Boss Paul Cox not deceived by threat Barrow pose to Mansfield Town
IT WAS a fixture last year that put Mansfield Town in seventh heaven, as they recorded their biggest win under Paul Cox.
Louis Briscoe led the way with a hat-trick as the Stags blitzed Barrow 7-0 on home turf.
And, coming off the back of a 5-0 win against Dartford last week, Cox's men are back in form – and in goalscoring mood.
But while Barrow make the long journey to north Nottinghamshire rooted in the drop zone of the Blue Square Bet Premier, they have won their last two league games against promotion-chasing sides.
Come and Join us this evening FOR STEAK NIGHT and get a FREE...View details
Tonight is steak night at Spagehtti Amore so bring this voucher with you to get either a FREE PINT or GLASS OF HOUSE RED when ordering steak
*terms and conditions apply
Selected drinks only
Please take voucher or quote thisisnottingham offer when calling
Contact: 0115 896 2165
Valid until: Tuesday, May 21 2013
Mansfield are the league's form team, with six wins from their last eight, and are closing on the play-offs.
A fourth successive win today could close the three-point gap to fifth place even further.
But Cox is refusing to take anything for granted ahead of today's clash at the One Call Stadium (3pm kick off).
"Last season's result means nothing," he said. "They have had some great results of late and went to Newport and won and then beat Luton at home.
"What happened last season is just chip paper now but obviously it is a result and performance we want to emulate in every game we play.
"You want to put on those performances, score those goals but being realistic, it just does not happen.
"We will make sure we are focused and apply ourselves right and show the hunger we have been seeing of late.
"If we win 1-0 then that is great, we just need to keep winning. All I want is a positive performance and a positive result."
Last weekend, the Stags under-performed in the first-half and were lucky to go in 1-0 up at the break.
Fans were becoming frustrated but after the interval, Mansfield turned on the style to romp to victory.
"What we want the crowd to do is stick with us and even if we are playing badly but winning, stick with us," said Cox. "We have to understand we are a non-league team, with non-league players and a non-league mentality.
"We are not going to play well every game but if we can grind out results on those occasions, I will take that."
During his time at Eastwood, Cox's teams always came strong in the second half of the season and the same happened at Mansfield last time out, as they soared up to third.
As to why it happens, the Stags boss said: "I cannot put my finger on why my teams always play well after Christmas.
"We did it last year here and at Eastwood the season before and at this stage it is a test of nerves, of mental strength and who wants to get over the line the most.
"They seem focused at the minute and it is not about performances, it is about winning and we are on a bit of a streak at the moment."
Mansfield have a young Premier League central midfielder on trial, as well as a striker with Football League experience.
But Cox said: "We are still looking and have two lads in but I have to be fair to the squad.
"I want to get across to the players and supporters that if the squad keeps showing me this hunger and appetite, I do not need to go out and strengthen."