Murray chases winger, but still unsure over Stags manager’s job
chad.co.uk, 27 November 2014
Mansfield Town caretaker boss Adam Murray is confident he will be able to sign a new winger before the loan transfer window closes tonight.
But he seems more unsure than ever that applying for the job full-time is the right move for him after missing playing in the side in their two 1-0 wins this week since he took over.
Having extended target man Vadaine Oliver’s loan until 19th January this week, Murray now has to sell the club to a winger and said: “Getting Vadaine secured was a bonus. Now I want to bring in a winger.
“I now realise what transfer windows are all about over the last couple of days. But talks have been positive.
“Rob Taylor and Reggie Lambe have been superb. I couldn’t have asked any more. They have taken their chance and responded to the new style of play and how important they are to it.
“But I couldn’t ask them to play at that level of intensity week in week out and I need another option so I can give them a breather as well as adding a bit of X-factor.
“There are two or three wingers that I think would alter us and make a big input for us.
“It’s all about getting into the players’ heads at the minute that they understand they will fit into the style we are playing now. I am confident we will have a body by the end of the day.”
However, at 33 Murray is clearly torn between continuing his own playing days and launching the managerial career he wants at a club he loves.
“To be totally honest I have missed being on the field,” he said.
“Playing at Luton away are big moments in your career. It is a big decision to me if I want to leave that yet and throw my hat into the ring for the manager’s job.
“I will probably put myself on the bench on Saturday just so I can be part of the atmosphere.
“I don’t think I could do both. I could never go onto the field with my head no solely on playing. I have realised the last few days that it’s too much to ask to get the best out of both situations.
“That’s why I’ve not played the last couple of games as the boys are not where they need to be in this formation and style yet.
“But I think we are in a false position and there’s no reason why we can’t move up the league.”
Murray has also been quoted as saying, were he to take the job, he might turn to former Stags manager Billy Dearden to join his backroom staff. But Murray said that talk was very premature.
“It was a remark I made on Tuesday, but not one that’s gone anywhere,” he said. “Billy does know the game inside out with his scouting and experience. And he has a contacts book bigger than Yellow Pages. But there is nothing nailed down.
“We have not had a conversation about it and I think he is in work right now. Also, I am not in a position to be calling the shots as yet.”
Murray has enjoyed a fantastic week so far with the two wins at home to Plymouth and away to Concord in the FA Cup. But he knows Saturday’s game at his former club, title-chasers Luton Town, will be the toughest of all.
He said: “We looked at the week on Saturday morning and knew there were three totally different challenges ahead.
“Saturday was a big one for us to plant some seeds and get some points across.
“We had to refocus for Tuesday and go in with a different head on. It was a great night, one of those typical FA Cup games and everything that with it.
“On the way to the ground the traffic around meant we were late getting there. Then we had the weather. It was a massive learning curve for our boys. A lot of them had never been involved in proper FA Cup games and the scenario and circumstances that come with them. I think that first 45 minutes caught us out a bit.
“That was part of our thinking with starting with Ollie Palmer. He would have been more aware of the environment we were going into and knew what to expect from the opposition.
“You look at Rakish Bingham. He’s just come out of U21 football so a game like Tuesday’s would have been a big ask for him. We wouldn’t have got the best out of him and it wouldn’t have been fair on him. Ollie has been working his socks off in training and deserved his chance.
“He is low on confidence, there’s no getting away from that so it’s about giving him a bit of a cuddle.”
He added: “Then Saturday we have Luton, which will be a totally different challenge. The four years have gone quickly since I was there.
“We’ve watched them a few times and know what they are all about.
“The general consensus is they are probably the best team in the league. They have an experienced manager who has had two years to put the machine he’s got together - and that’s what they are, a machine.
“When John Still first went in there, it was a project not to just get out the Conference but to push on from there, which they’ve done.
“It is a cauldron - a real gladiators’ arena. When you step out there you know you are in a game. The atmosphere will be superb. We need to rise to the occasion.
“It will be strange in the dug-out, but it’s part and parcel of the situation. We will go there on the front foot and have a right go.
“The lads put in a monster effort on Saturday, then on Tuesday the effort and passion they gave for the football club were unbelievable on a heavy pitch. So the fatigue factor is the biggest worry apart from the travel on Saturday.”
However, Stags have no new injury problems and expect to have John Dempster and Jamie McGuire back in a couple of weeks.
Palmer working hard to impress
mansfieldtown.net, 27th November 2014
Striker keen to do everything possible to improve his game.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/palmer-working-hard-to-impress-2107802.aspx#MPDQlTVtbF2BoG0v.99
Striker Ollie Palmer insists he’ll be doing everything that he can to impress caretaker manager Adam Murray.
The 22-year-old, who joined us from Havant & Waterlooville last year, scored the all-important winner as we saw off gritty non-leaguers Concord Rangers in the FA Cup in midweek.
“I think [our new formation] suits me a little bit. You’ve got to be mobile and still get in behind and try and be reliable with your back to goal,” said Palmer.
“I’m always working on my game. If ‘Muz’ (Adam Murray, caretaker manager) wants me to get into a certain position, play a certain way, then that’s what I’ve got to do to play.”
He continued: “It’s been a tough week, but credit to ‘Muz’, Micky (Moore, first team coach) and ‘Coops’ (Richard Cooper, first team coach), as they’ve kept us all grounded and kept us focussed.
