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Archived News from February 2016

PLYMOUTH PREVIEWS
15th February 2016 20:10



Adam Murray press conference, 11 Feb 2016 in full (12 minutes) on StagsPlayer:
http://www.player.mansfieldtown.net/latest-news/9c67e772-7b49-4679-addc-8c87b593191f

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Murray's underdogs set for trip to Plymouth
mansfieldtown.net, 11th February 2016

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray says there’s no pressure on his side as they travel to Home Park to face Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

Although Stags are unbeaten in four Sky Bet League Two matches, winning three of them, Murray says 'it’s brilliant’ that Plymouth will be expected to beat his side this weekend.

“We’re not expected to get anything on Saturday so we can go there with no pressure on us and try and beat them. They’ve got to beat us to stay in the top three and try and catch Northampton.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/were-not-expected-to-win-murray-2949717.aspx#PpkbCc4DvI8hsJpg.99

“They expect to get promoted this season and that wasn’t our main target this year, so there’s no pressure on us on Saturday. We’ll go there and enjoy it, give them a fight and try and beat them.

“They’re in their position [in the league] for good reason, they’re a very good team, so we’re going to have to go there and set up in a way which we feel will get the best out of that game.”

The gaffer believes that the nature of Sky Bet League Two means that many teams have the same ‘traits’ in the way they play, but small tweaks may be required to the Stags’ gameplan for each opponent.

“We’re working on our different game plans which we feel can get results against different opposition. On Tuesday [against Oxford United], we played five different formations!

“That’s the good thing about this squad is [that] tactically, they’re very aware and they take the information on and then carry it out, so we’ve got three or four systems that we can play within a game. Whichever one we start with, we know we can switch it in-game and be effective in doing it," Murray said.

“You have a general way of dealing with certain things and you have a few ways that you go about affecting other teams, depending on their weaknesses."

With Jack Thomas coming off the bench to score a late equaliser against Oxford United on Tuesday night, Murray says the young midfielder is working hard to improve as a footballer after a whirlwind 12 months.

“I think it’s been a massive learning curve for Jack. I think it’s the case of all young kids that he probably got threw in at a time when he didn’t expect to go in [last season].

“He dealt with a lot on his own shoulders, personally, and this year’s been a big learning curve for him. He’s had to take a step back to go again.

“He looks strong at the minute, he’s doing everything right; he’s doing everything off the pitch, the extra work and his strength and conditioning work. His focus is there at the minute.”

At the other end of the pitch, Scott Shearer was named in the Football League’s Team of the Week following his two penalty saves last weekend and the boss says it’s now the custodian's task to keep his standards high.

“I think he’s proved over the last couple of weeks what a good goalkeeper he is and we’re really privileged in that area to have Brian (Jensen) and Scott.

“They’re two massive characters, two massive goalkeepers - physically and mentally - and they've been brilliant.

"Scott's attitude to the whole group when he wasn’t playing was superb, and he’s come in and done what we expected him to do.

“On Tuesday he was outstanding again but now it’s up to him to keep his place and keep his standards.”

To view Adam Murray’s news conference, in full, go to Stags Player.

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Underdogs Mansfield Town feeling no pressure for trip to title-chasing Plymouth Argyle
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Thursday 11 February 2016

Mansfield Town insist they remain underdogs and feel no pressure as they make the long haul to second-placed Plymouth Argyle this weekend for one of the toughest test of the season so far.

Stags arrived at Home Park in fourth place and fine fettle after three wins on the bounce followed by a superb 2-2 draw away to third-placed Oxford United on Tuesday.

“We are enjoying where we are at the minute,” said manager Adam Murray.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/underdogs-mansfield-town-feeling-no-pressure-for-trip-to-title-chasing-plymouth-argyle-1-7728175#ixzz3zslv3XQh

“We’re enjoying proving people wrong and I keep saying to the boys, let’s not worry about the league, let’s just worry about the next game.

“We are having a very good season, so let’s just enjoy it.

