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Archived News from April 2016

22nd April 2016 21:07

Boss says whole club should be proud of players
mansfieldtown.net, 20th April 2016

Stags’ manager Adam Murray says the whole club should be proud of the players following the incredible 3-2 win over Exeter City at St James Park this evening.

Left-back Mal Benning’s thunderous drive accompanied Ryan Tafazolli’s brace to secure Stags’ third consecutive victory, despite a second-half fight-back from the Grecians through Ollie Watkins and Christian Ribeiro.

And following the thrilling 5-0 victory over local rivals Notts County on Saturday, manager Adam Murray says the players deserve all the praise after they ‘dug in deep’ to defeat the Grecians, who were unbeaten in 10 matches going into the contest.

“When it got tough, they got tougher. When they got knocked over, they got up and went back at it. They’re an absolute credit to themselves and the football club should be proud to have such a group of men representing them at the minute,” Murray said.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/boss-says-whole-club-should-be-proud-of-players-3069093.aspx#wltGkYRePGIIKZT8.99

“It’s not so much the physical aspect that drains you in them games, it’s the emotional aspect when you put everything into a local derby, like we did Saturday.

“As much as you try to recover right and you try to do everything right, it does drain you as a footballer. I know, I’ve been there in them big games and to go again on a Tuesday night after the journey we did yesterday, what an unbelievable group of men," the gaffer continued.

“I’ve just said in there to the boys, that performance summed up what that group’s about. It never says die. It’s got an unreal way of choosing to win. We speak about it all the time and I say to them, you have a choice to win - in everything you do in life, you always have a choice to win.

“The football club should be very proud to have this group of players with the Mansfield Town shirts on.”

With the Stags leading 1-0 in the second half, left-back Benning scored yet another sensational volley and the gaffer says the former Walsall man practices every day to perfect his technique.

“I think it’s up there [with the other goals he’s scored] and I never thought I’d say that after the ones he’s scored! He’s been desperate for that. He’s a left-back but he loves scoring goals and after the start he had to the season, then he got his injury, he practices every day in training at them - that’s not a fluke, he does that every day.”

All three of the Stags’ goals at St James Park came from dead-ball situations, and the 34-year-old manager said his side knew they could exploit the Grecians’ weaknesses from set pieces.

“We knew when we come to places like Exeter, we knew that every team, like ourselves, we all have frailties and we all have little bits of weaknesses where you can be effective and we knew there was a way to ‘get at’ Exeter tonight. We scored our goals from them areas that we looked at, and again, the boys stuck to their game-plan and we managed to get the three points through that.

“We found, I’m not even sure if it was a park this morning we found in Exeter, it was a little piece of grass we went through set pieces on this morning and to see them come off like that was very, very pleasing.”

Supporters can watch Adam Murray’s post-match interview on Stags Player HD later.


Boss Murray challenges his Stags side to end the season unbeaten after fine win
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 19 April 2016

After a third successive victory tonight, Mansfield Town boss hailed his side for beating the 60-point target he had set and challenged his players to now end the season unbeaten.

Stags pulled off a fabulous 3-2 win at play-off hopefuls Exeter City tonight, but with only three games left and still a six point gap to the top seven, 12th-placed Stags look set to fall just short after their costly recent seven games run without a win.

However, Mansfield are still set for their best League finish in years after moving onto 62 points and Murray said: “I am over the moon. That is the target we wanted.

“It’s another milestone and another huge, gigantic step for the football club.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/boss-murray-challenges-his-stags-side-to-end-the-season-unbeaten-after-fine-win-1-7862787#ixzz46ODwXvhy

“Now the next one is we want to go unbeaten for the rest of the season.”

Murray admitted the recent slump had hit his side hard.

“Every team in the league has a bad period and we had ours at the wrong time,” he said.

“You look at one or two of those results - the Hartlepool one, the Northampton one, let alone the ones before that when we should have picked up points as we were playing well.

“We should be in the play-offs. We know we are a very good team and as frustrating as it is, if we finished the season playing like this, it leads us nicely into next season.

“It’s such a tight-knit group, the future is really promising.”

Stags led 2-0 at Exeter tonight before the Grecians, unbeaten in 10 matches, levelled the game only to see defender Ryan Tafazolli win it with his second goal of the night.

Stags’ other goal came from left back Mal Benning from almost 40 yards.

“It was very eventful,” said Murray. “We knew it would be a game in which they would have the lion’s share of possession.

“They are an excellent football team that have been together a long time and at home they make a small pitch very big. The way they play is very expansive.

