Cup tie almost slips ex-manager’s mind as Cox plots Guiseley revival

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Paul Cox admitted he had almost forgotten about Sunday’s FA Cup tie at former club Mansfield Town amid the workload of getting new club Guiseley out of the National League drop zone.

Cox returns to the club where he won the Conference for Sunday’s second round tie, but has been very pre-occupied by plotting how to get his side up the NL table.

“I had kind of really forgotten about it,” he smiled.

“Even though there has been a lot of people and talk around it obviously because of it being one of my previous clubs.

“I spoke to one of the directors of Mansfield this week and just said: ‘we will meet up for a coffee at some time in the next couple of weeks.’

“And he said: ‘so, you are not coming Sunday, then?’ I had totally forgotten about the game as there is that much I have been doing.”

Guiseley lost 2-0 at home to Sutton United last weekend and Cox felt some players may have been dreaming about the Mansfield trip.

He said: “It has been a strange 10 to 12 days. I probably sounded something I was not meant to be on Saturday and had a bit of a grump, but I always maintain that the main aim of this club this season is to keep the club in this division.

“But I understand I am working with human beings and the need was to keep them fairly focused on the league game on Saturday.

“Even the Alex Fergusons of the past will have struggled with (keeping focus) ahead of the bigger games.

“It (Mansfield) is something we want to look forward to and embrace and go and try and put on a good show and make our supporters proud of us and cause an upset.”

So was the cup game causing a distraction to his players?

“I would be lying if I said no,” he admitted. “There is something in there.

“On Saturday, we dropped below our standards. Whether it is psychological, I don’t know.

“As much as you say to players ‘this is the most important game’, players don’t want to get injured and don’t want to put themselves on the line because, subconsciously, they are thinking of the FA Cup game in front of a half-decent crowd and the cameras being there is their priority.

“I would be a hypocrite if I wanted people to stop dreaming, because we could make history for the football club early on.”