Stags staying focused on title challenge at Braintree

Mansfield manager Paul Cox prior to kick off -Pic by:Richard Parkes
Mansfield manager Paul Cox prior to kick off -Pic by:Richard Parkes

Although a win for Stags at Braintree on Saturday (3pm), followed by a defeat for Kidderminster at Wrexham in the 5.15pm kick-off afterwards could see Mansfield Town crowned BSBP champions, manager Paul Cox will lead his players back onto the coach at Braintree and pay no attention to what is happening at the Racecourse Ground.

Suggestions that he and the team may sit and watch the Kidderminster game in Essex before coming home were quickly dismissed.

“I honestly believe Kidderminster will win their last two games so I want us to stay focused on our job which is to win all the three games we have left,” said Cox.

“What happens at Wrexham is an uncontrollable. I never worry about things that I can’t control. We must make sure our focus is spot-on for our game.

“No doubt some of the boys will be looking at it on their phones on the bus. I can’t stop that – it’s human nature.

“If someone tells me Kidderminster have lost, then brilliant, I will have a drink when I get back. But first and foremost we have to make sure we win our game.

“We will see where we are once we finished the season. If we are good enough to finish top, then great. If not we will give the play-offs a really good go.

“I know the supporters of this club are crying out for success after backing the club for years. We are working hard to try to give them that success.

“You don’t always get the time, but I work on three-year plans and right now we are probably a year ahead of schedule.

“I want everyone to enjoy this last week of the season, relax and give it our best shot.

“We are in this game to enjoy it and compete for championships. With that and the FA Cup run it has been a fabulous season. Now I hope we can put in a good performance and get a good result on Saturday.”

He added: “Knowing the guys at Braintree, there is always something to play for there. They have had a fabulous season and I will be travelling to Dartford tonight to see their local derby when they will want to finish as top of their own league, being part-timers.

“Alan (Devonshire) has done a great job down there – look how many England C internationals they have had over the last 18 months and you can see how many good players they have. It will be a tough one on Saturday.

“But we are looking hungry and full of energy. The season will be gone in the blink of an eye and, if we are not successful, then I want it to be because we were not good enough and not because we didn’t prepare right or didn’t put 100 per cent into a game.”