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Archived News from January 2015

MURRAY HOPES TO CONCLUDE DEALS SOON
9th January 2015 18:00


Boss hopes to conclude deals soon
mansfieldtown.net, 8th January 2015

Murray hoping to have crux of squad in place soon.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/boss-hopes-to-conclude-deals-soon-2190554.aspx#AlgeHpzP5OExJOlW.99

Manager Adam Murray is hoping to have most of his transfer dealings wrapped up before Saturday’s trip to Burton Albion in Sky Bet League Two.

Since the transfer window opened, our boss has signed no fewer than four players - including striker Billy Kee on a three-month loan from Scunthorpe United.

Winger Junior Brown agreed permanent terms yesterday following a successful loan spell, whilst experienced midfielder Ricky Ravenhill was unveiled as our third signing.

At lunchtime today, young left-back Callum Elder agreed terms on a one-month loan switch from Premier League side Leicester City.

Earlier today it was also confirmed that the club is close to completing the signing of free agent Michael Raynes, who recently left Oxford United after a two-and-a-half-year stay at the Kassam Stadium.

On our transfer dealings thus far, Murray said: “We had some plans in place and outlined a few things in different areas and characteristics that we wanted to bring into the group and we acted fairly quickly.

“The big thing for me was to get a lot of our dealings done in the early part of the window to allow the boys time to settle and time to gel. We obviously need to get points on the board and to get into the rhythm of doing that.

“The main thing for me is that we’ve signed good people who are reliable and can carry out duties, people that are experienced in the Football League and have been successful, and more importantly people with good ability.”

He continued: “The biggest thing in this window was that it needed freshening up. You can’t make a [managerial] change and then not do changes.

“So there had to be change and the dressing room had to be freshened up. We had to bring in a different kind of character and a different kind of player in and I’m hoping that these players will now push us on to the next level.”

Recent media speculation has suggested that Burton centre-back Ian Sharps could be in line for a move to One Call Stadium in the next few weeks and our boss says discussions have taken place.

When asked about the defender, Murray replied: “He’s a good player. We have made contact with Burton about him, but at the minute there is nothing happening on that one. He’s somebody that I do like and I think would add to our group.”

Saturday’s game with the Brewers is expected to be extremely tough as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side are yet to drop points on home soil since the ex-Premier League striker took charge.

The Staffordshire outfit, who have won more league games than any side in this division this term, currently sit in second spot in Sky Bet League Two and haven’t conceded a goal in over six hours of football.

Looking ahead, our boss said: “Over the last few weeks, for want of a better word, the boys have been battered - physically, tactically - we’ve had a good of couple of weeks.

“We’ve managed to get some work into them and they’ve responded really well. For me, the standards have gone up - not just in the training sessions, but day-to-day around the building, standards are improving.

“Like I said six weeks ago, it was always going to be a slow process with the transition that we’re doing. That will continue to be the big thing moving forward.”

He continued: “We watched Burton on Saturday and they’re the most organised and efficient team in the league. They’re very hard to break down.

“We’ve looked at them closely and we’ll set up to try and exploit their weaknesses, but we go into a month now where we’ve got some really tough games and we’ll need to be on our mettle.”

In other news, Alex Fisher is nearing a return to full fitness following his dislocated shoulder in October’s draw with Tranmere Rovers.

Adam Murray's full interview will be available on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.

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Murray signing spree continues ahead of Burton trip
chad.co.uk, 08 January 2015

Adam Murray hopes to complete at least two more signings before Saturday’s trip to Burton Albion, including a deal to land Oxford United centre half Michael Raynes.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/murray-signing-spree-continues-ahead-of-burton-trip-1-7040667

The 27-year-old is a free agent after recently choosing to leave Oxford, where he amassed 82 appearances during a two-and-a-half year spell.

Raynes, who hails from Greater Manchester, has also appeared for Stockport County, with whom he won promotion from League Two in 2007/08, Scunthorpe United and Rotherham United during his career.

