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Archived News from February 2015

3rd February 2015 0:45

Murray’s thoughts on defeat at Carlisle
mansfieldtown.net, 31st January 2015

Boss urges players to stand up and be counted after Stags slip into bottom two.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murrays-thoughts-on-defeats-at-carlisle-2239853.aspx#FeMDxksEDcpZT6uW.99

Manager Adam Murray wants his players to ‘stand up and be counted’ after our quest for survival in Sky Bet League Two took a dent with a 2-1 defeat at Carlisle United today.

Vadaine Oliver’s 45th minute opener had us on course for a precious victory, but the Cumbrians fought back to pick up three points, which sees them leapfrog us in the league table.

Results elsewhere mean that our side drop into the relegation zone - level on points with York City, though we do have a game in hand on the Minstermen.

A win next week at home to Stevenage would see us move out of the bottom two, regardless of other results.

When asked if this was his toughest defeat since taking the managerial reigns, Murray replied: “Yes. I think the fact we’ve dropped into the bottom two makes it a lot harder to take. From going from a winning position away from home to losing the game is tough.

“I’m obviously not happy [with the league position], but it’s there in black and white. We’re in the bottom two and we have to do everything that we can to get out of it.”

Murray was also unhappy with the build up which led to Carlisle’s second goal.

The U’s broke away through substitute David Amoo on a counter-attack, before he squared the ball for Charlie Wyke, who set-up Kyle Dempsey for what proved to be the match-winner.

“For the second goal, we didn’t get hit on the counter-attack; we got punished for our own set play,” continued Murray.

“It wasn’t as if we won the ball off them, gone and attacked and then they’ve scored. Our set-up was right at the edge of their box, and the people there didn’t do their job. If they do their job, the break [counter-attack] stops there and the goal doesn’t happen.”

“Players have to take responsibility to a certain degree because they all know their jobs. There are no grey areas, it’s black and white, and they work on things constantly.”

Our gaffer added: “We’re in a position now where we need men to stand up because we can’t carry any passengers. I see this challenge getting a lot tougher before it gets easier.”


Low day for Mansfield Town as Stags drop into bottom two

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray described today as a ‘low day’ as a 2-1 defeat at relegation rivals Carlisle United saw Stags drop into the bottom two for the first time this season.


Vadaine Oliver had put Stags in charge just before the break, but the visitors were punished for a lacklustre second half by two replies in nine minutes by former Mansfield boss Keith Curle’s Cumbrians.

“To say I am disappointed is an understatement. I don’t actually know we have lost it,” he said.

“We got ourselves into a winning position and never looked like losing the game and then conceded two absolutely awful goals.

“Dropping into the bottom two, it’s a low day for all of us. We have just got to work even harder. We are at home next week and need to put this right.

“Today I think it was all about focus and a lack of concentration on our behalf. At certain times today we looked like we were going through the motions.

“I went with this side today as it had a lot of pace and energy. But we got caught up with the way Carlisle wanted to play and the game became scrappy.

“We never got hold of the ball and dictated play and the ball spent a lot of time ping-ponging around.

“They put a lot of balls into our box in the first half which we dealt with well. But we didn’t do the attacking side well enough.

“At half-time we told them to get the ball down and keep possession but we didn’t do that and then let in two awful goals.

“It is so frustrating the amount of points we have just given away to teams.”

Once again Stags conceded from a set piece, Carlisle’s equaliser coming from a free kick and Murray added:

“All we can do is keep working. There isn’t an answer. We do it every day. There are signs in the dressing room saying - set plays, do your job.

“We knew that was their major threat of scoring a goal and we have drilled it into them all week. All you can do is rely on individuals to do their jobs.

“We are trying to be professional. But we are not getting the results at the minute. We need to focus on the task ahead and players need to step up to the plate.”

Referee Mark Haywood incensed both sides with some of his decisions and was booed off at half and full-time.

Murray said: “Their staff were in the referee’s ear all second half and some of the decisions he came up were not the best.”

Stags may also lose new signing Matty Blair with what may be a serious knee injury. He was stretchered off in agony on 69 minutes and Murray admitted: “It’s not looking good and he needs to go for a scan on his knee.”


MANAGER: Believed we were going to get something

Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the hard fought victory over Mansfield Town, speaking first about an extremely short post match team talk.

Read more at http://www.carlisleunited.co.uk/news/article/manager-keith-curle-with-mansfield-town-match-reaction-2240329.aspx#dmMjwCriplHiFShy.99

“I’ve just told the players they competed well in the first half and they didn’t deserve to come in at a goal down,” he said. “Conceding a goal a minute or so before half time could knock the spirit out of some teams.

