NOTTS CO PREVIEWS / BLAIR / YUSSUF / COLLINS
Stags' boss wants troops to 'get into Notts' in derby clash
mansfieldtown.net, 13th August 2015
Passionate Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray wants his players to 'get into Notts County' in Friday night's local derby at Meadow Lane.
Speaking at a Thursday (correction by Martin - Wednesday) morning news conference, the Stags' chief paid huge respect to the Magpies and predicted them as front runners for promotion.
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His new-look squad make the short journey to Nottingham this Friday (7.45pm kick-off), with Murray expecting a 'huge test', but one in which he wants his players to set the tempo.
“It’s going to be a great test for us going in to that environment against a good team but make no bones about it, we’re a very good team ourselves and we’re not going there to make the numbers up," said Adam Murray.
“We’re not going there to watch Notts County, we’re going there to make it a thunderous environment. We want a tempo, we’re going to get in to them and they’re going to know they're in a game.
“I’d rather have these tough challenges and these big games at the start of the season because you learn the most from them.”
When asked about team news, Murray said that striker Matt Green missed last night’s 4-1 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday with a knock, and is rated as 50-50 ahead of Friday's encounter in Nottingham.
“We’re being careful with Matt [Green], he might be [out injured for] a week, he might be [out for] ten days, he might be ready for Friday but he wasn’t worth the risk last night [at Sheffield Wednesday].
“He’s had a good start to the season and a good pre-season so if it takes a week or ten days [to recover] but we get him for 44 games then that’s better.”
After being spotted wearing a protective boot earlier in the week, Murray confirmed that defender Lee Collins is wearing it only as a precaution, after the former Northampton player missed the first two games of the season.
“It [the boot] speeds up recovery time as it takes a lot of pressure off the injury. We’re getting the bruising and the swelling down at the minute and as soon as that’s done and Lee’s pain-free, then he’ll be back in.
“He's a big player for us, he's a massive player for us, he's a leader, he gives us that solidness in the centre of defence and he can play.”
Following the news that Adi Yussuf had been called up to play for his country, Tanzania, the Gaffer was pleased for the young forward, but also wary of allowing him to miss too much club football. Murray explained: “These things are nice honours to have but in the blood, guts and thunder of it all, we’ve got games of football to win.
“I’ll have a conversation with Adi, we’ll sit down and see what his views are but we want Adi Yussuf in our squad. He’s somebody who has missed a big part of pre-season so we need to get him up to pace, we know he’s got goals in him."
To hear the full interview with Adam Murray and forward Chris Beardsley, sign in to Stags Player.
Mansfield Town: Manager Adam Murray eyes constant progress
Mansfield boss Adam Murray says he wants the club to progress every year after last term's relegation near-miss.
The 33-year-old, who took over in December, told BBC East Midlands Today: "Last year we were nearly relegated. We need to make sure that this year we progress and become a team.
"Our aim is to progress every year as we move forward through the season.
"It's not just about the team, it's about taking the club forward. We know we can be successful in this league."
He added: "We have a group that is full of ambition and drive, our aim is to progress as the season goes on and we want to put this football club back on the map.
"As a manger the club push me to be better everyday. I couldn't be in a better environment because it won't ever let me or the players go into a comfort zone - if you don't perform, you get told."
Mansfield have made 14 signings so far this summer and drew their first game of the season at home to Carlisle.
"We needed an an overhaul - we needed to bring some fresh impetus into the club, a different style and kind of player, a new energy to the group and now it's about making this team, a team," said Murray.
"As quickly as you can get things moving in the right direction, the more successful you'll be so that's our aim and we've got off to a decent start, we're looking at building on that."
The Stags' next league game is a local derby game at Notts County on Friday night.
"We go there in full confidence, we know our strengths and their weaknesses, we need to compete and be resilient and put ourselves onto them," he added.
Lee Collins injury not serious say Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Wednesday 12 August 2015
Mansfield Town are not putting a time on how long it will take for defender Lee Collins to shake off an injury - but boss Adam Murray said it would be weeks and not months as some rumours have suggested.
Central defender Collins is in a protective boot for now to help with his foot injury and Murray admitted: “It was a little bit of a kick in the so and so’s with Lee because he is a massive player for us.
“He is a leader and gives us that solidness in the centre of defence - and he can play.
“So he is a big loss for us, but the boot is precautionary. It speeds up recovery time and takes a lot of pressure off the injury. We are getting the bruising and swelling down at the minute and as soon as that’s done and Lee is pain-free, he will be back in.
“We haven’t got a time on that as it’s a healing process so it could be a week, it could be two weeks. But Lee is the type of person that if he can get through games, he’ll be back. We will have to manage that.