Murray said: “We’re just crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s now. We’re virtually there, so it should be done in time for Saturday.

“Michael’s got Football League experience and I think he’s played in just under 300 League games, which is a massive thing to our group. He is an organiser and a leader. We need that bit of experience and nous in the dressing room.”

Murray has been working flat out to freshen up the squad this week with five players leaving and four coming in so far, all of whom look to be good quality, despite some fans saying Murray would not have the contacts to become a manager.

“It’s something that makes me laugh,” he said. “They say I am the youngest manager in the Football League at 33 so I don’t know anyone.

“I find it quite comical as I have been in the professional game for 18 years and I would like to think I have made a few friends and a good number of contacts in that time. If they need to be used, they will be used.”

Murray said it was possible other current players may still go out as he wheels and deals. But, despite being a rookie boss, he said more experienced managers would not be able to pull a fast one on him.

“I have had a couple of phone calls about our players and there may a bit of movement,” he said.

“Some think I am young and naïve and try one on you. I may be young but I am not stupid. I have enjoyed it.

“It has been a very busy week. But we had some plans in place and I have had my eye on a few things in different areas, so we were able to move quickly.

“I wanted to get a lot done early to give players time to settle and gel as we need to get points on the board.

“More than anything, we have signed good people. People who are reliable and can carry out their duties. They have experience of playing in the Football League and been successful. Most important, they are players of good ability.”

Murray is particularly delighted to have secured the signature of experienced central midfielder Ricky Ravenhill to perform Murray’s former role in the middle of the park.

“He is my age and very level-headed,” said Murray. “He is very experienced and an organiser. Ricky is not scared to pull people about. He can put his foot in and is also comfortable on the ball.

“He is a good all-rounder and captain material.

“When he went to Northampton last year, they needed points on the board and they ended up second in the form table near the end of the season. He played a big part in it and is very influential.

“I won’t be involved for the foreseeable future as day to day I am so hands on I feel me going back into the group would be detrimental to them. I have been having sausage sandwiches for breakfast for the last week which wouldn’t help!

“My mind wouldn’t be right to be playing. I couldn’t demand standards from them with me not in top shape. I have a great variety of midfielders available right now.”

After almost two weeks without a game, Stags return to action on Saturday away to a Burton side that sit second in the table and haven’t conceded at home in their last four games.

The Brewers, now managed by Dutch star Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, have won five and drawn two of their last eight.

Murray said: “Over the last couple of weeks the boys have been battered, physically and tactically and they have responded really well. For me, standards have gone up in training.

“Without doubt Burton are the most organised and efficient team in the League. They are very hard to break down and we will have to be on our mettle.

“In their last four home games they have not conceded a goal which shows what they are about.”

Murray could have as many as six new players available to him, but won’t be pitching all of them in at once, though former Burton striker Billy Kee will be desperate for a debut on his old stomping ground.

“We are going to have to get everyone up to speed,” he said. “We have signed some very good players, but the reason we were able to sign them was because they were not getting football elsewhere.

“At the moment, they are not going to come in at 200mph. We have got to be wary of that. We have to remember we have 23 games still to go, it’s not just about Saturday.

“We will be making changes on Saturday. How many we will just have to wait and see.

“We need points whether we play the beautiful game or smash the ball into the box. I have a way I want to play, but it won’t happen overnight.

“In the last couple of games we have reverted back a bit to how we were before as I felt the transition was going too quickly for my liking and players were getting caught out a bit.”

In the meantime Murray will continue to strengthen his squad and said he could bring in another forward player, but denied reports that Burton centre half Ian Sharps was about to sign.

“Ian Sharps is a good player and we have made contact with Burton about him,” said Murray. “But at the moment nothing is happening. He is someone who I think would be a good addition to this group.

“Forward-wise, we do have Alex Fisher back with us in the next seven days. I have done some attacking work with him and Billy Kee and he’s looking good.

“But there may also be one coming in in an attacking area, someone who can play as a winger or up front.”

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Latest | January 2015