“We are not expected to get anything on Saturday, so we can go there with no pressure on us and try to beat them.

“They have got to beat us to stay in the top three and try to catch Northampton. They expect to get promoted this season.

“That wasn’t our main target this year, so we will go there and enjoy it on Saturday and fight to try to beat them.”

Using the ‘horses for courses’ principal, Murray said he may tweak the line-up and formation at Plymouth.

“We are having a lot of rest and recovery time but at the same time we’re working on our game plans that we feel can get different results against different opposition,” he said.

“Plymouth will be another massive test for us. They are in their position in the league for good reason. They are a very good team.

“So we are going to have to go there and set up in a way that we feel will get the best out of that game.

“On Tuesday we ended up playing five different formations. But that is the beauty about this squad. Tactically they are very aware.

“They take the information on and then carry it out. We’ve got three or four systems we can play within a game. Whatever one we start with, we can flip it in the game and be effective doing that. That is a strength of ours.

“We will set up a game plan. It will be different to Tuesday as it is a different enemy, and we will try to win the game.

“We will do a lot of work over the next 48 hours then we’ll go to battle with an excellent Plymouth side.

“The boys are in good spirits. Sometimes you just have to go with the momentum and go with the flow.

“After Saturday’s game people looked at the next two games and said anything would be a bonus as they are two of the top three teams in the league.

“Plymouth will be expected to beat us at home - brilliant.”

The sides drew 0-0 at One Call Stadium back in September and Murray admitted: “I think in the first 10 minutes we should have been two down, but we managed to get ourselves back in the game.

“It was a very cagey game and a hard-fought game for both teams. It was the same as Oxford here - two very similar performances.”

Stags are gathering their breath after two days in four games this week, but Plymouth have had their feet up since 30th January due to their game at Yeovil being postponed last weekend and Murray said: “That can work both ways for both teams.

“We are going off adrenaline at the minute. We’ve got a lot of momentum, a lot of energy, so we are in game mode.

“When you haven’t played for a couple of weeks it takes you maybe a game to get going again or you come back fresh. They will have had their own way of preparing. “We know the pitch isn’t the best there at the minute, normally it’s a carpet. So it will be interesting to see how that plays out. We’re looking forward to the game.

“After Plymouth we’ve got another tough group of games. So we are going to keep ticking each one off, see how many points we can get this season, and then continue our building and our process for next year.”

But Mansfield will head south full of confidence after Jack Thomas’ 89th minute header earned a deserved draw at Oxford in midweek.

“It was a game of mixed emotions,” said Murray “For the first half an hour we were the better team and we dominated in terms of controlling the game.

“We knew they would have a lot of possession as they are a very good team with very good players. We knew we were going to have to be patient, but we created the better chances in the first 30-35 minutes.

“When they got the goal it swung momentum a bit, so we had to re-jig a bit. We were disappointed with the goals we gave away because we are better than that defensively.

“Overall it was good to get a point, and to score in that manner is always nice - I think Jack enjoyed it.

“Nobody outside this room expected us to get anything from Oxford. We believed we could go there and affect them. We knew it would be tough - we’re not stupid. I think it proved more to other people than ourselves than we are capable of competing and it was a big point for us.

“It continues our good run of form and results. But like we said a few weeks ago, we are not going to get carried away with it.”

He added: “We do have a couple of injuries I am concerned about for Saturday and they will be last minute calls.

“We will give the boys as long as we can to make a decision, so they will travel with us and it will be a Saturday morning call.

“One we are hopeful on, the other is more of a worry. But we will see.”

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Jack Thomas getting back to best, says Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray said teenage midfielder Jack Thomas is now starting to get back to his best.

Thomas, who came on as a substitute and grabbed the 89th minute equaliser in Tuesday night’s fine 2-2 draw at Oxford United, won player of the year last season.

However, the 19-year-old has struggled to win a regular place this season and ahead of tomorrow’s game at Plymouth Argyle, Murray said: “I think this season has been a massive learning curve for Jack.

