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League Two

Paul Cox: Mansfield Town not safe just yet

31 March 2014

Paul Cox celebrated Mansfield Town's first back-to-back wins since September with a hard-earned 1-0 home win over AFC Wimbledon, but he refused to acknowledge his side are safe from relegation.

Adam Murray's seventh-minute free-kick somehow found the net and the gutsy Dons failed to recover, despite three good chances to level.

Seven points in eight days have pushed the Stags up to the dizzy heights of 12th with only six games to go, and Cox admitted: "That was a big result for us.

"The performance wasn't there but I would always take a result over a performance.

"But it is just a win and we now have another big game ahead of us at Morecambe on Saturday. I would love to think we are now safe but mathematically we are not.

"It is not over until the fat lady sings and we will carry on right to the end. I want us to keep working hard and keep winning football matches. Nothing has been achieved yet.

"I am not going to be arrogant and say we are safe. I would rather we finished the season on an incredible high, though I would like to give some of my younger players some experience when I can.

"Come the end of the season we will finish where we deserve.

"But I am proud of this football club. When our supporters make that sort of noise there is no better place to be as a player or a manager. It was such a cauldron of noise which is so invigorating.

"Quite a few of the players were running on empty out there towards the end. But Wimbledon didn't lay down and really made us work hard.

"They really came at us late on and you could see why they have picked up a lot of late points as they are a fit, strong bunch who have had an excellent season."

Dons boss Neal Ardley was left frustrated that all of his side's effort counted for nothing.

He said: "I am really disappointed. The lads battled well and gave it a good go at the end.

"I did not think Mansfield looked like hurting us until the closing stages, but we have lost to a soft goal and were chasing the game from an early stage.

"We knew it would be a physical game against a strong team who did not want to play through midfield.

"Mansfield played back to front and I will not fault them for that. They have got to their 50-points target so credit to them.

"We had an excellent chance to score at the start of the second half and did not take it. We lacked quality in key areas, especially in the final third.

"We have got to look to win every game we play until the end of the season and to bounce back from this."

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