MURRAY LOOKS BACK ON NEWPORT AND FORWARD TO YEOVIL
Adam Murray press conference in full (20 minutes), Monday 29 February 2016:
The chase is on for coveted top seven spot
mansfieldtown.net, 29th February 2016
Stags’ boss Adam Murray believes this season’s Sky Bet League 2 play-off hunt will ‘go down to the wire’ as a number of clubs chase the prestigious prize of League 1 football next season.
We slipped out of the top seven after a slender 1-0 defeat to Newport County at Rodney Parade on Saturday.
But Murray reckons his side must recover quickly from their setbacks, whilst reaffirming his faith in the players to extend their season by finishing in the play-off positions.
“We’ve had the rub of the green over the last few weeks. We’ve been on a great run and sometimes you have to take these punches in the belly and it hurts.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/final-day-will-be-top-seven-decider-murray-2980952.aspx#SHDlD5TT69ZdDsXS.99
“This [chase for a play-off spot] will go down to the wire. It’s going to be close, it’s going to be tough for us. We know we’re doing above what was expected but we’re that close. I really believe we can do this.”
Furthermore, the 34-year-old boss thinks the Stags must find a balance in the coming weeks and months, although he doesn’t want to stick to a particular brand of football to get results.
“We’ve won a fair few games over the past few weeks by being a little bit more direct. Per game, we’re averaging about 100 to 150 passes less than we were six weeks ago. There’s a certain way we want to play but we want to win football matches.
“We can’t go away from playing football because I believe that’s not the way the game should be played. If you’re in control of the ball, you limit the opposition’s chance of beating you.
“When we’ve had a target man in the team, we’ve looked a little bit more effective. People [teams] have got a lot of bodies in midfield and if you lose that battle then you don’t get hold of the game.”
Mansfield and Stevenage are the only sides not to have a fixture on Tuesday evening (01 March) after having their match rearranged for January 09, when the Stags won 2-1. Nonetheless, Murray is keen to focus the attention away from how other clubs get on.
“We’ve got to play the teams around us. If we take points off them, we’ll be in the mix. I’m not really interested how tomorrow (Tuesday) goes. If we take care of our business, we’ll be in there [in the play-offs]. That’s the bottom line.
“If we don’t quite make it; okay, [I’ll be] disappointed but we go again. Everything we’ve got as a football club now, we’ve got to chuck at the last 12 games. I want my players virtually dead on that last day of the season!”
Looking ahead to Stags’ next game on Saturday (March 05) against a resurgent Yeovil Town at One Call Stadium, Murray thinks it will be a challenging contest as the Glovers try and stretch their advantage over the bottom two teams.
“We’ve watched Yeovil a few times and they’re in a false position. Fair play to the guys down there; they’ve got them pulling in the right direction. We know we’re in for a tough game on Saturday.
“With all due respect to Newport and Dagenham, I think Yeovil are on a different level. If they wouldn’t have had the start [to the season that they had], they’d be in the mix [the play-offs]. Their form at the minute is probably play-off form.”
Go to Stags Player to view Adam Murray’s news conference in full.
Newport winner was offside, maintains Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Monday 29 February 2016
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray is still adamant Newport County’s winner on Saturday was offside after seeing replays.
Having watched the game back again over the weekend, he admitted his side had played better than he’d given them credit for after the game.
Murray also said he felt Newport’s awful pitch, with 40 tons of sand on it, would be a big advantage to the Welsh club for the rest of the season.
Stags crashed 1-0 to Scott Boden’s disputed 86th minute goal and Murray said: “There was definitely no football played on that pitch.
“You don’t want to talk too much about it because obviously people think you’re making excuses, but it was bad.
“It is the same for both sides - there’s no getting away from that. The fans will tell you the game was an horrendous spectacle.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/newport-winner-was-offside-maintains-mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-1-7758965#ixzz41ZZwRrpz
“Speaking to their guys afterwards they said it’s the worst it’s ever been. It’s been in some bad conditions before, so for them to say it’s the worst it’s ever been, it must be bad.
“For me if Newport don’t now win every home game, there is something wrong because they play on it more than anybody else. For everyone else, it’s a bit of a shock to the system when you get there.”
He continued: “We couldn’t get any rhythm to the game. It was a generally very frustrating afternoon.