“It’s not going to be four, five or six months, it’s a matter of weeks and the quicker we can get him back the better.”
Murray explained: “It happened after the Leicester game. The Monday after he felt a niggle in the top of his foot in one of his metatarsals.
“Without going into the science of it, from an old injury he had years ago, he’s put a bit more pressure on another part of his foot and there is now an irritation which needs to settle down before Lee can go back in or it could lead to something worse. We can’t risk that as it could then be four, five, six, seven months which we don’t want.
“So we are having to get through these next couple of weeks. But if Ryan Tafazolli performs like he did last night, Lee won’t be getting his shirt back.”
Murray only has a small number of centre halves to call on right now so is being very careful with Collins out and gave teenager Corbin Shires a full debut in the 4-1 Capital Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday.
“I also thought Krystian (Pearce) was absolutely superb on Saturday,” he said.
“He missed the first couple of weeks of pre-season so we’ve had to kickstart him and get him going. So to give him three games in seven days it was a little bit too much for him to play at Hillsborough. We want to keep him fresh.
“We are a little bit light in that area. We gave Corbin (Shires) his first start last night and it was a baptism of fire for him. He came up against some movement he probably doesn’t even see in his nightmares. But what an experience for him and from the minus points of the game he will have learned the most lessons last night. He did some really good things.
“For a 17-year-old to go into that environment, I thought he was excellent. He will learn from his mistakes and he will grow.
“At the minute we will ride with what we’ve got. If we were to take another knock then we would have to bring somebody in. At the minute we are hoping we are going to get Lee back sooner than later.”
Notts County v Stags: Mansfield Town have enough to win at Notts, says boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Wednesday 12 August 2015
Adam Murray can’t wait for Friday’s mouthwatering local derby at relegated Notts County and has vowed to give them a searching examination.
“It’s going to be a rock and roller,” smiled the Mansfield Town boss.
“When we looked at the fixtures and saw in the first week we’d be going to not only our local rivals but also probably one of the favourites for promotion, we knew we couldn’t get a better game really.
“It will be a great test for us going into that environment against a good team, but make no bones about it, we are a very good team ourselves and we are not going there to make the numbers up.
“I am not going there to sit back and watch Notts County. We are going into a thunderous environment and I want us to play at a tempo - they are going to know they are in a game.”
The Magpies, who have won their first two games, are the only club in the country that have brought in more than the 14 players Murray has signed and he said: “Notts have signed a lot of players as well and a lot of quality players, I know they’ve got a big squad.
“I know they’ve been and signed people from clubs from outside of England but the players have played at a very high level. I think they’ve got one lad from Ajax. His pedigree is incredible. They have got a lot of good footballers so we expect them to be one of the teams challenging in League Two this season.
“But we’ve got no fear. We are going there for a local derby and we want to show them what we are about. We’ve got enough in our changing room to go there and beat them on Friday so that’s we’ll set out to do.
“It’s another challenge for us and I’d rather get these tough challenges at the start of the season because you learn the most from us.
“Are we going to go into the first two months of the season and win every game? Of course not, we’re not stupid. But we are going to go and put points on the board and compete with everybody we come up against.
“We nearly got relegated last season, so our aim this season is to make sure we are in other half of the table.”
This will be Stags’ third game in the first week of the season, the match having been brought back to the Friday night to avoid clashing with Forest v Rotherham.
But he said: “It’s a good test - one of those that throws you straight into the deep end with the speed that the games have come. You’ve got to learn to adjust on the job.
“You’ve got 14 new players and we’ve had six weeks together so it’s all right playing friendlies but it’s nothing like the thrust of competitive games when you are getting put under pressure, especially last night, it opens you up to certain deficiencies and that’s brilliant for us.
“We are a new group, we are learning and we have got to learn on the go. We haven’t got time to wait a few months to become the team we want to be. We have to do it now.
“Good players do that, they adapt, and we have got good players. So I am still really confident in the season we are going to have. We’ve got a lot in that dressing room that can affect League Two.
“We are positive we can go in and bark in the top regions of the league this season - that’s our aim, nothing has changed there.
“We have some tough games coming up in which I think we’ll do well.”
Mansfield’s main worry tomorrow is striker Matt Green, who was left out at Hillsborough on Tuesday.
“We are just being careful with Matt,” said Murray “He might be a week, he might be ready for Friday.
“It’s one of them we’ll judge later in the week but he wasn’t worth the risk last night.
“He’s had a good start to the season, a good pre-season, so if it takes a week or 10 days that we miss him but we get him for 44 games then that’s fair enough.”
Stags drew their home opener against Carlisle on Saturday before a 4-1 Capital One Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday night. And, despite no wins, Murray has seen a lot to be pleased with that he can build on.
