STAGS boss Paul Cox was today staying well out of the war of words sparked by Tom Naylor’s sudden departure to Derby County.
Mansfield had agreed a deal that would see Naylor join the Rams full-time in January. But, out of the blue, Naylor left early this week to join Derby on loan, sparking an angry outburst from Mansfield Town director Steve Hymas on fans forum web site Stagsnet, levelling various accusations at Naylor over the manner of his sudden departure.
They included allegeding Naylor had refusing to play another game for Mansfield and also that he feigned injury to avoid becoming cup-tied.
However, manager Paul Cox today stayed out of the furore, saying: “Tom Naylor’s move has been a long drawn-out affair if I’m honest so I am quite glad it’s done and dusted.
“We know where we are heading and Tom knows where he is heading and we wish him all the best.
“I don’t want to get involved in mud-slinging. I never read message boards and for me to comment would be a bit inappropriate.
“I have no power over what people’s opinions are and what they write on forums. Sometimes if you comment it can stir up a whirlwind. I am sure there are people on there that like me and others that don’t. I can’t change peoples opinions.”
Hymas today told Chad he was standing by his comments.
On the controversial forum posting, he had written: “Good luck to Tom, but there is a right way and a wrong way to leave a club.
“Tom said he would never pull on a Mansfield shirt again if we didn’t release him immediately.
“We gave him his first chance in professional football and he proclaimed to be a Stags fan. Refusing to play again is not the way it’s done.
“I fought hard and long with ex-managers to get him a game and this is the way we are repaid.
“I don’t care too much for Derby as they have been tapping him up for months through another ‘Stags legend’, Ivan Hollet.
“His head was turned and he even feigned injury against Fleetwood so he wouldn’t be cup tied. Look where that left us.
“I don’t really care if he is a success at Derby or not. I only care that Mansfield get promoted and he didn’t want to hang around and fight for the cause.
“ (He was) always injured over the last few months but, funnily enough, never too injured to go out on trial. I have lost a lot of respect for the boy over recent weeks.
“Don’t tread on everyone on the way up and you can always return on your way back down, is my motto. I’m glad he has gone now and we can move on.”
Hymas added today: “You don’t bite the hand that feeds.”
Naylor declined to make a comment on the accusations.