EXETER PREVIEWS - £7 ENTRY (TICKETS BOUGHT BY FRI)
Murray wants fans to turn out in numbers
mansfieldtown.net, 15th January 2015
Boss calls on townsfolk to take advantage of special ticket offer for Saturday’s game.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-wants-fans-to-turn-out-in-numbers-2205778.aspx#qGuRz5ZUYMA7tbet.99
Manager Adam Murray is encouraging the people of Mansfield to turn out in great numbers and take advantage of the club’s special cut-price ticket offer for Saturdays game with Exeter City (3.00pm).
Supporters can watch Saturday’s match against the Grecians - the first fixture at One Call Stadium since the turn of the year - for just £7, providing they purchase tickets before 5.00pm tomorrow (Friday).
Up to six players could make their home debuts and our manager wants as much support as possible.
“At the minute everything we’re trying to do at the club is positive,” said Murray.
“I think people have seen an upturn in performance and a change in the way we’ve gone about things, so now we need to put points on the board. Like at any football club, that will bring people through the doors.
“With the ticket offer on Saturday, it’s a chance for people to come and see the new lads, have a look at us, and then it’s up to us to do the rest.”
Our team put in a brave second half display against promotion-chasing Burton Albion last Saturday, and were unlucky to come away with nothing to show for their efforts as they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat.
Although he concedes that our players will still need to gel together, Murray is optimistic about the future.
“Like I’ve said over the past couple of weeks, it’s something I was really aware of,” said the 33-year-old.
“We made the signings and I wanted them done early because I knew we’d have to go through a period of time where we have to get them gelling and on the same page, and understanding how we want to play.”
He added: “It’s been a really productive week. The lads have worked hard; physically, mentally and tactically, they’ve been tested.”
Adam Murray’s full interview will be available on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.
Stags boss Adam Murray hoping cut-price ticket deal will help fill the One Call for Exeter visit
Adam Murray is hoping that Saturday’s cut-price £7 advance ticket prices will see a big crowd turn out to see his new-look Mansfield Town make their home bow against Exeter City.
Murray could have as many as six home debutants in for the crunch game as Stags try to ease themselves away from the relegation battle and hopes the moves he has made in the January transfer window will stir plenty of local interest to turn out and see them in action.
“Everything we have tried to do has been positive,” he said. “I think people have seen an upturn in our performances and a change in the way we go about things.
“Now we need to put points on the board. Like at any football club, that will bring people through the door.
“This £7 offer is a chance to come and see the new lads and have a look at us. It is up to us to do the rest.
“I know we have to go through a period of time to get people gelling, on the same page, and understand how we want to play. We have had a really productive week. The lads have worked hard and been tested.”
He added: “I didn’t come into this job thinking we’d be sat in the play-offs and everything would be hunky-dory. From the first minute we took hold of the ship, it’s been a challenge - and that’s not changed. We are in a battle.
“Now it’s about executing our game plans and keeping performance levels high. Everything is positive and I won’t let anyone in the camp look anywhere but forwards.”
The latest arrival, likely to make his debut, is Fleetwood’s former York winger Matty Blair, who signed on Tuesday after fellow winger Rob Taylor was sold to Tranmere.
“Matty was our first choice and we moved quickly to make sure that deal got done,” said Murray.
“You always keep an eye on good players and when they are not playing you like to show your interest in them.
“He is lightning quick - he catches pigeons. He has got a brain, he likes to play football, he is clever and he can score goals and assist. All-round he is a good signing for us. He now needs to play to the level he is capable of and show everyone how good he is.”
Murray added: “I am fortunate enough to still be young enough to have played against most of these players, which is a bonus when you are trying to sign a player.
“I know how difficult they are to play against personally. It gives you that bit of an edge. I want players who fit into our philosophy and can affect it.”
It looks unlikely defender Ryan Tafazolli will be involved on Saturday after being laid up ill all week, Murray denying rumours the former Southampton youngster was about to leave the club.
“There hasn’t been any interest as far as I know,” he said.
“Speculation will always occur. But he told me on Saturday that he had been up all night ill so we left him out and I’ve not seen him all week.”
In a bid to boost fitness for those needing it, a Stags side drew 3-3 in a midweek behind-closed-doors friendly with Notts County, Danny Fletcher, Matt Rhead and Fergus Bell on target on a poor surface.
