Stags boss Cox praises Concord keeper but unhappy with boos for his young players

Paul Cox. Pic by: Richard Parkes
Paul Cox. Pic by: Richard Parkes

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox paid tribute to Concord Rangers keeper Josh Vickers but said he was upset with the booing of his young players as Stags were held 1-1 at home by the Conference South visitors in the FA Cup first round tonight.

Rangers thoroughly deserved their replay as Mansfield went a ninth game without a win and Stags were booed during the game and then at the end with fans shouting for Cox to go.

“I don’t know what people want sometimes,” he said.

“We created chances but we came up against a keeper in top form tonight and you can understand why he is Arsenal.

“Their keeper pulled off three world class saves, including Chris Clements’ free kick right at the end. The one Rakish Bingham hit you usually see them flying into the back of the net.

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“It was 1-1 which was the same as two years ago when we played Slough here. We had to go there and win that on penalties.

“I don’t think we played badly. We tried to pass the ball, though we did look a bit anxious. But I couldn’t really ask any more of my players.

“I know people will say in some scenarios we should have beaten them 7-0. But that doesn’t happen. Look at Worcester beating Coventry and Warrington beating Exeter.

“It was frustrating but not as frustrating as if we had lost at home. We are still in the cup and we will dust ourselves down and try to win away from home.

“It was never going to be easy tonight and I thought we tried to be brave and do the right things.

“But their keeper made the difference tonight and they scored a wonder goal. My only complaint was we fell asleep straight after we scored.”

Cox was upset by some of the supporters’ booing directed at his young players during the game and said: “There are some aspects that were disappointing tonight.

“I had some young players out there learning their trade and they tried to do the right things tonight and I was disappointed with some of the responses they got from the sidelines. But there you go, that happens.

“The players are working hard to put things right.

“It is nine without a win, but I think it was 13 last year and we still finished joint 10th. People can make of it what they will. Statistics are there to be manipulated.

“It is sometimes hard to get out of a rut when you are low on confidence. You need people to get behind you and cheer you on.

“All we are concentrating on now is Saturday’s game with Plymouth.”

Cox felt no one was recognising just how hard-hit the club has been on the injury front lately while results have dropped off and said: “No one gives a monkey’s about the injuries we’ve had.

“I hear managers talk about having a centre forward missing and we had 11 players out at once. But you just have to get on with it as no one cares. It’s a waste of time harping on about it. We will come through this as a group.”

Concord Rangers boss Danny Cowley savoured one of the most famous nights in the club’s history after their first ever FA Cup first round tie saw Danny Glozier’s own goal put Stags ahead on 17 minutes before being wiped out by a 30 yard Jordan Chiedozie rocket shot within 45 seconds.

“Tonight is a special night for everyone,” said Cowley.

“I am proud of everyone. We have come a long way. Eight years ago we couldn’t have dreamt of being in the FA Cup first round, let alone holding a League club.

“There were some colossal performances tonight from players right at the top of their game. To come away to a Football League club you have got to have players at their best and that what we had tonight.

“Will, desire, determination, we have got them all in abundance in that dressing room.

“We had a tough league game against the leaders on Saturday on a really heavy pitch which took a lot out of us, but the players came through this tonight which was a testament to their fitness and will. I thought if anyone was going to go on and win it it was us.

“In these games you need everything to go for you. So when we scored an own goal you are concerned.

“But Jordan Chiedozie scored us a wonderful goal straight away. I am pleased for him as he is a special player who can have a very good career if he keeps working hard, which I am sure he will. We are very lucky to have him.

“Mansfield remain favourites but we will give it our very best shot, you can depend on that.”

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