Cox hopes Mansfield Town will be firing after two-week rest
BY the time Mansfield Town entertain Alfreton Town on Boxing Day, it will be a fortnight since they have tasted action.
But far from being rusty, manager Paul Cox hopes his side will be firing on all cylinders as they look to close in on the play-offs during the festive period.
The Stags' game at Hyde on Saturday was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch and the last time they played was the 2-1 win against Lincoln a week last Wednesday, which set up a third round FA Cup clash with Liverpool.
It is now all about the Blue Square Bet Premier, with Alfreton visiting the One Call Stadium on Boxing Day before they entertain Grimsby on Saturday, with a return to Alfreton on New Year's Day.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
And far from the weekend off, Cox had his players in on Saturday to work them hard in an 11 v 11 match behind closed doors.
He said: "I organised a game because I wanted the lads to be sharp and did not want to drop the standards we have been setting.
"Some clubs may give their players time off with it being Christmas, but we want to go into the Alfreton game spot on, both mentally and physically.
"We have three massive games ahead over Christmas, it is at this time of the year that the league starts to take shape.
"This could be a very good season for us if we stay focused and keep our feet on the ground.
"But to achieve that it is important we stay switched on and focused. We will work hard and make sure we are correctly prepared and I believe we will be raring to go when the game gets underway."
Saturday's game was called off after a 10am pitch inspection, following torrential rain throughout the week and on the morning of the game.
And Cox had no complaints.
"The postponement is just one of those things and there is nothing we can do about it," he said.
"We knew something like this would be around the corner. Games being called off over winter is part and parcel of English football."
Mansfield had a game called off earlier in the season at Macclesfield, when their pitch was waterlogged back in September.
The Stags won the rearranged fixture 3-0.