Mansfield Town v Exeter City: Match preview
Nottingham Post, by Sarah Clapson
HE WASTED no time getting started in the transfer window, but after a frantic few weeks, the focus is now on steady progression at Mansfield Town.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Mansfield-Town-v-Exeter-City-Match-preview/story-25874820-detail/story.html#ixzz3OyeOqt2e
Boss Adam Murray has brought in six new faces this month, as well as extending the stay of three other players.
Five of those arrivals started in last week's 2-1 defeat at Burton Albion, and looked very much like a team still getting to know each other in the first 45 minutes.
They improved after the break and Murray expects them to take another step forward tomorrow when Exeter City visit the One Call Stadium.
"There was going to be this element of change and a transition period where all the new players went in and everyone went, 'that looked like a team that hasn't played together'," said the manager.
"It was always going to happen. So we did it and got it out the way.
"We took the first 45 minutes of last week on the chin because I didn't think we were very good. But the second 45 minutes, we saw what good players we've got.
"It's about kicking that on. We've had a great week's training and done a lot of work."
The window has been a chance for Murray to put his stamp on the squad, after taking over from Paul Cox in November.
His aims for the season though, haven't changed, with the Stags still trying to avoid being dragged into a relegation fight.
"It's about the work coming to the forefront now," said Murray.
"We've had a week's work. You're not going to see Barcelona out there tomorrow, you're not going to see the old Man United out there.
"But what you will see, hopefully, is a progression of where we've come from.
"The rest of this season is about progressing.
"It's not about, 'right, we've brought six new players in and we're going to win every game and finish third'. Not going to happen.
"Our aim at the minute is to put points on the board, put a little gap between ourselves and the bottom two, give a lift to confidence, give a lift to performance levels and start winning."
Murray also dismissed rumours that Ryan Tafazolli could soon be on his way.
The defender missed last week's game due to a virus, though some speculated his absence hinted at a prospective move.
When asked if there had been any interest in the player, Murray said: "Not as far as I know.
"The only interest I've got in him at the minute is him performing to his maximum ability and getting in this team.
"Speculation always occurs like that - I put my boots on for the warm-up and people were saying I was starting the game!
"There was nothing in it. He was ill, he had a virus. He came to us on Saturday and said, 'I didn't sleep last night, I was up all night', so we left him out and I've not seen him since."
Vadaine Oliver deal could be the key signing - Stags boss Adam Murray
Of all the new signings he has made, Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray believes keeping Crewe loanee striker Vadaine Oliver until the end of the season may be the best bit of business he has done.
“From day one I wanted to keep him and he is a massive signing for us,” said Murray.
“He has had his plaudits - but not enough. He is someone who goes about things for the team that a lot of people don’t see.
“He can occupy a back four on his own. His attitude is spot on and give him the service he will score goals.
“Vadaine will do the horrible stuff and create chances for other people. He will knock the others about and someone else can take the credit.”
Forgotten striker Alex Fisher on the verge of a comeback for Stags
Stags striker Alex Fisher could be back in the squad this weekend - and boss Adam Murray intends to get the best out of his talents once he returns.
The summer signing from AC Monza, who impressed in pre-season, flirted with the first team for a while under previous boss Paul Cox but failed to hold down a regular place before dislocating his collarbone at Tranmere in October.
Fisher has stepped up training this week but has been protected from full contact until now.
Murray said: “He may be involved at the weekend. I will have a word with the lad and the physio first.
“He will be like a new signing for us when he comes back and his finishing is top drawer.
“You saw that in pre-season. After pre-season Alex was probably asked to do a role he was not comfortable with. He was asked to be another Matt Rhead and do that side of things. But he’s not that type of a player.
“Alex is more of a sniffer in the box. He has great movement and great intelligence.
“He now needs to step up and man up. He needs to understand the environment he is coming into and come to the party.”
Stags manager Murray delighted with Studer attitude
Adam Murray is delighted with keeper Sascha Studer’s attitude after a meeting yesterday over his omission from the Stags side last weekend.
With Dimitar Evtimov having returned to Forest, the Swiss stopper mist have fancied he would be between the posts at Burton only to see another loanee, Leicester’s Adam Smith, brought in and picked for the side.
But Murray said Studer had been very positive and just wanted Murray to help him find the form to get him back in.
“I have had a meeting with Sascha today,” said Murray.