“I think the ball spent more time out of play than it did on the pitch, and when it was on the pitch I’ve never known a referee blow his whistle as much.
“I think every 30 seconds we were having a meeting. It comes to something when you’ve got players stretching because the referee is talking to someone again.
“It was one of those afternoons where it didn’t get going.”
Despite the surface, Murray was critical of his side on the whistle, saying he felt they had lacked ‘zest and energy’.
However, that changed when he watched the whole game back again and today he admitted: “When I’ve watched it back I was probably a bit harsh on the lads in my press after the game.
“I’ve tried to take some time before I do press after games to cool down, but it doesn’t work.
“But we didn’t play badly in the environment we were in. It was one you just had to write off.
“We were saying let’s just through this game, get a point, get out and move on to the next one.
“So to concede a goal, which is debatable if it was offside, was a kick in the gonads.
“It was very tight, I’ll give them that. My opinion is it was just offside. It did take a deflection but he is standing in Scott Shearer’s view anyway so he’s offside.
“The annoying thing is the linesman said he wasn’t looking at offside, he was looking at the shot, but he still made the offside call.
“It’s one of them. We’ve had the rub of the green in recent weeks.
“We’ve been on a great run, sometimes you have to take these punches in the belly. But it hurts.
“We had enough chances to win it, if we’d been more ruthless in their box.
“It was disappointing to come away with nothing as we didn’t deserve to lose. Our performance wasn’t bad.”
Agony as Mansfield Town sit it out on busy night of action
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Monday 29 February 2016
It will be an agonising night for Mansfield Town tomorrow night as they sit it out on a night when almost every other League Two club is in action.
A late 1-0 defeat at Newport County on Saturday saw Stags slip out the play-off berths into ninth, but still only two points separate fifth from 10th and boss Adam Murray continues to maintain the chase will go down to the last day.
Stags brought tomorrow’s scheduled home game to Stevenage forward to a blank weekend in January and won it 1-0.
“We’ve got the points on the board,” said Murray. “So the teams tomorrow have got to win. It’s worked in our favour.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/agony-as-mansfield-town-sit-it-out-on-busy-night-of-action-1-7759384#ixzz41Zg7c6ne
“It’s incredible. We are just one point off fifth. But we can’t be relying on other people. We have 12 games left and if we win 12 we’ll go up.
“If we’re not ruthless in this last 12 games we won’t achieve. If we can do what I believe we can do I honestly believe we’ll be up there.
“It’s a good night of football. It will make the points a bit clearer. The good thing is we’ve got to play these teams still.”
Murray added: “I am not really interested how tomorrow goes. If we take care of our business we will be in there. That’s the bottom line.
“People have got to lose football matches as they’ve all got to play each other. So as long as we do our business it doesn’t really matter what goes on.
“The key for us is to keep believing. We have to wins games. We have 12 left and we have to go for it and see where we end up.
“It goes to show how close the league is as three dropped out the play-offs and three went in on Saturday. This will go down to the wire.
“We said it last year at the other end of the table and it will be same this year at both ends. I think it will literally be the last day.
“I know people have said how teams have games in hand. But there are only one or two now and we’ve got to play all of them.
“So it’s going to be close. It will be tough for us, we understand that.
“But, like we said a few weeks ago, we’ve had a great season up until now. “We know we’re doing above what was expected. But we are that close and I really believe we can do this.
“We’ve just got to keep going and the boys have go to keep believing how good they can be.”
Murray knows if they are to reach the play-offs, Stags will need to end their current statistic of not having beaten a side in the top half of the table yet all season with March arriving tomorrow
“The good thing for us, and we know we’ve got to change our trends, is we’ve still got to play the other teams around us,” said Murray.
“What a great time to change it as I think that if we take points off them we’ll be in the mix. That’s the plan.”
On the points Stags might need to get into the top seven, he added: “I thought it would be more a few weeks ago - I honestly did.
“But now the teams at the bottom six or seven have started picking up and getting results you can’t tell where it’s going.
“I had it down as a certain number of wins a few weeks ago but that’s changed again. You just don’t know. In this league right now you can’t predict scores.
“There are that many teams on a level playing field it’s the fine lines that make a difference, like for us on Saturday.
“We should have had two penalties, we’ve had a goal offside which again was tight and could have gone either way, we’ve hit the post, and we’ve had probably three chances where we at least need to work the keeper properly.”
