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League Two

Paul Cox plays down Play-Off talk

12 April 2014

Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox believes his side are a "match for anyone" after they marked the club's 5,000th competitive game with a 3-0 win over Rochdale but played down talk of a Play-Off spot.

The Stags scored with three late set-piece goals to record a fourth win a row and ensure their opponents were knocked off top spot in Sky Bet League Two.

Martin Riley, Matt Rhead and Ryan Tafazolli all scored in the last 18 minutes to move the Stags up to 10th place, six points off the play-offs with four games to go.

But Cox refused to get drawn into whether his side can continue their late surge and reach the top seven.

"The way we are playing at the minute, without shouting it from the rooftops, I believe we are a match for anyone when we are in this mindset," he said.

"Today we came up against a very good side that I believe will go on and get promoted quite comfortably.

"We just did what we have been doing the last couple of months. We are in a nice rhythm and playing on the front foot.

"People are now talking about play-offs when only a few games back we could mathematically have been relegated.

"All we can do is keep trying to win the next game. It's in the lap of the gods. I want to finish the season as strongly as possible, in the highest position possible with as many points as possible.

"You always finish where you deserve to finish in the table."

Dale boss Keith Hill was keen to move on to the next game, though he was unhappy to see five of his players booked to one of Mansfield's.

"It was just a game of football in which we've been beaten," he said.

"Possibly we might have needed that. It might help us.

"Let's not make it a crisis. Let's just focus on the next game.

"Putting it behind us is the easiest thing to do as we can't affect this game again. We have come a long way this season and it's not finished yet.

"It is a difficult place to come against difficult opposition.

"You can't deny there is a physical element to the opposition and the way they play. I thought we dealt with it well for most of the game.

"I don't want to say too much but I don't understand why our players got booked. I expect our players to be treated similar to the opposition with respect to decisions.

"We were beaten by three set-pieces which we have been excellent at.

"We had chances in the first half and a better pass or a better finish and it could have been a different story."

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