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Archived News from December 2015

MURRAY PREVIEWS SECOND HALF OF THE SEASON
29th December 2015 22:57


Adam Murray news conference 22 Dec 2015

In full on StagsPlayer:
http://www.player.mansfieldtown.net/latest-news/7731168f-80b6-4d3b-8e10-9b67c4b2cb4b

A few snippets:

The first half of the season was about being hard to beat and disciplined, after what we went through last season.
The second half of the season is about: can we get promoted? We've put ourselves in with a chance.
The second half of the season will be a little bit more: going out at times to win certain games. The first half of the season there has been certain games where we wanted to be concrete and we've done that.
We want to get promoted now and to do that we have to take the next step in our journey. There will be a few tweaks here and there, not major.
We need to evaluate the risk versus reward in certain games and we'll be doing that.

The chase is on now. Can we cement our place in the play-offs.

We'll be calling on the home faithful now. If we can get our home form right, there's nothing stopping us being a successful team now. We need the fans for that.
We've got to be a bit more adventurous at home. Like I said, I wasn't going to do it in the first half of the season because we might have been sitting 16th/17th now if we'd gone for it at the start of the season, but we've given ourselves stability.
We've got to make this the place where we win matches. That comes from my side and that comes from the fans' side. If we get that right, I believe there's nothing stopping us.
We've got a big two or three weeks coming up including home games which I feel we can do well in.

Nicky Hunt's doing really well; we're hoping he might be in contention for the weekend. But if he's not quite right, we won't risk it.

transcribed by Martin

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Murray aims for 'right balance' in rest of campaign
mansfieldtown.net

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray says he will weigh up the ‘risk v reward’ as the Stags look to mount a promotion challenge in the second half of their Sky Bet League Two campaign.

Stags currently sit in eighth position in League Two after picking up 34 points from their opening 22 fixtures and Murray says his side’s plan may alter slightly as they look ahead to the remaining 24 matches.

“As the first half of the season is going on, you don’t really want to talk about what your plan is because you don’t want to give too much away. There was always a plan and a focus in the first half of the season; I said at the start of the season my aim was to make us hard to beat, organised and disciplined.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-aims-for-right-balance-in-rest-of-campaign-2864888.aspx#jVAJi5vBc66cd89S.99

“The second half of the season’s plan was always going to be a little bit different. This second half of the season was always going to be a little bit more ‘risk vs reward’ and that’s what we’ll be,” Murray continued.

“I wanted to establish the side as a good League Two side - a team that people look at with a brand and being hard to beat. Credit to the lads again, they have been that.”

After previously stating that being labelled as relegation candidates prior to the start of the season was all the inspiration Murray and the squad needed, the gaffer is pleased to be proving people wrong.

“It’s only half a job done. [In] the first half of the season, there has been games where we’ve wanted to be concrete and we’ve done that, so now the second half of the season will be a bit more ‘can we edge it and get promoted now?’.

“We’re not happy with mid-table, we’re not happy with just being a League Two team who just goes through the motions. We want to get promoted now - and to do that we need to take the next step in our journey.”

With a Boxing Day trip to Morecambe the first game of an intense Christmas and New Year period, the manager says his side will be fully prepared and won’t let the festivities distract them from what they want to achieve.

Murray said: “Morecambe are always a tricky one - they’re a bit expansive attacking-wise, a little bit off-the-cuff and very good going forward, especially at home.

“But we’re on a good run at the minute, we’re feeling confident, we know our strengths and we’ll go into the game as we always do; preparing for us and looking at how we can affect them. Like any team they’ll have weaknesses so we’ll look to exploit them."

The manager re-iterated that his focus will be solely on football during the Christmas period.

“Without sounding like Scrooge - I’ve got no interest in it (Christmas). I know I spoke about this a couple of weeks ago and certain comments were getting back to me that I was making excuses about it and I was looking for a sob story - I definitely wasn’t. For us, this is a work time. I don’t expect anyone crying for us over that,” Murray continued.

“In my eyes, it’s a big time. It’s a big weekend and we’ve got a big two or three weeks where we’ve got games at home where I feel we can do well in.

“We travel [on] Christmas Day because we have to prepare right, that’s our job. If we don’t do that, we get judged for that so we’re doing everything we can to prepare right and hopefully, we’ll see the results of that.”

The gaffer also confirmed that captain Nicky Hunt and left-back Mal Benning are progressing well with their respective recoveries and Hunt could be in contention for the trip to Morecambe.

“Mal’s brace is off, he’s chomping at the bit and we’re having to hold him back. He wants to get running as quickly as he can but for the sake of a couple of weeks, there’s no point risking it.

