MURRAY AND HUNT PREVIEW BRISTOL ROVERS GAME
More to come from Murray's men
mansfieldtown.net, 14th October 2015
Manager Adam Murray believes his side are only playing to 70 percent of their potential ahead of Saturday's game against Bristol Rovers at One Call Stadium.
The Stags face long trips to Yeovil and Portsmouth after the visit of Rovers and while he acknowledges Mansfield's fine start the campaign, he's also keen to ensure the squad don't undo all of their good work against The Pirates.
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He said: "We know that they (Bristol Rovers) will bring a different challenge to us but we've got good players who can adjust to anything they need to.
"We've had a super start and we've probably blown everybody's expectations already for what they expected us to do in the first quarter of the season. That's not enough for us because we still know there's more in us; we're probably functioning at 70 percent and the other 30 percent will be what keeps us in the top group.
"Winners strive to be greedy and achieve as many points as they can, and that’s this group's target."
Murray has high praise for coaching duo Micky Moore and Richard Cooper, who have helped the Stags’ boss make amendments to the training regime of the players.
"We have a different day off to a lot of clubs, we train at different times. We're training them to prepare them for the time they're expected to be at their best."
Speaking about his staff, he added: "I know at the time I got the job [as manager] people were saying that they didn't know if they (Moore and Cooper) have the experience. They're two of the most enthusiastic, qualified, modern and inspirational people that I could have by my side.
"Micky knows the game, he's got more contacts than anyone I know and he's a thinker. Coops is a young coach, he's got great ideas, he brings a freshness and he's a motivator as well. We've got a difference in character and ideas and it works."
Murray's counterpart in the opposition dug-out at the weekend will be ex-Stag Darrell Clarke, who is another example of a young British coach trying to enhance his reputation in The Football League - something which the former is heartened to see.
"There's more British coaches and managers getting a chance in the game. I think the energy around young coaches rubs off on your group which is what I've found. I've wanted to learn from the bad times and good times.
"I haven't got the knowledge of a 50 or 60-year-old manager, but at the minute I don't want that. Ultimately I want to be my own man and a lot of young coaches I speak to are the same.
"The modern game is moving forward rapidly; formations are a lot more fluid and teams go from formation to formation in the space of 20 minutes, sometimes without knowing they're doing it. That's the game now and it's exciting for English football - the more of our own we can push through, the better."
To see Adam Murray news conference, in full, visit Stags Player.
Mansfield Town prepare for tough week
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Wednesday 14 October 2015
After three successive wins, Mansfield Town know they have a massive week ahead of them with a home clash with Bristol Rovers followed by long trips to Yeovil and Portsmouth.
But, as long as no one gets complacent by recent results, manager Adam Murray believes his side can add to their impressive early points tally.
“It’s going to be a tough week,” admitted Murray. “We looked at it at the start of this week and prepared our workload to go into a three game week and they are three tough games, starting with Bristol on Saturday.
“We know they will bring a different challenge to us. We think we’ll be coming up against a different shape to what we’ve been used to playing against, so we will tweak our shape accordingly.
“But we’ve got good players and we know we can adjust to whatever we need to and a big part of this week is making sure our feet come back down to earth. We’ve had a couple of good results, but we keep saying that’s all it is. We need to keep this run going and we can only do that by our focus and our hard work.
“The boys have worked extremely hard over the last couple of days already and we will prepare again for Bristol today and the plans are already in place for Yeovil and Portsmouth.”
He added: “Whatever happens, we’ve had a super start to the season and we’ve probably blown everyone’s expectations of what they expected us to do in the first quarter of the season out of the window already.
“We are happy with our start but we know there is more in us. We are probably functioning at 70 per cent, that 30 per cent will be the 30 per cent that keeps us in the top group.
“It’s a very tough league this year and for us to be up there, we are very honoured. At the same time we need to keep the ridiculous intensity of our work.
“As soon as that drops, momentum in this game can switch very quickly. One minute you’re sitting on top of the mountain, next minute you’ve fallen off it.
“We need to make sure that doesn’t happen. But the boys are focused. Yesterday the boys came back in with a great mindset of ‘that’s done, now let’s move on to the next one’ and that’s the way we’ve got to be. We can’t afford to get complacent or rest on our laurels. We are always looking for that extra bit to get better.”
Murray said he was happy to have little to do in the way of motivating his squad right now.
