Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox was relieved to see his side stand up to Northampton Town’s aerial bombardment in today’s 3-0 victory and admitted the score flattered his side.
A spectacular free kick by Ben Hutchinson, a fourth goal in four games for Sam Clucas and a memorable own goal by Mathias Doumbe sealed the points while Alan Marriott produced some crucial saves.
“That was a great result, though it was never a 3-0, but you have go to be greedy in football and take everything that comes your way,” said Cox, who marked his 100th league game in charge by steering his side up into fifth place.
“With the ball we were a bit off the mark today and I don’t think the game was a great spectacle. But we knew what we were up against.
“I don’t think Northampton are a bad side and I can still see them being well up there later in the season. They are very hard to play against and probably a tweak away from being a top side. They just need something to click for them like we had last season.
“We won 3-0 but I was more pleased with our defending. We came under a bit of a bombardment today and we stood up to it.
“The way we train is the way we play and the boys are taking that onto the field. They never know when to give in.
“That was a great free kick by Hutch. He does that in training all the time but he took the training ground onto the first team pitch today.
“It’s nice to be fifth but it’s early days yet and there is a long way to go.”
It was a miserable return to his former club for Northampton manager Aidy Boothroyd, who has now had just one win this season, and he said: “When the ball hits the post or goes in the net, and those little tackles and blocks – they all come from hard work.
“We need some good old fashioned hard work to turn things around and get back to winning ways.
“When things don’t go for you you redouble your efforts and work twice as hard.
“So we will be in tomorrow all day and every day and we will work twice as hard until we get this right.
“I have seen this before and it’s all about players stepping up, taking control and winning a game.
“I am really disappointed today, We have done enough in the last two or three games to win plenty of games,
“The stats may show we were dominant, but the fact of the matter is that we lost 3-0.
“Carry on like this and we will be way off where we want to be. It’s not about sulking or blaming the referee – the ref had a good game today. We just need to get on with it.”