MURRAY ON SMALLER SQUAD AND "WHEELING AND DEALING"
video interview with Adam Murray, 12th May 2014
Murray: We’re looking for versatility
mansfieldtown.net, 12th May 2014
Mansfield Town player/assistant-manager Adam Murray says that we are looking to sign versatile players this summer, which will enable us to operate with a smaller squad next season.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-were-looking-for-versatility-1547478.aspx#cqhFkoBfitkxBTQO.99
Our football hierarchy have already begun preparations for the 2014/15 campaign in Sky Bet League Two by announcing their retained list which you can view by clicking here.
In addition to eight players who are already under contract for next term, we activated clauses in the contracts of three other players to keep them with us, whilst six more were offered new deals.
“We’ll be looking to ‘wheel and deal’ in the summer and we’ll be running with a smaller squad,” said Murray.
“If that means bringing in players who can play in multiple positions and do multiple jobs then that’s what we’ll do.
“We want to be successful, compete, and do the best we can with what we’ve got.”
As a result of us operating with a smaller squad-size next season, Murray admits that we may need to become more active in the loan market.
Asked whether or not we may sign Lewis Price and Darryl Westlake, both of whom spent time on loan with us last season, he replied: “If it’s do-able then obviously we’d like to.
“The two lads that came in were great for us and I think everybody at the football club saw the job they did.
Murray added: “Again, first and foremost, it’ll come down to if the boys want to come. They’re both at clubs higher up in the football pyramid, so they’ll have the final decision, but we’re interested in bringing them back.
“With a smaller squad we will probably be looking at a couple of loans next year and if Pricey (Lewis Price) is able to adapt to this level and a deal can be done, then it’d be great.
“Obviously there’s been a contract offered to Alan Marriott and if you had those as your two goalkeepers at the club, then it’d be a great little battle.”
Meanwhile, our assistant-manager also had kind words to say about Louis Briscoe, whose departure from One Call Stadium this morning brought an end to a five-and-a-half-year stay with us.
“Louis’ been a great servant to the club,” said Murray. “You look over the seasons and he’s scored some great, important goals, and he’s been brilliant for us.
“This season has been up and down for him, he’s struggled with injuries and hasn’t been able to come in and stake a claim on a regular basis, but that’s football.”
He added: “Louis’ had a half-decent career up to now and it’s up to him to go and push on. We wish him all the very best.”
A full interview with Adam Murray will be available on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.
Stags start to build slimmer squad after cull
After culling 11 players this week, Mansfield Town have begun the tough task of formulating a slimmer squad that can bring them League Two success next season.
The Stags need to bring in new talent, but club finances dictate manager Paul Cox will need to go with a smaller squad and reduced budget from last season.
“Now the lads all know where their futures lies, you look at the positions the club needs to fill. It’s just sieving through lists of players now,” said assistant boss Adam Murray.
“We must make sure they are going to fit our ethos, what we are about, and can take us a step further. We can’t afford to make mistakes.”
“People are aware that in January there was a change in figures and the strings were pulled in a bit.
People are also aware we are going to run with a smaller squad and we are going to have to get the best for the money we have got.
“If that means players who can play multiple positions doing multiple jobs then that’s what we’ll have to do along with that X-factor in particular areas.
“We still want to be successful and competitive and do the best with what we are given.”
With boss Cox away as players returned from their post-season break, the squad learned their fate from assistant boss Murray on Friday.
He said: “The manager had gone on a pre-booked trip while the lads had gone straight off to a break after the end of season dinner, so that crossover didn’t help.
“But the manager didn’t want to keep players waiting and not give them the best chance to find other clubs. It is part of my job description as assistant manager but it’s not easy as I’ve gone through thick and thin with a lot of them.
“I have a good relationship with a lot of them. I have sweated bloods and guts with them. But it is part of my role here.
“This is one of the worst times for footballers and staff and you don’t look forward to doing it.
“Obviously it is one of those things that has to happen, though. It’s the cycle of football - players come and players go.
“We sat down on Friday and let the lads know our plans for next season.
“You’ve got to look at the journey we have been on. There have been a lot of players at the club over the last few years who have brought a lot to the table. But you have to ask, can certain players take you where you want to go and does the squad need freshening up? Then you look at the targets you’d like to bring in and make decisions on people.”
Biggest surprise on Friday was probably the departure of James Jennings, who played 36 times last season.
