MURRAY, JOHN STILL AND SHAUN WHALLEY REACTION
Murray takes positives despite 'frustrating' defeat
Caretaker boss looks back on 3-0 defeat to Luton Town at Kenilworth Road.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-takes-positives-despite-frustrating-defeat-2114458.aspx#uUGO9HkSIoTEMz2h.99
Caretaker manager Adam Murray admitted that yesterday’s 3-0 defeat at promotion candidates Luton Town was frustrating, but believes our players are making progression.
Our team faced an uphill challenge at Kenilworth Road after Paul Benson struck an opener in the 19th minute, which put the Hatters on course for a seventh straight home win.
Shaun Whalley then made it 2-0 with a cross-cum-shot against the run of play on the hour mark and struck again a couple of minutes later to seal the points.
“The scoreline hurts and I think we gave them the goals if I’m being totally honest,” said Murray. “They weren’t goals where they just kind of ripped us apart and we looked nowhere near it - we just gave them the goals.
“There were a lot of positives from the game for me, but I think frustration is a good word.”
He continued: “At the time of the second goal, I felt as if we had a good hold on the game. We were keeping possession well, we were probing and I think we’d just been down in there area, where Vadaine (Oliver) should have slipped Junior (Brown) in for a goal.
“The ball then goes down the other end, we make a bad decision, and the lad ends up trying to cross it and it goes in, so it was a frustrating day.
“The pleasing thing for me and it was one of the big things I was looking for in this game, was the progression, and the boys are taking on board what we’re trying to implement.”
The 33-year-old added: “Luton are ahead of us at the minute. Their way of doing things has been put together over the last two-and-a-half years. Ours has been put together over three training sessions, so I’m not going to expect the world from these players.”
D-day looming for Murray over Stags job
Adam Murray will take the rest of the weekend to make the biggest decision of his career.
Murray today lost for the first time in his three games as Mansfield Town caretaker manager after two wins this week with a not entirely unexpected 3-0 defeat at title favourites Luton Town.
However, Murray saw enough in his players today to known they have taken his new 4-3-3 passing game on board which excites him.
That has left him torn between going for the job full-time this week and retiring at the age of 33 or going back to playing and hoping another chance like this may come along further down the line.
Chairman John Radford already has a shortlist of six experienced mangers to interview on Tuesday and is now just waiting on Murray to see if his caretaker will officially apply.
“People who know me know I never walk away from a challenge. It’s just if the challenge is right for me,” said Murray.
“I will talk to my wife tomorrow and speak to my family. It’s a big decision and I can’t rush it.
“I have missed playing this week and I would have liked to have been out on the pitch today to try to influence things. It just needed a bit of nous with the goals conceded.
“But I won’t lie, I have enjoyed this week and the reaction I’ve had from the boys.
“Without the progress I’ve seen them make I wouldn’t have a decision to make.
“I can see our ability and the potential for us to be a top side in this league. So that gives me a decision to make. We will see where we are in the next 24-48 hours.
“It’s been great to see the reaction of the lads as I wanted to see if the methods I have in my head could be productive. The players have backed me 110 per cent and that’s been massive for me.
“If they’d gone out there and thought I hadn’t got a clue what I was doing I wouldn’t have a decision to make.”
He added: “I need to decide whether to hang my boots up and concentrate on this, move forward, and give it a real go in making this team a free-flowing effective team as I believe it has the potential to be - or go back to kicking people.
“I want to do this job whether that be now, or in a year or two years. I want to work and develop my philosophy.”
Murray has ruled out the pressure of being a player-manager, though conceded: “Maybe if I got the team to where it needs to be, I could drop in and out when needed.”
Stags ended up clearly second best to a Luton side winning a home league game for a seventh time in a row to go up to second in the table this afternoon.
But Murray said: “Obviously I am disappointed to lose a game of football. I think at key moments in the game you were able to see why Luton are where they are and we are where we are at the minute.
“If we’d come here and been a million miles off them I would have been even more gutted. But in between the two 18-yard boxes I thought we controlled the game for long periods and played some good stuff without affecting the game with it.
“We gave them their goals. The first was sloppy defending, the second was a cross that went in and the third we’ve let him come in off the channel with no one near him.
“They also scored their goals at key moments.
“It’s been a long week. We are three training sessions into a whole new ethos of how to do things.
“The boys have shown they have grasped that and they now need to know how to use it effectively.
“There is no point in keeping the ball, then losing it and conceding. Once we get in the opposition 18 yard box we need to start being effective with it.
“I don’t think it was a 3-0 as we gave them their first two.
“Luton are a side that’s been together for two and half years that function like a machine. And we have gone from black white in just five days.”
He added: “The journey these players have been on, they could have easily thrown the towel in today. But they kept trying to do the right things.
“I knew this would be one of the toughest games of the season and we would be up against it. The biggest thing for me today was to see the progress we’ve made in just a week.