“The pleasing thing was it didn’t change their focus at all. We knew what our roles were and we knew what our jobs were, and we believed we were going to get something out of the game.

“You can’t buy that and it’s good to walk into a changing room and know it’s there. There was no need to panic and no need for drastic changes. We just needed to carry on with the game plan, technically and tactically, also knowing we had game changers on the bench if we needed them.”

“I honestly didn’t think ‘here we go again’ when they got their goal,” he insisted. “I felt if we carried on playing the way we were playing we would get something out of it through the course of 90 minutes.

“The most important ten minutes of the day from my point of view was half time. I spent three or four minutes by myself and I also used that time to gather information from other members of staff, to get their views. I then went in the dressing room and there were no sad faces. There was a belief we would get something out of the game. All we had to do was build on that. Decisions will go against you throughout the season and it comes down to how you respond.

“As I said, we competed excellently and we had to stand up to the physicality, and stay in the game, knowing we could cause them problems. The big decisions went against us but I was able to have a conversation with the officials, as we were leaving the pitch, to ask if they could tell me, in their opinion, how the first goal came about.

“Every man and his dog thought it came from an offside position. The fourth official told me what they’d discussed and what they believed to be accurate. You’ve got to go with that until you see it for yourself.

“I’ve just watched the penalty on video and I don’t understand how it wasn’t given, and then how it was given as a corner - it’s either or. I’m not going to criticise referees because we’re due a few decisions to go our way. I know they make honest decisions and that’s what we abide by.”

“I think we’ve shown people that we’re building something with this performance,” he commented. “The really pleasing thing from the day was the crowd. I know we had supporters here as early as half seven this morning to clear the pitch.

“One of the directors came in to buy them all bacon sandwiches, and we had staff members out there with them as well. That’s the type of unity you need because it forms success. It’s not something you can create.

“It comes from every individual within the club playing their role and their part. People sometimes don’t see what goes on behind the scenes at a football club but I can tell you that everyone here is focused on success.”

On getting another goal from a set piece, he said: “We’re spending more and more time on set pieces. Players need to know what they’re doing because we’ve got plans with them. That’s not just with set pieces, it’s also for the short, medium and long term. It’s gradually falling into place and we’re seeing the benefits.

“I thought Charlie [Wyke] did really well and I’m delighted he got his goal. He tired slightly in the last fifteen or so minutes of the game but he will form a good partnership with Riggy. As a strike force, with the five strikers we have at the club - Derek Asamoah, Mark Beck, Billy Paynter, Charlie Wyke and Steven Rigg - we have goals in the squad. If we can give them the ammunition we can become a force to be reckoned with, and that will be with a number of different options and formations we can use.”

“We’re starting to get a platform,” he agreed. “That’s three games now where I’ve been able to field the same back five. That does help. We all want to be playing league football next season and that’s where our focus will stay.

“We’ve won a game of football today, but we’re expected to win games of football. Everything we do is geared for success. Next week is when we will do a bit of video analysis and we will highlight the good and bad things from the game. I know I’m surrounded by the character which is building in that dressing room, and it’s really pleasing, because they are already looking forward to the work we need to do before we go to Tranmere.”

“This was obviously a huge result because there are a lot of teams now who are getting dragged into it,” he commented. “I’ve known where we were from the day I walked into the football club. It’s not a nice place to be down at the bottom, but we’ve been dealing with it on a daily basis. Some clubs are just coming into it now and they won’t be able to handle it.

“We’ve got a crowd that sticks with us and that’s excellent. The players are giving us everything they’ve got and that’s all any of us can ask for. We’ve created a professional environment where people are buying into what we’re trying to do and that’s given me a belief we will get something from every game we play.”

On the goal that won the game, he said: “We know if we get Kyle in the right areas of the pitch we can cause problems. There’ll be more goals to come from him between now and the end of the season. We’ll score goals as a squad and as a team because we’re working hard to be a threat.

“Derek Asamoah has got something, I think we all know that. He has a hunger to assist, score goals and create goals. It’s the same with him whether he starts or comes off the bench. I’ll be having a conversation with him about his contract situation this weekend because I think he has a job to do for us.”

And on the news that talks were due to reach a successful conclusion with Blyth Spartans defender Nathan Buddle, he said: “He is a player we’ve been tracking for a month to five weeks now. We’ve waited until we’ve had a detailed dossier on him so we know his strengths and weaknesses.

“He’s one for the future but, in my own mind, I think he could play in the team before the end of the season. He’s got good understanding of the game and good attributes. He’s played for us in our friendly fixtures against Newcastle, Burnley and Blackburn and he acquitted himself very well.