“We knew their strength was possibly their weakness, so the boys stuck to their game plan and the areas we thought we could get at them and hurt them, and we did so and scored three goals.”

After slamming Notts County 5-0 last weekend, Murray was determined his side would not turn in another ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’ display.

So he used a spot of psychology to have a go at his senior players pre-match - and it worked a treat.

“The players took ownership,” he said. “We’ve said over the last couple of days that we didn’t want to not learn from this season. That’s the point of progression.

“I heard someone make a comment the other day that we haven’t progressed and I was sick in my mouth!

“I was harsh with them today and told them I wouldn’t accept a below-par performance. I knew if we put in the performance that these boys are capable of, the result would take care of itself.

“It was a little bit of psychology if I am being honest. The senior boys needed to know the responsibility lay with them today.

“We beat Notts County at the start of the year, then went to Accrington and were poor. They are the little things I said as time went on we would learn by and get better at.

“They took ownership of that tonight and threw it back in my face. Some of them were a bit angry with what I’d said to them but I got the reaction and some of the performances out there tonight were incredible.”

He added: “We felt we could hurt them with set pieces today so we brought back the long throw. We worked on that in a small little park we found this morning in Exeter.”

Murray was delighted to see two of his defenders grab the goals - spectacular ones, too - but not surprised at all.

He said: “It’s quite ironic - we sat in the team meeting and I said to Taff ‘you’ll score today’. He said, yes, and he wanted to get X-number of goals this season and needed a game in which he scored two, and he did that today.”

Tafazolli’s winning goal saw a finish as good as any striker. But Murray said: “It’s not a fluke. It’s like Mal Benning’s, they are not flukes.

“These guys spend a lot of time working on the training ground so it doesn’t shock me when those things happen. I see it day in, day out.

“In games like that when it’s tight, if you get an opportunity you have to make it count. That’s why successful teams stay successful.”

Benning has made a habit of scoring spectacular goals this season and Murray agreed on tonight’s: “It’s up there.

“Mal’s goals are the icing on the cake for me. But it is his defending that is pleasing me most at the moment.”


twitter BBC Nottingham Sport ?@BBCRNS
Murray on reaching 60 points in League Two: "It's another target reached. We now want to go unbeaten for the rest of the season" #stags


Match-winner Tafazolli praises team performance in Exeter win
mansfieldtown.net, 20th April 2016

Two-goal hero Ryan Tafazolli heaped praise on his team-mates for the way they battled to a fantastic 3-2 victory over Exeter City tonight.

The centre-half scored a goal either side of Mal Benning’s strike to secure the Stags’ third consecutive victory, despite the Grecians momentarily levelling the match through Ollie Watkins and Christian Ribeiro.

And although Tafazolli is humbled to receive the plaudits for his performance, he says a lot of credit must go to his team-mates, whose work sometimes goes unnoticed.

“I have played a lot of games and done reasonably well but there is a lot of players who have done extremely well this season, players who put a performance in week-in-week-out that go unnoticed,” Tafazolli said.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/match-winner-tafazolli-praises-team-performance-in-exeter-win-3069796.aspx#8UEM4KB4WsOLsvkx.99

“The likes of Adam Chapman, I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves. He was outstanding tonight and does a brilliant job in front of the back four, a lot of what he does goes unseen.

“Matt Green has chipped in with a lot of goals now, Mal Benning has been a consistent performer, the whole team have done great, especially with such a small squad.”

The central defender’s second goal of the evening was a stunning right-footed volley and he says it’s a ‘one in a million goal’.

“I am probably never going to do it again in my career with my right foot. The goals were massively overdue; I should be on more goals than I am at the minute.

“I have had a lot of chances this season and I wanted to pay back the lads from tonight’s brilliant performance because they deserved the three points and I am happy to get the goals.

“The lads were 'out on their feet' after 75 minutes so we had to really dig in and grind out the win, our team spirit got us through it in the end and managing to get the three points is an amazing achievement.”

Despite grabbing the headlines for his goalscoring exploits this evening, Tafazolli says the Stags defended resolutely against a dangerous Exeter attacking force.

“It was probably the hardest game I have played all season. They are a very good side and they are in great form, they hadn’t lost in ten games before tonight.

“They had a bit of everything, they could play long if they had to, they were a good side and you could see why they have been in such great form.

“We were resolute and we limited them to only a few chances, but it was a bit of sloppy defending for the first goal, and obviously the second one was a wonder strike.

