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Archived News from December 2015

23rd December 2015 10:19

audio interview with Adam Murray from Radio Nottingham

video interview with Adam Murray and Adam Chapman from Mansfield 103.2 (full video interviews on StagsPlayer)


Murray sees U's draw as fair result
mansfieldtown.net, 19th December 2015

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray believes today’s draw with Cambridge United was the right result after seeing both sides create chances to take all three points.

The game ended 1-1 after captain Adam Chapman’s fierce free-kick from 35-yards handed the Stags the lead before U’s substitute Ryan Donaldson levelled before half time.

Murray thinks a point apiece was probably the right outcome for both teams in the end, but believes his side’s solidity allowed them the opportunity to almost take all three points late in the game.

“I think it was a fair result in the end,” said Murray.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-sees-us-draw-as-fair-result-2860153.aspx#MwybB3Ktdvo4QD7L.99

“In the first 30-35 minutes we were exceptional; we had a lot of possession, a lot of the ball but at times we lost our head when our line was too high.

“In the second half we played a little bit on the counter-attack; as much as everyone wants us to come here and run riot at Cambridge they are a very good team.

“It was just a case of tweaking it a little bit until we got back into the game; defensively we kept our organisation and discipline and we were a little bit compact and in the final period we felt we had a foot-hold in the game and went for it again.”

With Murray opting for a system which saw striker Matt Green leading the line with support from either side in the form of Matty Blair and Reggie Lambe, the gaffer insists that it allowed for more penetration in the final third.

“[In the] first half we tried to keep the pace in the front three of Blair, Lambe and Green. At times it did leave us vulnerable and a little bit open but in the second half we knew they’d come out and have a right go at it as they had the momentum before half time.

“We knew it would be a tough test as they’ve got momentum and they’re playing on the front-foot, but it’s a good point. What we need to do now is get our home form right because that’s a big thing because away from home, if you don’t get beaten it’s a good result.

“We can turn that home form [around], which isn’t desperate but we can improve a little bit, combined with our away form, then we’ll be in the mixer. But for now it’s the little things that aren’t allowing us to get to that elite level which is where we ultimately want to be.”

Despite slipping out of the play-offs and into eighth going into Christmas, Murray is delighted with his side’s efforts during the first half of the campaign - adding that he is enjoying feeling the weight of expectation and higher demands of the Mansfield faithful.

He said: “I think if you look at the progress we have made over the first half of the season, we’ve been immense. The boys have been superb to take on the amount of change and the amount of messages in over five or six months and they deserve a lot of credit for that, but we’ve put the club in a position where they expect more.

“The fans expect more because we enjoy winning; it’s not very often we get beaten so the euphoria of winning football matches brings pressure, but it’s a good pressure.

“Last season we had a target of number of points we needed to stay in the Football League so that was pressure, this is different pressure which is to go and be a great football team which for me is what we’re in the job for.

“We’ll keep our focus and our intensity in our work along with our beliefs and our ethics and I thought there were some really good performances today.”


Cambridge United 1 Mansfield Town 1: Murray pleased with point
Nottingham Post, December 19, 2015

Manager Adam Murray believes Mansfield must now replicate their strong away form at Field Mill if they are to finish inside the top seven.

The Stags drew 1-1 at Cambridge after Adam Chapman's goal midway through the first half was cancelled out by Ryan Donaldson before the interval.

It means they have now lost just two games on the road since September, but won just twice at home in the same period.

And with Mansfield now hovering just outside of the play-off places, Murray wants to see their home form change in order to join the top dogs.

"It's a good point. Now we need to get our home form right," he said.

"We knew in the second half they would give it a right go but we looked a little more disciplined.

Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Cambridge-United-1-Mansfield-Town-1-Match-report/story-28394882-detail/story.html#ixzz3v8Kw6RQm

"Towards the end of the game we felt we had a foothold and went to win it.

"So overall it's a point away from home and we have not been beaten again.

"If we look at the progress we have made in the first half of the season it's been immense.

"We have put the club now where we expect more and the fans expect more.

