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Archived News from October 2016

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19th October 2016 10:24


Boss wants to keep standards high
mansfieldtown.net, 13th October 2016

Stags’ boss Adam Murray has challenged his players to retain their high standards ahead of Saturday’s visit of Wycombe Wanderers to One Call Stadium.

We will welcome the Chairboys at 3pm on Saturday (15 October) following last week’s thrilling 3-1 home victory over local rivals Notts County.

And manager Murray, 35, wants his players to keep their standards high after putting in a number of good performances over recent weeks.

“The big thing for the group now, and for individuals, is don’t let your standards drop,” the gaffer said.

“We said it before the Port Vale game, before kick-off, we’d got the standards in a very high place - keep them there and push them on now and up to now, the boys have done that.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/boss-wants-to-keep-standards-high-3359821.aspx#ZCu43QU5iTzBilsm.99

“I keep saying to the players: ‘give me seven out of 10 every week’ because the quality we’ve got, we’re always going to get a few eights and nines so if we can hit sevens every week, you’re going to be 'in and around it' and that’s what we’ve managed to do in the last few weeks.”

After praising the performances of strikers Pat Hoban and Danny Rose after last week’s win against the Magpies, as well as that of goalscoring duo Matt Green and Darius Henderson, Murray says the dilemma of which frontmen to name in his starting XI is a good decision to have to make.

“I like my sleep when I get the opportunity. When I do get chance to sleep, I take advantage of it and having positive puzzles like that to solve is not going to keep me awake.

“I know a lot of people before the game on Saturday were saying that Matt Green should be playing, but he’d only scored one goal in I don’t know how many games.

“What we’ve done with Matt and how we’ve worked Matt, he’s in a fantastic place now. He’s up for starting on Saturday, I’m not going to lie about that but at the end of the day, the boys that put the work in on Saturday before Matt came on, it was a great shift from them as well.

“We want to keep a consistency in certain things but at the same time, we look at the opposition and it has to be ‘horses for courses’.”

At the other end of the pitch, the Stags’ chief has an equally tricky selection issue with a number of defenders beginning to come back in to contention, including Kyle Howkins, who has returned to training after his hamstring injury.

“We’ve got Alex (Iacovitti) back today as well which is another big boost for us so the back line is strong. Tafty’s (George Taft) started running again so he’s back very soon so I wouldn’t like to be a centre-half at the minute, because it’s right on their toes.

“It’s good competition for places, it’s good options, [and it] makes us strong. I think that Lee (Collins) and Pearcey (Krystian Pearce) have been brilliant together, but at the same time, Kyle and Pearcey looked very strong together when they [played] together and Alex has been a sensation since he’s come in to the club.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Jack Thomas completed an hour for the under 21s yesterday and Murray said he was impressed by his performance.

"We’ve taken a little bit more time with him to get his fitness up, he’s in good shape. We were going to put him on [as a substitute] on Saturday so that shows how fit he is.

"To get minutes under his belt yesterday and to nick a goal as well, he played well for the time he was on the pitch, so he comes back in to the reckoning."

Supporters will be able to watch Adam Murray’s news conference, in full, on Friday by logging in to Stags PlayerHD.

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Will Stags star Green have to wait for a recall?
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 13 October 2016

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray hinted that star striker Matt Green may have to wait for his recall ahead of Saturday’s visit of Wycombe Wanderers.

After being dropped four games back, Green has played a super sub role in the last two, coming on to score winning goals, even netting twice in last weekend’s local derby win over Notts County.

But boss Murray admitted it was a tough decision with Pat Hoban and Danny Rose playing so well together earlier in the game.

“The last four games I have been over the moon with Matt, and he’s not been in the team,” said Murray.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/will-stags-star-green-have-to-wait-for-a-recall-1-8180097

“His attitude and focus has been superb. Whichever way Matt is used when he is in that frame of mind, he is a vital part of the jigsaw.

“I was chuffed for him to get his goals on Saturday but more importantly I am over the moon for his attitude over the last few weeks.

“It’s up to them to keep the shirts. I felt on Saturday Pat and Rosey worked really hard and probably ground the centre halves down for the other two to come on and grab the headlines.

“Pat got man of the match and I was pleased for him, but Rosey does a lot of work that goes unseen. We have put another strong to his bow this season and asked him to do things that he hasn’t done before, but we feel he’s more than capable of doing.

“He is an intelligent player who brings something a little bit different to the team than what he is used to. But he’s bought into it and is enjoying it. His performance levels are really high.

“It’s on their toes really. It’s up to the boys when they’ve got chances to take them and if you’ve got the shirt then keep it.

“Darius (Henderson) deserved his goal. He’s worked very hard and the big thing for the group now and for individuals is don’t let your standards drop.”

Murray continued: “We said before the Port Vale game that we’d got the standards in a very high place - keep them there and push them on. Up to now the boys have done that.