“He’s a good talker and a good organiser but he does need to work on his fitness. With him it shows we aren’t just looking at the here and now, we’re looking at the future. We’re hoping it’s a deal we can get done by Monday because he’s been at Blyth on a non-contract basis and the financial package with us has been agreed.

“That suited them and him because he has a desire to play league football. The deal will initially be for six months with an option of extending that for another year - but with the option being in our favour. He’s nowhere near the finished article but if he produces the performance levels we think he’s capable of we will be taking up that option.”

United Player subscribers can see a series of video interviews with Keith Curle now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.


INTERVIEW: The crowd got behind us

Danny Grainger on the Mansfield Town victory

Danny Grainger spoke to us following the important victory over Mansfield Town shortly after full time on Saturday.

"It's a big result," he said. "Especially when you look at the results of the teams around us. First and foremost it was what we needed. Confidence has always been there but this showed there's a real belief we can do something special.

Read more at http://www.carlisleunited.co.uk/news/article/team-captain-danny-grainger-speaking-after-the-mansfield-town-victory-2240304.aspx#5HQvuygybeqGEyi1.99

"There are a lot of things going on at the moment that we're trying to put to the back of our mind, so it was an important result for us as a bunch of lads, and for the club. I haven't paid a lot of attention to it because we've got a massive few months coming up and the main objective is to keep this team in the Football League. We got back in the dressing room and saw that most of the teams around us had picked up points, but we've still managed to climb a few positions."

"We showed against Wimbledon, and again today, that we aren't going to roll over for anybody anymore," he insisted. "We were maybe a bit of a soft touch at the start of the season and it's something we've developed in our game in the last ten games or so. We are no longer a soft touch, even if we do go a goal down.

"We were unlucky to go behind in this one. I don't think Mark [Gillespie] had a save to make in the first half. I thought the goal was offside but, with the rules the way they are - I'm not sure if anybody actually knows them - so it was a difficult one."

"You have to look at the way the boys responded," he commented. "We got a corner from the kick off in the second half which gave everyone a lift. The crowd got behind us after that and we started putting them under a lot of pressure.

"You can sometimes start to think it's a case of 'here we go again' because, when you're down at the bottom, things seem to go against you. You can get a bit sick of it, but the dressing room isn't going to roll over. Some weeks it will be pretty and some weeks we will have to roll our sleeves up. We showed today we can do both sides of it."

"The decisions from the referee might have helped us in a way," he told us. "The big one was Charlie [Wyke] and the penalty. He got wiped out by the goalkeeper but the ref gave a corner. As we were turning away he actually said to me that he'd got the decision wrong and it should have been a goal kick.

"If he hadn't got a touch then surely it should have been a penalty, but these things level themselves out over the season. The lads were saying that Troy might have been a yard offside for our first goal, so I'm sure we'll get our fair share of decisions."

"Griff [Anthony Griffith] and Courtney [Meppen-Walter] were great for us today," he said. "Kyle [Dempsey] was different class in the second half and he was very influential. I don't think you can pick anybody out and say they had a lesser game than anyone else. The whole team stood up and worked hard for each other."

On the team getting another goal from a set piece, he said: "We work hard on set pieces every Friday. Defensively we all know our jobs and I think Newport at home was the last time we conceded from a set piece. We try and change it up when we're on the attack. The gaffer puts a lot of belief in us to try things that maybe wouldn't work in other dressing rooms.

"Kyle's corner when I was in the centre circle took everybody, including me, by surprise! It is something that we've worked on but it just didn't quite come off as we'd planned. It was supposed to come to me for a shot, but it ended up going back to Kyle. He was able to shoot and it looked like we'd planned it all along.

"Although it didn't come off things like that can catch people out, and as we were running back their striker asked me what on earth had just gone on. Sometimes if you do something extreme you can catch them off guard."

"It was nice to get an assist," he admitted. "I was actually running towards the linesman because I thought it was a handball and we'd been denied another penalty. I was going to have a word with him then I realised we'd scored.

"Every goal is special for me, whether I score or somebody else does. I see how hard the lads work in training so I'm always absolutely buzzing when we get the rewards for that on a Saturday. I'll try and claim the assist but someone has already told me I can't have it because of the flick on!"

"It's massive for us to get out of the bottom two," he commented. "When you look at the last few games we've been pulling some real battling performances together. We were all very disappointed with the Cambridge home game because we dominated it and came away with nothing.