“Good players motivate themselves,” he said. “I don’t have to go in there and give a rallying cry every day. They do that themselves. They set high standards themselves. If they are not on it in training they pull each other in together and make sure it’s lifted. If they are not performing in games they do the same.
“The feeling of success in games getting three points, that’s all you need to motivate you. When you are picking wins up, you want more. That’s what winners do. They strive to be greedy and to achieve as high as they can.”
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray praises coaches for playing their part in current success
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Wednesday 14 October 2015
As Stags bask in the glory of three successive wins and fourth place in League Two, manager Adam Murray paid tribute to the talents of his coaches, Micky Moore and Richard Cooper, for the part they have played in the season.
Murray said: “I like to be blatantly honest and up front with people and I know at the time I got the job that people were saying Micky and Coops have got to go, they’re not good enough, they’ve not got the experience and this, that and the other. But what a load of rubbish.
“They are two of the most enthusiastic, qualified, modern, inspirational people that I could have by my side.
“Micky has coached, he’s been a coach educator, and knows the game inside out. He’s got more contacts than anybody I know. That works for us. He is a thinker.
“Coops is like myself, a young coach with load of enthusiasm, and he is qualified where he needs to be. He has great ideas. He brings a freshness and he is a motivator as well.
“We have some real differences in character and differences in thoughts and ideas and it works.”
Future bright for young English coaches as Adam Murray and Darrell Clarke go head to head
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
As Adam Murray and Darrell Clarke go head to head on Saturday, the Mansfield Town boss said he was happy to see football giving young English coaches a chance.
Murray, who was briefly the youngest manager in the Football League less than a year ago, has made a fine start to his first full season while former Mansfield Town star Clarke has guided Bristol Rovers back into the League at the first attempt and also made a decent start.
“I know Clarkey well and he’s done awesome in what he’s done at Bristol,” said Murray.
“He’s got them out the Conference and they’ve had a super start to the season. He is a young coach, modern, he comes out the box a little bit and he’s not scared to change his formation.
“So we are expecting a bit of a change in formation from him, and we will combat that. It will be a tough game but we are going into it with confidence. We have some very good strengths in our team and we feel that if we are on it on the day, we can give anybody a game.
“We go into it with confidence, not arrogance, and we want to win.”
With the English game’s fascination of appointing foreign coaches, Murray felt it was heartening to see home-grown talent given a go.
He said: “There are more younger coaches and managers getting a chance which is what’s it’s all about - you need an opportunity, and I think the energy around young coaches and managers rubs off on your group. That’s what I’ve found.
“Obviously people will tarnish us with lacking experience, but you get that from going through good times and bad times and, for me, I’ve wanted to experience everything myself and learn from the good times and learn from the bad times.
“I am doing that. I don’t have the knowledge of a 50-60-year-old manager, but at the minute I don’t want that. I want to learn it myself and make my own decisions.
“Last season and this season when I’ve wondered how would an experienced manager look at that or do that I’ve rung someone and asked the question.
“They’ve given me their answer and I’ve analysed that and decided if it’s in line with mine and what I’d take out of that answer and what I don’t think is right. Ultimately I want to be my own man. A lot of young coaches and managers I speak to are of the same frame of mind.
“Even speaking to Teddy Sheringham after the game, he said people had told him he needed to bring in an experienced head who’d done it and who could guide him.
“But he said the same thing - he wants to learn on his own. He will make mistakes like we all do. He will go through great times like we all do, and learn from them.
“Clarkey is the same - he’s had good times and bad times and he will have learned from them. He has put a very organised, efficient team together and I’ve no doubt that this season they will be successful.”
Murray added: “For our country it has to be that way. You look at the England team the other night and it was full of youth.
“The modern game is moving forward rapidly and the ideas that are coming out now, the tactical thought process of coaches and managers now has completely changed.
“Loads of fans may not like it, but 4-4-2 is going. Teams will play 4-4-2, but a modern version of it. The out and out winger and two barn door centre forwards are gone.
“Formations are now more fluid and they move within the game. Teams go from formation to formation within 20 minutes, sometimes not even knowing they are doing it.
“That’s the game now, it’s exciting and for English football the more of our own and the more young blood we can push through the better.”
Mansfield Town training changes being rewarded in results
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray believes his decision to train in the afternoons and move the players’ traditional day off from Wednesday to Thursday are paying dividends.
The Stags boss has implemented a lot of new ideas and methods to the club as he tries to find extra one per cents here and there.