“Sometimes you have to take your hat off to the lad (Christian Ribeiro), we have let him shoot from that far out and if he finds the top corner then fair enough.”

Ryan Tafazolli’s post-match interview will be available to view on Stags Player HD shortly.


Match-winning brace was overdue says Stags hero Tafazolli
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 19 April 2016

Mansfield Town centre half Ryan Tafazolli said his brace of goals in last night’s 3-2 win at Exeter City were overdue.

They moved him on to six for the season and into second top scorer behind Matt Green as Stags kept their faint play-off hopes alive with three games to play.

“The goals were massively overdue,” he said. “I should be on more goals than I am at the minute.

“I’ve missed a lot of chances this season and I wanted to pay back the lads for tonight’s brilliant performance as they deserved the three points. I am really happy to get the goals.”

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/match-winning-brace-was-overdue-says-stags-hero-tafazolli-1-7864668#ixzz46OEEDOMR

The first goal saw Tafazolli sweep the ball home from just outside the box from a touch-back by Green, while the second saw him lash a loose ball high into the net after challenging for a long throw.

“Greeny has done really well on the first goal,” he said. “He’s managed to keep the ball alive and it’s just dropped to me.

“To be fair it’s a bit lucky. I knew if I just got a good connection with it and hit the target I had a chance.

“It drifted away from the keeper at the last second and managed to find its way into the bottom corner.”

On the second, he added: “A few of my team mates were surprised I stuck it in the top corner!

“It was a one in a million, I don’t think I will ever do that again in my career - especially not on my right foot.”

Tafazolli continued: “It was probably the hardest game I’ve played all season. Exeter are a very good side in great form and they’d not lost in 10 games.

“They had a bit of everything. They could play and if they wanted to go long, they could go long.

“We started fast - that was one of our objectives - to get a foothold in the game.

“We scored an early goal. Then I thought we were resolute and limited them to a few chances. It was a bit of sloppy defending for their first goal and their second was a bit of a wonder strike.

“I think we’ve been quite lucky in that we’ve not had many wonder goals against us this season. Sometimes you have to take your hat off and say - fair enough lad.

“We let him shoot from that far out and he’s stuck it in the top corner, so fair play to him.

“But all credit to the lads. People were out on their feet after 70 minutes and we really had to dig in and grind out the game.

“I think our team spirit got us through it in the end and we got the three points which was an amazing achievement.”

With AFC Wimbledon also winning and occupying the seventh spot, six points clear of Stags with a game in hand, Mansfield’s hopes are now on a fine thread.

Tafazolli said: “We have three to play and need to just keep doing what we are doing, keep ticking off the games as they come along. “Obviously it’s not in our hands now, we need other teams to lose games.

“AFC Wimbledon won tonight so that’s not the best result for us as we need them to muck up. But if we keep doing what we’re doing you never know. It’s still alive.”

Tafazolli is a strong candidate for the club’s player of the season awards, including the Chad Readers’ Stags Player of the Season, but he was modest about the praise heading his way.

“I think I’ve played a lot of games and done reasonably well, but there are a lot of players who have done extremely well this season and a lot of people who have put in great performances week in, week out that go unnoticed,” he said.

“Sometimes the likes of Adam Chapman doesn’t get the credit he deserves. I thought he was outstanding tonight. He does a great job in front of the back four.

“Matt Green has chipped in with a lot of goals now. Mal Benning has been in consistent form, the whole team have done great with the small squad we’ve got.

“It’s nice to be talked of as player of the season by some fans, but it’s been a team thing this season.”


Benning - Exeter strike was my best goal
mansfieldtown.net, 20th April 2016

Left-back Mal Benning says his phenomenal volley against Exeter City this evening was the best goal he’s scored this season.

With the Stags leading 1-0, Benning hit an unstoppable 35-yard volley into the top corner before Ryan Tafazolli added to his own first-half strike after the hosts had scored two goals to claw themselves back into the match.

The former York City man has already scored two stunning volleys this season - a right-footed effort at Dagenham & Redbridge and a pinpoint left-footed strike at home to Newport County - but says this is his best yet.

Benning said: “I have seen it bouncing and I’ve thought, why not have a go? It’s one of them where I have looked down and struck it, then looked up and thought ‘woah!’

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/benning-post-exeter-3069141.aspx#KUAlfD0UvgEkxPiA.99

“When I have seen it fly into the top corner I thought it’s my day and what a goal.

“I would say it is my best one, the way I connected with it was ridiculous and I haven’t seen it back yet. But on first thoughts I am going to say it has topped the other two.”