“It’s the case with all young kids that he probably got through at a time he didn’t expect to go in.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/jack-thomas-getting-back-to-best-says-mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-1-7729264

“He dealt with a lot on his own shoulders brilliantly and this year he has had to take a step back to go again.

“But he looks strong at the minute and he’s doing everything right off the pitch, the extra work, his strength and conditioning and his focus is there at the minute.

“So it’s been a massive 12 months for Jack.”

Thomas and both of the other substitutes on Tuesday, all played a massive part in the draw and Murray added: “We’ve had that all season - the subs have shown we are a very tight knit group.

“The people coming off the bench all season have made an impact, so that’s good to see. It shows everyone is on the same page and buying in.

“I think you saw the reaction after the second goal - everyone was over the moon for Jack.

“It was a really good point - now we move swiftly on to another big one.”

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Adam Murray: Mansfield Town keeper Scott Shearer deserving of Team of the Week inclusion
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Mansfield Town goalkeeper Scott Shearer fully deserved his accolade at part of the Football League Team of the Week last weekend, said manager Adam Murray.

Shearer made history, becoming the first keeper for the club to save two separate penalty kicks in one match, aside of shoot-outs, and Murray said Shearer deserved his place in the spotlight after spending much of the season trying to depose Brian Jensen from the No.1 spot.

“He has proved over the last couple of weeks what a good goalkeeper he is,” said Murray ahead of tomorrow’s tough game at promotion rivals Plymouth Argyle.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/adam-murray-mansfield-town-keeper-scott-shearer-deserving-of-team-of-the-week-inclusion-1-7729277

“We are really privileged in that area to have Brian and Scott - two massive characters, two massive goalkeepers physically and mentally.

“He has been brilliant. His attitude to the whole group when he wasn’t playing was superb. He has come in and done what we expected him to do.

“On Tuesday he was outstanding again. He deserves this. Now it’s up to him to keep his place and keep his standards.”

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Paul Clement sacking at Derby County a ‘strange one’ says former Ram, Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Thursday 11 February 2016

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray admitted the sacking of Paul Clement as head coach of his former club Derby County had been a ‘strange one’ this week.

Clement had been in charge of the Championship club for just eight months and they were fifth in the table, so fans were naturally confused by the move.

Clement was dismissed after seven league games without a victory, though chairman Mel Morris then said promotion ‘was not the primary target’ but he felt Derby had ‘not made enough progress’ under the 44-year-old former assistant manager at Chelsea and Real Madrid.

“It was a strange one,” said Murray, who began his career with the Rams and played in both the Premier League and Championship for them, making 54 appearances between 1998 and 2003.

Read more: http://www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk/sport/football/paul-clement-sacking-at-derby-county-a-strange-one-says-former-ram-mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-1-7728119#ixzz3zslhUFVR

“They have obviously got a lot of expectation and their target was getting into the Premier League.

“From the outside world they look like they are on course for a good season. But you don’t know and I think they have now come out saying their primary goal wasn’t to get promoted. It’s a confusing time, but this game is a confusing game.”

As a manager himself, he admitted: “You are never safe. You don’t know what’s round the corner. You are always looking over your shoulder.”

However, Murray firmly believes Derby would be a success in the top flight if they could get back up there.

“The one thing Derby have got - and they’ve always had - is a ridiculous infrastructure. It is Premier League,” he said.

“The fan base, the supporters, they get through good and bad times is incredible and they deserve to be in the Premier League.

“With the backing they’ve got now from the owner I think they could compete in the Premier League. The tough thing is getting there.

“To get out of any division is hard work. But sometimes certain clubs suit a higher division and I do think Derby will be one of them if they do get there.”

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Plymouth Argyle boss Derek Adams praise for Mansfield Town ahead of showdown
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Thursday 11 February 2016

Plymouth Argyle boss Derek Adams praised Mansfield Town ahead of Saturday’s showdown between the two high-flying sides at Home Park that he agreed would be an ‘interesting’ clash.

