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League Two

Cox happy with Stags start

1 September 2013

Mansfield boss Paul Cox was a happy man after seeing his promoted side claim their first home win back in the Football League in some comfort in the end as their second-half display blew away Dagenham 3-0.

The last time these sides met five years ago the Stags were already relegated to the Conference and lost their last league game at Dagenham in an ignominious farewell.

But on this occasion, goals either side of half-time from Sam Clucas and Jamie McGuire and a 72nd-minute effort from substitute Matt Rhead saw Mansfield stroll to victory.

Home boss Cox said: "I was happy with that. It was a scrappy first half and we looked a bit uncouth.

"But a lot of that was down to the strong wind and I thought our defending was excellent.

"We were maybe a bit fortunate to go in 1-0 up. But our second-half performance was excellent and we might have won it by a few more goals in the end.

"We changed to 4-4-2 at half-time, but it was down to the players still. Systems are just systems but it's footballers who win you matches.

"We knew it would be tough as they are a good side, so we are more than happy to get the three points.

"Eight points from our first five matches is a decent return, though there are still a million and one things I think we can get better at. But our team spirit is brilliant and we have some very good players champing at the bit to get into the side."

Dagenham manager Wayne Burnett said: "They were better than us. In the first half we limited them to one or two chances. The crowd were even starting to get on their backs.

"Then they scored a goal and, it's an old cliche, but it changed the complexion of the game.

"We had large parts of the game without creating too many goalscoring opportunities.

"We came out sluggish for the second half and they scored again. I don't know if it was a wonder goal or a mistake, but I think my keeper might have expected to do better.

"Then they scored again from bad defending by us and it was all over. We huffed and puffed without really creating anything and we could still be out there playing now and still not score.

"We have not started the season badly. But if you are going to be successful you have to come to places and maybe pick up a point. I have no complaints about the result at all.

"We knew Mansfield would be competitive and get balls into our box and, fair play to them, they did what they set out to do."

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