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Archived News from February 2015

LUTON PREVIEWS
20th February 2015 11:53



video interview with Adam Murray, 16th February 2015
http://www.player.mansfieldtown.net/latest-news/article/4492812/date/20150216140000/page/0/name/video--boss-previews-luton-match
Murray: I'm back in full training now

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Murray looks for finished product
mansfieldtown.net, 16th February 2015

Boss looks ahead to clash with promotion-chasing Luton Town.

Manager Adam Murray admits that there is still work to do, but is pleased with the constant progress his team is making on the pitch ahead of tomorrow’s Sky Bet League Two game against Luton Town at One Call Stadium.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-looks-for-finished-product-2274450.aspx#wODOGx7j4yJSJ2F5.99

Reflecting on Saturday’s 1-1 draw at home to Northampton Town, our gaffer said: “After the game it was a feeling of enormous frustration mixed with a little bit of anger. But going over at it and looking at it in a different perspective, I feel it will be a big point for us.

“It’s difficult having the three points taken away from you, but overall I was pleased with the performance. I think everyone got anxious when we were leading 1-0 and that will happen until we start to get some results."

Murray came on as a late substitute against the Cobblers and was pleased to be able to make a contribution: “I enjoyed getting my boots back on and the fans’ reception was overwhelming. I’m back in full training now and having the option of playing myself in certain parts of the game does put my mind at ease.”

Looking forward to tomorrow’s game against the Hatters, he said: “We are nowhere near where I want us to be, but we are showing signs of what we can do.

“I think we need to be more penetrative going forward and our front boys need to be a bit more braver and help Vadaine (Oliver) out more.”

The last time we played Luton, our current set-up was very much in an embryonic stage, as we suffered a 3-0 defeat at Kenilworth Road in November.

Murray commented on the club’s development since then. He said: “I think there has been a real passion raised. Everyone I speak to has a real fire in their eyes. Not just the players, but also everyone around the club.

“There is a burning desire to complete this mission. The lads we have lost have slowed the process down, but we continue to grow daily.

“The belief these boys have is incredible and the bad luck we have had recently just makes them stronger.”

Luton arrive at One Call Stadium knowing a win will lift them back into the top three and Murray isn’t surprised that they are challenging for promotion.

Our boss added: “I think their club has tremendous backing and ambition. It is a club that went through the mill for a few years. They have shown their togetherness to come through a tough period.

“I like what the team stands for, particularly when it comes to hard work and it is a credit to their manager, John Still.”

In team news, a few players continue to nurse minor knocks ahead of tomorrow’s game.

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Northampton draw was a big point admits Stags boss Murray as anger subsides
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, 16 February 2015

After the anger over Northampton’s late penalty equaliser in Saturday’s 1-1 draw had subsided in the cold light of a new day, Stags boss Adam Murray admitted it was a big point for relegation-haunted Mansfield Town.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/northampton-draw-was-a-big-point-admits-stags-boss-murray-as-anger-subsides-1-7109498#.VOIF-cL9LzY.twitter

Murray verbally laid into referee Lee Collins for the late spot kick decision that handed the Cobblers a very late share of the spoils.

However, today he said: “After the game I had a feeling of tremendous frustration mixed with a bit of anger. But going over it and looking at it in a different perspective, I feel it was a big point for us in the bigger picture.

“It was really tough to take, having the three points literally there and then being taken away from you.

“But, overall I was pleased with the boys’ performance, work ethic and application.

“In the second half we showed a bit of our naivety. I know the whole ground got very anxious with us winning 1-0 and knowing it would be a big three points for us.

“That was always going to happen and it will happen until we get that couple of wins on the board to give the boys the bit of extra confidence they need.

“It’s always the position in football that when you want to put points on the board more than anything, you do feel anxious. It’s human nature.

It’s one of those things you can’t prepare for. You can’t coach it. You can’t deliver it on the training field. It is about going through it and doing the best you can to come out the other side.”

He added: “The boys went out and expressed themselves and are showing signs of what we can do. We need to be a bit more penetrative going forward and our front boys can be a bit braver in the positions to help Vadaine Oliver out a bit more.