Stags will begin tomorrow night in ninth place, one point off fifth and only one point off the final seventh place play-off spot.
Mansfield have played more games than anyone in the top 10 with Accrington having three games in hand on them.
If Accrington maintain their current push the top four places could get sewn up early which would leave Portsmouth (32 games, 52 points), Wycombe (32, 52), Leyton Orient (33, 52), AFC Wimbledon (32, 51), Stags (34, 51), Bristol Rovers (32, 50), Carlisle United (31, 49) and Cambridge United (33, 47) all in the hunt for the last three places.
Tomorrow Bristol Rovers are at home to strugglers Hartlepool, there are crunch games at Cambridge, with Wycombe the visitors, and at Carlisle, where Leyton Orient are in town, AFC Wimbledon face the hardest task away to leaders Northampton, while Portsmouth are at Exeter.
Saturday’s visitors Yeovil Town face a visit from in-form Accrington.
No Van Gaal dives planned by Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray is a big fan of Louis Van Gaal - but in light of his recent touchline ban Murray said he won’t be throwing himself to the ground to make a point like the Manchester United boss did last weekend.
Van Gaal was trying to illustrate he believed Alexis Sanchez had dived during during Sunday’s 3-2 win over Arsenal at Old Trafford, so threw himself to the ground in front of fourth official Mike Dean.
Van Gaal later admitted he had gone too far and said he had apoligised to the officials concerned.
However, Murray said: “Van Gaal jumping on the floor was brilliant. I’m having him, me. I think his record speaks for itself.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/no-van-gaal-dives-planned-by-mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-1-7761454#ixzz41eMtz03u
“He has taken some unfair criticism. I think the press like to jump on incidents like this. It’s let’s get on him, let’s cane him. There’s no real reason for it.
“I think he is implementing a style in the way they are playing, he’s bringing the kids through, and I think as a character he is top drawer.
“You don’t know what you’re going to get with him. He looks like a crazy eagle - but I like him.”
However, Murray won’t be throwing himself to the floor any time soon.
“No, I’d probably end up banned for about six months or so. I am staying away from officials,” he said.
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray chasing winning formula
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray is impressed by the rising standards of League Two football.
But he said teams need to find the perfect combination of passing football and ability to go more direct to get promotion from it.
“League Two has come a long way,” said Murray. “Obviously I have played in it a lot over the last few years.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-chasing-winning-formula-1-7762630#ixzz41gyhnzkU
“Coaches and managers have become a lot more tactically aware. It’s not just kick and rush any more. It’ s a very good environment to work in.
“As long as you get the balance right you can get both. If you are too direct it doesn’t work. And you shouldn’t over-play.
“A good example of that was Luton when we played some great stuff and didn’t have a shot.
“Now we’ve got to start putting certain bits together to get the right balance.
“We have won a fair few games over the last few weeks by being a little more direct.
“Per game I think we are averaging somewhere between 100 and 150 passes less than we were about six weeks ago
“So it’s about getting that balance as there is a certain way we want to play football matches.
“We can’t go away from playing football as that’s the way I think the game should be played. If you are in control of the ball you limit the opposition’s chances of beating you.
“But we have to have certain ingredients in the team.
“When we’ve had a bit more of a target man in the team we have looked a little bit more effective.
“At the same time in this division, a lot of teams put a lot of players in midfield. If you lose that battle you don’t get hold of the game.”
He added: “As this season has gone on I think we’ve learned a hell of a lot of what it takes to get out of League Two - not just being a good team in League Two, but to get out of it. That will hold us in good stead.
“If we don’t achieve our aim this season, which we’re not going to give up on, we’ll keep going, I honestly believe in the next couple of seasons we’ll be out of this league.”
Junior Daniel challenged to win Mansfield Town contract
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Manager Adam Murray has challenged Junior Daniel to win himself a Mansfield Town contract for next season.
The former Stags star has returned on loan from Port Vale for the rest of the season.
Out of contract in the summer and not expecting to be offered another at Vale Park, Daniel knows this is a golden chance and boss Murray said: “It’s up to him in terms of his performances in the 12 games left.
