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Cox pleased with Clucas outcome

28 August 2014

Boss pleased that Clucas is staying at One Call Stadium

Manager Paul Cox believes the news that Sam Clucas staying at the club is a positive for everyone at Mansfield Town.

The club has fought off interest from elsewhere to keep hold of the 23-year-old, who scored 13 goals in all competitions last season.

Last week, local rivals Chesterfield made an enquiry for the tricky forward, but no deal was reached.

"We didn’t get anywhere with any sort of negotiations with the clubs involved," said Cox. "Nobody has met our valuation of the player so I spoke to the chairman last night and we’re going to draw a line under it and move on.”

Our boss continued: "I think it’s brilliant for everyone associated with the club. I think it’s good for the lad as well - at least he knows what’s happening now.

"We all know he’s a very good player and I want to keep hold of my players when at the minute we’re struggling for bodies. I think it’s positive for the supporters, positive for me and for everyone associated with the club."

Cox admitted that although it is harder nowadays to keep things under wraps, it is important to be honest with players when other clubs are interested in their services.

He said: "I’m not a manager that will hide and sweep things under the carpet, because there’s so many outside influences now that are going to connect with the boy.

“You’ve got social media which means you can’t keep anything quiet now. But my philosophy is that you’re always honest with the players.

"From day one, I’ve always told him what’s going off. I've told him why, realistically, he’s not been in the side of late, because we were very close at that time to him going, so we were getting the feeling in that period that he was going to be leaving us.”

It’s not the first time that the ex-Hereford United man has been linked with a move elsewhere, but Cox has impressed with Clucas’ work-ethic during the recent occurrance of media speculation.

"He’s a great kid, he’s been great to work with and he’s come on leaps and bounds since he’s come here," added our manager.

"If he carries on that level of improvement then the world is going to be his oyster. His mindset has always been good, he played in a behind-closed-doors game on Tuesday and worked his socks off as he always does and came up with the goods."

Saturday’s opponents Burton Albion have made a solid start to the season, winning three and drawing one of their opening four fixtures. However, Cox is more concerned about his own team.

He added: "I’ve always said it doesn’t matter whether Burton Albion come here or Manchester United come here, it’s not about them.

"What I want to concentrate on is my team and my own players. We’re working extremely hard to improve and we know the areas we need to improve and I want to get some players back on the training field, because I think that adds to create that competition for places.”

"We’ve looked at the games [against Burton] last year and they were tight games.

"I think we got done at their place with a late goal and we drew here. Burton are up there with the teams that are heavily fancied this year and rightly so, but it’s the next phase of our journey at this football club and if we can get bodies back and keep them fit then we’ll be okay.”

In team news, centre-back Luke Jones is making good progress on his recent injury troubles and could again be included in the squad for Saturday's match.

Hear more from Paul Cox from this morning on Stags Player.

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