MURRAY AND GARETH AINSWORTH REACTION
Slender margins decide Adams Park contest
mansfieldtown.net, 25th March 2016
Stags’ boss Adam Murray says this afternoon’s 1-0 defeat to Wycombe Wanderers was ‘tough to take’ following a tight encounter at Adams Park.
Michael Harriman’s 68th minute goal was enough to consign the Stags to defeat in Buckinghamshire, meaning we slip to 14th place in Sky Bet League 2 and subsequently sit eight points off the top seven.
Speaking post-match, Murray acknowledged that it was a hard-fought encounter and rued the way his team conceded the only goal of the match.
“They put you on the back foot constantly and people say it’s not pleasant to watch but it’s effective. You’ve got to take your hats off to them, they make you defend non-stop.
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“You look at the goal again, it’s actually embarrassing. It’s tough to take because you look at the games we’ve lost; it’s not as if teams have broken us down. It’s from a bad decision, a bad error or an individual mistake and it’s cost us again today,” said Murray.
“We didn’t manage to get the ball down and play. We got sucked into a ‘second ball game’. We tried to catch them on the counter-attack, we had a few good opportunities in the first half but we’re in a little bit of a slump at the minute, which is tough because we need that win to ‘kick-start’ us.
“If we’d have started [the season] at this pace and kept at this pace it wouldn’t have been as tough to take but because we’ve had the slump we’ve had it’s even tougher to take.”
Following a promising start to the season that saw the Stags challenge for Sky Bet League 2 play-off position, Murray believes that the club are experiencing the current slump due to inconsistency.
“It’s a big learning curve for some of our young boys. Some of the kids in there at the minute were a little bit naïve. They need to grow up quickly and learn from these errors because the league’s that ruthless. That’s four one-nil defeats [in five games] now, you come out of it with a sunken heart but it’s about pride now.
“When you’re in a game like that and it is scrappy, it is bitty, you have to know how to get hold of that and swing it your way.”
Meanwhile, he also believes his players are in limbo when they get into the final third and knows being clinical in the attacking areas is what is required to progress his side.
“We haven’t been demolished at any time this season, it’s very fine margins. It’s about taking the risk out and trying to take the mistakes out.
“You either play percentage football and put it in [the box] a lot of times and create chances, which is what they (Wycombe) do. Or you become a Portsmouth and an Oxford and you try and open teams up - at the minute, we’re caught in between.”
Speaking further, the manager says his side must wipe away the disappointment of the afternoon’s defeat ahead of the visit of Northampton Town to One Call Stadium on Monday (3pm kick-off).
“We’ve got to go again. We’ve got to make sure we finish the season on a high, there’s 24 points still to play for. I’m not going to write us off [for the play-offs] because you’ve seen the results today. All you need to do is put three-four wins together and you’re back in the mix so the biggest thing now is getting some confidence back into these boys.”
Adam Murray: ‘Play-offs will be very, very tough now for Mansfield Town’
chad.co.uk, Friday 25 March 2016
Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray believes reaching the League Two play-offs will be a “very tough” task for his squad after defeat to Wycombe Wanderers.
Michael Harriman’s 68th-minute goal was all that separated the Stags and Wycombe, who now occupy seventh spot in the table on Good Friday evening, with Murray’s men in 14th.
Mansfield are eight points adrift of the play-offs with eight games of the season remaining, starting with the visit of runaway leaders Northampton Town on Bank Holiday Monday.
When asked what the defeat means for his side’s chances of making the play-offs, Murray said: “It makes it very, very tough.
“I’m not going to say it’s over because you’ve seen some of the results today - anything can happen. A run of three or four wins and everything can change, so it’s not over.
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“It makes it very, very tough for us. The biggest thing now for this group is picking them up, getting a bit of confidence in them, because the last few results has put their confidence down.
“It makes it tougher. We knew this bunch of games was going to be the toughest of our season and it’s showed that. I think it shows that we’re not ready for that next level yet.”
He added: “We’ve shown over the season that there’s a good spirit in the group and that they will give everything. When you are a player and a team that like to get on the ball you need confidence to play like that.”
Reflecting on the narrow loss to Wycombe, Murray stated his side were beaten by a better team.
“They showed why they’ve been up there for the last two years for a reason,” he said.
“They’re very effective in what they do and we’re not quite there yet. They have shown why they’re up there competing and why they’ll, I’ll imagine, have another visit to Wembley this year.
“They were effective in their style. They made us defend. It’s a very tough place to come. They’re home form is very good. They’re obviously full of confidence. They’ve learned how to win.
“They use every trick in the book to win and fair play to them. Sometimes it’s not pretty but it puts points on the board. We didn’t have enough men out there to stand up to that today.
“We got overawed at times and it’s all part of our stepping stones.”
And added: “I never felt there was anything in the game. We said before the game, it would be a game that whoever made the least mistakes would win it. We felt we could put them under pressure but at the same time we knew we’d have to defend here.
“It’s a tough place to come and they made us defend. For the goal to come how it did it shouldn’t happen. Unfortunately for us those type of goals have been consistent all through the season.
“You look at how many 1-0 losses, no-one’s ever really opened us up. No-one’s ever smashed us. It’s errors, individual mistakes or bad decision making - that’s even more frustrating to take than saying we came up against a team today that opened us up constantly, because they didn’t. We looked very solid and it’s a poor goal to concede.”
He added: “I don’t think we made enough of the opportunities we had because of the game plan Wycombe set out to put on us. You have to try and get hold of the football because it spends a lot of the time going into our box.”
Gareth Ainsworth says Wycombe Wanderers are turning Adams Park into a fortress after 1-0 win over Mansfield
Ainsworth's side have enjoyed four 1-0 wins in a row at home
bucksfreepress.co.uk, by Harry Gray
Gareth Ainsworth believes Wycombe Wanderers are turning Adams Park into a fortress after the Chairboys recorded their fourth home win in a row.
Ainsworth’s comments came after Michael Harriman scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win over Mansfield.
The result moves Wycombe up to seventh in League Two and left their manager delighted with a thoroughly professional performance.
He said: “The boys are turning Adams Park into a fortress and I think the defence can take a lot of credit today. The attackers always take the credit but I think we restricted Mansfield to one chance.
“I thought we dominated the game and had the majority of the chances. We were knocking on the door, asking questions and we finally got an answer.”
In truth that answer came in a hugely fortunate manner as Harriman sent a cross towards the back post which eluded everyone and snuck in in the 68th minute.
The goal came towards the end of a spell of decent pressure from Wycombe in a match which had seen both sides fail to find their finest attacking form.
Ainsworth was understandably unconcerned with the manner in which the Chairboys’ winner was scored and instead chose to praise Harriman’s quality in the build up to the goal.
“It probably wasn’t the prettiest of goals. Was it a shot or was it a cross? I’ll leave Michael Harriman to answer that one,” said Ainsworth.
“But he is a fantastic player and had a fantastic touch to set himself before the goal.”
Wanderers’ defence was, once again, superb and repelled a poor Stags’ attack with ease throughout the 90 minutes.
Ainsworth was quick to highlight that the clean sheet stemmed from a solid team effort which saw Wycombe pressure their opponents from the front.
“The work rate of the whole team was great and we defended really well from the front today. We worked really hard on that this week and it has paid off,” he said.
“It is not just today and we are never out of games. We never get trounced. I know there is a few big scores and touch wood that doesn’t jinx us.
“I can say that for a couple of years we are never out of games and never get stuffed. We are always in it.”
Wycombe will now turn their attention to a trip to Notts County on Monday where they will look to cement their position in the League Two play-off places.
Latest | March 2016