MURRAY ON TARGETS AND ON YUSSUF/SHIRES/FITZPATRICK
No rush on striker deals for Stags
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Monday 23 May 2016
Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray’s attempts to boost his strikeforce continue, but he insists he is in no rush until the right deals can be struck.
Murray was last week reported to have made bids on two front men, but the deals are still to move forward.
“The two centre forwards we are speaking to at the minute are totally different,” said Murray.
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“They both bring different things to the table. Both, in my eyes, would make us better and give us better options.
“They would give us a platform to score different kinds of goals.”
However, he added: “The deals have got to be right and we’re working really hard on them. But I won’t do something that’s not right for the football club.
“If we feel the value for the player and the personal terms is right for the football club and it makes the player feel that he is valued at Mansfield Town then the deals will be done.
“They’ve been going on for over a week and they are very close, but very far away. We are trying to iron out the little bits. If that can be done by both parties then we will move on it. If not we’ll move on to the next one.”
Murray continued: “What we’ve already found this summer is that everyone seems to be going for the same players.
“The targets we set out on, we’ve already lost a couple as, with all due respect, bigger clubs have come in and taken them. We can’t do anything about that.
“We are trying to sell our football club and our brand. We know we don’t have to go out and sign loads of X-Factor players. We have to sign good players who are ingredients that make the whole thing better.
“I feel if we can get three or four players that give us a bit of an edge and something a bit different, that will be our next step to improve on the season we’ve just had.
“I would have liked it to have been done about a week ago, but it doesn’t work like that.
“The quicker the better so we can chill out a little bit. But if that takes all summer and it’s not right and we haven’t got the deals we need, we will keep working. There is no time frame on it. It will be done when it’s done.”
Stags boss Murray happy with how squad is shaping up
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
As he homed in on a new striker and waited on the last four current players to commit, Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray said he was delighted with how his squad was shaping up.
Murray, looking to add four or five fresh faces, is now only waiting on Ryan Tafazolli, Matty Blair, Chris Clements and Reggie Lambe to accept new contracts and said: “I am chuffed.
“What we’ve managed to do is nearly secure the core of the team from last year.
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“I have said a number of times last season, the 12 months the boys have had together would be worth its weight on gold.
“So to get the majority of them signed back up I feel is a massive bonus. It allows our planning to be a bit more specific and structured now.
“We are looking to add that little bit of extra now to take us to the next level as we want to progress again. Keeping the core of the group together will allow us to get consistency and will allow us to get continuity as a football club. We are not a revolving door. We’re not switching and changing everything.
“We are trying to make it better and you do that by building on the blocks we’ve already put in place.”
The club’s retained list, announced last Friday, took a little longer than usual, but Murray said: “There was no rush. We are dealing with people’s lives. They are no pieces of meat. We wanted to make sure we did it in the right way.
“We wanted to do it the correct way and in a professional manner.
“We have put deals to them that we feel are fair and value for the club and player. It’s up to the players to decide now. Some of them will have offers elsewhere, which is the nature of the beast. That is the game.
“At the same time there are a lot of footballers out of work at the minute. We have a lot of irons in fires and we are looking at areas to freshen things up.”
Stags hoping Yussuf can hit the ground running
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town are hoping striker Adi Yussuf can hit the ground running next season after failing to fulfil his potential in his debut League season.
Yussuf, who started out as a youngster at Leicester City, caught the eye two seasons ago with 27 goals in 39 games for Conference South side Oxford City.
But the jump up in fitness needed for full-time football saw him caught short last season with Stags.
That resulted in Yussuf failing to start a game all season, though scoring five times in 30 appearances from the bench.
His hopes of a start were further hit when he was slapped with a five-game ban by the FA after Plymouth Argyle fans complained he had urinated behind their stand while warming up at Home Park.
“We think Adi deserves another shot at it,” said manager Adamn Murray after taking up his one-year option on the Tanzanian striker.