Murray said: “A number of these lads have been together for a while now, and when you have a group together that long it needs freshening up a bit to bring a bit of a buzz back to them.
“It was one of the toughest decisions as JJ has had a decent season.
“But maybe we can bring in some different attributes to that position?”
On the players offered new deals, he added: “The players will sit down with the gaffer next week and talk pounds and pence. They will have a lot of people in their ears and options coming up.
“As a footballer you have to weigh up what is best for you and your family and make decisions where you are going to go.”
Murray admitted that bigger clubs may yet come in to chase under-contract players like Sam Clucas and Ryan Tafazolli over the summer.
“There are some very good young boys here and there will be a lot of interest in them,” he said.
“You look at the list of scouts that come here Saturdays and Tuesdays and it’s endless.
“These things happen so you can’t say yes or no. If someone comes in then it’s up to the manager and chairman and, if the offer is right, if the player wants to go.”
Stags keep an eye on Price
Mansfield Town are keeping an eye on Lewis Price’s situation with Crystal Palace to see if there is any chance they might be able to lure the Welsh international to One Call Stadium on a permanent basis.
The 29-year-old impressed while on loan from the Premier League club as cover for the injured Alan Marriott at the end of last season and Stags have since released back-up keeper Ian Deakin while, once again, there are also rumours that Marriott is contemplating retirement.
However, even if Price left Palace, wages could be a huge stumbling block with the massive gap between Premier and League Two pay packets.
Stags’ assistant manager Adam Murray said: “If Pricey wants to drop to this level and a deal can be done, then great. We will have discussions with him and see where his future lies.
“Another option is that we’ve got some good young kids coming through in that position so we’ll have to see if they could step up and make a claim to a place in the squad as back-up.”
Murray dismissed the rumours about Marriott’s retirement, saying: “Alan has a lot of experience. At 36 now he has played a lot of football but is still in really good shape. He is a good professional who looks after himself.
“I think he just sometimes feels a bit sorry for himself, jumping around and getting knocks and bruises.
“But he’s kept 15 or 16 clean sheets this season. If he wants to stay on board, that’s fantastic, but that’s his decision.”
Stags happy to see youth development paying dividends
Mansfield Town expect emerging youth talent Liam Marsden and Jack Thomas to put pen to paper on new contracts and are looking forward to more youngsters coming through the ranks next season.
It has been a few years since home-grown players have fed into the Stags’ first team, but both Thomas and Marsden made their debuts late in the season.
Assistant boss Adam Murray said: “They have been absolutely brilliant. Liam has had a bit more game time than Jack and shown the fans what he can do.
“It’s great for them to see one of their own coming through and to see that desire and spirit a local lad brings to the table.
“The future looks bright for them and we hope they will grab it with both hands.
“It is a great opportunity for them and, with their age, a great shop window in which to show what they can do.”
He added: “It was something this club used to have pride in - bringing its kids through. But, up to this season, it wasn’t set up properly with the age group conveyor belt system.
“But it’s there now and the people involved are doing their best to bring the local talent through.
“A lot of credit must go to Coops (coach Richard Cooper) for all the extra hours he has put in with them and we are seeing the benefits now.”
Murray chalks up Stags fall-out to experience
Adam Murray has chalked up last season to experience after the Stags assistant manager fell out with boss Paul Cox mid-season and had loan spells at Rainworth and Worksop before returning to make a huge impact in keeping the club up.
He also admitted he enjoyed proving wrong the people who though he was over the hill.
“It’s was an up and down season and a strange one for me,” he said. “But I have learned a lot from the experience.
“I came back into the frame and did what I could to help the side.
“I have been in football long enough now to understand anything can happen and when it does you have to deal with it.
“But I would rather sweep all that under the carpet now and look at the positives.
“I have been written off for the last three years with people saying my legs were gone which just fires me up to be honest.”
Adam Murray: Mansfield Town cannot afford to make mistakes in summer recruitment
By Sarah Clapson, Nottingham Post, May 13, 2014
THE process of rebuilding Mansfield Town's squad for next season is already underway, with a list of targets beginning to be drawn up.
Read more at http://www.nottinghampost.com/Adam-Murray-Mansfield-Town-afford-make-mistakes/story-21088024-detail/story.html?#dxJzKSGyUHhw2uGY.99
Ten players were released last week, with winger Louis Briscoe following out the door yesterday, after he returned from holiday.