“To be honest, they’ve managed us really well. You notice that your gaffer, Paul Cox, has left, but they’ve helped us remain focussed on our task ahead.
“In training and on the pitch, it hasn’t felt too much different. You’ve just got to focus on the task, which is to get three points.”
Reflecting on Tuesday’s 1-0 success at the Aspect Arena, he continued: “It was a hard-fought win. The pitch wasn’t the best and obviously it was raining, so conditions weren’t the best, but we ground out a result which I think was acceptable on the night.
Our team will be hoping to make it three wins out of three when they meet Luton Town on Saturday, but to do that they will first have to breach the second-tightest defence in the entire Football League.
“I know they’ve only conceded 12 goals and they’re flying high in the league, so it’ll be a really tough game, but also good to see where we’re at,” added Palmer.
“If we can try and put a run of results together that would be fantastic. Obviously [beating] Plymouth at home then Luton away isn’t going to be easy, and if we can take that into the FA Cup, Cambridge away, then it should be a good few weeks.”
Ollie Palmer’s full interview will be available on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.
Lambe ready for Luton showdown
mansfieldtown.net, 27th November 2014
Youngster holds no fear going into clash at Kenilworth Road.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/lambe-ready-for-luton-showdown-2107694.aspx#wrrJrRV1jtTKorm3.99
Bermuda international Reggie Lambe holds no fear going into Saturday’s clash at high-flying Luton Town.
Our team face arguably their toughest test of the campaign thus far as they travel to the cauldron that is Kenilworth Road, to take on a Hatters outfit, who have generated some strong momentum in recent weeks.
The Hatters, who boast the second-tightest defence in the Football League, currently sit in the automatic promotion spots in Sky Bet League Two and have won nine of their last 13 matches in all competitions.
“All the boys are telling me that it will be a tough test, so I’m looking forward to going down there,” said Lambe. “They’re one of the favourites for promotion, but hopefully we can go down there and come back with, if not three points, then at least one point.
“It’s ideal to play [in a tough atmosphere]. Their fans will get behind them, so we need to just silence the crowd and play our game.”
Lambe made just his second start of the season as we beat in-form Plymouth Argyle, 1-0, at One Call Stadium last weekend, in what was Adam Murray’s first game as caretaker boss.
The 23-year-old admits that Paul Cox’s departure as manager has had an effect on the squad, as everyone is now working hard to try and impress whoever is appointed as permanent boss.
“At any time when a manager goes you feel like you have to do more to impress whoever comes in,” he continued.
“I think everyone is on a high because of the last couple of results and wants to play, so there’s good competition for places right now. Everyone is playing at top form, so it’s hard to choose.”
Looking back at the Tuesday’s gritty 1-0 win in the FA Cup at Concord Rangers, the youngster said: “We went down there and just needed to come away with a win as anything else would have been disappointing. The pitch wasn’t the best and the crowd were really behind them, but we had our fans there too and that helped us.”
Lambe is also pleased that striker Vadaine Oliver has extended his loan with us until the New Year.
“I think he strives in that position,” he added. “He wins every header so we can run off him; we can get balls to feet from him; he’s a presence up front and a real handful.”
Reggie Lambe’s full interview can be heard on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.
Luton Town: Paul Cox departure at Mansfield Town not a concern for Hatters boss John Still
Luton On Sunday, November 27, 2014, By Ciaran Thomas
Mansfield Town travel to Kenilworth Road on Saturday without a permanent manager following Paul Cox’s sacking, but Luton boss John Still doesn't believe it will have a major impact on the Stags' performance.
Read more: http://www.luton-dunstable.co.uk/Luton-Town-Paul-Cox-departure-Mansfield-Town/story-24789013-detail/story.html?#ixzz3KIq11SeZ
Former Hatters player Adam Murray has taken caretaker charge at Field Mill and started with victory over Plymouth, followed by a midweek FA Cup win at Concord Rangers.
Still admitted the Mansfield players would be lifted following the departure of Cox but said there was a limit to the improvement Murray could make.
“It depends on the players, if I left here this lot could manage themselves,” he said. “If we told them we’re not here for a week you know what we do every day, they’d go out with no problem at all.
“They might miss a presence around them, I don’t know Paul Cox and if he was a strong person in the dressing room, but I think those people would be professional enough to go and do the job.
“You've got a maximum you can play to, they may have been playing below their maximum or bang on the maximum but on Saturday they can only play to their maximum.
“A bit like last week with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink at Burton, a new manager going in, does it give them a lift? of course it does but there are only 11 of them and they can only play to their maximum.
“All we have to do is worry about us, as long as we perform to the level we can do. If we do we have a chance of winning, if we don’t, we leave the door open for them.”
The Hatters go into the match looking to bounce back after their 11 match unbeaten run in League Two was ended with a 1-0 League Two defeat at Burton last week.
However, Still was pleased with his side's performance despite the defeat and said he is confident they will get back to winning ways if they can put in a similar display.
“Sometimes you play well and don’t win and sometimes you don't play well and win," he said. "I think it’s important that when you analyse you don’t just analyse a result, otherwise you become blinkered.
“But I haven’t looked too deep at it as I think if we played that well again we’d win. It’s disappointing to lose but disappointment makes the weak weaker and the strong stronger and we’re strong.”
Latest | November 2014