Stags boss Paul Cox’s rallying call

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PAUL Cox has told his side to start enjoy their football ahead of two testing away trips to AFC Telford and Macclesfield Town this week.

His side showed five changes and a new formation as they ground out a nervy 2-0 home win over Braintree Town last Saturday.

It was a vital win with a game at 10th-placed AFC Telford on Saturday followed by a daunting trip to the second-placed Silkmen on Tuesday.

“We have a tough run of games coming up and I want the players to start embracing them and the bit of pressure that comes with it,” he said.

“They have to start enjoying it. If not it hampers performances and a bit of anxiety sets in. It will be a long season if we don’t get rid of it.”

Said Cox: “ In the build-up to Saturday some of them were walking around as if they had the world on their shoulders.

“I was pleased that we looked strong, kept our shape and Braintree never looked like they were going to break us down. I thought we passed the ball well at time, too, and it was good to score two goals and keep a clean sheet.

“I still have belief in the boys and think we will be there or thereabouts. That is not being arrogant. We must stick to our principles, work hard and keep our mindset and we have as good a chance as anyone.”

Cox added: “I thought Lee Stevenson looked a threat all game and Jake Speight did what he was brought in to do. These players will get fitter and stronger. Ryan Tafazolli was absolutely immaculate on his debut for such a young boy.”

Cox played three trialists in a friendly at Rainworth MW on Monday night (see inside) and said he is in talks with two of them about contracts.