MURRAY, BLAIR, GARETH AINSWORTH REACTION
Gaffer: Positive point can push us on
mansfieldtown.net, 24th January 2015
Boss says point accumulated in draw with table-toppers can be used as a building block.
Manager Adam Murray insists that the point gained and positive aspects of today’s 0-0 draw with top of the table Wycombe Wanderers can be used by our team as a building block for the rest of the campaign.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/gaffer-positive-point-can-push-us-on-2223613.aspx#flbX69IxGQtuIMqd.99
Despite a gulf of 19 places between the two sides in the league table, the Stags were by far the better team and would have bagged maximum points had it not been for some fabulous saves by Chairboys’ custodian Matt Ingram.
“The fact we’ve gone toe-to-toe with the team who are top of the league and put them on the back foot for a lot of the game speaks volumes,” said Murray.
“People will have the same view as me in that we should have won the game, but it was a massive point with loads of positives to take and we keep building.”
He continued: “The biggest word at the minute for the boys is ‘believe’ because I can’t ask any more of the boys. I’ve asked for passion, commitment and desire and a concentration and a high level of technical ability and they’re giving me that so I can’t get angry or mad at them, because they can’t give me any more.
“If they keep doing that and we don’t come up against world-class goalkeepers every week, then we’ll start getting some goals.
“At the minute, we’re taking games to teams and we’re creating a hell of a lot of chances. The important thing is that we stay on our path, we believe in what we’re doing and the goals will come.”
Undoubtedly for Murray, the most pleasing aspect of this afternoon’s game was the clean-sheet kept by loanee ‘keeper - our first shut-out in over a month and one which comes just seven days after defensive errors contributed greatly to our 3-2 defeat to Exeter City.
“That’s the most important thing,” added Murray. “We said before the game and during the week that we needed to start defending like it meant something.
“We know that we’re going to create chances with the way we set-up, work and go about things, but it’s important for us now that we do the nasty side and do what I call ‘defending your granny’s house’ because you’d never let anyone in there.
“If we get back to doing the basics and the nasty stuff, then the results will come.”
Murray also had praise for defender Ryan Tafazolli, who made his first appearance since our 1-1 draw with Hartlepool United on Boxing Day, in today’s game.
Our boss added: “The way he is towards the game when he’s not at 110% his focus drifts, but he kept hold of that really well today.
“A big part of his learning curve is his game-management and organisation skills. He knows that they have to be lifted and I thought him and Michael Raynes were superb.”
Stags boss Murray ‘over the moon’ with display against leaders Wycombe
Adam Murray felt his new-look Mansfield Town side had taken another big step forward in this afternoon’s gutsy 0-0 home draw with table-topping Wycombe Wanderers.
Murray was upset with their defending in last week’s 3-2 home loss to Exeter, but they bounced back today with a fine display on a wet pitch to create a wealth of chances and were desperately unlucky not to win it.
It would have been criminal if Wycombe had won it at the death when Matt McClure put their only clear chance straight at Adam Smith.
“I am over the moon with our performance and over the moon with individual performances,” said manager Murray.
“I saw a massive change in our game management, our organisation and the way we went about things.
“It was a big thing to get a clean sheet. I have drummed on about it all week it’s probably done their heads in.
“Near the end I was still shouting to stay switched on and we had just one lapse at the end. It was a bit squeaky bum time in that last minute.
“But this was a massive point for us. And people might say we should have won it. Their keeper has made two or three world class saves.
“We looked a lot more comfortable from set pieces against us today.
“The game was a bit scrappy as the pitch would not allow flowing football. We came in from the warm-up and the boys knew it might have to be a back to front game today.”
He added: “Wycombe are an efficient team whose work rate and endeavour is top drawer. Like all successful teams they make good decisions.
“But today we have gone toe to toe with top of the league and had them on the back foot for large parts of it. This is a real platform on which we can build.
“Performance levels have gone through the roof here in the last two months and I know the results will come. This whole process excites me.
“The biggest thing is belief. I can’t ask any more from the boys right now.
“I know people are anxious with results and the position we are in, but I am confident and everyone needs to keep believing.”
Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth hailed keeper Matt Ingram for two vital first half injury time saves.
He said: “I know that’s what he is there for, but I rate him very, very highly. It’s fantastic to have him. A clean sheet was great, the back five have stepped up again.
