Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox has lofty League Two ambitions

Cox wants players to have limelight

Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox says he will continue to use high expectations to motivate his side on their return to the Football League.

The Stags secured promotion to League Two after a five-year absence by winning the Conference last season.

And Cox said he will be even more demanding this term.

"I don't want to stand still, and to do that sometimes you have to raise the bar beyond what is realistic," Cox told BBC East Midlands Today.

"We will keep pushing barriers and see where it takes us.

"We will go in with a high level of respect, but this is a winning business - I try get it over to my players and anyone associated with the club that I want to be a winning football club."

Cox also says that the rise and rise of the Nottinghamshire side has its limits, and that lining up for Saturday's League Two season opener at Scunthorpe is well beyond his initial expectations for the Field Mill club.

"My heart says that we don't go into a league to finish second, but there also has to be is a sense of realism," Cox said.

"What we have achieved over the two years has been immense and where we are is probably a year or two ahead of schedule.

"Without being over the top, we want to be competitive but we have to be realistic.

"We are the new kids on the block in this division, there are lot good managers and good teams to compete against.

"We will have to feel our way, but personally it is about how quickly we learn."

But after two years at the helm, the 41-year-old said the club has been quick learners.

Mansfield has been active in the summer transfer market with six new arrivals at Field Mill, including midfielders Sam Clucas and Jamie McGuire.

The Stags have also lost key players who helped the club reach League Two, with Conference Premier top scorer Matt Green among them.

"When I came here there was big dark cloud hanging over the football club," Cox said.

"I think the football club, and town in general, lost the belief in itself.

"We are at the starting line again - we have a lot to do.

"I have a lot of thing to improve on as as a manager and the players need to improve as well.

"But if we carry on improving, and more importantly carry on working hard, this football club can be really successful."

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