they try to cheer their side on to victory, starting the day two points clear of second-placed Kidderminster Harriers, who will be looking to beat Stockport County at Aggborough and hope for a slip-up by the Stags on a tense day that could yet see the title settled by goal difference if Wrexham can take a point.

Cox said: “We are looking forward to it. It seems an eternity since the start of the season. There have been some lows, but also some amazing highs as well.

“Saturday is now the decider and the boys are really looking forward to it.

“I said it wouldn’t be straightforward. But we’ve put ourselves in a position that if we win Saturday we can be crowned champions. We have got to be positive and be mentally switched on and focused.

“It will be a very tough game. Hopefully we will fill the stadium and the boys can get the actual desired result.”

Reports from the Wrexham camp suggest that, with one eye on the play-offs, the visitors may rest some of their big guns.

However, Cox wasn’t concerned with the Red Dragons’ team selection, saying: “I am not thinking about that as it is an uncontrollable for me. Whatever team they put out, we will respect it. We will be geared up and ready for whatever.”

And he also warned against complacency, with some fans already talking about next year in the Football League.

Said Cox: “No one has won anything until, mathematically, someone can’t be caught. We will go into the game focused and hungry, but level. We don’t want to be over-psyched up as I want us to be able to play with our heads too. We must keep our feet firmly on the ground.

“Sometimes you need a bit of Lady Luck, though I am a firm believer that the harder you work and the more you put in, the luckier you seem to become.

“We had a taste of this against Liverpool this season. The expectation of the supporters, the buzz about the place, if players can’t play in games like that they shouldn’t be in the game. This is what it’s all about.”

Stags fans have been warned they must not invade the pitch at the end or any possible trophy presentation will have to take place indoors out of public view.“I don’t want to spoil someone’s passion,” said Cox.

“But the Police and league have said, if we win it, we can get the trophy on the pitch as long as fans don’t come on. I don’t want to dampen anyone’s spirits but we have got to use our heads.”

Right back Lee Beevers was the only injury doubt after he dislocated his shoulder again at Hereford on Tuesday and found it wouldn’t go back in, so had to go off.

However, the shoulder was put back in its socket under morphine in hospital and he looks set to be back in the side on Saturday.

The Conference will keep the trophy somewhere in the Burton area on Saturday as a midway point between Mansfield and Kidderminster and then head towards whichever club looks to be the likely champions.

Although goal ace Jake Speight is back on the bench after injury, fellow striker Jake Wright staked a huge claim of his own for a subs’ spot with a personal four-goal haul in last night’s 6-0 reserves win over Morecambe, Chris Clements with the other two.