"It's a pressure but it's a good pressure. This is a pressure you go into the job for.

"We've plateaued out and we need to take that next step."

Mansfield top scorer Matt Green headed Matt Blair's cross over the bar in the opening minutes, but they were soon in front when Chapman's 35-yard free-kick deceived goalkeeper Sam Beasant..

Luke Berry then had a goal chalked out for offside at the other end but, as the pressure increased the equaliser arrived.

Early substitute Donaldson let fly from 20 yards, but the aid of a deflection left keeper Brian Jensen to watch helplessly as the ball sailed past him.

The veteran stopper then denied Ben Williamson from a narrow angle and Barry Corr stabbed wide.

In a tame second half both Green and Krystian Pearce were denied by Beasant as Murray and Mansfield were forced to settle for a point for the second consecutive outing.

"I think it was probably a fair result," the Stags boss accepted.

"For the first 30 to 35 minutes we were exceptional. Then we had 10 minutes at the end of the first half where we had total head loss.

"These are the little bits we have got to iron out if we want to get to the next level, if we want to be one of the elite teams in this league.

"The goal we gave away was sloppy, it really was a poor goal to give away. If we defend the box like we normally do, we come away with a hard-fought one-nil win.

"In the second half we played a little on the counter attack. Cambridge are a very good team, so we knew it would be a tough test because they have momentum."


Chapman aiming for strong festive period after U's point
mansfieldtown.net, 19th December 2015

Stags’ midfielder Adam Chapman believes the fixtures over the Christmas and New Year period could define the club’s season.

Chapman was on the scoresheet for the first time this season in today’s 1-1 draw with Cambridge United, putting the Stags ahead before U’s substitute Ryan Donaldson equalized with a deflected effort.

Although the midfielder admits that the upcoming games don’t make or break a season, it could dictate whether the Stags will be the occupants of a play-off spot - or chasing one in the months to come.

“[It’s] a massive four/five games now. This period doesn’t make or break your season, but it defines your season. In the last two to three months of the season, if you can go and get some good points on the board in these four/five games then [you’re in a good position].

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/chapman-aiming-for-strong-festive-period-2860269.aspx#ZikH6Kybi5emvbxH.99

“We need to start kicking on now at home - we’re not getting beat but we’re not beating as many teams as we’d like to - if we can get through this period with a good points tally then I think that sets us in really good stead to be successful this season.”

Chapman struck his first goal since re-joining the Stags on a permanent deal with a 35-yard free-kick in the first half, but he believes there was a slice of luck involved.

“It was funny because I’ve been getting ‘bantered’ all week. I wasn’t going to shoot - it was the manager who actually told me to shoot so I was trying to disguise it and tell Taff (Ryan Tafazolli) and Pearcey (Krystian Pearce) to go around the back.

“To be fair I think the ‘keeper should have saved it, but I’ll take everything I can,” Chapman said.

The former Stags’ loanee is the only member of the squad to have played in every game of the current campaign and he was happy with the point they picked up today against a good Cambridge side.

“If you said to us at the start of the game: ‘you come here and you get a point’ then you take it, because they’re one of the best teams in this league - now they’ve got the new manager they’ve really kicked on and they’re on a little run of form.

“They did play well today but I thought we battered them for 35 minutes in the first half. We should have seen it out but we conceded a sloppy goal.”

Chapman continued: “It’s a good point, not many teams will come here and get anything but we should’ve put the game to bed in the first 30-35 minutes and probably could’ve nicked it at the end.”

The Retford-born man has been given the captain’s armband in the absence of Nicky Hunt in recent weeks and admits that he does enjoy the extra responsibility it brings.

“It’s something that won’t change the way I play the game. It might subconsciously give me a little boost - I do enjoy it, I’m not going to sit here and say it’s not something I enjoy, because I do.

“Whether I’ve got it [the armband] or not, I still like to be a leader, I still like to be a voice, I still like to be organising and I still like to drive the team on and take responsibility as much as I can.

“I am enjoying it, but on the flip side, I want Nicky Hunt back fit as soon as possible.”