“Hunty’s doing really well and he might be in contention for the weekend, [but] he’s one that if he’s not quite right then we won’t risk it."

You can view Murray’s news conference, in full, on Stags Player.

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Boss Adam Murray pledges play-off chasing Mansfield Town will be more adventurous in second half of the season
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Mansfield Town head into Christmas games against Morecambe and York City with boss Adam Murray promising fans his in-form side will be more adventurous as they chase a play-off place in the second half of the season.

Murray said his aim was always to build a cautious foundation for the first half of the season and hope to still be within touching distance of the play-offs by now.

That has been achieved with something to spare with Stags eighth after a fine 1-1 away draw at Cambridge last weekend.

Stags now drive up to Morecambe on Christmas Day for their Boxing Day clash before returning for a home clash with struggling York City on Monday.

After a decent start, Morecambe have only won once in their last seven outings and have slipped to 17th while York are two points and one place above the drop zone, their win over Morecambe last time out ending a dreadful nine game losing streak.

Boss Murray said: “I said at the start of the season my aim was to make us hard to beat, organised and disciplined - probably for myself and what the club went through last year. I wasn’t going to risk that again.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/boss-adam-murray-pledges-play-off-chasing-mansfield-town-will-be-more-adventurous-in-second-half-of-the-season-1-7640156#ixzz3vB3B7IBL

“So I knew if we could get to this stage and be in and around it six or seven points off the play-offs, I felt we could push for it. We’ve done better than that so expectations have risen, which is good.

“In the first half there have been certain games in which we wanted to be concrete. We’ve done that, so the second half will be - can we edge it and try to get promoted now?

“The second half of the season plan was always going to be a little bit different if we were in with a shout of success, which I believe we are. It will be a little bit more risk versus reward.

“The second half I want to establish us as a good League Two side - a team that people looked at with a brand. To look at us as being hard to beat.

“We are not happy with mid-table. We are not happy with just being a League Two team that goes through the motions. We want to be promoted now.

“To do that we have to take the next step in our journey. That will be a few tweaks here and there - nothing major. We have been superb so we don’t need major tweaks.

“What we do need to do is cut out the little mistakes, then evaluate the risk v reward in certain games.”

He added: “We were relegation favourites so we don’t need more fire than that.

“We want to prove people wrong. So far we have but it’s only half a job done. The second half will be a bit more going out there at times to win certain games.

“It’s a big weekend for us as I feel going into the next month we are in a good position. The chase is on now to get in the play-offs and can we cement that for the rest of the season?”

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Christmas doesn’t interest me, says Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray as Stags head north to Morecambe
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray won’t be distracted by the seasonal festivities and insists he and his side are very happy and not looking for sympathy as they make the long haul north to Morecambe tomorrow while most families eat Christmas dinner.

“Without sounding like Scrooge, I’ve got no interest in it,” he said.

“I spoke about this a couple of weeks ago and certain comments were getting back to me that I was making excuses about it and looking for a sob story. I definitely wasn’t.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/christmas-doesn-t-interest-me-says-mansfield-town-manager-adam-murray-as-stags-head-north-to-morecambe-1-7640319#ixzz3vEIGqHuk

“I was asked the question and stated the facts that for us this is a work time. I don’t expect anyone crying for us over that. This is work time and, in my eyes, it’s a big time.

“We have a big weekend and a big two or three weeks in which we’ve got games at home in which I feel we can do well in.

“We travel Christmas Day because we have to prepare right. That’s our job. It’s my job. If we don’t do that we get judged for that. So we are doing everything we can to prepare right and hopefully we’ll see the results of that.”

Although Morecambe have only won once in their last seven outings and have slipped to 17th, Murray warned: “Morecambe is always a tricky one.

“They are a bit expansive attacking-wise, a bit off the cuff.

“They are very good going forward, especially at home. So we are going to have to be on our guard. They are a team we know well. We’ve played them a few times and they always cause us problems.

“We will be aware of their strengths, but we are on a good run at the minute. We are feeling confident.

“We know our strengths and we we will go into the game as we always do, preparing for us and looking at how we can affect them. Like any team they will have weaknesses, so we’ll look to exploit that and at the same time look to minimise mistakes.”

Stags’ away form is certainly good, having only lost one of their last seven road trips, the latest being a superb 1-1 draw at Cambridge United last weekend.

Murray said: “First and foremost it was a good away point. To go away from home and not get beaten again is an excellent habit to have.

