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Skipper Murray soldiers on as Stags draw up battle plans for derby clash with Alfreton
chad.co.uk, Thursday 20 October 2011
SKIPPER Adam Murray, soldiering on with his ankle injury, is determined to lead Stags to local derby victory over visiting Alfreton Town tomorrow (Saturday, 3pm).
As he prepared for his second local derby in five days, he said: “It's another local game so it will be a bit spicey.
“We had two eventful games with them last season and this will be another battle. It will be a great game to play in and the fans can really be a 12th man for us.
“Nicky Law sides are always big and always organised. Results haven't been going for them but they are always a dangerous team.
“It is the same in local derbies across the country. It's all about bragging rights. No one wants to go into work on a Monday morning and get hammered by their mates. We don't want to let people down in that department.”
Stags followed a poor 3-1 home loss to Southport with a 1-1 draw at Lincoln and Murray said: “Last Saturday wasn't good enough. We let ourselves down, the gaffer down and the fans down. That wasn't us out there. We we got the right reaction on Tuesday. We had enough chances on Tuesday to win two games
“Seeing the amount of fans that travelled to Lincoln on Tuesday was fantastic. It was like playing at home and the atmosphere was brilliant.
“This Saturday we are going to have to give them something to shout about and repay that support.
“A couple of wins and we are back in the mix. If some teams are going to break away we need to stay with them.”
On his nagging ankle injury, which requires pain-killing injections to get him through games and really needs an operation on it, he said: “You just get your head down and get through it.
“You just play until you drop basically. It is one of those things in football. This is my job and I love playing football, especially for this club. It is a short career so as long as I can do that, I will.”
Central defender Ritchie Sutton also felt the Sags fans deserved a good win against Alfreton to thank them for their support at Lincoln after the Southport defeat.
“I was quite surprised to see so many at Lincoln after the performance on Saturday,” he said.
“They stuck with us and gave us that extra boost to get the result on Tuesday. We felt like we were at home as our fans were making more noise than theirs We came out and showed what we are capable of.”
On the visit of Alfreton, he added: “It will be exciting and everyone is up for it as I'm sure they will be.
“I know they are down at the bottom but it will be a tight game and we will need to give 100 per cent to get a result.
“There are no easy games in this league and we have to be professional about it and make sure we do the right things.”
Cox and Law go head to head again in Stags' derby with Alfreton
chad.co.uk, Friday 21 October 2011
FORMER club mates and old adversaries Paul Cox and Nicky Law go head to head again tomorrow as Stags play their second local derby of the week at home to Alfreton Town (3pm).
Stags aim to build on their decent display in Tuesday's 1-1 draw at Lincoln and improve a home record of only three wins in eight while the struggling Reds need to halt a run of one win in 11 and five straight away defeats.
“Nicky and I go back a long way,” said Cox. “He was in the team when I was just coming through at Notts County and we've since faced each other as managers a few times.
“Knowing him as I do, he is a winner and will keep his distance before the game as I will. But we will probably have a beer afterwards, win, lose or draw. That's the nature of the game.
“He will be looking to put one over on us and we will be looking to do the same.
“I think Nick will turn it round there, but hopefully after our game. He has been in the game a long time and knows what it's all about.
“It is a massive game for us. Although the table says we are 10th, we are only four points off second place and three of the play-offs and we have a game in hand. It would be nice to go into the FA game next week higher in the table.”
Stags do welcome back ex-Alfreton midfielder Anthony Howell after suspension. But Tom Naylor remains sidelined with a hamstring problem, and Ben Futcher is almost certain to miss out again with injury too.
However, wing pair Louis Briscoe and Lindon Meikle could be included, despite injury problems at Lincoln, and Cox may also yet bring in one of his proposed new faces if a deal can be done in time.
Cox added: “If we play like we did at home last weekend we will get beat – simple as that. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that. But if we go about our business as we can do we have got every chance.
“When we are dynamic there is no better team in this league.”
Cox draws up Stags dossier
Nottingham Post, Friday, October 21, 2011
PROMISING Hucknall Town winger Nathan Watson is on the radar of Mansfield Town, the Post understands.
The youngster has scored five goals in 17 appearances for the Yellows this season after his arrival at Watnall Road in the summer.
Watson has played a key role in a solid start to the season for Hucknall in Evo-Stik Division One South.
But it is believed he has now been recommended to the Stags as a player who has the potential to one day play in the Football League.
Watson is also a target of his former Hucknall boss Tommy Brookbanks, who has taken over at Stamford.