“The lad wants to know what he can do better and it’s our job to make him better. He knows what he has got to do and, if he becomes our number one, brilliant.
“He is a very good keeper when he does what he’s good at.
“We have two good keepers here now battling for the shirt.
“You need to have people pushing others to get that extra percent of performance out of them.
“If you perform you get the shirt and it’s something you should be proud to wear. People have to go above and beyond to play for this team.”
New boy Matty Blair wants to go from villain to hero at Mansfield Town
Matty Blair is looking forward to winning over the Mansfield Town faithful after being the town’s public enemy number one when his extra-time goal for York wrecked Stags’ play-off final dreams in 2012.
Wing ace Blair (25), who joined Stags this week from Fleetwood Town, was man of the match that bleak night and, as well as scoring the only goal, was hacked down by Ritchie Sutton for a second yellow card offence for the Stags defender.
Now the Warwick-born youngster is delighted to be back in the Midlands and wants to become hero with the home fans after serving his time as villain.
“It’s nice to be local again,” he smiled. “I always loved coming here though I know I’ve earned a bit of a reputation.
“I have had a couple tweets and messages, a couple of the players are still here from that game.
“But it’s one of them isn’t it? I was in the right place at the right time to score that goal. I hope now I can be in the right place at the right time and score some goals for Mansfield.
“Both clubs deserved their League status. Both are special clubs and bigger than their Conference status was with their travelling support and stadiums.”
Blair was already on manager Murray’s radar, but the move was made even more urgent this week when Stags winger Rob Taylor suddenly left to join Tranmere.
“It’s been a wild one,” said Blair. “I woke up on Monday a Fleetwood player. Then I got a phone call saying they were offering me a settlement and Mansfield were putting in an offer as well.
“Tuesday evening I ended up signing here and away you go.
“I wasn’t playing at Fleetwood so it was heading towards us parting company. I was just desperate to start going again.
“The Mansfield offer came in pretty quickly so it all tied in very well.
“I’d been living up in Fleetwood, but my family and friends are in Coventry and my girlfriend is in Worcester. So it’s great to be back at home.
“A few of the lads here are from the Birmingham and Leicester areas so I need to get to know them a bit better and it may all fit in.”
He added: “York were so good to me. Not just the players and staff, but the whole club. I love the place to bits. I think they were brilliant.
“Fleetwood were excellent as well and made me feel very welcome. But this week I felt it best for all parties to go. It was driving me mad by the end.
“I was in the team at the end of the season and I felt I had done well. We got promotion and the confidence was there. I was confident and playing well at the start of this year. I was exactly the same.
“But they made changes and if you are out of favour, you are out of favour.
“Now I am looking forward to getting going again. I know what I can do and it shouldn’t take me too long to get my match fitness back up to where it should be as I am quite a fit lad anyway.
“I have not had it for a while, the preparation for a Saturday, thinking I am going to get some game time. I hope that will be the case this weekend and I am looking forward to it.
“There is no better feeling than winning a game of football if you are playing and involved. I want to be part of it.
“The lads here have welcomed me so much I feel like I have been here six months with the way they have spoken to me and treated me.
“I know I have to get something right and I have got to earn the respect of the manager, players, fans and media. There is only one way to do that and that’s on the pitch. I know what I’ve go to do.”
Blair feels former York boss Gary Mills brought out the best in him - and he feels he is going to be given the same freedom by his new club.
“A lot of it is down to Gary Mills,” he said. “He’d tell me to go out and express myself and give me the licence to end up right wing or left hand side. We had a great unit there who would always cover you.
“The exciting part of coming here is that Adam Murray knows I can play different roles other than right wing, something that maybe didn’t help me at Fleetwood where maybe they just saw me as a right winger.
“I felt at Fleetwood that if I tried things, if I went for a pass that didn’t come off, I would be dragged off.
“Here is training when things don’t come off, you are just told to go again. You just want someone to put their trust in you.”
Raynes ready for Stags home debut after Oxford switch
Defender Michael Raynes this week teamed up once again with winger Junior Brown at Mansfield after both had begun the season at League Two rivals Oxford United before finding themselves frozen out of the side.
Raynes made a solid debut at Burton last week and is now looking forward to a home debut against Exeter tomorrow when a £7 advance ticket offer should bring the fans flooding in.