The left-back gave credit to his team-mates for the win, especially fellow defender Ryan Tafazolli who scored the winner with a sublime volley eight minutes from time.

“A lot of credit has got to go to the whole team for not giving in at 2-2 and then Tafs (Tafazolli) coming up with a legendary goal.

“The team spirit and team togetherness is there, we could have crumbled with players losing their heads and shouting at each other but as we are all mates off the pitch, we stayed together and got the win.

“When it went to 2-2 it would have been very easy for us to cave in, but because of the character we have had all year and the team spirit has paid dividends again.”

The goalscorer also mentioned his gratitude for Stags’ manager Adam Murray, who has kept faith with the full-back throughout a difficult period in his career.

“My performances have been very inconsistent if I am being honest. I have ups and downs; the first two games [after] I came back, I did alright then went through a rough patch.

“I have got to give credit to the gaffer and the coaching staff because I have had these lows before and I have been straight out the team. I only came out the team here once, but luckily I came on as a sub.

“A lot of credit has to go them for keeping faith in me, the standards I hit before my injury were some of the best in my career so hopefully I can get back to that and look ahead to next season.”

Supporters will be able to view Benning’s post-match interview on Stags Player HD later.


Another wonder goal for Stags star Benning
chad.co.uk, Tuesday 19 April 2016

Mansfield Town left back Mal Benning smashed home yet another wonder goal in last night’s 3-2 win at Exeter and thanked the Stags staff for keeping faith with him after his serious knee injury.

Benning buried an unstoppable finish from 35 yards that he felt surpassed his other breathtaking finishes this season - a right-footed volley at Dagenham & Redbridge and a vicious left-footed strike at home to Newport County as well as a stunning 30 yard free kick on the first day of the season against Carlisle.

“It’s one of them again,” he smiled. “It was just a touch and I saw it bouncing and thought why not have a go? I struck it, looked up and saw it flying into the top corner - what a goal.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/another-wonder-goal-for-stags-star-benning-1-7865084#ixzz46OCtiruU

“I think it was the best of them. The way I connected with that was ridiculous. I haven’t seen it back yet but my first thought is yes it’s going to top them.

“I can’t say I practice it. It’s just got to be one of those things. I am finding myself in those positions again up the pitch waiting for second balls coming out the box.

“You look at my other two - they just come out the box and I am hitting them off instinct. That’s what I’ve done again today.”

He added: “But a lot of credit should be given to the whole team tonight for not giving in when it went 2-2 then obviously Taff coming up with a legendary goal at the end.

“We were relieved to get the win. We were very comfortable first half. As soon as they scored they switched to three at the back which caused us problems.

“When it went to 2-2 it would have been very easy for us to give in. But we’ve shown character throughout the year. There is a great team spirit - that paid dividends and we got the win.

“When they got to 2-2 you could hear their crowd and we thought we could be in a battle here now. It could have gone either way.

“We could have crumbled with players shouting at each other and losing their heads. But as we are all mates off the pitch, we stay together.

“The subs came on and did well. Jamma (Jamie McGuire) made it more solid at the back when he came on- you expect that from him.

“When Taff scored that goal we knew we had a lifeline again, from then I thought we were very good.”

Stags trail AFC Wimbledon in the final play-off spot by six points with only three games left and the Dons having a game in hand.

However, Benning said no one was giving up yet.

“The gaffer told us to win our last four games and that was the mentality last night. We have nothing to lose,” he said.

“We are still six points adrift of the play-offs, but you never know. I have learnt it is a crazy game.

“Saturday was one of the best feelings I’ve had in football, winning 5-0 in a local derby. Today was more of a relief. We did our job again.”?Benning suffered a bad knee injury in October that sidelined him until the end of January and said he was yet to hit the same form as before.

“I’ve been very inconsistent if I am being honest,” he said. “It’s been up/down. The first two games I came back I was all right, then I went through a rough patch.

“I’ve got to give credit to the gaffer and the coaches as I’ve had these lows in the game before and I’ve been straight out the team.

“I did come out the team for one game here but luckily came on as sub. So credit to them for keeping faith in me.

“As much as I wanted to come back and hit that form again, the standard I had hit was one of the best in my career.

“These things take time and hopefully I can work towards that and move on to next season.”


Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale frustrated by Mansfield Town defeat but holds back on criticism
Exeter Express and Echo, By Simon Larkins

Manager Paul Tisdale admitted to feeling 'really frustrated' at Exeter City's 3-2 defeat to Mansfield Town, but added that he to be careful of criticising his players too harshly for the goals they conceded on Tuesday night.