The Stags are looking to run with a smaller squad when the action gets underway again in August, with any new recruits expected to show flexibility in more than one position.
"We've looked at positions and players we need," said assistant manager Adam Murray. "It's about sieving through lists of players now to decide what's going to be most beneficial for us next season, because they're big choices.
"You've got to make sure the people who come into the football club are going to fit the ethos of what we're about - can they take us that step further?
"They're big decisions because I don't think we can afford to make any mistakes.
"We started the process a few weeks ago, to be honest.
"It's one of those times where there's going to be a lot of players out of work and you have to touch base as soon as you can with people you think might be able to come in and make a difference.
"The unfortunate thing is, there's 91 clubs out there who will be doing the same thing.
"It's a tricky one and you've got to plan for being let down, you've got to plan for Target A, B and C not wanting to come, while still looking at getting the best you can with what you've got."
During the January transfer window, boss Paul Cox was told he could not bring in any new faces due to the club defending legal action against them by ex-directors Andy Saunders and Steve Hymas.
Murray though, would not be drawn on whether the budget for incomings over the summer will be cut.
"Those discussions take place between the chairman and the manager of the club," he said. "People are aware that in January there was a change in figures and the strings were pulled in a little bit.
"We'll be looking to wheel and deal in the summer.
"We'll be running with a smaller squad, which means we're going to have to get the best from the money we've got.
"If that means bringing in people who can play multiple positions and do multiple jobs, then that's what we'll have to do.
"I don't think there's going to be crazy money spent, but we want to be successful, we want to compete and we want to do the best we can with what we're given."
With Cox currently on a pre-arranged holiday, the task of informing those to be let go, fell to Murray.
He admits it wasn't easy, but stressed decisions on players came after much careful consideration.
"It's not one of the best times for footballers and staff," said the midfielder. "You don't look forward to doing it, but unfortunately it's one of the things that has to happen.
"It's the cycle of football. Players come and players go.
"I think there's a whole heap of things you consider; you've got to look at the journey we've been on.
"A lot of the players who have been at the club over the last few years have brought a lot to the table; it's about making a decision.
"Can certain people take you to where you want to go, does the squad need freshening up and what do we need next season looking at going forward and building?
"You put all those things together and look at the targets you would like to bring in, then, unfortunately, make a decision on people."
Mansfield Town want to bring back Crystal Palace keeper Lewis Price and Sheffield United's Darryl Westlake
By Sarah Clapson, Nottingham Post, May 15, 2014
MANSFIELD Town will look at recruiting Lewis Price and Darryl Westlake, who were both on loan at the club last season.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Mansfield-Town-want-bring-Crystal-Palace-keeper/story-21098828-detail/story.html?#ixzz31lrY60UE
Goalkeeper Price played the last five games of the season, having joined from Crystal Palace, where he has another year left on his contract.
Westlake switched from Sheffield United last November, and is expected to be released by the Blades.
"If it's doable, then we'd like to," said Stags assistant manager Adam Murray when asked about the possibility of signing the duo.
"It will come down to, first and foremost, if the boys want to come - obviously they're both from clubs higher up in the football pyramid, so they'll have the final decision.
"But, yes, we're interested in bringing those boys back."
A new contract has been offered to first-choice custodian Alan Marriott, who missed the end of the campaign with a dislocated finger, but fellow stopper Ian Deakin was one of 11 players not to have their contracts renewed by the club.
Thirty-six-year-old Marriott has been at the One Call Stadium since January 2009 and is currently having 'a think about his future'.
Murray says there are several options when it comes to the goalkeeping situation, with another loan deal and bringing through some of the youngsters also being considered.
"With a smaller squad we will probably be looking at a couple of loans next year, so looking at the route again is a possibility," he explained.
"If Pricey wants to drop to this level and a deal can be done, then great.
"You look at those two (Marriott and Price) as your two goalkeepers at the club - it would be a great little battle.
"Alan's gone away and he's going to think about his future and where he sees things and what he wants to do.
"Alan has had a lot of experience. He's 36 now, he's played a lot of football and is an excellent professional; and he's still in really good shape.
"At the minute, we've got some young kids coming through in that position who are really good, so if they can step up and make a claim to be a back-up or squad player, then that's also an option."
Latest | May 2014