Howell and Cox relishing Mansfield Town's three-match road trip
AFTER seeking plenty of home comfort of late, it is time for Mansfield Town to hit the road once again.
Three victories in their last three matches at the One Call Stadium have helped their standing in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
But last Tuesday, they suffered a rare defeat when they went down 2-0 to Newport in south Wales.
However, Anthony Howell is drawing on all the positives as they eye three away matches in the space of eight days, starting at Hyde tonight, a team thumped 4-0 on their own patch by Kidderminster at the weekend.
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Yes, there was defeat on the road last week but only after chalking up four consecutive away wins.
And the midfielder sees no reason why a similar run cannot be replicated against Hyde, Luton on Saturday and at Lincoln next Tuesday.
"We have three big away games now, three massive ones but we have to take it one at a time and concentrate on Hyde," said Howell.
"We are on a roll and they lost at the weekend but we have to give them the respect they deserve. It will not be an easy place to go.
"It was disappointing to lose the last one at Newport but you are going to lose some and hopefully we can push back on now and win our next three games, or at least collect a lot of points from them.
"It will be tricky and it is a potential banana skin. We have to get about them, match them physically and mentally and push on.
"We have goals all over the park at present which is good and (Matt) Greeny is up there working his socks off week in, week out.
"His work-rate probably goes unnoticed but not by us players, he is really doing a job up there.
"But when he is not scoring, others are popping up like Muzza (Adam Murray), Stevo (Lee Stevenson) and Colin Daniel. It is a potential goal feast for someone at present."
Howell is in superb form in the middle of midfield and picked up the champagne for his performance in Saturday's 3-1 victory against Cambridge United.
And he also got among the goals in the 8-1 demolition of Barrow and in the 5-0 win against Dartford.
But he says his own form is as much down to his team-mates as himself.
"I am only confident because I know I am playing with great players, they help make me blossom and as a team we are playing well," he said.
"I feel a lot more comfortable going out there in front of the fans and with the lads and that is showing in my game. I feel I am performing well and now I have to keep it going until the end of the season."
Manager Paul Cox is relishing three games away from north Nottinghamshire and knows it is a big chance to claw back the three-point gap to the play-offs and put themselves in a strong position.
He said: "If we are going to be successful, we have to be winning games whether they are home or away. There are no panic stations because we are playing away.
"We are capable of getting wins and just because we had a bad day at the office at Newport it does not mean we will be scared to go away from home.
"I want three wins. Whether we get them or not is a different matter but if we were to get three positive results it will put us in a brilliant position."
The Stags are on a run of five wins from their last six games and sit sixth on 50 points – just eight points off leaders Grimsby.
With 17 games to play, there are 51 points to battle it out for but Cox sees the winners this campaign finishing on a much lower total than normal.
Last season, Mansfield finished third with 89 points but Cox believes less than that will seal the championship – and automatic promotion.
He said: "I think the mid-80s will win it, there isn't a team running away with it.
"We have not set ourselves any targets in terms of overall points totals but we have looked at batches of games and spoken to the players about what they feel is realistic.
"We did it last season at this point and it worked and we have done it again. We will see how we go."