Mansfield Town were again branded bully boys after last weekend’s brutal 1-0 win at Morecambe in which on-the-field tensions spilled over onto the benches where both Richard Cooper and Micky Moore from Stags’ coaching staff were verbally abused.
Morecambe fans this week made the effort to go onto the Stags’ supporters website to have a snipe at the Stags following a bruising afternoon at the Globe Arena when their side gave as good as they got.
But the ctiticism was water off a duck’s back to Mansfield boss Paul Cox who retorted: “It amazes me and it is a cheap shot.
“Since I have been here we have been labelled with this and that and told we are a direct side or bullies.
“But when we played one of the best teams in Europe when Liverpool came here, did we hoof it then? Did we bully them?
“When we couldn’t win a game between October and Christmas everyone was patting us on the back and wanting to be our mates. Start winning and we then start to get a few cheap shots thrown at us. Funny how these come from teams we have beaten.
“But it has never bothered me. I am not here to make friends. We are in a tough results-based business. You are deemed good or bad by the number of games you win or lose and it pleases me to win games.
“We won a championship last year and we are not playing any differently this year in what is a really tough league.”
He added: “One thing I never do is comment on the way other teams play. Sometimes they want to play football and other times they want to rough it up. My job as a coach is to counteract that. If we play in a certain way it is up to the opposition to counteract that.
“Saturday saw two passionate clubs who knew there was a lot at stake. But I won’t bow down and let people take cheap shots at my players and staff. I feel that’s out of order as I am respectful of other clubs.
“When someone beats you, you have to stick your hand out and shake somebody’s hand, no matter how they beat you. It is up to them to go back to the drawing board and look at what is going wrong.
“It happened in some of the games we won last season as well.
“If people want to throw a bit of dirt around I have broad shoulders, the players have broad shoulders and the club has broad shoulders. I will always turn a negative into a positive.”