Although for many, Christmas is a time for relaxation and family-time, Chapman insists that it’s no time for the Stags’ players to take their foot off the pedal as they travel to Morecambe on Boxing Day.

“There’s no time to let your hair down and enjoy yourself, but that’s the way it is. It’s not new to anybody, we’ve all been in the game long enough now.

“I actually prefer it, you get bigger crowds, you get kids and their dads come, it gives you that sense of making the fans’ Christmas that little bit better if you can go and nick a win somewhere [on] Boxing Day.”


cambridge-united.co.uk, 19th December 2015

Cambridge United Manager Shaun Derry says he’s pleased his side clinched a point following a tricky tussle with Mansfield Town which ended in a 1-1 draw at the Abbey Stadium.

Ryan Donaldson levelled for the U’s with a left footed strike ten minutes before the break after Adam Chapman had given the Stags the lead, and a good spell ahead of half-time almost saw Cambridge claw themselves into the lead, however the game finished even.

Whilst the U’s boss specified his eagerness to continue the U’s current unbeaten run in Sky Bet League Two, Derry admitted there are some games where teams must settle for a point and move on to the next task.

He said: “We have to respect we were up against an opponent who are high up in the league who had a good game plan, and be pleased with a point from a tough game.

Read more at http://www.cambridge-united.co.uk/news/article/derry-satisfied-with-point-against-a-tough-mansfield-2860074.aspx#iKAHBAmzeb7LrrUp.99

“I always say let’s be on the front foot, but there are certain games at stages in the season where you have just got to take the point and move on to the next game. We experienced one of those games today.

“Our key message before the game was don’t give the points away and I never felt that we did that.”

He continued: “We responded well to what was a poor goal from our perspective to concede, and managed to impose ourselves especially in the last 25 minutes of the first half. We possibly could have nicked another goal before half time.

“The current run in the League is good and I’m impressed but I won’t be fully satisfied because I want us to continue it. I certainly didn’t want to be talking about how we had given our points away to Mansfield because the best teams don’t, which was far from the case today.”

Meanwhile commenting on the outstanding support from the Amber Army, Derry added: “The momentum the crowd can give you is phenomenal and I want to thank each and every one of them for coming out and supporting us at a time when money is sparse.

“The numbers that turn out at the Abbey Stadium and travel away are fantastic.”


Cambridge boss Shaun Derry told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire:

"I'm delighted with the manner in which we've taken got ourselves back in the game.
"I always look for a response and the team gave me that today. We came up against a really good team.
"The best thing for me today is that we got something out of the day."


Cambridge United 1 Mansfield Town 1: Ryan Donaldson strikes it lucky in scoring raffle for U’s
CambridgeNews, By Michael Vaughton

If Ryan Donaldson had been put in front of the press after Saturday's draw with Mansfield and brought a book of football quotes with him, the one that reads 'if you don't buy a ticket you won't win the raffle' would have been appropriate.

The midfielder's eyes lit up when he saw a huge gap appear in the Mansfield defence nine minutes before half time, and he decided to have a flutter with his left foot.

And he cashed in when he saw his low drive take a wicked deflection off a defender and leave goalkeeper Brian Jensen with no chance.

There was also something of a touch of fortune that Donaldson found himself in that position, as he had begun the match on the bench and had to be introduced early on in place of injured right-back Cameron Gayle.

But Cambridge United manager Shaun Derry was pleased to see the former Newcastle youngster, who had impressed him in training and with his showing in last Monday's Final Third Development match at Wimbledon, make the most of Gayle's misfortune.

"I am looking for a group of guys who are all wanting to start in the 11. Of course I can only pick 11 of them, which causes a problem," said Derry.

Read more: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Cambridge-United-1-Mansfield-Town-1-Ryan/story-28398408-detail/story.html#ixzz3v8LFrGzM

"Ryan played in Monday night's game for an hour and played really professionally, and did his job.

"He's done his job throughout the week and he got a just reward. When one door closes, another opens."

Donaldson's strike, which cancelled out Mansfield captain Adam Chapman's long-range free kick, proved to be the door shutting on the goalscoring action for the afternoon.