“Me and Junior went through a very similar thing at Oxford,” he said. “You can relate to players who went through the same as you. Now I have a fresh opportunity I want to take it with both hands.”
On his fall from grace at Oxford, he said; “It’s happened to me a million times. Fresh people come in and want their own ideas.
“I always say that if you’ve bought a house, you want to decorate it your way. That’s the way football is. I try not to take it too personally.
“People want to put their own mark on things and, reading between the lines, there are going to be some big changes at Oxford.
“If you face doesn’t fit, you face doesn’t fit. You move on elsewhere.
“Twice I have been out of contract and it’s not a nice feeling not knowing where your money is going to come from. So when you get the sniff of an opportunity, it’s always welcome.
“I am a northern boy, so it’s great to come back up here after playing down south.
“My family are up here and I was house-sharing down there. So I will now get to see my family a bit more.
“It was tough at Oxford for the first year, trying to get my head round it. But it was killing me in the end to see my family once a week. That’s no way to live.”
He added: “Obviously the result didn’t go our way on Saturday but, overall, I think we played some good stuff.
“In the first half we were up against some of the worst weather conditions I have ever had to deal with, the wind in your face. They had two shots and scored two goals, one a deflected free kick.
“But, as a back four, I don’t think there’s much more we could have done.
“We came away very disappointed not to get anything out of it and, to be fair, we should have won it. But we move on and try to put it right this weekend.
“We’ve had a good week and now we are looking forward to Saturday. It will be nice to get my home debut and I hope we can get a first win on the board.”
Raynes said that few of the Stags side were strangers to him.
“At this level you play against each other here, there and everywhere,” he said. “It’s a mutual thing. Most people know most people at this level. So it’s been easy settling in and the lads have welcomed me with open arms.
“I hope we can gel quickly and have a good second half to the season.
“As a defender I have played against Billy (Kee) and I know he is a handful. He will score goals and I hope he can hit the ground running.”
Despite Stags being at the wrong end of League Two, Raynes sees no reason why they can’t shoot up the table.
He said: “We are not worried. There is a lot of football to be played still.
“There is not really a stand-out team. Look at Burton last weekend. They are second yet would I swap anyone in their dressing room for ours? I don’t think I would.
“Anyone can beat anyone in this league. We just need to put a run together.
“It always helps to have a nice crowd and I hope we can give them something to cheer about.”
Lambe targets longer Mansfield deal
By Stephen Wright, royalgazette.com, Jan 16, 2015
Reggie Lambe, the Mansfield Town winger, is aiming to prove that he is worth a new deal when his contract expires at the end of the season.
The 23-year-old signed an extended deal at the Sky Bet League Two side last week after impressing new manager Adam Murray who succeeded Paul Cox - the man who brought Lambe to the club - in November.
Lambe, who has made 14 appearances in all competitions since joining Mansfield in September, is enjoying life under Murray and said he is determined to do all he can to remain at the One Call Stadium for the foreseeable future.
“I’m looking to win another contract for next season,” Lambe, who was used sparingly by previous manager Cox, told The Royal Gazette.
“The new manager has been brilliant to me and I’m just working hard on the training ground trying to impress so I can get another deal.
“I’ve just got to keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully good things will come of that.
“It would be a big thing for me to stay at the club under [Adam Murray].”
The Bermuda player m arked his contract extension with his first goal for Mansfield in a 2-1 defeat away to high-flying Burton Albion last weekend.
It was a bittersweet occasion for the former Toronto FC man who was relieved to have opened his account but disappointed that he was unable to provide the finishing touches to several other chances.
“I’m delighted to have signed until the end of the season and to have scored my first goal - things are moving forward for me,” Lambe said.
“I had a few more chances that I would have liked to have taken and the goal doesn’t really mean too much as we lost the game.
“If I’d taken some of the other chances then maybe we would have won the game and I could have celebrated.”
Having been thrust into the football wilderness after being released by Toronto last March, Lambe said that he was happy to be playing regularly again but believed there were parts of his game that must improve.
“I’m constantly working with the manager, the coaching staff and even by myself to become a better player,” said Lambe, who had an unsuccessful trial at League One Bradford City at the start of the season.
“It’s all about working hard in training and doing the right things to try and keep that starting spot.”
Lambe has tasted the rough and tumble of the English game before with spells at Championship side Ipswich Town and League Two side Bristol Rovers, who have since been relegated to the non-League.