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“We saw glimpses last season of what he can provide.
“He’s going to need a really good summer and he will be in over the summer working with DT (strength and fitness coach Daryl Taylor) doing a lot of conditioning work.
“Just before Adi got his ban he was hitting the fitness we felt he needed to start games.
“He will have a pre-season where he plays a lot of games and then it’s on his toes.
“It’s up to him to claim a place because the one thing you can’t say about Adi is that he doesn’t score goals. When he gets on the pitch he always has chances.
“So he deserves that chance in pre-season to grab a place.
“We will be bringing in other people in that area. The competition will be tough, but he’s got all the attributes to be a very good striker at this level. So he will have the chance.”
Second chance for Stags’ teenager Shires
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Towering teenage centre half Corbin Shires has a chance to kickstart his Mansfield Town career for a second time after the Stags this week decided to keep him on for another year.
The 6ft 4ins 18-year-old made a full debut in the Capital One Cup defeat at Sheffield Wednesday in August after an appearance as substitute at Accrington at the end of the previous season.
But injury and illness disrupted his season and Shires failed to get another look-in, going out on loan to Carlton Town.
“We have taken Corbin’s option up as he had a bit of a tricky season,” said Stags boss Adam Murray.
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“He didn’t really get going last season. He had a few injuries and bits and bobs popped up where, after the Sheffield Wednesday game, he never really kicked in again.
“So he will have pre-season to stake a claim.”
Shires will get more chance to shine next season with the club’s introduction of an U21s side in the reserve league while the end of the loan windows will also see clubs forced to use youngsters more.
“Because of the windows this season, if we feel these younger boys need to get six months out on loan to play they will do,” added Murray.
“At the same time we are looking to introduce some of our younger boys next season as, because of the transfer window changes, they are going to be called upon.
“There is a lot on the young lads’ toes next season, especially in the first few weeks of coming back.”
Stags U21s could be the making of Fitzpatrick
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
The newly-formed Mansfield Town U21s side could be the making of teenage midfielder Joe Fitzpatrick.
The 18-year-old has flirted with the first team over the past two seasons, but only been able to make three appearances and, with no reserve team, has had to play his football out on loan at clubs like Mickleover Sports and Carlton Town.
In seasons past, Fitzpatrick might have found himself released this summer, but Stags boss Adam Murray knows his potential and was delighted last week to name him as one of the club’s four players to remain as part of the new U21 set-up that will play reserve league football next season.
The club will keep four youngsters on every year and the U21s will now give Fitzpatrick added time to develop in men’s football alongside keeper Adam Bishop, central midfielder Tyler Blake, and left-sided defender/midfielder Louis Danquah.
“We’ve managed to keep Joe Fitzpatrick in that group, which I am chuffed with as Joe, like Corbin Shires, had a season where he didn’t come to the party until Christmas,” said boss Murray.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/stags-u21s-could-be-the-making-of-fitzpatrick-1-7932386#ixzz49koMl1u9
“That was down to a whole lot of things. He was going through a new challenge in terms of the group he was in. It was a lot tougher this year to get into that first team squad.
“So to keep Joe and give him that U21 place is big for us as I’ve still got massive hopes for Joe.
“He is a very good footballer and with this extra couple of years in the U21s environment, he will still be in and around us. He will still train with us and have the opportunity to get into the first team squad.”
Murray is excited about the current crop of youth, adding: “Bishop has been brilliant this season, he’s come on in leaps and bounds.
“We are now looking at progressing them. I am really excited about the kids next year.
“We saw Zayn (Hakeem) come on in the last game of the season. We have Jason Law yet to get involved.
“The first year scholars coming in next season are very strong. They are only 15/16-year-olds, but we’ll be looking to get them involved as much as we can as we feel they are a very strong group.
“We are over the moon with the U21s and the players we’ve managed to get into that group.
“Now it will be a massive job for the chosen manager to take that on.”
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