“Okay, we had a bit of luck when they hit the post, but we defended stoutly and I was pleased to take a 0-0.
“This was a great point to keep the unbeaten run going. It is now one of the longest in the country and that is important to me.
“Mansfield are battling for their lives and some big teams will get turned over here.
“People would have expected us, being top of the league, to come to places like this and it be a walkover. That was far from the case.
“We needed a real gutsy performance to get something from the game.
“The pitch was awful and the game was bitty, but a point away from home in any division is good. We didn’t get the run of the ball going forward yet could have won it in the last minute.”
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray told BBC Radio Nottingham:
"The fact that we've gone toe-to-toe with the side at the top of the league and put them on the back foot for a lot of the game will leave people with the same view as me, which is we should have won the game.
"It is a massive point for us and there are loads of positives to take from it.
"At the minute, the biggest word for us is belief because I can't ask any more of the boys.
"I ask for passion, commitment, desire and concentration. If we keep doing that and don't come up against world-class goalkeepers every week then hopefully we will start getting some goals."
Wycombe Wanderers manager Gareth Ainsworth told BBC Three Counties Radio:
"People will expect us, being top of the league, to come to places like this and it be a walkover. That's far from the case - it was a real gutsy performance from a good team.
"It's a point at a tough place against a team that is facing a relegation battle.
"They are going to be like that against everyone, every week and some big teams will be turned over here.
"It's kept the unbeaten run going, which is important to me.
"That's two weeks running that we've had to contend with a pitch like this, I'm looking forward to getting back to Adams Park next week and getting the ball down and hopefully playing a bit of football.
Blair: We were unlucky not to win
mansfieldtown.net, 24th January 2015
Winger reflects on full debut which ended in a goalless draw against table toppers, but believes we could have won.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/blair-we-were-unlucky-not-to-win-2224114.aspx#Zw24orpAcscezVvr.99
Winger Matty Blair believes our side must take things ‘one step at a time’ following a hard-fought, but thoroughly deserved, point at home to Wycombe Wanderers this afternoon.
The winger, who was making his full debut, enjoyed a good afternoon and went close to scoring on a couple of occasions in either half.
Speaking afterwards, Blair said: “We know we are down there at the moment and we are far from safe, but I thought the lads played really well again.
"I thought we started strongly today and the defence, we’ve got to give them a lot of credit, because they held their nerve and performed excellently. It is then down to us to put [the ball] in the back of the net.
“What I’ve seen from last week and this week is really enthusiastic. We can take it from there and start moving up the league.”
Blair was also jubilant to get a place in the starting xi today, following frustrating times at both Fleetwood Town and Cambridge United earlier this season.
He continued: “It is a great feeling. I’ve got a couple of scratches, a couple of bumps and bruises and I’ll be aching tonight, but that’s what it is all about.
“The adrenalin rush you get from the crowd, everything to do with football is what you do it for, so I’m delighted to get this feeling back, but just unfortunate not to get the win though.
“I had two attempts at goal that have both been blocked and thought I did near enough everything right but they were just blocked.
“Once I’m back again and flowing then I hope I can give my best and hope the Mansfield fans and faithful can see that as well.”
A content Gareth Ainsworth felt his players put in a 'gutsy' performance against Mansfield on Saturday
by Greg Styles, Sports Reporter, bucksfreepress.co.uk
Gareth Ainsworth was pleased to leave the One Call Stadium with a point on Saturday after watching his Wanderers side endure a tough afternoon against Mansfield.
The Blues had Matt Ingram to thank for their goalless draw against the Stags as the keeper put together his own highlight reel with a catalogue of fine saves to thwart the home side.
And when Mansfield did manage to beat the 21-year-old they were thwarted by the woodwork on two occasions as Wanderers held on to take a draw and extend their unbeaten run to ten league games.
The Chairboys haven’t been beaten since their televised clash with Burton Albion in November, and Ainsworth hailed the resilience of his players in avoiding defeat once again on Saturday.
He said: “I think you’ll see teams come here in the future and not get many points from this place. They’re battling for their lives. The pitch was awful.
“I thought the referee, in my opinion, made a few dodgy decisions and didn’t help. It was a little bit bitty, but a point away from home in any division is good. Obviously being top of the league people will expect us to come to places like this and for it to be a walkover.