“We don’t want to think that because we’ve won a game we’re champions of the world now because we’re not. We’ve done nothing.

“It is straight back down to earth with a very tough game on Saturday and we need to make sure everybody is focused and the hard work goes up another notch as there are a lot of games to play.”

Murray said with a week’s gap between games he would not accept an ‘After The Lord Mayor’s Show’ performance on Saturday.

“It’s a bit more tricky when you play Saturday/Tuesday,” he said.

“Last year we played Friday/Tuesday when we played at their (Notts) place and it does have an effect, more emotionally than physically.

“But with a week’s gap there are no excuses. You are back in training on the Monday and you accept the plaudits, as you take criticism when it comes, for a few hours. Then the focus is straight on to the next one.

“If anyone wants to use that as an excuse in this camp, they won’t be in the team.”

On this week’s opposition, he added: “Wycombe are a strong team. The way they go about things is very efficient. They work hard and represent the manager very well.

“They have been a force in this league for the last few years, so we are expecting a tricky affair.

“We have planned for the game as we always do and we will pay them the respect we think they deserve as a team.

“At the same time we are on a fantastic period in our own season at the minute. We want to grow from that and try to put more points on the board.”

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Thomas in contention for Saturday after goal for Stags U21s
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 13 October 2016

Mansfield Town midfielder Jack Thomas scored and played almost an hour in yesterday’s reserve league defeat as he continues his comeback from injury.

That put him firmly in contention for Saturday’s League Two visit of Wycombe Wanderers.

The Stags star has not played all season, but was back on the bench last weekend and all set to come on near the end of the derby with Notts until the Magpies equalised.

However, yesterday saw him start his first game of the season and he pulled one back as Mansfield Town’s U21s suffered their second defeat in three Central League games as they lost 5-1 to an experienced Hartlepool United side at Kirklington Road.

“He’s not played for three months and only had 45 minutes pre-season, so we’ve taken a little bit more time with Jack to get his fitness up, so he is in shape,” said boss Adam Murray.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/thomas-in-contention-for-saturday-after-goal-for-stags-u21s-1-8180034

“We were going to put him on last Saturday which shows how fit he is.

“But to get minutes under his belt yesterday and to nick a goal as well - he played well for the time he was on the pitch - he comes back into the reckoning for Saturday.

“He is a great option to have with his energy, his attitude and his hunger to achieve. It’s second to none.

“To put the performance in he did yesterday was really pleasing as the U21s this season is a tough gig for everyone.”

As the mini injury crisis began to ease, Murray continued:

“We got Alex (Iacovitti from Scotland U21 duty) back today too which is another big boost for us. The back line is strong.

“Kyle (Howkins) is back in training and Tafty (George Taft) has started running again too, so he’s back very soon. I wouldn’t like to be a centre half as it’s right on their toes at the minute like the centre forwards.

“It gives us good options and makes us strong. Lee (Collins) and Pearcey (Krystian Pearce) have been brilliant together but, at the same time, Kyle and Pearcey looked very strong together and Alex has been a sensation since he’s come into the club, so I have some tricky headaches.

“With the run of games we are going into we’re going to need all the bodies and, touch wood, we can keep them all fit.

“I think Leicester had it last year when you get that luck for 99 per cent of the season, you get no injuries and no suspensions.

“This year we’ve suffered with with the rub of the green with a lot of injuries and it’s hampered us. But, touch wood, we’re okay at the minute.”

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Defender proud of Stags' solid defence
mansfieldtown.net, 13th October 2016

Stags’ defender Krystian Pearce says he and his fellow defenders should take pride in their solid defensive record.

The Birmingham-born former Torquay defender has made ten appearances for the Stags this season and has been an ever-present since returning from injury in the 2-1 away victory against Leyton Orient in August.

Stags have the joint second-best defensive record in Sky Bet League Two this season, conceding just two more goals than league leaders Plymouth Argyle and Pearce believes that the record is something to be proud of.

“We’re buzzing defensively with how we’re performing at the moment. We’re just looking to maintain it and keep it going throughout the season,” Pearce said.

“We’ve got one of the best defensive records in the league at the moment and we take pride in that and try and get as many clean sheets as possible.”

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/defender-proud-of-stags-solid-defence-3359993.aspx#23CW1OZmiHJ34Xww.99

Since returning to the side following the knee injury which kept him out for the opening five games of the season, the former England youth international has partnered Kyle Howkins, Lee Collins, Alex Iacovitti and George Taft at the centre of defence and he says the competition for places helps to keep the players’ standards high.

“Kyle’s just come back to training the other day so obviously there’s a lot of centre-backs now and Lee Collins was playing in midfield but now he’s back in defence so there’s a lot of competition for places at the moment.

