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Stags hit new heights heading into Christmas
mansfieldtown.net, 15th December 2015
Manager Adam Murray today praised the efforts of his players as the Stags head into the Christmas period at their highest league position since 2003.
Surpassing all expectations, Murray’s men sit in seventh position in Sky Bet League Two, with 33 points from 21 matches.
Stags last reached such heights before Christmas 12 years ago, in a season which Stags eventually lost in the Nationwide League Division Three play-off final to Huddersfield.
Speaking at today’s news conference at One Call Stadium, the Mansfield boss applauded his squad for delivering a number of notable results this season.
“We're getting a lot of plaudits from the football world at the minute because the progression which the players are making is commendable,” said Murray.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/stags-hit-new-heights-heading-into-christmas-2853054.aspx#R8MRhzykEfsA6ELy.99
“We’re keeping on our path and not letting anything affect that.
“We’re fully focussed on what we’re doing this season. We want our season to come on as we go on.”
Even though Murray is content with his team’s progress so far this term, he insists there is more to come.
“You can’t rush our journey or process. It will take as long as it needs to take.
“We all want to be the final product which I have in my head and no one wants that more than me.
“[But] we couldn’t have asked for any more in the first five months of the season, with the steps we have taken.
“If we can go into the second half of the season 'in the mixer' [play-offs], we’ll have a chance of succeeding.
“We’ve been brilliant up to now, no one can take that away from us. It’s now a case of continuing the work we’ve done, improving on what we have done and becoming better at what we do."
In the final match before Christmas, Stags face a Cambridge United side at the R Costings Abbey Stadium who have won the last three league matches.
“They’ve got the new manager ‘rush’ at the minute," said Murray
"Shaun will get them fired up, working hard, pressing and harrying teams down. They’ve picked up some good results. It’ll be a good game for us, another challenge."
In other news, it was revealed that captain Nicky Hunt may be available for selection in two weeks following a hamstring problem which has ruled him out of the last five games.
The Stags boss also confirmed that his players will travel overnight to Morecambe on Christmas Day for the fixture at the Globe Arena on 26 December.
“We’re doing things properly. So far up to now, the club, as well as the team, have done things properly.
“We’ll be in the hotel on Christmas day and we'll prepare right.
"The bottom line is three points. We all want to be with our families and open presents but I'm about winning. Unfortunately, that’s the way it is for footballers.
“A break can be had in May when the season is over, but for nine/ten months we’re paid to work and produce."
For the full interview from today's news conference, log in to Stags Player.
Stags boss Adam Murray won’t make signings for sake of numbers and won’t upset his small-but-versatile squad
chad.co.uk, by Graham Smyth, Tuesday 15 December 2015
Adam Murray will not sign new players in January if it will upset the morale of the group who have got themselves into the League Two play-off positions.
The Stags boss admitted he has had a ‘brief’ look at what might be possible in terms of additions to his small squad.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/stags-boss-adam-murray-won-t-make-signings-for-sake-of-numbers-and-won-t-upset-his-small-but-versatile-squad-1-7626367#ixzz3uPhR9p71
But he insists there won’t be signings for the sake of increasing the squad size.
“We’ve had a brief look,” he said. “I imagine a lot of the top seven to 10 will strengthen.
“We’ll sit down in a few weeks and see if we need to strengthen anywhere.
“What I won’t do is bring people in to force people out.
“I’ve got a squad of 18/19 outfield senior players, any of them can go in and they’ve been fantastic for me, I won’t be bringing players in for the sake of numbers.”
But if Murray feels a player will help Stags to stay in the promotion hunt, he’ll sit down with the powers that be and thrash out the possibility of recruiting.
“If there’s an area we feel might get us to the next step and might keep us in the top seven or even push us into the top three then that will be a conversation the chairman, the board and myself will have to have, and ultimately they’ll have the final say on what we can do,” he said.
“You can look and think he’d be brilliant in my team, but there’s a lot of dynamics that come with that.
“If there are one or two people who come into the eyeline and we think they fit into our group first and foremost as people, and then as footballers they’ll improve us and have an impact on the second half of the season then we’ll sit down and weigh it up.”
