Player search goes on for Stags ahead of Bury six-pointer
Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox is continuing to look to bolster his squad as the club prepare for tomorrow night’s crucial home six-pointer with fellow strugglers Bury.
Cox, who can currently only bring in loan players from clubs prepared to pay all the wages, managed to bring in attacking midfielder Michael Cain on a month’s loan from Leicester City on Friday.
Now he is hoping to find a striker and a defensive utility player, who can fill a number of positions.
“We are talking to numerous clubs. Myself and the staff have covered a lot of miles and we do have targets in place,” said Cox.
“My hands are tied a bit as whoever comes in must cost the club no money.
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“We are asking for a bit of help and Leicester have been absolutely brilliant and we are indebted to them. Now we could do with one or two more.
“If we get one or two injuries, our squad is not massive at the moment and I want to make sure we don’t get caught out.
“I am looking to bring in players down the spine of the side. I think we still need a centre forward and you never know, we might fall on a natural goalscorer who could tip things in our favour.
“I would also like someone who can play in defence but also cover one or two positions to cover for injuries.
“They might happen this week, but it is a tough job. We are having to go cap in hand to a lot of teams. I understand football is a ruthless business and not many out there want to do many favours.
“But hopefully there are clubs like Leicester that will help us and we hope we can pay them back by giving some of their younger players an experience their hosts couldn’t give them.”
First arrival Cain (20) signed for the Foxes from Luton for a considerable five figure fee in September 2011, which will rise to a considerable six figure fee if he plays enough first team games and achieves international recognition.
He was on the Stags’ bench on Saturday but failed to get on. Cox said: “It was tough to get him on and he knows that.
“But the experience of just being on the bench and being in the blood, guts and thunder of League football was all a plus to him.
“I know what he can do, but I have got to be fair to all of my players.”
Stags’ superb 1-0 win over title-chasing Fleetwood Town on Saturday was a second home win on the trot and pushed Mansfield nine points clear of trouble.
However, tomorrow is a big game as Bury, who are starting to put some form together under new boss David Flitcroft, are three places behind Stags in the table in 20th but only two points adrift with two games in hand.
The Shakers have only lost once in their last nine League games and are unbeaten in five.
“It will be another tough game, but that’s what League Two is all about,” said Cox.
“There are three leagues going on in there now. You’ve got the top three, then the four after that chasing play-off positions and then the rest of us trying to avoid the relegation trapdoor.
“Bury are in the same position as us as they want to maintain their status in this league and have had some good results of late. It will be a tough game and we can’t take our foot off the pedal.
“Saturday was a good result for us. But it’s all chip paper now. It will mean nothing if we don’t beat Bury.
“They boys understand what is expected of them at home now and our form has been excellent home and away of late.
“It was nice to play well and put on a good performance against Fleetwood and even better to get three points. It has lifted a bit of a cloud, everything was positive about the day. Now I am looking for consistency.
“I still think there is a lot more to come from us and that’s the frightening part. They are now starting to understand the fundamentals of competing at this level.
“No one can say we are not creating chance after chance and we now just need to find a ruthless streak.
“I have now challenged them to finish as high as they can this season, even if we reach a point where we are mathematically safe. I don’t want them to switch off.”