“It won’t happen overnight. I knew the information overload would catch up on us at some stage. It was always going to happen.
“There was only so much I could ask for. I couldn’t expect everything to click and go to plan.
“The positive thing for me was that we are on the right route. I think these boys can play. They just have to be clinical in the final third and not lose their focus as they still have to defend. They need that ruthlessness in both boxes which will come in time.
“The boys can look forward to their day off tomorrow and then whoever takes the reins with the new style can take it forward to the weekend.”
With a new manager in place, Stags will then head to Cambridge United for their FA Cup second round tie on Saturday.
Still admits he was going to substitute Whalley
lutontoday.co.uk, by Mike Simmonds
Hatters boss John Still admitted he was about to take off winger Shaun Whalley before his match-winning double against Mansfield Town yesterday.
Luke Rooney was readied on the touch line to come on, before Whalley took Stags keeper Sascha Studer’s poor clearance, set off for the byline and fired in a cross shot that arrowed into the top corner.
That saw Rooney sent back to the bench and Whalley went on to bag a second with another superb individual attempt.
When asked if it was the winger he had been planning to take off, Still said: “We were. We had planned to play Shaun for about an hour, because he hadn’t had too much football and I wanted to be sensible with him.
“But when he got that goal it gave him another lift, gave him another level, so I thought we’d leave him on.
“Out intention was to play him for an hour, so what do I know?”
Whalley himself had noticed movement on the bench but hadn’t known he was the intended substitution, as he said: “I’ve seen someone getting ready but didn’t know it was me for certain.
“Obviously if the gaffer was doing that then fair play to him, but luckily I’ve scored just before he was going to bring me off and then I’ve scored another one, which is perfect.
“Football’s a crazy game, one minute you’re up there, one minute you’re down there. Luckily its all gone right for me and the lads have got a 3-0 win.”
Luton Manager John Still told BBC Three Counties Radio:
"Losing Paul Benson was a big blow because of the way we wanted to play today.
"Shaun (Whalley) came up with two good goals, his second was a good finish.
"I think we're fortunate that we have players who are capable of coming up with magic moments. If we work hard and do our jobs we can win a game on a magic moment.
"We always have a chance because we are so good defensively."
Mansfield Town caretaker manager Adam Murray told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"The scoreline hurts. I think we gave them the goals if I am totally honest. I don't think they were goals that totally ripped us apart.
"There were a lot of positives from the game for me, but I think frustration is a good word.
"At the time of the second goal I think we had a good hold on the game.
"The pleasing thing for me was the progression and the fact the boys have taken on board what we are trying to implement."
WHALLEY: THIS IS THE CLUB FOR ME
Winger aims to repay the faith after Mansfield brace
Read more at http://www.lutontown.co.uk/news/article/whalley-this-is-the-club-for-me-2121209.aspx#JI6fyJzczDeFd0ML.99
Last Saturday’s two-goal hero Shaun Whalley is desperate to impress the Hatters faithful further after his brace helped down Mansfield.
The winger, who joined the Town last summer from Southport, has seen his opportunities limited at Kenilworth Road, but now he hopes his recent performances can help him stake a regular claim in the team.
“My Luton career hasn’t really started yet,” Whalley admitted after his man-of-the-match display. “I’m hungry and I just want to show everyone that I can stay here and do really well for Luton.
“This is the club for me. I don’t want to be anywhere else. This club is going places and I want to be there with them.”
The winger struck twice in a four-minute spell in the second half against the Stags to seal a comfortable 3-0 win for the Town - their seventh successive League 2 victory at Kenilworth Road - the first a cross-cum-shot that nestled in the top corner before a superb second from the edge of the box.
“For the first I just tried to smash it across goal,” explained the 24-year-old. “If the keeper saves it hopefully someone gets the rebound. As soon as it left my boot I knew it was flying in the top left stanchion, so I was made up.
“The second goal was pleasing too, the confidence of scoring the first gave me the confidence.”
Whalley spent the back end of last season on loan at AFC Telford where he helped the Bucks win the Conference North title.
And the winger thought that after the Hatters’ promotion to the Football League he might be on his way out of Kenilworth Road.
“The manager’s shown a lot of faith in me because he probably could have gotten rid of me in the summer, in all honesty, but he’s stuck with me,” admitted Whalley.
“He knows I can do it and I know I can do it, so I just want to prove him right and obviously he wants to be proved right. Hopefully I’ve done that.
“The gaffer has shown incredible faith in me and I’ll never forget that.
“To put me in when we were unbeaten in 11 and won nine of those games is a massive confidence boost.
“Hopefully I can keep repaying his faith.”
Chris Bowman @bowmancj18
Final game done for @mansfieldtownfc .. Shame couldn't finish with a result. It's been an absolute pleasure working for the club ... 1/2
2/2 ... @mansfieldtownfc some great memories and great people. When one chapter ends, another begins. #Stags
Latest | December 2014