“We dictated for large periods of the game without taking the chances we created.”

Murray’s final game as caretaker boss before being appointed full time was a 3-0 defeat away to his former club Luton Town on Saturday, 28th November.

And, although the relegation worries remain ahead of tomorrow’s home rematch with the high-flying Hatters, Murray says he has seen a massive change at the club that gives him belief they can stay up.

“A real passion has been relit and reborn,” he said. “Everyone you speak to here has a real fire in their eyes and their bellies - not just the players, but also the supporters, the cleaners, the cooks, the kitmen, the ground staff.

“There is a real burning desire for us to complete this mission.

“The injuries we have had have slowed the process down of what we want to do. But the players who have come in have been superb and the belief in themselves and the process is incredible. What we’ve had over the last few weeks just makes them stronger.”

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Luton success no surprise says Stags boss Murray ahead of Hatters rematch
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray paid tribute to Luton Town boss John Still ahead of the rematch with his old club at One Call Stadium tonight (7.45pm).

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/luton-success-no-surprise-says-stags-boss-murray-ahead-of-hatters-rematch-1-7109625

Relegation-haunted Stags will be trying to make it four unbeaten home games on the trot tonight against a high-flying Hatters side who have now gone 10 League Two games unbeaten in their first season back in the League.

Murray said: “It’s definitely no surprise how well they’ve done.

“The club they have there, they have tremendous backing and ambition. It’s a club that went through the mill for a few years. But they’ve showed that togetherness I speak about to come through it and push on.

“I really love what the team stands for under John. It represents him and one of their biggest assets is hard work. They give everything every game and it is a credit to John what he has done there.”

Mansfield can cling to the statistic that Luton Town have never managed to win a league fixture at the One Call. The last four clashes there have ended up draws, but before that the Stags won six and drew two of the eight other meetings.

Indeed, Luton’s only win at Mansfield came in a League Cup shoot-out in 1989/90 which saw Luton win both legs in an aggregate 11-5 victory.

However, Stags gained cup revenge in 2010/11 when they beat the Hatters 1-0 at home in the FA Trophy semi-final first leg before a late penalty saw them earn a 1-1 draw at Kenilworth Road to reach Wembley.

The sides have enjoyed a good rivalry down the years, but Luton were very comfortable 3-0 winners when the sides clashed at Kenilworth Road in November in Murray’s final game as caretaker-manager before being appointed full-time.

Fourth-placed Luton’s last League defeat was a 3-0 loss at Morecambe back on 13th December.

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Stags boss Murray moved by fans’ reaction to his playing return
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

After often stating he didn’t want to be a player-manager, Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray admitted he enjoyed his brief return on Saturday and was moved by the home fans’ reaction.

http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/stags-boss-murray-moved-by-fans-reaction-to-his-playing-return-1-7109537?utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=twitterfeed

With injuries mounting, Murray decided to put himself on the bench on Saturday and came on for the last few minutes, but was unable to prevent Northampton snatching a late 1-1 draw.

However, Murray said: “The reception the fans gave me was a bit overwhelming.

“I did enjoy getting my boots back on. I am back in full training now and will be up to speed relatively quickly.

“Having the option of myself in certain parts of the game does put my mind as ease, but I am more than confident in what we have got.

“With the injuries we’ve took on, you couldn’t write it. You get over one hurdle and something else happens.

“At the minute I have had to put myself in there, but you saw the emergence of Jack Thomas on Saturday and we have got a number of bright young lads coming through the system at the minute.”

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Ruddock Mpanzu to miss Stags clash
lutontoday.co.uk, by Mike Simmonds, 16 February 2015

Hatters will be without Pelly Ruddock Mpanzu once more for their trip to Mansfield tomorrow evening.

http://www.lutontoday.co.uk/sport/luton-town/ruddock-mpanzu-to-miss-stags-clash-1-6582763

The midfielder made his first league appearance for almost three months during Saturday’s 1-0 win over Carlisle, but picked up another injury, although boss John Still confirmed be wouldn’t be out for long.