“This is my opinion,” he said. “I am not saying it’s right or wrong, but we have a different day off to a lot of clubs and we train at different times because we are training footballers to prepare for the time they are expected to be at their desk.
“I know as a player that some afternoons you’d go home and spend the afternoons on your X-Box for four hours. Players will go home to sleep from 2pm to 4pm and then we are saying that for one day a week we need you to be explosive at that time.
“If you are in the habit of sleeping at that time or going shopping with your missus, or knitting or sewing, we are saying at 3pm of an afternoon we need you at full throttle, so we are trying that this season and tweaking the day off and finding it very beneficial.
“We are just looking for that extra one per cent as they all make a difference. The one percents that we’ve managed to find along the way, good and bad, they have made a difference to us. As much as we can keep improving and having the edge on our opponents, we will do.”
Murray added: “Depending on the game schedule, we give lads extra rest on certain days in the morning as sleep is a massive part of recovery. On certain days we train high-intensity, some days are double sessions. But we are keen on getting the rest in the mornings - especially the boys who’ve got kids.
“If they’ve had a bad night and they are only getting four or five hours sleep, the extra couple of hours you may be able to nick from 7am to 9am makes all the difference.
“Little things like that we tweak. Hours of sleep are monitored so we know where everyone is at. If you’ve had three hours sleep you’re not going to be at your best, and we need to be aware of that.
“I wouldn’t say we’ve been lucky on injuries as we have planned things to limit risk. We maximise rest and recovery.”
Training later also cuts the risk of players being late, through no fault of their own, often due to problems in rush hour traffic.
“In the olden days I’ve had managers that say you’ve had since 3pm yesterday to get here, that’s brilliant,” said Murray.
“But if you’re asking players - right you’ve got an hour’s journey but you’ve got to leave three hours before because of the traffic, it defeats the object of their recovery and their rest.
“So if people are sitting in cars in traffic for two hours, they get here and we are expecting them to do pre-hab and then training and it’s not professional. So by delaying training a little bit it allows that bit of extra recovery and when they get here they are not flustered.
“Their mindset is not all over the place. They are focused on training and most importantly they are in good physical position.”
On the change of day off, Murray said: “As a player I was always aware that on a Thursday if I did too much I still felt a little bit in my legs on a Saturday.
“Doing Tuesday/Wednesday enables us to double-session and work very hard, knowing that on a Thursday they can put their feet up and recover, then Friday it’s short and sharp. It’s working for us. “It’s my opinion, other managers won’t agree with it, but that’s the beauty of the game.”
Mansfield Town banish October hoodoo
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town look to have banished their October hoodoo as they get ready for the visit of Bristol Rovers on Saturday.
The victory at Dagenham was the Stags’ first win during the month of October for three years, since October 2012 in the promotion season, and they followed that up with a home win against Newport last weekend.
But boss Adam Murray said: “I have no interest in previous Octobers - it’s about us and it’s about now. We are not looking back, we are looking forward.
“We want to put points on the board and continue what we’re doing. Whatever has gone on over the last few years, it doesn’t matter to this group.
“This group has its own identity and its own belief, its own targets and a desire to hit those targets, and that won’t change.
“October, November, August - I have no interest.”
Veteran defender reveals pride of being Stags' captain
mansfieldtown.net, 14th October 2015
Nicky Hunt has described captaining Mansfield Town as an 'honour' as the Stags look to make it four wins on the bounce on Saturday.
Adam Murray's men take on the challenge of Bristol Rovers and former Bolton Wanderers man Hunt has urged the side to carry on in the same manner to cement themselves in the play-off places.
"We've got to keep our standards high that we set in pre-season, we've got a fit squad and obviously we'll do what we can to get the points on the board," said Hunt, at this mrning's news conference at One Call Stadium
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"Once we get to 90-100 percent you'll see another gear change from us and hopefully we'll put on a performance for the crowd.
"It's a great honour for me to be captain of this club - it brings a lot of added impetus to your game but it's nothing that I can't handle and long may it continue in my eyes.
"We enjoy coming into training every day and the lads are buzzing, it's great to be around a football club that are doing so well and a town that are buzzing off us really."
Boss Murray talked on Monday about Mansfield's satisfaction with 'going under the radar' in Sky Bet League Two and captain Hunt concurs with his comments, while also praising the regime that Murray has implemented on the players.
"The more press you get in the paper, the more pressure it puts on players, especially the younger players that we've got.