“But I honestly believe in Junior. The good thing for me is that I played with him so I know what he brings. I know, as a midfielder, he gives you a great outlet.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/junior-daniel-challenged-to-win-mansfield-town-contract-1-7762697#ixzz41gzQ2gCX
“He is strong, he is quick and he’s got a physical presence. You look at some of the pace we’ve got in the team at the minute and it’s frightening.
“I do believe at this level he can be effective. He needs to get himself up to speed really quickly. He could be a really good plus point but it’s on his toes to perform.”
It was a losing return for Daniel as Stags succumbed 1-0 on a dreadful sandy surface at Newport last Saturday.
But Murray said: “It was a tough one as Junior had not played for four weeks, so he needed that match environment and match tempo to get him going.
“It was horrific on that pitch. I think our best passing sequence was about three - I hated watching it.
“But he will give us a spark. He will give us something different than what we’ve got. He’ll give us balance.
“Junior can play up top, he can play left wing, he can play the No.10 - he is another option going forward and I am confident he will produce for us in the 12 games.
“We’ve got some good options up there now.”
With Daniel’s return, competition on the wings has hotted up.
“Reggie Lambe missed out on Saturday,” said Murray. “He is one of my favourite players - I love Reggie. I think he does a lot.
“His link-up play and his brain are brilliant. But he’s not got a sniff recently because the boys have been performing.
“That’s the way it goes. Junior adds to that competition.”
No more new faces at Mansfield Town - and few summer departures
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town will not bring in any more loan players as they head into the final 12-game run-down of their assault on the League Two play-offs.
Former Stags winger Junior Daniel returned on loan last week from Port Vale, but Murray won’t risk further disrupting the dressing room chemistry for fear of damaging what he has built already.
“We have 12 games and 20-21 players - that’s us for the run-in now,” he said.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/no-more-new-faces-at-mansfield-town-and-few-summer-departures-1-7762790#ixzz41jsYNfKj
“The team spirit is incredible and our bond is incredible.”
He also said there would be few departures at the end of the season.
“The majority of this team will be here next year, so this is about building,” said Murray.
“There will be a few minor tweaks in the summer to make us better. But we are building - if we keep swapping and changing we’re never going to get any consistency.
“A football club needs consistency to get better - and that’s what we’ll do. We’ve shown we are a tight-knit group and a very good group.
“For eight months of building we’ve done very well. I want that to continue for the next couple of years.
“I keep telling everyone we’re going to be successful - and we are. That will come with this group.”
Mansfield Town’s Jamie McGuire to soldier on to the summer with knee problem
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Jamie McGuire will continue to go through the pain barrier until the summer before deciding whether or not an operation is needed on a niggling knee problem.
The Mansfield Town midfielder was back in action in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat on the awful sandy surface at Newport County after being taken out of the starting XI last week to rest the knee.
Boss Adam Murray said he had full trust in McGuire’s honesty over the knee problem, which should have been operated on last summer.
“He is good,” said Murray. “It didn’t really help him playing on a beach on Saturday. It was a bit tough for him.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-s-jamie-mcguire-to-soldier-on-to-the-summer-with-knee-problem-1-7762831#ixzz41lDcYT4p
“When he has a group of games he needs the odd week or two where we take him out and let his knee recover.
“But he’s been vital to us. Every winning run we’ve gone on he’s been in the team. We have to go off Jamie. Jamie determines when he trains.
“He is that honest with me he wouldn’t go into a game not being able to affect it. He wouldn’t let the fans down and I know he wouldn’t let me down.”
He added: “It’s just picking Jamie’s games. Jamie is not a 46 game a season player. If we want to play a certain way, Jamie won’t play. If we want to play another way then Jamie will play.
“He is massive for me. I have a lot of time for him. He is a fighter.”
Of McGuire’s broad Scouse accent, Murray smiled: “Even when he tells you there’s something wrong you can’t understand him so you just agree with him.
“If he is in pain I don’t know as I don’t understand what he’s saying to me.”
Now it’s a case of getting McGuire through to May.
“Jamie is a tough cookie,” said Murray. “He’s going to have something done. It’s going to be whether the time over the summer will allow it to heal as it needs to or if an operation is the best way forward.
“They wanted to operate pre-season just gone. But Jamie being Jamie didn’t want that to happen. I am happy that was his decision as we’ve needed him this season.
“Adam Chapman came back in last week and looked back to his best. Both of them play the role differently and both have different strengths, but both are very good players.”
Latest | March 2016