The U's could have added to their tally in a rip-roaring end to the first half, when Ben Williamson was twice denied, Luke Berry headed wide and Barry Corr just missed the target with a powerful prod.

United also ended the contest well, with Berry coming to the fore and trying his best to slice open a resolute and well-organised Mansfield defence.

But there were also some quiet spells where the touches and flicks did not quite come off, and they were not able to test Jensen as much as they would have liked.

Derry has certainly increased the U's energy levels since his arrival, and hitting those heights for 90 minutes week in, week out is something even the best teams can only dream of.

"I think at times we're going to have find a different way of winning games," said Derry.

"We've got no divine right to win as we'll be up against an opponent with a game plan as well.

"For me, to really press those buttons every single day and encourage them to produce that on a Saturday afternoon, there is going to be some sort of a lull.

"Now the key part of it is that when that lull does come, you're still in the game and you don't give away cheap goals and you continue to look forward.

"We didn't reach the high ferocity that we did last Saturday (at Plymouth), but we managed to get a point."

As much as United would have liked to have sharpened things up in the final third, they were very much on the ball at the other end of the pitch.

Goalkeeper Sam Beasant recovered from the disappointment of seeing Chapman's speculative strike get through his grasp by being rock solid in the air and producing some important stops late on, while Leon Legge and Mark Roberts stood firm in front of him.

And Greg Taylor and Harrison Dunk, who moved to right-back and left-back respectively after Gayle's injury, also deserve plenty of credit for their shifts.

"I was pleased with the back four and the way we defended certain parts of the pitch, so all in all we're happy," said Derry.

"I never really felt we were under a lot of sustained pressure from Mansfield, which was testament to how we approached the game."

A fourth consecutive league win eluded the U's, but the supporters should have gone away with some more good things to talk about over their Christmas turkey, as well as hope that 2016 could prove to be another successful year.

"I'm enjoying it so much, the numbers that come and support us home and away, are incredible at this time of the year," said Derry.

"We had the best part of 4,500-5,000 fans come to cheer us on, when it's a real busy Christmas period, so I want to say 'thank you', of course I do.

"As a football club we really appreciate it."


Shaun Derry pleased with Cambridge United response against Mansfield Town
CambridgeNews, By Michael Vaughton

Shaun Derry was proud of his Cambridge United side for stretching their unbeaten run in Sky Bet League Two to four matches with Saturday's 1-1 draw with Mansfield.

The U's were unable to make it four league wins on the trot for the first time since April 2014, but they fought back to earn a point thanks to Ryan Donaldson's equaliser before the break.

And manager Derry felt victory could have been achieved had they netted again before half time when they enjoyed their best spell of the afternoon and went close on a number of occasions.

"I've talked before about crucial times in games and our most impressive moment in the game was just before half time, where we had a couple of chances to get that second goal," said Derry.

Read more: http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Shaun-Derry-pleased-Cambridge-United-response/story-28399927-detail/story.html#ixzz3v8LbRhVT

"Then the second half becomes a different type of game, but we didn't get the second goal and we managed to get a point.

"At the end of the day it's four games unbeaten and that's something we're very proud of.

"If you're looking at whether it a fantastic spectacle for spectators then you'd probably say no, and a lot of it was scrappy.

"But it's not always nice football to watch. You've got to play the tough games as well - there are many of them in the season and this was one of them."

The draw saw the U's move up one place in the table, but they are now six points adrift of the play-off places.

And Derry was glad his side responded to going behind, with Chapman's goal coming via a free kick from at least 30 yards out.

"We've come up against a real tough opponent," said Derry.

"They took the lead and again I'm delighted with the manner in which we got ourselves back in the game.

"It (Mansfield's) was a tough goal to take for us, but I always look for a response and my team gave me that.

"At the end of the day, I've been here six or seven games now, and things have been going so well for us that expectations rise, but we came up against a really good team who made it tough for us.

"The best thing for me was we got something out of the game - and deservedly so - and I'm really pleased about that.

"Both managers will probably say they could have nicked something, but that's as good as it gets and I thought it was a fair result."



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