“They’re all good players so hopefully I can just keep my place and then whoever I’m playing with, hopefully we can form a good partnership and maintain that defensive record.”

After seeing striker Matt Green named on the bench for the Stags’ last four matches, Pearce says it has acted as warning to the rest of the squad that they will need to fight for their place in the team.

“Obviously Matt Green’s a big figure at the club, so the players know that if Matt Green’s not getting in the team, then we all have to fight for our place because no-one’s safe in the team.”

Pearce, alongside skipper Lee Collins, defender valiantly against one of the most potent strike-forces in the league in the form of Notts County duo Jon Stead and Jonathan Forte last weekend and the former Birmingham City man believes the Stags can now use the victory as a platform to build on.

“I think everyone’s buzzing at the moment. Obviously it’s a big derby win on Saturday which kicks us on. We’re all in a good place at the moment, the team spirit’s high at the moment and hopefully we can maintain that.

“Getting back-to-back wins is what you aim to do so if we’re serious about promotion, we’ve got to be putting back-to-back wins on the board.”

Supporters can view Krystian Pearce’s news conference, in full, on Stags PlayerHD.

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Time for back-to-back wins, says Stags defender Pearce
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 13 October 2016

Mansfield Town defender Krystian Pearce said the Stags need to start getting back-to-back victories if they are to mount a serious promotion challenge.

The club are on a high after last weekend’s 3-1 home local derby victory over Notts County moved them to ninth ahead of this Saturday’s visit of Wycombe Wanderers.

But, despite having the joint second lowest goals conceded in the division after 12 games, Mansfield have yet to register successive League wins.

“That’s the next step,” said Pearce. “Obviously getting back-to-back wins is what you aim to do.

“If we are serious about promotion we have got to be putting back-to-back wins on the board.”

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/local-sport/time-for-back-to-back-wins-says-stags-defender-pearce-1-8179631?

On visitors Wycombe, he said: “It’s obviously going to be a difficult game.

“They still play the same way they played last season.

“They’ve got big units up front who like to bring other people into play. Obviously I will be trying to stop that.”

Pearce is hoping many of the fans who helped them to victory over his former club last weekend will turn up again and be just as noisy.

“We want to get promoted and we need the backing of the fans to help us do that,” he said.

“So hopefully they will be there on Saturday and cheer us all on.

“It was a positive result for everyone involved with the club.

“Obviously the fans are going to be buzzing - a local derby win and last minute winner as well.

“With Matt Green coming on and scoring two and Hendo (Darius Henderson) coming on and scoring as well there is a lot of competition for places at the moment.

“Kyle (defender Howkins) has just come back to training now so there is even more competition now. It’s a good place to be.

“Everyone in the squad knows you have to perform if you want to stay on the pitch, and I think that shows with everyone trying their best.”

Last weekend Stags’ back four managed to shut out the division’s top-scoring pair in Jon Stead and Jonathan Forte and Pearce said:

“They are probably one of the best partnerships we’ve faced so far this season. As a back four I thought we dealt with it.

“It took a bit longer than I’d hoped to adjust to them, but we managed to snuff them out in the end and minimise their threat.

“We have one of the best defensive records in the league at the moment. We take pride in that and try to get as many clean sheets as possible.

“Being a derby game you are always going to be a bit more pumped for it and being a former club it was a big one for me personally.”

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Stags consistently doing the right things, says manager Murray
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray believes his side got back on the winning track by sticking to their guns and “consistently doing the right things.”

The Stags go into Saturday’s League Two match against Wycombe Wanderers at One Call Stadium on the back of two wins - after going winless throughout September.

After a Checkatrade Trophy victory at Port Vale, the Stags defeated neighbours Notts County 3-1 in a thrilling local derby last weekend.

“Obviously I was chuffed with the outcome and I felt overall we deserved the three points. It was another good strong performance from us, as we have in recent weeks,” Murray said.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-consistently-doing-the-right-things-says-manager-murray-1-8181218?

“You don’t want to speak too soon as the game can be horrible at times. But you earn that luck by consistently doing the right things. We’ve done that. I felt when we weren’t getting that rub of the green we were still doing the right things.

“It was a lesson for me as, even though we tweaked little things that we felt got us back on track, we didn’t make major changes, which last season I probably did when we were chasing results a little bit.

“It as an interesting process to go through but the boys were always confident during that little spell when we weren’t losing games but drawing too many and not scoring goals.

“The boys believed in what we were doing and the message was, and is, keep doing what you are doing.”

Murray, whose side are now chasing back-to-back league wins for the first time this season, also thought the seven-match run, in all competitions, without a win was blown out of proportion by some supporters.

“It’s weird and you can’t explain it,” he said. “But I get it and I totally understand it as I feel the same, sometimes as football people and football supporters you can’t see the wood for the trees so to speak - especially when you keep hearing a fat, bald manager saying we are playing well and performances are high, and you’re not winning every game.