“I think there has been a lot of positives. It’s two games that have brought two different scenarios, but we’ve got a lot out of them,” he said.
“I thought Saturday was a typical first game of the season. There was a lot of tension. There was a lot of nerves in the camp. It was a scruffy game and we didn’t impose ourselves on them. I think we got caught up in the occasion of the first game and we had eight new players trying to show everybody how good they were. So it was a little bit scrappy.
“Some people took my comments a bit out of context on Saturday when I said I was chuffed with the game. For what I got out of the game I was happy with as there was a lot to build on.?“But we need to be a lot better than that. We have to be more of a force with the ball as an attacking threat. But the base that it gave us to build on was really pleasing.
“We were at 60 per cent I believe, but we put something on the board. Last year we’d have lost that game - there’s no qualms about that. So we are a lot more organised and a lot more resilient than we were last year, and to be average and to come away with a draw - that’s a sign of a good team.”
On the Wednesday defeat he added: “If I am being totally honest, with all due respect to the competition, last night was a game too much for us. We haven’t got the squad to cope with Saturday/Tuesday/Friday.
“It was one of those where we tried to make a few changes to keep certain people fresh for Friday and to put people on the pitch we felt could still affect the game.
“We came up against a very strong Sheffield Wednesday side that, speaking to the manager afterwards, have got high expectations to get promoted this year and I think that showed.
“We went there and the performance for 40 minutes was in awe of Sheffield Wednesday. We kind of sat back and watched them play and sat and looked at the big stands and watched the game go by.
“We conceded two sloppy goals which against teams like them you can’t do - two free headers in the box which will be good learning curves for people involved in the game.
“From then I felt we kicked on and the last 15 minutes of the first half we played some good stuff and should have had a couple of goals.
“We got the goal, came out second half, got on the front foot and put them on the back foot. But we saw by the change they made that were panicking a bit so they brought a £2m player on. That’s the difference.”
Murray made four changes at Hillsborough, including big centre half Krystian Pearce, and said: “It showed the importance of Krystian (Pearce) to our side, though I thought Taff (Ryan Tafazolli) was outstanding last night.
“At the same time when we played on the front foot in the second half we created chances and should have had maybe another two goals.
“I think Chris (Beardsley) had a couple of chances and Adi’s (Yussuf) had a chance that normally nine times out of 10 he buries and takes the net off with it as well.
“We played some good stuff though. It’s two games that we’ve come out of wanting more but happy where we are at. There’s loads to build on.”
However, Murray said the hectic start was hampering putting plans into his players on the training ground.
He explained: “We are straight into the mix. For me it’s a bit frustrating as I like training ground time for things to work on.
“It’s only been six weeks and we probably need 12 weeks to get that work into them on the training ground. When you have got the games thick and fast you can’t really get out onto the training ground and do the things you want to do.
“You’ve go to make sure the rest and recovery is right to regenerate the energy levels and make sure you’re not risking any injuries.
“We need to be resilient, which I think we are, and put points on the board - whether that’s in an expansive, entertaining way or we grind results out. I think I have put a team together that has all those ingredients.”
Deal on the table at last for Mansfield Town winger Matty Blair
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Wednesday 12 August 2015
Winger Matty Blair could be back in the Mansfield Town squad this week if he can come to an agreement over a new contract with boss Adam Murray.
Blair, who suffered a serious knee injury in February but is now fit again and feeling stronger than ever.
“We will sit down with Matty this week and, if we come to an agreement in negotiations, we will sign him,” smiled Murray.
“He is running, he is twisting, he is turning, and he looks powerful. People who remember Matty before he got his injury will remember him being a bit lightweight because he is so quick. His legs were like sparrow’s legs.
“But the work he’s done, his is stronger than before he got injured. So we are getting a new improved Matt which will be fantastic for the fans and to get him back into the squad, what a lift that’s going to be.”
Mansfield Town worry over Adi Yussuf Tanzania call-up
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town are concerned how long they would be without striker Adi Yussuf if he accepts a call-up to the Tanzania national squad.
Stags understand he could be away for almost three weeks for a training camp on top of the game and boss Adam Murray admits that would be tough on Mansfield with such a small squad.
The 23-year-old is among five foreign-based players in a 29-man squad called up for the game with Nigeria on September 5 by Taifa Stars’ head coach, Charles Boniface Mkwassa.
To prepare for the match, the team will stay together in Dar es Salaam for one week before departing for Istanbul, Turkey, on August 23, to set up a 10-day camp to prepare for their second match of the qualifiers.
In Turkey, the Taifa Stars will play two friendly matches against Libya and Kuwait before returning back in the country to face the ‘Super Eagles’ of Nigeria.