Murray lauded the versatility of his tight-knit squad, who travel to Cambridge on Saturday looking to maintain or even improve on their seventh-place position.
“Us being in the play-offs at the minute has been built on a real unity. We have a small squad but we love that, it’s by choice.
“You suffer with suspensions and injuries but because we have a multi-functional squad, signing players who can play two or three positions that was in view of the worst case scenarios.
“You look at the last few weeks we’ve lost our balance a little bit with our two full-backs out.
“We’ve been privileged to get Blair Adams and balance one side up, but we’re playing a centre-half on the other side so you do lose a bit of your flow.
“But you have to get through that and we’ve got people in our team who can play different positions and not just do a job, be effective there.”
Saturday’s hosts Cambridge have had a resurgence of late under recently appointed manager Shaun Derry, winning their last three games.
But Murray’s Mansfield are full of confidence: “We’ve gone into every game this season thinking we can beat everybody, that hinges on confidence and not getting too cocky.
“We have a real belief that we can achieve this season. Cambridge have got good momentum but we’re a very good side on our day and we’ll go there to win.”
No presents and turkey for Stags - Mansfield players to spend Christmas Day travelling to Morecambe
chad.co.uk, by Graham Smyth, Tuesday 15 December 2015
While most people are unwrapping gifts and tucking into roast turkey, Mansfield Town will spend their Christmas Day travelling up to Lancashire, ready for the Boxing Day clash with Morecambe.
Adam Murray believes it’s vital that his players prepare correctly for the game, so Christmas Day won’t be a day of rest for Stags.
He said: “We’ll be travelling Christmas Day, unfortunately for the boys.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/no-presents-and-turkey-for-stags-mansfield-players-to-spend-christmas-day-travelling-to-morecambe-1-7626531#ixzz3uQtaHBRv
“We do things properly and so far up to now, the football club has done the basics properly and they have backed me on this one to get the boys up there Christmas day, we’ll be in a hotel and prepare right.
“We all want to be with our families and we all want to open presents, but it’s all about winning and it’s all about three points.
“Unfortunately that’s the way it is for footballers.”
Murray insists footballers are aware of the sacrifices they have to make when they decide to pursue a career in the sport.
“You can have a break in May when the season is over,” he said.
“For nine, 10 months we get paid to work and to produce and unfortunately that’s the way it us.
“You come into this living knowing what the pluses and minuses are.
“Christmas is a time that is normal business for us. I think we’ve got two days off over the five weeks, so we’ll be in, we’ll be working because we need to come out of this period in the top seven or in and around it.”
The Mansfield Town boss is adamant that if his side can stick around the play-off positions in League Two as they end 2015, it will bode very well for the rest of this season.
And he has an idea of how many victories they’ll require to achieve their aims.
“I’ve said all along that if we can go into the second half of the season in that mixer, we’ll have a chance of succeeding.
“It’s a case of continuing what we’ve done, improving on what we’ve done and becoming a better side.
“We want to win every game. I’ve got a number of wins in my head that we need to get out of the remaining games this season.
“Up to now we’ve been doing points per month targets we want to hit, we’re at the point now where we want to go for wins.”
Stags fan question of the week - who is the best player Murray’s men have faced this season?
chad.co.uk, by Graham Smyth
Our Stags fan question of the week comes from Matt Soto on Twitter.
He posed a question for Adam Murray, and the Chad put it to the Mansfield Town boss at the club’s press conference on Tuesday.
Q: Who is the best player to play against Stags this season and why?
Adam Murray: “There’s been a few to be fair. On Saturday we saw, without going into too much detail, Jay Simpson. He’s the top goalscorer in the league, he had one chance and scored. You look at the movement, even though we could have done better to defend it, it was Championship movement. They are the fine lines when you go into big games against the play-off teams, the one or two decisions. He’s done one bit of class movement that was Championship standard and scored from it.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/stags-fan-question-of-the-week-who-is-the-best-player-murray-s-men-have-faced-this-season-1-7626576#ixzz3uTRnONJT
When you look at the players that stand out, they’re the players that keep the ball out of the net at one end and put the ball in the net at the other.