“So the semi-blip was blown out of proportion to what it was in my eyes. But I’ve learned to deal with that in the environment we’re in. We’ll have these stages again - they happen, whether it’s two games or four games. It’s how you come out the other side.

“What I have learned in this game is that everybody wanted to speak to me and the players. I had four million texts, four million phone calls saying you’re the best thing since sliced bread. Two weeks later everyone wanted to kill me. There has to be a level of consistency and I don’t get too down or too carried way - that’s my learning curve. I used to run off and cry for four days when we had lost.

“We are doing our best - that’s all we can do. If that’s not good enough then I’ll get my coat.”

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High hopes for teenage Stags striker after international call-up
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town’s young striker Zayn Hakeem has won double praise from within the club as he prepares to join the Antigua and Barbuda Under-20 squad for World Cup qualifiers for the rest of the month.

Hakeem, who will fly out to the Caribbean on Wednesday, is in the squad to face Curacao, St Kitts and Nevis, and Bermuda after continiung his impressive form from last season.

The 17-year-old has scored four league goals for the Stags’ youth team, who are top of EFL Youth Alliance North East Division, and also played for the first team as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers in the EFL Cup.

Manager Adam Murray said the striker’s call-up was well deserved, while central defender Krystian Pearce said the teenager would learn a great deal from his international experience.

“I am sure he is buzzing to get that international recognition and I hope he takes it in his stride and kicks on from there,” said Pearce.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/high-hopes-for-teenage-stags-striker-after-international-call-up-1-8181301?

“There are a lot of different aspects in terms of off the field and what you have to do in preparing for games, plus the media training.

“So there’s a lot that goes with it. “You don’t realise how much travelling can take out of your body. It will be good for him to learn about his body and how he adapts to that.

“He has got all the attributes needed to be a top striker. Hopefully he can knuckle down and keep working hard and everything will fall into place with him.”

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Wycombe boss not concerned about away form yet
11 OCT 2016 BY TIM STREET, getbucks.co.uk

Ainsworth confident Chairboys will break their duck on the road soon

Gareth Ainsworth is not yet concerned about Wycombe Wanderers' away form - despite the Chairboys being yet to win on the road in the league this season.

Wycombe's excellent run of three home wins on the spin were brought to a crashing halt on Saturday with a 1-0 reverse at Yeovil Town .

But with journeys to Mansfield and Doncaster still to come this month, the Blues boss is confident his side can find a cure for their travel sickness.

He said: “I'm not at all concerned. Usually we're very good on the road, as we have been for the past two seasons. It was one of those days, and unfortunately it's come on the road, where we want to get our away form going.

http://www.getbucks.co.uk/sport/football/news/wycombe-boss-not-concerned-away-12009020?

“But we're getting the best of this squad back now, and I'm sure things will turn around quite quickly. We've got a long October with lots of away trips, and plenty of chances to get some points on the board away from home.

“They only had two chances and one went in, but on the other side, we didn't create too much more, and that's the story of the game. One mistake has cost us, but we didn't play well at all, and that's something I'll have to put right next week.

“We got sucked into their game a bit, and it was difficult to get our game going. But look at the positives - the last three games have been fantastic, and that's what makes me feel even worse about this performance.”

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Joe Jacobson on how Wycombe Wanderers can cure their away day blues - starting at Mansfield
13 OCT 2016, BY TIM STREET, getbucks.co.uk

Chairboys yet to win on the road this season and visit Mansfield on Saturday

http://www.getbucks.co.uk/sport/football/news/joe-jacobson-how-wycombe-wanderers-12022122?

While Joe Jacobson cannot nail the reason for Wycombe's sudden travel sickness, he reckons the quality of opposition they have faced so far on the road has played a part.

The Chairboys are yet to win away from home in League Two this season, flying in the face of their excellent away form over the past two campaigns.

Last weekend's drab defeat at Yeovil , coming as it did off the back of three impressive home wins, was perhaps the most disappointing so far.

Jacobson said: “I don't know what it is - but we've played four of the top six away from home already in the shape of Portsmouth, Luton, Carlisle and Crawley - so that's probably a factor.

“For the last few years we've almost been better away from home than at home, and it's hard to put your finger on why.

“It's suited our game to have teams coming at us and hitting them on the break, but that's perhaps not been happening as much. It's up to us to go out and counter attack teams again.”

Wycombe have the perfect chance to bounce back this weekend at Mansfield, where they are unbeaten in their last four visits, including a frighteningly good 2-0 win last Hallowe'en .

Jacobson added: “It's all about learning and adapting. We've worked on creating more this week, and being cuter around the opposition's box.

“We go into every game looking for the win, but sometimes you just don't do enough, and that was the case last Saturday.

“We have a good record at Mansfield though, so it could be the perfect place to get our away form back on track.”

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