Stags boss Paul Cox apologises to Mansfield Town fans after Newport defeat

FURIOUS boss Paul Cox slammed his side’s display in today’s 1-0 defeat at Newport and said sorry to the 89 away fans who endured a dire display in South Wales.

“We never turned up today,” he said. “We were second best from start to finish.

“From our six games unbeaten, that wasn’t the same team today. We were just inept with the ball from the first minute to the last. I apologise to the supporters who came all the way down here.

“You can make excuses to say we’ve not played for three weeks and the pitch was heavy but that’s a load of crap in my eyes. The pitch was the same for both sides but their quality was better on it.

“I tried to change things at half-time but with the ball we were poor and without it we were awful. We lost a game we never looked as if we had any intention of winning.

“The quality of the balls up to our strikers was crap. You could have had a Champions League striker up there and they would not have had a chance.”

He added: “We looked a yard off the pace all over the pitch. You can’t blame the three weeks off. We have worked them hard and they are professional players who are paid to look after their bodies and keep themselves fit.

“Newport probably had that bit more desire than us to win a football match.

“It sums our season up that we are a very good team in grinding out results which makes this more alarming. Teams that win championships and get promoted come here today and get a result of some kind.

“We need to put it right straight away. We have only lost six games all season and god players don’t become bad players overnight.

“I never thought we would stay unbeaten in our last 16 games. But whenever these boys have been questioned they have bounced back this season. I include myself in that. I have had a bad day at the office and now we need to put it right on Tuesday.”

Debut-making defender Paul Edwards added: “We are all disappointed as you want to win every game you play in.

“I think Newport played the conditions a lot better than we did.

“We pushed on in the second half and put them under a bit of pressure. We might have nicked one near the end when we possibly could have had a penalty.”

Edwards’ loan spell from Fleetwood ends this week and he said: “It’s been frustrating as I have not had much of a chance with all the games called off. I can play much better than I did today.

“I will speak to the manager later in the week and see if he is going to extend it and then hopefully I can show what I can do.”