MURRAY AND OWEN COYLE REACTION
Stags' boss pleased with performance despite cup exit
mansfieldtown.net, 9th August 2016
Stags’ boss Adam Murray says he will take a lot of positives from tonight's performance against a strong Blackburn Rovers' side.
Murray’s men bowed out of the EFL Cup, losing 3-1 to a competitive Blackburn outfit thanks to a brace from striker Anthony Stokes and a powerful header from Shane Duffy, despite Stags’ midfielder Mitch Rose making it 1-1 just after half-time with a well-placed header.
And the manager says that the difference on the night was the ruthlessness of the Championship side, who have the quality to punish ‘half a mistake’.
“The goals were weak from our point of view, but all they need is half a chance to punish you and that was the difference tonight,” Murray said.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/big-boys-punish-mistakes-murray-3237089.aspx#tOdqD5R44okTuMOf.99
“I thought it showed, at times, their quality. I think they probably had, before the game opened up in the last 15 minutes, a couple of chances and scored a couple of goals but overall, I thought our performance against a Championship team was good.
“I thought it was a lively game, a high energy game [with] a fast tempo and I thought we were the best team for large parts.”
Stags started the game without a recognised centre-forward on the pitch as Murray opted for an interchanging front three of James Baxendale, CJ Hamilton and Ashley Hemmings and the manager says he was impressed by their performances.
“Considering none of them are centre-forwards, I thought it went really well. It caused them a lot of problems.
“I think the movement and some of the patterns of play were very, very good. [I’m] disappointed to lose but what we got out of the game was some good fitness work [and] a very competitive game against a strong Championship team.”
The 34-year-old now has three days to prepare his squad for the visit of Cheltenham Town in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday (3pm kick-off) and he says that the match against the Robins is a ‘totally different environment’ compared with tonight’s clash with Rovers.
“With all due respect to League Two, you won’t come up against that standard of player very often in our league. You probably do get away with the odd mistake in our league whereas when you come up against the 'big boys', half a mistake and they punish you, and that was the case tonight.
“We said before the game the priority this season is obviously the league; the cup was never going to be on top of the agenda. The performances from individuals and the team tonight was very, very good so we’ll look past the result and we’ll take a heck of a lot of positives from that.”
Supporters can now view Adam Murray’s post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD.
Stags boss Murray takes positives from cup exit
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk, Tuesday 09 August 2016
Adam Murray was happy with his side’s battling display tonight, despite Mansfield Town exiting the EFL Cup in the first round for the fourth successive year with a 3-1 home loss to Championship club Blackburn Rovers.
An experimental line-up, with no recognised strikers, saw Mansfield cause Rovers lots of problems in a very even first 50 minutes.
But two lapses at the back saw Blackburn punish them with a brace of goals in as many minutes to seal the tie with 35 minutes still to play.
Murray said: “I enjoyed the game to be honest.
“I thought it was a lively game - a high energy game with a fast tempo - and I thought we were the best team for large parts of it.
Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/local-sport/stags-boss-murray-takes-positives-from-cup-exit-1-8059851?
“They showed their quality at times and in the last 15 minutes they could have scored a couple more goals. But overall I thought our performance against a Championship team was good.”
Murray employed lightning quick winger CJ Hamilton as the spearhead to his attack, backed by Ashley Hemmings and James Baxendale, though chasing the game later on he sent on three strikers.
On his surprise forward choices, he said: “Considering none of them are centre forwards I thought it went really well. They caused them a lot of problems.
“The movement and some of the patterns of play were very, very good.”
Murray stressed that League Two success was always the priority this season.
He said: “We were disappointed to lose, but what we got out of the game was some good fitness work and a very competitive game against a strong Championship team and, as I’ve said, for large parts I thought we were the better team.
“It will be a totally different environment on Saturday. With all due respect to League Two you won’t come up against that standard of player very often in our league.
“You do probably get away with the odd mistake in our league whereas when you come up against the big boys, half a mistake and they punish you. That was the case tonight.
“The goals were weak from our point of view. All they need is half a chance to punish you and that was the difference tonight.”
He added: “We said before the game the priority this season is the league. The cup was never going to be on top of the agenda.
“But the performance from the team and from individuals tonight was very, very good, so we’ll look past the result and take a lot of positives out of that.”
Owen Coyle praises 'positive reaction' as Blackburn Rovers bounce back with EFL Cup win
OWEN Coyle praised a ‘positive reaction’ from his Blackburn Rovers side as they bounced back from their opening day Championship defeat to record a 3-1 EFL Cup win at Mansfield Town.
A brace from new signing Anthony Stokes either side of Shane Duffy’s first goal of the season secured Rovers’ first victory in the competition since 2011 and eased the pain of Saturday’s 4-1 home loss to Norwich City.
Mansfield had passed up the opportunity to take a second-minute lead when CJ Hamilton failed to punish Duffy’s weak pass.
But the Stags, buoyed by kicking off their League Two campaign with a 3-2 success at Newport County, did raise fears of an upset when Mitchell Rose cancelled out Stokes’ first-half opener.
However two quickfire strikes settled the first-round tie and the final outcome could have been greater with Scott Shearer with making a trio of saves from Ben Marshall and one from substitute Liam Feeney.
Stokes, having earlier struck with his right foot and head, was also denied a ‘perfect’ hat-trick when a left-footed effort bounced down off the crossbar and was adjudged not to have crossed the line.
Coyle, who reported no fresh injuries, said: “Overall I was delighted. I’ve been there as a favourite and as an underdog and cup ties are always tricky games.
“Mansfield came off a very good result at the weekend, and a very good performance when we watched it, so we knew it was going to be a difficult game.
“We gave them an early chance with a slack back pass but I felt we controlled the game and looked dangerous every time we went forward.
“We allowed them back into it in the second half, although it was a great header from the lad, but for us it was avoidable.
“But our reaction was great, we’ve scored three goals and truth be told we could have had five or six. Anthony Stokes could have finished with the perfect hat-trick. I don’t if it was over the line or not but it certainly looked close to it.
“When we took control and passed and moved it we showed we are a good side. It was good to show a positive reaction from the weekend when we all knew that we didn’t get anywhere near the level.
“The important thing was we did have a positive reaction in what was always going to be a tricky game. To come and show the attitude and the work-rate we did, and some of the quality of our play, was good to see.
“If we can get one or two more bodies in we know we’ll have a decent team. We have players who can score goals and we have a creative nucleus to our team but we have to make sure we’re tighter at the back and we’re not giving up chances because there are some very good teams in the Championship.
“We saw one on Saturday who were ruthless and punished us for every mistake that we made. But I thought this was a great reaction from the players and it was great to reward the travelling fans who took nearly two-and-a-half hours to get here.”
The draw for the second round takes place after the tie between Luton Town and Aston Villa tonight.
Rovers will be one of 25 seeded sides in the 50-team draw.
Seeded teams are the 13 sides from Premier League who enter the competition at this stage, Newcastle Utd and Norwich City, plus the next 10 highest finishing teams from last season.
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