video interviews with Murray and Clements
Gaffer looking for strong finish
Murray wants players to keep performance levels high in final three matches.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/gaffer-looking-for-strong-finish-2407032.aspx#03gPyATKryE9qq8U.99
Manager Adam Murray wants our players to keep performing to high standards as our team head to the R Costings Abbey Stadium to face Cambridge United tomorrow knowing that they could mathematically secure the club’s Football League status for another season.
Reggie Lambe struck the all-important goal as our team beat relegation rivals Tranmere Rovers at One Call Stadium in midweek - a result which moves us eight points clear of the drop zone with three games of the season to go.
And Murray, who has been at the helm for nearly five months, is eager to see a strong finish to the season.
He said: “Over the last few games I think we’ve performed excellently, but on Tuesday I didn’t think our performance, for what we’re about, was very good. What we showed was a masterclass in defending.
“[Tranmere] had to go for it, because they had to throw the kitchen sink at us. Their risk was always going to be our advantage, so it was more of a calculated performance and I think it showed the tension and anxiety from within the group to get the three points.”
He continued: “I said after the game that it was a huge three points, because it put a lot of pressure on other teams who have now got to go and win all their remaining games, which is tough at this part of the season.
“We know that when you are going for wins it’s even tougher because of the pressure that you put on yourselves, let alone the situation, which is why we knew it was a big three points, but at the same time I want to finish the season as strongly as we can and I feel that we can get three wins out of the next three games.
“The season is two weeks from finishing, but personally and as a football club, the project is only just beginning and the work is only just starting, so they’ll be no foot coming off the gas, the foot will be firmly down and I want three wins out of three. Even when we become mathematically safe, the foot will stay firmly down.
“We want to improve and become more effective in our style of play and that’ll be the plan for the next couple of weeks. They’ll be no sitting on our laurels and trying this and that. I want us to be better, I want us to get better and in these next three games we’ll aim to do that.”
In team news ahead of tomorrow’s game, our manager has no fresh injury worries. However, Reggie Lambe will be suspended, having been sent-off in Tuesday’s game.
Adam Murray’s interview is available now on Stags Player. To subscribe, click here.
No let-up demands Murray as Stags player fight for contracts at Cambridge
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Thursday 16 April 2015
With Mansfield Town on the verge of League Two safety, boss Adam Murray has challenged his player to go out and win their last three games and prove they are worth a contract next season ahead of Saturday’s trip to Cambridge United (3pm).
All but three youngsters are out of contract this summer, though Stags do have extension options on most of the players.
Tuesday night’s tense 1-0 home win over Tranmere lifted Stags to eight points clear of the drop with three games to go. But Murray isn’t about to let his players start dreaming of beaches and sun cream.
“There are still points to play for and I want to finish the season as strongly as we can and get three wins out of the next three games,” he said.
“That’s what I am pushing to do, The foot will go down again today. There may only be two weeks left of the season, but the project is only just beginning. We are not sitting on our laurels.
“Only Jack Thomas, Joe Fitzpatrick and Corbin Shires have definite deals for next season.
“A lot of players are up, though for 90 per cent of them we have options if we choose to keep them.
“They are fighting for contracts. They know my thoughts and where I want to take this place. They know how driven I am. So they have three games to show me they want to be a part of what I am building.
“They have been absolutely superb for me so far. On Tuesday they showed their commitment, not just to the club but to me and each other. When it got tough, they got tougher and that spirit has been built in four months when it can take years to build.
“They now have three games to cement my thought process on them. Some may need to tweak it. But all is there to play for and nothing is set in stone or concrete.”
Murray was visibly drained after the emotion of Tuesday’s win, but today was refreshed and ready to go again.
“I enjoyed yesterday,” he smiled. “It was nice to be able to look back at the game and be on the back of a win as we’d not had one for a while.
“It’s very strange as in the last few games I thought we’ve been excellent. But Tuesday I didn’t think our performance was very good.
“But it was a master class in defending. We knew the game was going to be like it was.
“My frame of mind changed from Saturday after Plymouth to Monday morning. My frame of mind at the weekend was let’s throw everything at them and go for it.
“But the more I thought about it, it wasn’t a risk game. I knew they were going to have to go for it and be gung-ho so I thought their risk could be our advantage. With four up front for them it was hard to get out.
“It was more of a calculated performance. We were more than happy to defend our 18-yard box and I don’t recall too many clear-cut chances for Tranmere.
“If we had been pressing high up and taken the game to them, I think it would have left a lot of space and opened us up to be picked off.
“We wanted to stay compact with deep line defending and it paid off. For a defensive performance it was top drawer. It was a perfect game plan scenario as a coach.
“I went to watch Burton-Carlisle last night and I’ve never seen a game like it in my life. Carlisle scored after two minutes and then literally got 11 men behind the ball in their 18-yard box and didn’t cross the halfway line. That’s how important points are at this time of the season.