"For me it's great, I'd rather go through my life without being in the papers and going under the radar because I'm that type of person."
On Murray, he said: "He's got his own philosophy and the players are 110 percent behind that and he's been great for us. [The regime] has been working for us as you can see by the fitness of the squad.
"We leave no stone unturned which is good because we know what we need to do. It's drilled into us so there's no excuses on the Saturday."
To view Nicky Hunt's interview from today, log in to Stags Player later.
Much more to come from us, says Mansfield Town skipper Nicky Hunt
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
As Mansfield Town skipper Nicky Hunt braced himself for a busy week with many miles to travel, he admitted he felt the squad was still only playing at 70 per cent of what they capable of.
After three successive wins, the Stags are now in fourth place ahead of a home clash with in-form Bristol Rovers followed by two long road trips to Yeovil and Portsmouth - all inside eight days.
“It always takes three or four games at the start of the season to get into your stride,” said Hunt.
“So I think we are only playing at 70 per cent at the minute. Once we get to 90 or 100 per cent you’ll see another gear change from us.
“After three wins, it is what it is - it’s nine points on the board. We are not getting carried away with ourselves, we have a massive week coming up to really kick on and cement ourselves in the top six.
“It’s hundreds, maybe a thousand miles there and back, but that’s part and parcel of the league you play in and players are prepared for that and we will go and show our best in every game we play.
“We’ve got to keep our standards high, which we’ve set from pre-season. We have got a really fit squad with lots of fit lads and we’ll obviously do what we can in the games and hopefully get those points on the board.”
Hunt admitted he had been impressed with opponents Bristol Rovers’ quick return from the oblivion of the Conference.
“The Conference is always a hard league to get out of, I know Mansfield did it a few years ago, and Bristol have been doing well,” he said.
“We don’t take any game too lightly and we might need to tweak our team and maybe make a personal change here and there on Saturday. We’ll have to wait and see.
“Hopefully we can get the three points,but they are no mugs. They are good for this league and they’ve been in this league a long time.”
Then quickly follows the long hauls to Yeovil and Portsmouth.
“Portsmouth have pumped a lot of money in and Yeovil have just come down - it’s never easy,” said Hunt.
“Maybe if Yeovil had kept their better players they wouldn’t be in the position they are in. No game is easy and they are going to come out firing and wanting to win. They need to win to get up the table.
“It’s the same with Portsmouth. They are going to need to continue their good form, but we are prepared for every single team we play. We do everything right and there are no excuses.”
Stags have gone three games unchanged for the three wins, but Hunt said no one took their place for granted.
“It’s keep on your toes time,” he said. “You get the clean sheet, you usually play in the next game and you play well when winning.
“The manager doesn’t like to tinker with the team too much, though it may be with Bristol Rovers this weekend he may have to tweak a few things.
“He’s got his own philosophy and we are all 100 per cent behind it.
“He leaves no stone unturned. It’s great for us as we know what we need to do, who we’re picking up at set pieces, what the corners are for the opposition, he goes into great detail about that. We start that Mondays.
“We watch a video of the previous game, then we start cracking on with the team we are playing on the Saturday. It’s drilled into us so there are no excuses really on a Saturday.
“It’s up there (Murray’s preparation). I’ve been at a few clubs where the managers take it to the extreme and it’s great as you’ve got all the information, sometimes too much information, but the way the manager’s doing it at the minute, I think it’s bob on.”
Hunt recently served a one-game suspension for the visit of leaders Plymouth but, after the sides drew 0-0, he was straight back into the team in place of his deputy Lee Collins.
“It was a massive game I missed, Plymouth here - a top of the table clash, so to speak,” said Hunt.
“You always want to play in the big games. But in this league every game is a big game and anyone can beat anyone on the day.
“I am not a good spectator at the best of times so it was hard for me to watch. But the lads got a clean sheet, they got a point, and luckily for me the gaffer put me straight back in and we’ve gone on this winning streak.”
On Collins, he added: “He is a vastly experienced player and great to have around the squad. We have a lot of able bodies to come in if someone gets suspended or injured. It’s not a big squad, but we have got good depth.”
Hunt has had his share of yellow cards already, but the veteran right back has also taken some almighty kicks in recent weeks.
“I think that’s part and parcel of my game,” he smiled. “I think I wind people up and it gets to them. It’s never nice to be tackled or elbowed in the face or whatever, but you get on with it, pick yourself up and go again next game.