But any firm interest from Mansfield is likely to see the player drafted in on trial at Field Mill first.
Watson is thought to be among the list of targets Paul Cox has drawn up in a bid to raise his squad size to between 26 and 30.
The Stags are running with 23 professionals, counting loan signing Ben Futcher and Matt Green but not Lee Stevenson and Adam Smith, who are on loan at other clubs.
Having assessed the Blue Square Bet Premier, Cox now feels that is too few.
A new face may even be drafted in ahead of tomorrow's home derby clash with struggling Alfreton Town.
"The fact is we are not going to get everyone we want, so we have to make sure we have a group to pick from," said Cox.
"Now is the ideal time to strengthen. I said before that we wanted a smaller squad, but we have since learned we could do with more.
"We were operating with more or less 17 available players at Lincoln and we could do with four or five more in, not straight away, but gradually."
Sutton wants Stags to lift defensive standards
Nottingham Post, Friday, October 21, 2011
RITCHIE Sutton must have wondered what all the fuss was about after his first three Mansfield Town games as others reminded him about the rigours of Blue Square Bet Premier defending.
Eight exacting games later and he knows precisely what they were talking about.
?After missing the start of the campaign through injury following a summer switch from Port Vale, Sutton was re-acquainted with non-league's top flight – where he played for the likes of Stafford and Northwich – on a rainy Bank Holiday Monday at Stockport.
Things could not have gone much better as he helped his new club to a shut-out as the Stags won 1-0.
Two more wins and clean sheets followed as Darlington (2-0) and Newport (5-0) were swept aside with ease.
But, since then, things have become a whole lot trickier for Sutton and Mansfield.
The 25-year-old has kept hold of his place in the side, but personnel around him has been ever-changing.
Goals he helped stem have been shipped once more, with 13 conceded by the Stags in their last eight games – none of which have brought clean sheets.
Sutton accepts that both he and Mansfield have to lift their standards back to the high they had set in grinding out a succession of early-season wins.
"We went through a spell of five wins and four clean sheets in a row and everyone was happy, but we have conceded a few now and there are things to work on," said Sutton.
"There have been a few mistakes in the last few weeks that we need to put right.
"I don't think that's been because of changes to the team. The players who are coming in are all good players and we can't blame not keeping clean sheets on that.
"You do get into a routine, as we did when we had the run, but you are always going to come across times when people get injured or suspended. You have to deal with that.
"You have to look at different things when you are playing with different people. Futch is always going to be a dominant player in the air and I know I need to get around him.
"Martin Riley is someone who is going to be quicker, but we might do more heading between us.
"You just have to pull together and do whatever is needed for the team because different defenders have different personalities and strengths."
Mansfield were devastated to be beaten 3-1 at home by Southport last weekend but responded by taking a point from a 1-1 draw at local rivals Lincoln City in midweek.
Sutton felt that Sincil Bank point was merited, even though Mansfield left it late to strike through Matt Green.
He said: "We all came together, the gaffer along with the lads, and said how disappointed we were with the Southport game.
"We all knew we had something to prove at Lincoln, but I think we showed more of what we are capable of.
"We had a few good chances and their keeper made a great save from my header and when we conceded it looked like it wasn't going to be our night.
"But we kept going and Greeny came through with the equaliser, which meant we at least got a draw.
"We have to remember we are only three points off the play-offs with the game in hand."
Sutton was buoyed by Mansfield's show of support just across the border, which numbered almost 1,000.
"I was surprised by the following at first but it was good to have that and I know it gave everyone a lift after the weekend," he said.
"It was great the fans still stuck with us and it felt like a home game at times with our fans making more noise."
Having figured at right-back this season, Sutton has watched Luke O'Neill's progress with interest following his summer move from Leicester.
"I have been really impressed with Luke. He didn't play all that much in pre-season but I think he has been our best player since then.
"He just has to try to continue that. The lads know he is a confidence player and now it is high we are going to see him get better and better.
"He's a player who has definitely got the ability to get back in the league, as have a few of our players.
"Whether he gets the opportunity depends on if he can keep producing high quality performances."
Sutton is looking forward to sampling the atmosphere of tomorrow's game with Mansfield's closest geographical rivals in Alfreton.
"I have played for Stafford when we played Northwich and though it wasn't strictly a derby, it definitely had an edge," he said. "So I know that in the first ten minutes of the game you can expect it to be physical.
"Alfreton may be struggling, but the fact it is a derby does make it harder."
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