“I think we’ve seen after watching the last four or five Cambridge games we are starting to see the real Cambridge now. At the start of the season they were people’s favourites to be promoted and I think we caught them at their best. So to get a point out the game was pleasing for us.

“Analysing it, for the first 30-35 minutes we were very good and never looked in trouble. Then we had 10 minutes before half-time where we looked a bit shaky and, in all fairness to Cambridge, they could have scored another goal.

“So they are the little bits we have to improve to make the next step on our journey.”

He added: “We’ve done really well up to now. We have been exceptional. The game plan for the first half of the season has worked the way I wanted it to work. We are probably a bit ahead of schedule of where I wanted us to be or where I expected us to be at this time.

“That is credit to the boys. But we now need to minimise the mistakes and be more efficient at the other end if we are to take the next step in concreting ourselves in the top seven and moving up the top seven.

“Overall on Saturday I thought it was two good teams battling it out - and at times it was a battle. They are a strong team and we are a strong team. You look at a lot of their players, even players that were not involved, and they are League One players.

“Cambridge had a strong recruitment drive in the summer and credit to Shaun (Derry), I think he is getting the best out of them now.

“The pace of where we have got the club is the most pleasing thing for me. You can always do better. I am not saying we’ve been perfect or that I’ve been perfect or the players have been perfect - there is still a lot of room for improvement.

“For me that’s brilliant. We know we are not maxing out.”

Of the injured full backs, Nicky Hunt has a chance of playing this weekend, with Mal Benning a couple of weeks behind him.

But Murray said: “They are doing well. Mal’s brace is off and he’s champing at the bit. We are having to pull him back.

“He wants get running as quick as he can, but for the sake of a couple of weeks there is no point risking it.

“Hunty is doing really well too and we are hoping he might be in contention for the weekend. But again, if he’s not right we won’t risk it because we’ve still got half a season to play.”

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Peter Murphy: We owe fans a performance against Mansfield
thevisitor.co.uk, Tuesday 22 December 2015

Captain Peter Murphy knows Morecambe owe their fans a performance against Mansfield on Boxing Day.

The Shrimps host the Stags having won just one of their last seven in League 2, a run that has seen them slip to 17th in the table.

The 2-1 defeat on Saturday to a York side that had lost their previous nine was particularly disappointing with Murphy demanding a response against a Mansfield side who will be travelling up to the resort on Christmas Day.

The midfielder said: “It’s important but it’s also a good time for the players.

Read more: http://www.thevisitor.co.uk/sport/morecambe-fc/shrimps-latest/peter-murphy-we-owe-fans-a-performance-against-mansfield-1-7636617#ixzz3v8DmAlX2

“You’ve got games coming thick and fast and there’s nothing better than that.

“We’ve got a good home game coming and hopefully we’ll get a good crowd on. We owe our own fans a performance.

“Every game’s a battle and we’ve just got to be up for it and then when we get our chance to play go and hurt them.”

Despite their patchy form The Shrimps are still closer to the play-offs, nine points, than the bottom two, 14 points, with a game at Notts County to follow quickly after the Mansfield clash on December 28.

Murphy knows that as the season approaches halfway Morecambe need to make their move towards the sharp end of the table sooner rather than later.

The skipper, who will lead the side out against the Stags for the first Saturday home league game in nine weeks on Boxing Day, said: “We’ve got confidence in ourselves.

“We want to be higher up the table and it’s only up to us to put us where we should be.

“There’s still loads of games left but we’ve got to start soon.

“I don’t think we can look too far ahead though we’ve got to be fully focused on Boxing Day and Mansfield at home.

“Hopefully there will be a good crowd on and we need to put in a performance and get a result.”

Improvement is needed after the defeat at York but Murphy insists The Shrimps will not be too downbeat after coming close to a late leveller.

He said: “It wasn’t through the lack of trying.

“We had the chances it just wasn’t quite falling for us.

“When it did fall, the lad’s managed to clear off the line from Aaron Wildig twice and when Ryan Edwards got in with the header I thought that was it but it wasn’t meant to be.

“We can’t get too downhearted.

“We know we haven’t played well ourselves and we’ll work on trying to be better this week.”

On a personal note, Murphy feels he is improving game-by-game having seen a pulmonary embolism delay his return after damaging medial knee ligaments just eight minutes into his Morecambe debut at Hartlepool on the opening day of the season.

He said: “I’m just glad to be getting some minutes under my belt.

“I just can’t wait to be fully up to speed.

“It’s my pre-season at the moment really but I’ve got to give it my all.

“Each game I’m just getting that little bit fitter and working hard each day.

“Hopefully soon I’ll be 100 per cent.”

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