“As long as the team is winning, I am playing well and the team is playing well, that’s all I am bothered about.
“I am getting a bit older now and all the young whipper-snappers I’m playing against, it’s hard to catch them on the wing, but for me it’s just great to be playing football week in, week out and hopefully it’s like this until the end of the season.”
Summer signing Hunt is very proud to lead the side out.
“It’s a great honour for me to be captain at this club, any club really, it brings a lot of added extra impetus with your game,” he said. “Long may it continue in my eyes.
“We enjoy coming in every day training. All the lads are buzzing. It’s great to be around a football club that is doing so well and a town that is buzzing off us really.”
Despite his fine displays at right back, Hunt has been eclipsed in the last couple of weeks by two stunning volleyed goals by left back Mal Benning.
Said Hunt: “He’s two goals and I’m zero goals, so I’m two behind him, but as you can see in his interviews, he is a really level-headed guy.
“It’s not about scoring goals, it’s about keeping clean sheets. That’s what we get paid for. And we’ve had quite a few now.
“In the games it’s great for us to just be defenders as defenders. Obviously he’s got an unbelievable left foot, that’s two goal of the season contenders there, and hopefully he can get a few more.”
Hunt said he was surprised to see the new-look side do well so soon.
“I am a little bit surprised as we had 13 new players to start the season and sometimes it takes you half a season to start gelling, but we have hit the ground running and I just hope we can continue that as it is a massive week with three games,” he said.
“That’s never easy, but I think we have the squad and personnel to come in and get the nine points we want.”
Boss Adam Murray said this week he felt his side’s achievements so far were going under the radar nationally and his players were not getting the recognition they deserved.
But Hunt said: “It’s perfect for me. The more press you get in the papers, the more pressure it puts on players, especially the younger players we’ve got - the pressure to perform.
“For me it’s great. I’d rather go through my life without being in the paper. Under the radar is great for me as I am that type of person.”
BRISTOL ROVERS: There's a bit extra on the Mansfield game, admits Darrell Clarke
By JamesMcNamara, bristolpost.co.uk, October 16, 2015
MANAGER Darrell Clarke says Bristol Rovers have come a long way since they last met Mansfield Town on what turned out to be one of the worst days in the history of the club.
Mansfield-born Clarke was in the early days of his tenure when a 1-0 defeat at the hands of his hometown side condemned Rovers to relegation from the Football League for the first time since their introduction to it almost 100 years previously.
He said: "I want to win every game we play in, but for me this game has a little bit extra on it because they are my hometown club and they were also the team that beat us on the day we were relegated.
Read more: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/BRISTOL-ROVERS-s-bit-extra-Mansfield-game-admits/story-27992265-detail/story.html#ixzz3olDu50pq
"It was obviously a very difficult day for everyone associated with Bristol Rovers and I can see why people would point to that as an added motivation for the players.
"There are still a few lads here who will remember how they felt on that day, but we also have a lot of different faces here now and we have definitely come a long way since.
"We managed to bounce back (from the Conference) at the first time of asking, but that is long gone now and what we are focusing on is how well we can do in the here and now.
"We have put in some fantastic performances over the first quarter of the season and we are looking to do that more consistently over the second quarter."
Clarke will lead a side out as a manager for the first time on his old stomping ground when Rovers return to League Two action at Field Mill.
The Rovers boss, who was born two miles from the stadium, became a Mansfield fans' favourite after coming through the youth system and going on to play more than 150 games between 1995 and 2001.
Clarke, who departed in controversial circumstances after turning down the offer of a new contract to join Hartlepool United, said: "I'm a Mansfield lad and I spent and enjoyed a good part of my life at the club.
"I had been there since I was ten and it was the club were I had the chance to become a professional footballer.
"I decided to leave the club at the time I did because I had been there for 13 years and was at a stage in my career where it was the right time for a new challenge.
"I turned down a contract in order to move to Hartlepool, but I'd been a good servant to the club and they received a fee for me. I didn't agree with some of the things that were said about my decision to leave at that time, but it is all in the past and I have moved on from it."
Rovers are likely to be without Billy Bodin and Jake Gosling, who have both yet to train this week and were still receiving treatment yesterday.
"It is unfortunate because both players were playing really well, but we have the advantage of being flexible in our shape if we need to be in order to compensate," added Clarke.
"We haven't got a big squad, but injuries are part and parcel of the game and it is how you deal with them that is important."
Latest | October 2015