Plymouth are in second place and Stags in fourth and Adams said: “I think they’ve done really well this season, pushed on from last season and put themselves in a really good position.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/plymouth-argyle-boss-derek-adams-praise-for-mansfield-town-ahead-of-showdown-1-7728289#ixzz3ztBzEUEc

“They’ve picked up good victories over the last couple of games and picked up a good point at Oxford.

“It’s going to be an interesting match. They’re all important games between now and the end of the season.”

He added: “They change formation quite a bit, sometimes three or four times in the game and they’ve got that flexibility in their squad.

“They’ve got some decent players and (Ryan) Tafazolli at the back is a big player for them.

“He’s only young but he’s tall and aggressive. They’ve got a good number of players that play well as a team.”

On the sides’ meeting at One Call Stadium back in September, he said: “It was 0-0, we played well and it was another interesting game.

“I think we hit the bar a couple of times and we probably feel like we should have won.”

Plymouth, without a game since January 30th, are hoping to get their title tilt back on course on Saturday and Adams said:

“We’re the ones that want to win the league and our aim is to go above Northampton. “There’s still a long way to go but we want to try to get above them.

“I think we’ve shown this season we’re capable of beating them, we won away from home there this season.

“We’re in an excellent position in the league, within striking distance of them and we want to win as many games as we possibly can.”

He continued: “We’re probably one of the best teams in the league at moving the ball with pace and guile and we’ll play that way until the end of the season.

“In certain games, Carlisle away for example, we’ve also shown we’re very adaptable.

“The pitch here is not as good as other pitches in the league, that’s painfully obvious due to the weather conditions.

“Teams have come here and played in different styles and time-waste a lot at Home Park and that’s been frustrating at times.”

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Weighing Up
Thu 11 Feb 2016, by Chris Groves, pafc.co.uk

ARGYLE manager Derek Adams is continuing weigh up his options with regards to bringing in players - as well as negotiating contracts with players already at Home Park.

The rules for loan signings made by Football League clubs will be drastically changes next season, a move that Adams agrees with - though it won’t stop the boss from looking into potential incomings before the current window closes in March.

“We’re already looking to strengthen the squad,” said Derek, “and we’ve been looking to do that throughout the season. We’ll continue to do that from now to the end of March.

Read more at http://www.pafc.co.uk/news/article/weighing-up-2949816.aspx#2aRUjiCvFZzV419A.99

“It’s beneficial for the clubs in some respects that players can come in on loan, and that can change you. You can take in a better standard of player for a cheaper cost. But for continuity in building a club going forward, it’s not the way, and I think next year when the new system comes in, it’ll be beneficial for Plymouth Argyle."

As for the current Argyle squad, many squad are nearing the end of their current deals with the Greens, but as Derek points out, many negotiations will be based on the club’s position come the end of the season.

“The better we do, the better it is for the players,” said Adams. “I think if we get into a higher division, the contract becomes better, and I can offer better terms than they’re on just now.”

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Graham Carey set for Plymouth start against Mansfield
BY PA SPORT, espnfc.co.uk

Plymouth manager Derek Adams could finally get a chance to fully test Graham Carey's fitness after last Saturday's away fixture against Yeovil was postponed.

http://www.espnfc.co.uk/english-league-two/match/423404/plymouth-argyle-mansfield-town/preview

Carey, having recovered from a medial ligament injury and returning as a substitute previously, was looking to start against Yeovil until a waterlogged Huish Park pitch ruled that out.

The winger should get a run-out against Mansfield, though the injured duo of Josh Simpson and Tyler Harvey are not expected to feature.

Further towards the future, Adams has this week expressed a desire to bring Hiram Boateng back for a second stint from parent club Crystal Palace, after the midfielder made 19 appearances and scored twice when on loan earlier in the season.

Mansfield manager Adam Murray has no concerns as his side look to maintain their promotion push.

Murray's only worry will be fatigue as his men recover from two matches in four days ahead of another long trip south after the midweek draw at Oxford.