“It has been a really weird few months. We have dominated possession stats, largely because of the new way of playing. We have got the knack of keeping the ball. The next step now is being effective with it. It’s been a massive change the boys have taken on board.”
Murray was also full of praise for the Stags supporters, whose noise from before the game and throughout had the hairs on the back of the neck standing up and gave the players a huge boost.
“I saw my football club back on Tuesday and I have missed it,” he said. “Right from the warm-up, when the lads walked out and when I walked out, the noise was tremendous.
“Micky Adams was in front of me and thought it was his fans and started clapping back until he realised.
“They were superb. They started really well and when the nerves set in and we became anxious, they stayed with us and stayed positive, even when we were under the cosh.
“They don’t understand the influence they have on us. It was back to being our arena on Tuesday night and it was a massive part in us getting the three points. That is when we are at our best.
“I asked for the fans to be better last week and they have shoved that right up my backside on Tuesday. It was superb and I thank them for it.
“I would love more nights like that - but at the other end of the league.”
Martin Riley, Lee Beevers and Lenny Pidgeley didn’t play on Tuesday due to knocks and Murray said: “They will all have more treatment this week. A couple of them were borderline for Tuesday and we could have risked them.”
Cambridge have won just once in 10 games ahead of Saturday and sit once place ahead of Stags on goal difference with equal points.
Murray added: “I want to win the next three matches. Cambridge have been a bit like us - a bit shaky and I know from inside their camp that they wanted to get to the 48-point mark as quickly as possible.
“I want us to get our performances back on track and pick some more points up.”
Turley praised for helping Stags keeper Studer blossom
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Adam Murray said young keeper Sasha Studer had ‘become a man’ in the past week after helping Stags all but achieve League Two survival.
He also paid tribute to the work done by goalkeeping coach Billy Turley in helping the 23-year-old Swiss stopper start to blossom.
“Billy Turley came in as goalkeeping coach a few months ago and has worked hard with Sasha,” said Murray.
“A lot of people dismissed Sasha, but he is a baby as a keeper and had never played League football.
“He’s not been in the best environment in the situation we’ve been in. As a keeper, it’s a pressure position. It’s a tough one with the manner of goals we’ve been conceding this season. You have to organise your back four and everyone in front of you.
“Billy has worked really closely with him and I have seen a change in Sasha, not just as a keeper but as a person. I think he has matured and become more of a man.
“He has that hunger and he is very ‘out there’ as a character which I like.
“But he has become a man over the last few weeks and I am over the moon for him. A lot of credit for that has to go to Bill.”
Chris Clements: Mansfield may find it tough to keep star midfielder
Chris Clements is the "best midfielder" in League Two and Mansfield Town will struggle to keep him for next season, according to manager Adam Murray.
Clements, 25, has been vital in helping the Stags move eight points clear of the relegation zone with three games to go, but his deal expires this summer.
Murray told BBC Radio Nottingham: "He is the best midfielder in the league.
"He is the type of player I want the team to be about next season, but good players will have options."
Clements joined Mansfield in the summer of 2012, and has played 83 games for the club, more than half of them coming this season.
Murray said he was the standout midfielder in the division "without a shadow of a doubt".
He continued: "He needed to play a certain way. He needed certain things to allow him to express himself and I haven't seen anything that touches him.
"When he plays, the team plays and when he plays opposition cannot get near him.
"He has taken on board the fact that sometimes you cannot just do the pleasing things in the game. He understands the importance of the team.
"We had a couple of clubs higher up coming in for Chris in the last window and it's going to be a tough one because Chris will have options."
Murray joked: "I have a great relationship with him. But if he doesn't sign for us I am not talking to him again."
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray: I've got my club back
By Sarah Clapson, Nottingham Post
Adam Murray admitted he was still struggling to speak on Thursday morning.
Read more: http://www.nottinghampost.com/Mansfield-Town-boss-Adam-Murray-ve-got-club/story-26350336-detail/story.html#ixzz3Y4wF7VeZ
Two days after a significant victory for Mansfield Town, the toll a strenuous night had taken on the manager was still on show.
And much to Murray's delight, many who had watched from the stands on Tuesday were probably still feeling the same.
The Stags boss triumphantly declared his football club was back.
The fans were back. And the players were back, too, putting in a gutsy display too all but secureLeague Two safety with a 1-0 result over Tranmere Rovers.
It is some turnaround from a few weeks ago when Murray called for everyone associated with the club to 'get on the same page'.
"They were back," he said, when asked about the role the supporters played in midweek.
"I saw my football club back on Tuesday night. I've missed it.
"From the warm-up to when the lads walked out to when I walked out...