"We picked up three points through a battling performance at Wimbledon and we were very close to picking up a point at Bury, which is a hard place to go. There are a lot of ifs and buts throughout the season which would have changed our position. We are where we are, we're starting to climb the table and we need to pick up another result next week, because we've got a hard run of games after that."

"A win against a team who are in and around us will give everybody a big lift," he told us. "We said before the game that there's extra pressure on us ahead of games like that, because of league positions and the way they played against us down there. We said it against Cambridge, they might have thought they could come up here and not have to work hard because they hammered us in the first game."

"The fans were behind us from the first whistle today which is all we can ask," he said. "Like I said, there are other things going on in the background which we can't influence. We can influence what's happening on the pitch and every time the crowd gets behind us we always get a good response.

"When they create an atmosphere it really does help us. All we can do is keep trying to pick up results and hopefully they'll keep getting behind us.

"We've got another important game next week. Everybody seems to be picking up a bit of momentum. We're churning out some good performances without getting all of the rewards we deserve. The performances are the main thing and it will be interesting to see what happens when the teams which haven't been in this situation are dragged into it.

"No one is out of it yet. The teams all the way up to ninth place could still be dragged into a relegation battle, which is a crazy thing to say. We've got to make sure that come the last day of the season we are well away from it."

On his ankle injury, he said: "I only trained once last week because of my ankle. I was going to train a little bit on Thursday, but it was inside because of the weather and I couldn't get involved. I did some training on Friday, and it is sore now, so it's something I'm just going to have to monitor over the next few weeks. I just want to get through games which is the main thing."

"I don't feel as if my role has changed since I became captain," he added. "I've always been somebody who tries to get the team fired up. There's more responsibility if something goes wrong but I'm more than willing to take the heat.

"Results and performances breed confidence. We've got a lot of talent in that dressing room and I'm very surprised about the position we're in. We're starting to do the horrible side of the game. We should have been doing it from the start of the season, but we didn't and we've got to put it right.

"We've realised we don't have to be nice guys around each other. We can tell each other what's and that's how it should be. If we aren't winning we know there's a reason for it, but we will now point out what that is."


INTERVIEW: An instinctive finish

Charlie Wyke on scoring on his home debut

New arrival Charlie Wyke spoke to us about scoring on his home debut in the 2-1 win over Mansfield Town at the weekend.

Read more at http://www.carlisleunited.co.uk/news/article/charlie-wyke-on-scoring-on-his-home-debut-2242783.aspx#bhU2wIcSWWue650O.99

“It’s a good feeling and obviously a great start for me on my home debut to get a goal and an assist,” he said. “Hopefully this is just the start and the results will keep coming.”

“I was worrying a bit on Friday night,” he admitted. “I wanted to score and get off to a good start, and I’ve actually scored or got an assist in my last two debuts. It was the same here again, and I just want to keep it going.

“All I kept thinking before kick off is that I wanted to get a good start to the game and it would all come together from there. The fans were great throughout the game and they got even louder when we equalised.”

“The free kick was a great delivery and I just decided to gamble,” he explained. “I peeled off at the back stick and I’m not sure who it was who touched it on. It was an instinctive finish because I didn’t get time to think about it. The momentum was with us after that and we just wanted to get the winner.

“Thankfully that happened and it was a game I really enjoyed. It was good playing beside Riggy because he works so hard. He brings me into play and I think we work well together.”

On the penalty that wasn’t given, he said: “The referee somehow gave a corner and the keeper hadn’t even touched it. He definitely touched me though!

“I don’t know what he’s seen there because everyone in the stadium knew it was a stonewall penalty. I thought it was a bit of a turning point in the game, to be honest. It lifted the fans, you could feel them get a bit more excited, and we got the goal not long after that.

“We’d been on top but it was a game where there weren’t too many chances. It was really frustrating to see them get the goal before half time but it just shows what character the lads have got. It can damage you when you concede like that, but we bounced back.”

“It’s good that we got the performance off the back of what happened last week,” he commented. “We were unlucky not to get the result we wanted at Bury but we knew we just had to keep playing like that.

“It’s a massive game again on Saturday and we need to make sure we keep it up. If we show the same desire I’m sure we'll come away with a win. Hopefully the fans have liked what they’ve seen of me and I’ll do the work to make sure there’s more of the same to come.”

“I loved my first game here and you could tell the fans were right behind us,” he agreed. “It’s a day that showed how much it means to the fans and the players.

“It’s a good experience for me because I’ve come in and I’m still getting to know the lads. I’ve been in this position before, with Hartlepool, so I know what it’s all about. I know what it takes for us to get out of it and I think we’ve got more than enough to do that here.”



Latest | February 2015