Still said: “He got injured straight away and we’d made our subs, but he just couldn’t push off.

“At one stage I thought he was playing for them! Every time he got the ball he couldn’t get away from anyone and was just trying to find a simple pass.

“He normally did, but it was normally to them, so when you think of it, I was really pleased because it was 12 against nine!

“Fortunately it’s not too bad. He does need a little bit of treatment, but Saturday he might be able to play for us.”

Luke Wilkinson is also out as he starts the first game of his two match ban, while Alex Lawless remains doubtful, but there was better news for striker Paul Benson, as Still continued: “Paul’s trained today. We’ve got a development game tomorrow he won’t play in as he needs a weeks training but will push on next week.

“With Alex, the bit of bad weather with the frosty grounds meant he couldn’t train properly so he missed a week really.

“With the inclusion of Ryan Hall and Nathan (Oduwa), plus Shaun Whalley’s form, we haven’t got to push him.

“He can get fit naturally and I think that’s the right thing to do in his case.”

New loan signing Cameron McGeehan is also unavailable due to the final game of his three game ban picked up while at Cambridge United, as Still added: “We’re not even sure we would have started him anyway after just coming in, more likely he would have been on the bench.

“So he now gets a full weeks training so I don’t think that’s too terrible that he’s not available tomorrow, but from then on in, we’ll be down to 16/17 games left, it’s a really important time of the year and with losing Nathan Doyle, that gives us a little bit more strength in that area.”

Still also clarified the extent of midfielder Doyle’s injury, adding: “There’ll probably be a bit more news in a few days.

“It’s settling down, but until it settles right down we’ll know the full extent because at the moment it’s just from where the knock was.

“We’re not quite 100 per cent sure of the damage, but at a guess, maybe five to six weeks in total.”

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Still backs Lacey and Franks to step up
lutontoday.co.uk, by Mike Simmonds, 16 February 2015

Hatters manager John Still has backed Alex Lacey and Fraser Franks to step up in the absence of first choice centre back pairing Steve McNulty and Luke Wilkinson tomorrow night.

http://www.dunstabletoday.co.uk/sport/football/luton-town/still-backs-lacey-and-franks-to-step-up-1-6582929

The trip to Mansfield will be the first time Luton have started a game this season without either of their defensive lynchpins, but Still believes Town’s replacements are just as capable.

He said: “They’re both people who have played in the first team and who have really waited for their chance because of the form of Steve and Wilko.

“Well, now’s their chance. They’ve got to step up to the plate now and prove they can do the job.

“There was always going to be a time when someone got to show they can do the job, well they’ve got to show they can do the job.”

Franks, who started the 1-0 win over Carlisle at the weekend, was full of belief in both his and Lacey’s abilities.

He continued: “I’m confident we’ll step up and do well for the boys, me and Lacey are fit lads and will do a job for the team.

“We’ve got two away games now, but we played against Mansfield at home recently and we beat them quite convincingly.

“I know it’s going to be a lot different away from home, but I don’t see why we can’t go there full of confidence and get a win.”

Meanwhile, Mansfield have often adopted a more direct approach this term, but Still thought that would be to the liking of his re-modelled defence.

He said: “Some centre halves prefer balls coming on to them and you’d think it’s the case with most centre halves, they’d want to head the ball.

“As a defender, you get a smile on your face doing that and for some people, getting the ball out of your box is like scoring a goal.

“As a centre half they should enjoy that combat and that competition.”

The boss also confirmed that the club wouldn’t be appealing Wilkinson’s dismissal from the weekend, after they failed in their attempts to have McNulty’s red against York rescinded.

He added: “It was a sending off, I’ve got no complaints about that.

“It happened really quickly and he had to make a decision, Would he have been in and scored a goal? We don’t know. He got sent off that’s fair enough, I don’t complain about it.

“It’s funny though, when you talk about appealing, to me the two sendings off in the last game with Steve McNulty being ours, there’s no way on the DVD that they’re sendings off for me.

“I’m always pretty open, but no way on earth. Maybe we should have appealed as this was a definite sending off for me, but it’s just how it goes.”

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Latest | February 2015