He said that he was thrilled to have returned to a country which he considers his “second home”.
“I like the style of football in England and I’m glad to be getting games - I just have to keep going,” said Lambe, who has unsurprisingly been named in Bermuda coach Andrew Bascome’s training squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifying campaign.
“I’m excited to be back in England; my mom and sister live here so I get to see them every now and again - it feels like home.
“I like the style of football here and I’m glad to be getting games. I just have to keep going.”
Mansfield, who are fifteenth in the table, are at home against Exeter City tomorrow.
Tis: “You don’t get a straight line towards where you hope to finish”
exetercityfc.co.uk, 15th January 2015
City manager looks ahead to meeting with Mansfield
You’re going to get variances in form and results - and there are so many variables involved, it’s not just down to one thing."
When the Grecians lost to Mansfield Town at St James Park back in September, the result took them to the bottom position in the Football League.
Read more at http://www.exetercityfc.co.uk/news/article/tis-you-dont-get-a-straight-line-towards-where-you-hope-to-finish-paul-tisdale-previews-exeter-citys-visit-to-mansfield-town-2206016.aspx#m3FoleXY4sq74Y1f.99
To be sitting just two points shy of a play-off place in mid-January looked less than likely after that game, but that’s the reality for City after having improved drastically since then.
However the Grecians have been stuck on 37 points for the past three weekends, after consecutive defeats to AFC Wimbledon, Accrington Stanley and Northampton Town.
For manager Paul Tisdale, it is little surprise to him to see his side having peaks and troughs over a 46-game season - and he is hopeful that this weekend’s encounter at Mansfield Town will allow Exeter to get back on the upward curve.
“In a long season, you aren’t going to get a straight line towards where you hope to finish,” said Paul. “You’re going to get variances in form and results - and there are so many variables involved, it’s not just down to one thing.
“It can be the conditions, changes in personnel, what the opposition does or tries to do to play against you - there are all sorts of things that contribute towards results.
“It’s not two-dimensional - it’s a very complex situation and I’ve been doing it long enough to realise that you don’t become a very bad team in the space of a fortnight.
“There’s lot of good things about our game, and there’s no point going back over the last three games trying to rectify those problems, because it’s gone. We’ve got to look at the shortest route to get back on track and that’s what we work on.”
However the performances over the past three games haven’t merited the results that Exeter were getting in their pomp - and Tis has suggested that there may be opportunities for players that have been on the outskirts of selection in recent weeks.
The City manager is blessed with a squad nearing full fitness, but with three negative results on the spin it could signal an opportunity for those players that have been impressing in training.
An Exeter reserve team beat Swansea City’s under-21s by a 2-1 scoreline in South Wales on Monday, and Tis has suggested that that fixture may have more of a bearing on his squad selection this weekend than it might otherwise have done.
In particular Paul hinted that Jordan Moore-Taylor - who hasn’t started a competitive fixture since picking up an injury in early October against Coventry - may be in the ranks on Saturday.
“The team changes through circumstance such as players being injured or ill, and they change through tactics and a manager wanting to change the strategy and picking a different type of team,” Tis continued.
“Or it changes through performance for players playing poorly or players pushing to get in. For any player coming into the team, it is about opportunity and being ready and in good form when the door opens.
“I think we’re at a point where we’ve had a run of poor results and the door is ajar. You couple that with circumstances and injuries and maybe me looking at things a little bit different with the team at the moment.
“Then you look at the reserve game that we had on Monday at Swansea and suddenly the importance of that game is different than it was two weeks ago. That’s the business we’re in.
“Suddenly all those players that played at Swansea on Monday have an extra reason to be a bit sharper and stronger. There are a number of players that have an opportunity now, and it’s down to me and who I select.
“Jordan [Moore-Taylor] is now fully-fit - he has played two or three reserve games, he’s training flat-out, and there’s a bit of light now that he might get a game.”
The Stags had a change in the manager’s office just six weeks ago - Paul Cox departed, and 33-year-old midfielder Adam Murray was named as player-manager.
But Tis felt that City’s main focus will be on their own game and picking up their own performance.
“We have to take every side with respect, and we have to be prepared for a tough game whoever we play,” he said.
“I don’t know Mansfield’s team inside out - this is very much about how we respond after the last couple of results.”
Latest | January 2015