The Grecians let in a soft first as Ryan Tafazolli turned and hit a weakly-struck shot that bobbled its way past Bobby Olejnik into the bottom corner.

Mansfield's second goal, 11 minutes into the second half, came from a wonder strike from left-back Malvind Benning and, while City fought their way back level, Tafazolli managed to turn and fire home from the edge of the box to take all three points.

"It was a very good game but is one we have lost," said Tisdale, who side fell five points adrift the play-off places with three games left to play. "At this stage of the season it is all about points and we just feel really frustrated we have ended up with nothing. I have to be careful, with the emotion of missing out, that I don't look at things too harshly. I need to step back and think about it a bit more, but we have got three games to go and there is going be ups and downs. It is clearly a more difficult task but we are still in it."

Read more: http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/Exeter-City-manager-Paul-Tisdale-frustrated/story-29147204-detail/story.html#ixzz46ODQp05S

City took a while to get going and it was not until Christian Ribeiro and Alex Nicholls were introduced to the game just after the hour-mark that they started to threaten Scott Shearer's goal. At that point the home side were two goals down, but they managed to battle back to level through long-range efforts from Ollie Watkins and Ribeiro.

Tisdale admitted that the first goal proved crucial as it gave Mansfield the chance to sit back and hit his side on the counter.

"The opposition were highly organised, allowed us to have the ball and stopped us from getting into dangerous areas," he said. "We had to be disciplined in what we did and not to concede that early goal.

"It was a disappointing first goal to concede. It was just a free-kick hit high into the air and it sort of bobbled into the net."

"Their second goal was something special and it's hard to criticise anybody for that, but the first and third goals are just very, very bog-standard balls into the box that end in a half challenge from one of our players and lands at the feet of one of their players to put it in. That can happen. You can get everything right. You can have the right mentality and be in the right place and that can still happen.

"I have got to be careful what I think and what I say so soon after the match when we are so disappointed. But we didn't play badly. It was a very different game. The first goal was a key goal for us as I'd have been very happy coming in 0-0 at half-time and building a performance, but we were a goal down at that point and things changed for us."

Tisdale praised his players for the way they fought back into the game though.

"We certainly hadn't given up at 2-0 and the players responded to the changes," he said. "We made those changes and we changed the shape and we got into their half more often and we looked likely. At 2-2 it was anyone's game."

The City manager also was not willing to give up on their play-off chances yet either.

"Anything is possible," he added. "It is one of those leagues. Teams that you think will lose will win, and vice-versa. You have just got to stay with it and you never know."


Tis: We Have To Believe

Grecians boss reacts to Mansfield defeat

EXETER CITY manager Paul Tisdale insisted that he would not be giving up on the Sky Bet League 2 play-off places despite a disappointing defeat at the hands of Mansfield Town at St James Park on Tuesday evening.

"It was a very good game, but one that we've lost," Paul said. "At this point in the season, it's all about wins, so we're really frustrated to have missed out. I have to be careful not to look at it too harshly; we have three games to go, and it looks a more difficult task, but we're still in it. It was something that I spoke to the team about beforehand, that there was every chance that today would be a dull situation after the last three or four games. The opposition were highly organised, allowed us to have the ball and stopped us from getting into dangerous areas. We had to be disciplined in what we did; not to concede an early goal, and still have the capacity to defend when it came to the crucial moments.

Read more at http://www.exetercityfc.co.uk/news/article/tis-we-have-to-believe-3070205.aspx#iy0SuotT5CgDLvj2.99

"We had the benefit of the possession in the first half, but it was a disappointing first goal. Their second goal was something special, and it's hard to criticise anybody for that. We came back and responded really well, but then the ball landed nicely for them for their third goal. We didn't play badly; the first goal was a key goal for us, as I'd have been very happy coming in 0-0 at half-time, but the goal changed things for us.

"We have to believe we can do it. It's an increasingly difficult situation, but we just have to move on and get our mind very much focused on Bristol Rovers on Saturday."



Wot a win we had to dig deep for those 3 points!Big shout out to @RyanTafazolli on his 2 goals and wot a wordly from @Mal_1993

Matty Blair @MattyBlair17
Absolutely buzzing, what a great win. @RyanTafazolli and @Mal_1993 are my heroes.

Reggie Lambe @ReggieNaldo
Another great result tonight! We keep pushing on #Stags!



Latest | April 2016