With the squad braced for a bumper weekend of Bank Holiday action in the Blue Square Bet Premier, manager Paul Cox has praised the togetherness of his squad.
Despite twice trailing against Kidderminster Harriers last time out, Cox’s side responded on both occasions before Lindon Meikle snatched a late winner as we claimed our first win of the campaign.
Speaking at this morning’s press conference, Cox said: “The mark of a good team is how it reacts to defeat – and we reacted very well at Kidderminster,”
Paul Cox is speaking to Jason Harrison (Mansfield 103.2) at this morning's press meeting
“I thought we played very well and created lots of chances against what is a very good Kidderminster side. We could have won by a bigger margin and credit has to go to the boys.
Our team face newly-promoted Hyde and Grimsby Town in the space of three days this weekend and Cox is looking for his team to build on the solid foundations that were set at Aggborough.
He continued: “We’re now looking to build on last Saturday’s win, though I think the level of expectation has maybe got to one or two people at the club.”
“The essence of a good football club is having a strong togetherness and a good camaraderie when the chips are down. The players have shown me that they have those attributes in the last week or so.
“I said before the season started that there would be good and bad periods during the season.
“It’s not where we are now, it’s where we are at the midway point of the season that is important and I am still very hopeful we can do well.”
Cox has also spoken about defender George Pilkington.
The former Luton Town skipper was not selected for last weekend’s victory, though the manager insists the 30-year-old will have opportunities to win back a place in the team.
“George Pilkington is a Mansfield Town player,” said Cox.
“I had to make a decision before the game last weekend and I spoke to George personally, like I would do with any other player. He accepted my decision, but unfortunately I can’t stop the rumours that have done the rounds since then.
“All I can say is that George is a model professional and he will have chances to get back into the team at some point in the near future. He has worked very hard and done well in training this week.”
There will also be fresh competition for a place in the starting XI on Saturday in the shape of new signing Ryan Tafazolli.
The towering centre-half joined us on Monday having spent pre-season on trial with League Two outfit Oxford United and could be in contention for his One Call Stadium debut along with team-mate Jamie Hand, who has now completed his three-match suspension.
Right-back Lee Beevers has also served a one-match ban following his red card against Gateshead and may figure at some point in our two Bank Holiday weekend matches.