Mansfield manager Paul Cox issues warning

Paul Cox
Cox has taken his side into the top six after a slow start

Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox says his side must improve or they will fail to challenge for promotion this season.

The Stags beat Grimsby 2-1 at Field Mill on Saturday but trailed 1-0 at half-time and it took a strongly worded team-talk to inspire the win.

Cox told BBC Radio Nottingham: "We've got to work harder and our mindset must be better if we hope to be successful.

"There have been a few occasions of late where our performances have not been up to scratch."

The Stags have moved up to sixth spot in the Blue Square Bet Premier League and are level on points with two of the teams in the play-off spots.

But Cox is wary of complacency: "This group of players have travelled very far, very quickly," he added. "It's very easy for them to take the eye of what they are good at.

"We never turned up for 45 minutes [against Grimsby] and there were a few harsh words in the dressing room and a few bruised egos. But the lads chucked what I said right down my throat in the second half.

"It was a great win against a strong side.

"We cannot afford to turn up for 45 minutes and expect to win football matches, but we did superbly in the second half and could have won it by an extra goal."