However, Murray said: “I want him to go there for an hour and come back. Obviously these things are nice honours to have. But in the blood and guts and thick of it all we’ve got games to win and I will have a conversation with Adi.
“Obviously his bread and butter is paying the mortgage so we will sit down and see what his views are, but we want Adi Yussuf in our squad. He is someone who has missed a big part of pre-season so we want to get him up to pace.
“We know he has got goals in him. He showed last night, he was on for 20 minutes and should have scored. The fitter he gets, the sharper he gets and that’s a goal last night.
“On Saturday he came on for the same and should have scored again so we need to get him up to match speed.”
He added: “It’s always an honour to get called up for your country. He deserves it as he’s a good player. But the other side of it is that we want to be successful in League Two this year and Adi Yussuf is a part of that.
“I think it’s two weeks (the camp), but that’s a lot of games the way this league is, and the way our squad is we can’t afford people going away to summer camp. I will sit down with him and see where his head is at. The type of lad he is, he is really focused on getting back into full time professional football and making everyone aware what he is about.
“He wants to make his mark on League football and the way he does that is by playing League football.”
Mansfield Town loanee James Caton has a point to prove, says boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Wednesday 12 August 2015
Shrewsbury Town loanee winger James Caton made a lively debut as substitute for Mansfield Town in the midweek Capital One Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, and boss Adam Murray says he could be here for longer if he lives up to his rich potential.
“James is one of those. He is a young lad that was touted for big things,” said Murray.
“But he hasn’t managed to get the run of games that a young lad needs. He is a little bit like Nathan Thomas in that he has a point to prove and I think he is someone that can affect games.
“You saw last night in spells that he is dynamic, wants to get at people and make things happen and he is another string to our bow.
“We are very good on the ball and have players that can make things happen, but we need that discipline without the ball and need to make sure we are doing the rubbish stuff as well as the nice stuff.
“But I thought for his first game and without a lot of game time, he did really well.
“If he impresses we will look to try to keep him, though we obviously have Matty Blair coming back soon so there will be competition for places there.
“He is an option if we need it.”
Beardsley set for derby day clash
mansfieldtown.net, 12th August 2015
Stags’ striker Chris Beardsley is raring to go for Friday’s local derby against Notts County after completing ninety minutes on Tuesday night against Sheffield Wednesday.
The frontman returned for a third spell with the Stags in the summer, after last leaving the club in 2007 to join Rushden and Diamonds.
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Beardsley made his full professional debut in a local derby against arch-rivals Chesterfield in January 2003, so he knows exactly what derby games mean to the fans ahead of Friday’s big match.
“It’s what you want to be in football for," said Beardsley, speaking at a news conference before Friday's contest.
"I think I made my debut in a local derby away at Chesterfield and it was immense; you were getting things thrown at you, all sorts were coming from the terraces at Saltergate but it’s what it’s all about, winning the local derbies, there’s no better feeling.
“We’re going to expect them (Notts County) to bring their A-game, as such, but it’s a local derby. They’re going to do their homework on us [and] we already know a bit about them.
"They played Stevenage [on] Saturday so I’ve already had conversations with people in their [Stevenage, his former club] camp and they’ve told me what they think, so we’ll be ready.
“You can’t say it’s like any other game, because it’s not. The place will be rocking and it’s down to the players to put in a good performance.”
Beardsley recognises that there will be a lot of new faces on show after the two sides made a combination of over 30 signings this summer, but says a local derby is no time for solo displays..
“These games aren’t for individuals; these games are to win as a team. Yeah, there’ll be a hero on the night but you’ve got to make sure you win it as an eleven, fourteen, however many of you get on the pitch. If we can get three points on the board then I’ll be happy.”
Speaking of his third debut for the Stags, Beardsley said: “It’s good to get minutes in the body. At times [during last night's game at Sheffield Wednesday], things weren’t natural to me and I think you could tell that I hadn’t had the minutes [previously], but as the game went on I felt okay and strong and it’s just something to build on now.
“It was nice to get back out there. I was disappointed not to get on the score-sheet. I had some decent chances; I hit the post, the keeper’s made a decent save and I've had one blocked but it’s nice to be playing against that level of opposition and still manage to find half a yard for an attempt, which is always good.”
Speaking more generally, Beardsley commended the club's re-structuring efforts following relegation to the conference seven years ago, and says it is now, again, in a transitional phase under the leadership of Adam Murray.
“We made a lot of signings in the summer and it will take time. I think we’ve got a good group of honest lads, we’re still trying to find ourselves as a team, but as long as we put the graft in, build and move forward we’ll be okay,” he added.
Latest | August 2015