There are too many to name. This year the league is of a very high standard, a lot of teams are at that standard. Normally you get two or three who run away with it and you can’t catch them. This year there’s nine or 10, it could be anybody. It’s made the league and each game very tough, you come up against very good players.
I think the coaches and the managers at our level have become even better, they’re tactically very aware, you’re constantly having to think outside the box. For me it’s brilliant, I’m a year into the job and I’m learning rapidly, because I have no choice.”
Murray says Stags are wary of Shaun Derry’s Cambridge and their ‘new manager rush’ but stay focused on their game
chad.co.uk, by Graham Smyth
Mansfield Town will be wary of opponents still enjoying the ‘new manager rush’ on Saturday, as they take on Cambridge United away from home.
Stags will face the side who recently appointed Shaun Derry, and a side in form with three wins on the trot.
Adam Murray knows it will be a stern test.
He said: “They’ve got the new manager rush at the minute.
Read more: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/local-sport/murray-says-stags-are-wary-of-shaun-derry-s-cambridge-and-their-new-manager-rush-but-stay-focused-on-their-game-1-7631288#ixzz3ubHxcmuz
“Shaun will get them fired up, working hard. They’ve picked up some good results, the last three they’ve won.
“With where they are as a club, they expect to be in the top couple so they haven’t got off to the start they wanted.
“Shaun has turned it round so it will be a big game for us, another challenge, but we’re fully focused on what we’re doing.
Murray, like everyone involved at Stags, would like to see his seventh-placed side continue to improve but he’s warning that they’re not quite where he wants them to be.
“We want our season to come on as we go on,” he said.
“We want to be the final product that I have in my head but we can’t rush our journey, our process, it will take as long as it will take.
“I think the steps we’ve taken in first five months, we couldn’t ask for any more. Expectations rise and we have to match that.”
With that said, he’s still full of praise for the group of players who have returned Mansfield to the play-off spots.
And if they can up the ante even more between now and the end of the season, Murray is predicting good things.
“For the first time since 2003 we’ve been in the League Two play-off positions at this time of the year.
“Credit to the players.
“We get a lot of plaudits from the footballing world because the progression the team and the players are making is commendable.
“We’re keeping focuised and not letting anything affect that.
“What we’ve done for 21 games, if we improve that a little bit, take the percentage up which we expect to do and repeat what we’ve done for the first half of the season we’ll be in and around it.
“And I think we’d have been chuffed with that at the end of last season.”
DERRY: “WE WANT TO MAINTAIN THE WINNING HABIT”
cambridge-united.co.uk, 17th December 2015
PRE-MATCH INTERVIEW: SHAUN DERRY
Cambridge United Manager Shaun Derry feels he has identified a number of positive traits amongst the U’s first team in recent weeks, and hopes to maintain these winning habits this weekend against Mansfield Town.
The U’s will be aiming to secure their fourth straight win in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday afternoon at the Abbey Stadium and Derry envisages a tough clash with the Stags but hoped the U’s could extend their current form.
“There are good habits that you try to instil into your in team as a manager, and in recent weeks as the level of performances have crept up those habits have begun to show themselves,” said the U’s boss.
Read more at http://www.cambridge-united.co.uk/news/article/derry-we-want-to-maintain-the-winning-habit-2856458.aspx#duSzipC1yiFWeOfj.99
“Winning itself becomes a habit and we want to maintain that.
“We are looking upwards and forwards to the game, so I want us to produce. I never put the pressure on the players to produce a result but I will be pushing them to deliver another performance.”
He continued: “There is no divine right to say that we are going to get the three points because we are playing on home soil, Mansfield Town are in the top six and have good players, a good manager and a good set up.
“Since my first game against Oxford, everyone we have played has been of a real high standard. However, we’ve managed to give every team that we have faced a good game so that is what I am expecting on Saturday against Mansfield.
“If the players are able to carry the messages that we give them before the game out on to the field for 95 minutes, then we are more than capable of getting the points and continuing our run.”
Tickets for the game against Mansfield Town are available to buy online, in-store and over the phone by calling 01223 566 500.
Latest | December 2015