“Far from it. It was a real gutsy performance from a good team. It’s two weeks running now that we’ve had to contend with a pitch like this. I’m looking forward to getting back to Adams Park next week and hopefully getting the ball down and playing a bit of football.”
In a game which was short on attacking action for the visitors, the 372 travelling Blues fans were made to watch on as the Wanderers number one kept the home side at bay.
Ingram denied Vadaine Oliver with a superb one-handed save to kick-start a ten minute period before half-time in which the away side were rocking.
Oliver was again denied by a sprawling stop from Ingram before Michael Raynes was also denied twice as the keeper displayed why he may be the next home grown talent to earn a move up the Football League pyramid.
Ainsworth revelled in his keeper’s performance, saying: “That’s what he’s there for. Obviously I rate him highly and I keep saying that he’s definitely one of the best keepers in the lower divisions.
“It’s fantastic to have him. A clean sheet, the back five have stepped up again and we’ve scored a lot of goals this year but when we haven’t we have a clean sheet backing it up.
“Like I said, I’m really pleased with a point; it keeps the unbeaten run going - one of the longest ones in the country - which is really important to me. It’s a point at a tough place against a team that’s facing a relegation battle. They’re going to be like that against everyone every week. Some big teams will get turned over here.”
Astonishingly Blues could have been taking all three points back to Buckinghamshire with almost the final kick of the ball as substitute Matt McClure found himself in the box with just the keeper to beat.
The striker had only been on a for a couple of minutes, though, and chipped the ball tamely at Adam Smith, but Ainsworth was more than content with his side’s hard earned point.
“It’s caught him cold,” he said. “Matty will stick them away in training and stick them away in games and there’s more to come from him.
“Like I say, it’s a good battling performance away from home. If you draw your away games and win your home games then you’re onto a winner. That’s what we intend to do next week to back this performance up.”
Joe Jacobson feels consecutive away draws is a step forward for top of the table Blues
by Greg Styles, Sports Reporter, bucksfreepress.co.uk
After coming through a stern examination against an improving Mansfield team, Joe Jacobson feels that Wanderers continue to head in the right direction.
The left-back watched on as a combination of Matt Ingram and the frame of the goal helped earn Wycombe consecutive away draws at the One Call Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Jacobson admitted that the visitors didn’t do enough to win the game but felt the team’s ninth clean sheet of the league campaign keeps them moving forward in a positive fashion.
He said: “Everyone will always say in football that if you can’t win the game make sure you don’t lose it.
“We probably didn’t deserve to win the game and they probably had the better chances, overall, but we said that we had to keep our shape and we wanted to keep a clean sheet.
“We’re pride ourselves on doing that and that was another big positive for us. Maybe at the end we could have nicked it, but I think a draw’s a fair result. We’ll take that and it’s another point towards where we want to be.”
Vadaine Oliver and Michael Raynes were left to scratch their heads in amazement as Ingram pulled off a string of saves to keep the home side at bay.
After soaking up all the pressure that came their way, Blues might even have nicked all three points themselves when substitute Matt McClure shot straight at the Stags’ stopper in injury time.
Two consecutive draws is enough to keep Wanderers top of League Two and Jacobson feels the team are in a good position after two tough away games on tricky surfaces.
“We came to win the game,” he said. “The position we’re in in the table we want to win every game we can.
“The way the game panned out, the pitch wasn’t great, conditions weren’t great and they had a game plan and did well. It was a big battle out there for us. We knew that set pieces would cause us problems and they did.
“Our keeper, Matt Ingram, pulled off a few good saves to keep us in the game. But I thought, overall, we’ll take a point and we’ll move on. It’s another game unbeaten.
“Luckily a couple of results didn’t go too badly for us. If you’d have said a few weeks ago that we’re not going to win a couple of games but we’ll still be top, I think we would have taken that.”
Callum Elder @CallumElder_
Disappointed not to beat the league leaders today, but a good point and clean sheet #MTFC
Martin Riley @LifeofRiley6
Another good performance from the boys. Only team looked like winning. So many positives #believe #stags
Martin Riley @LifeofRiley6 (1pm)
Gutted not to be fit today. Massive game for the lads. Playing some great stuff atm. Get behind the team! You are massive for us! #stags
Latest | January 2015