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League Two

Paul Cox hails Mansfield Town fans

22 March 2014

Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox praised the noisy home support for their part in helping his struggling side take a precious point as they drew 0-0 against title-chasing bitter local rivals Chesterfield.

Amid a fantastic atmosphere, the struggling Stags more than played their part in a tense game and, despite spells under the cosh, created some of the best chances of the afternoon in the last half-hour.

Cox said: "That level of vocal support makes this an intimidating place to come and play and it means so much to our boys. It's like a drug to them.

"The players responded to the supporters and the supporters responded to the players. We need more days like these when the players work hard and the supporters work hard.

"We were up against a team with quality all the way through the squad with aspirations of winning the league and getting promoted.

"This is only our first season at this level and it was always going to be a massive learning curve. So I am proud of this club.

"As a back three and then as a back four I thought we looked solid and hard to break down and our front two were a handful all game.

"Ollie Palmer is learning all the time and Matt Rhead takes a battering for us every game, but picks himself up and he is an unsung hero.

"If we can stay up, those two can only get better next year after a season at this level.

"Looking at the table, everyone from 11th downwards is worried and I won't be arrogant and say this club isn't worried too.

"We have to make sure the players are mentally focused on the battle ahead. We will bite and scratch to keep out status this year. I would like to think we have the players in there that can do that."

Marc Richards was gifted a chance to put Chesterfield ahead after only two minutes but Ryan Tafazolli made amends for his weak header with a goalline clearance.

Gary Roberts hit a 20-yard free kick straight at Marriott while half-time substitute Mason Bennett caused problems and twice went close.

Ollie Palmer then wasted a great chance to be a stoppage-time hero as he controlled a Sam Clucas pass six yards out but sent his finish wide of the far post.

Spireites boss Paul Cook said: "You can say it is six points out of the last six games, to me that is a good point and means we have 67 points on the board.

"Mansfield is a hard place to come and they are a decent team. They defended well and were hard to break down.

"Mansfield had their chances to win the game as did we. To me the game had draw written all over it and was a fair result.

"Mansfield could have won it in injury time, but we could have won it at the start of the second half. We are happy with the point.

"We have had a long journey in midweek and we will go back to Chesterfield and dust ourselves down and prepare for another important game in midweek."

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