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Consistency is key for Stags' boss

31 October 2013

Manager Paul Cox has again stressed the importance of consistency as we aim to return to winning ways tomorrow night at Southend United (7.45pm).

Our team, who boast the joint-best defensive record in Sky Bet League Two, haven’t lost in six away matches, but last won at Chesterfield in September.

“When you look at the statistics, it’s not the losses that are hurting us. It’s the draws,” said Cox.

“If we’d have turned some of those draws into wins, the league table is that tight from first position, all the way down to thirteenth, we could be in the top three.

“Having said that, we are where we are for a reason. 

“Even earlier in the season when a lot of people were shouting from the roof-tops, I said that we can get better at a lot of things and I still maintain that. 

“We need to improve in certain areas and if we do that, we’ll be in ‘the pack’. At the minute, it’s a big pack that is chasing success this season.

“Overall, we’re just over a quarter of the way through the season. If you look at the tightness of this league, you can swap places with teams quite quickly, so consistency is the key.”

Our boss continued: “We always want to try and play on the front foot.

“Apart from the Chesterfield game where I thought we were a little bit defensive, I don’t think anyone who has watched our games can say we haven’t tried to win every game.

“We’ve created a lot of chances and it’s a simplistic equation for us at the minute. How many chances that we create, do we actually put away?

“If we start doing that more often, we might have a successful season. If we don’t, then it’s back to the drawing board – but not a bad drawing board.

“That’s because I think we’ve got a good set of players here, who probably need tweaking and adding a little bit of quality to, if we want to be [near the top].

“If we can get back to the ‘bits and bobs’ that we were doing earlier in the season, where we were being ruthless in both boxes, we’ll start winning games again consistently.”

He added: “People talk about a dip in results, but we’ve lost three games all season in [League Two].

“In the games where I think we should have finished teams off, we’ve not punished teams in the way that we should have done.

“At Bury, we had two ‘one-on-ones’ with the keeper, and on Saturday [against Plymouth Argyle] we missed two chances from two or three yards out.

“That’s not having a go at the players, because they don’t deliberately miss chances, but sometimes you go through periods where things don’t work out.

“It’s a mental strength just to get yourself through [those periods] and to turn those little things that you aren’t doing so well around.”

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