The Stags boss changed his forward players against the Us but all three substitutes - Chris Beardsley, Jack Thomas and on-loan Swansea full-back Daniel Alfei, making his debut for the club - made excellent contributions on Tuesday night and will be pushing for starting places.

Mal Benning has started the last three games since returning from a serious knee injury and Murray may be thinking about giving the defender a rest.

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Steady As She Goes
Thu 11 Feb 2016, by Chris Groves, pafc.co.uk

DESPITE a postponement and poor weather, Curtis Nelson knows Argyle are fully prepared to return to action against Mansfield Town on Saturday.

Heavy wind and downpours caused the Pilgrims’ first postponed game of the season last weekend against Yeovil Town, but whilst Storm Imogen has wreaked havoc in the South West, Argyle have used facilities across Plymouth to ensure their training regime remains on track.

“It was quite late,” said Nelson of the postponement. “In an ideal world you’d have wanted it [to be called off] before we traveled, but it is what it is. We were ready to play the game, but it got called off before we left the hotel.

“It hasn’t affected us at all. We’re training as normal every day. We’ve got MarJon, Devonport High School and other places we can train.”

Read more at http://www.pafc.co.uk/news/article/steady-as-she-goes-2949748.aspx#iYxcUiADWQbB6f68.99

All of that preparation will be needed to see off a Mansfield side this weekend that are rapidly climbing the League 2 table, now sitting in fourth. With 29 league games played, though, Nelson has captained his side against oppositions with vastly different styles and confidence levels, coming out on top more often than not.

“You can’t discount any team in the league,” said Curtis. “If you put the wins together, you’re going to be up there at some point. We’ll go through what they’re about today and tomorrow, and go for the three points on Saturday.

“[It will be] a tough game - I don’t think I would expect anything different from any other team in the league, but it’s up to us to go out and win.”

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Plymouth Argyle: No change of approach from Pilgrims despite poor state of pitch
By Chris Errington, February 12, 2016, plymouthherald.co.uk

DEREK ADAMS has insisted that promotion-chasing Plymouth Argyle will continue to play their passing style of football, despite the poor state of the Home Park pitch.

There is no immediate prospect of an improvement to the surface, at least until there is some drier and warmer weather.

The pitch was superb at the start of the season and it allowed Argyle to play the sort of swift, attacking football that Adams wants to see from his team.

However, it became covered in an algae early in the winter which had to be scraped off and has not been the same since, with lots of bare patches.

Read more: http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Plymouth-Argyle-change-approach-Pilgrims-despite/story-28723336-detail/story.html#ixzz402ZdqRch

Argyle last played at Home Park on January 30, when they lost 1-0 to Wycombe Wanderers, and Adams spoke about the state of the pitch after that defeat.

"It's not helping us, put it that way," said the Pilgrims' boss.

"It's definitely not helping the style of football that we play. The pitch is dead and there is nothing we can do about that.

"It won't be rectified until the summer, but that's just the way the pitch is.

"It's difficult to play on it at times but we have got to get on with it."

There has been further heavy rain over the past fortnight since that game against Wycombe.

Ahead of the visit of fourth-placed Mansfield Town to Home Park on Saturday (3pm), Adams was asked about the state of the pitch.

"I don't know, I haven't been on it for a wee while," he said. "I couldn't tell you."

He added: "The weather is an issue at this moment in time, with a lot of rain. That doesn't help."

Argyle have had mixed results at Home Park recently, winning only two of their last seven games there and losing four of them.

But Adams is determined that the Pilgrims will not change their approach to games because of the surface.

He said: "We are going to try to play exactly the same way as we always do.

"We are probably one of the best teams in the league at passing and moving the ball with pace and guile.

"We are going to play the same way from now until the end of the season.

"But in different games, as we showed against Carlisle away, we are very adaptable."

Adams does not believe the state of the pitch is to blame for Argyle's struggles at Home Park over recent months.

He said: "It's not as good as other pitches in the league. That's obvious, and it's just due to the weather conditions.

"Teams have come here and played in different styles, and we have seen teams time waste a lot, and that has been frustrating."

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Latest | February 2016