"Micky Adams (Rovers boss) walked out in front of me and our fans were roaring and clapping; he thought it was their fans - he got the wrong end!
"He started clapping them, then he turned round to me and said, 'oops, I should have known that wasn't our fans'.
"They were superb.
"Vocally, they were immense and it pushed us on.
"Even second half when we were under the cosh, they stayed with us and stayed positive.
"I've said it all along, they don't understand the importance they have.
"We had our arena back to being our arena on Tuesday night and it played a huge, huge part in getting three points.
"For me, that was our real football club there on Tuesday night. That's when we're at our best.
"I asked for the fans to be better last week and they shoved that right up my backside on Tuesday. They were superb and I thank them for it."
That midweek win put Mansfield eight points clear of the bottom two with three games to play.
It would take a monumental effort from those below them to bridge it before the end of the season.
Murray though, has always talked about the long-term project and his target to achieve promotion next term.
With that in mind, he sees the final run-in as a chance to continue to put foundations in place.
"It was a huge three points because we put a lot of pressure on the other teams - they've got to go and win all their games, which is tough at this part of the season," said Murray.
"We know that when you are going for wins, it's even tougher because of the pressure you put on yourself, let alone the situation.
"We knew it was a big three points on Tuesday, but at the same time, there's still points to play for and I want to finish this season as strongly as we can.
"I feel we can get three wins out of the next three games, and that's what we'll be pushing to do.
"This season is two weeks from finishing, but personally, and for the football club, the project is only just beginning.
"The work is only just starting, so there'll be no foot coming off the gas; the foot will be firmly down. I want three wins out of three now.
"Even when it becomes mathematically safe, the foot will stay down. We want to win football matches. We want to improve and become more effective at our style of play.
"That will be the plan for the next couple of weeks.
"There will be no sitting back and sitting on our laurels; trying this and trying that. I want us to be better. I want us to get better.
"And in these three games we'll aim to do that."
The aim too, is to work further on the style of play Murray has tried to implement since taking charge.
"It's been a really weird few months," he said.
"I think, as a team, in a lot of games we've dominated the possession stats; even against the better teams.
"Because of the change in the way we're playing, the change in the way we're doing things, we've got the knack of keeping the ball.
"The next step now and the step for moving forward will be being effective with that.
"We haven't been as effective as we needed to be this season. We haven't created as many chances or scored as many goals as you need to when you play that way.
"But it's been a massive change for the boys to take on board - not being so direct and keeping the ball to then keeping the ball and scoring goals.
"It's all part of the building blocks. We're well aware of what we need to do."
Clements wants spirits to remain high
mansfieldtown.net, 16th April 2015
Midfielder praises unwavering support and team spirit following vital step towards safety.
Mansfield Town midfielder Chris Clements credited the important role that supporters played, combined with an unwavering team spirit, as the success factors following Tuesday night’s win over Tranmere Rovers and believes that exciting times could now lie ahead for the club.
Speaking at a press conference today, Clements said: “The atmosphere to begin with was electric and that is what these players want every game. The fans were brilliant through the whole match.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/clements-wants-spirits-to-remain-high-2405110.aspx#tduPweEzsxgIXvQ5.99
“It felt like the game was never going to end but having the fans behind you, it was like a 12th man. If that atmosphere wasn’t as it was I don’t think we would have kept the clean sheet.
“Once the fans get behind you and you have something to fight for, we just needed to hang on for the result,” he continued.
The 25-year-old highlighted the team's 'mature' performance to help seal victory against Rovers: “The manager [Adam Murray] said that game management was going to be key [going into match against Tranmere]. I thought they [Tranmere] played well in the first half and we struggled to get going but little things like halting their momentum was key to us getting the result.
“We’ve got this team spirit that meant we weren’t going to let that ball go into our net.
“When Liam Marsden came on as a substitute in stoppage time and made that last ditch tackle just shows that it’s not only the eleven players that start the game that matter but the whole squad,” he said.
Clements also praised the contribution of his fellow midfielders as the season nears its close: “Jack (Thomas) is one of these players that will go far in the game. He is only 18 and the way he plays on the pitch is like an experienced professional. He will learn things along the way, but having not played many league games, his performances have been outstanding.
“You know what you are going to get from Ricky Ravenhill and Jamie McGuire. [They are] disciplined performances where you know they will deal with anything coming forward. You are going to get 110 per cent every game from them,” he added.
Looking ahead to our remaining fixtures, starting with Saturday’s visit to R Costings Abbey Stadium to face Cambridge United, Clements said: “It is going to be difficult. Our away form hasn’t been the best, but looking at our recent performances, we are playing good football.
"We won’t fear anything and now that we have grown the gap in the table, the lads can go out and express themselves.
“We can’t go into the upcoming games thinking we are safe because you never know what can happen.
“We have a professional group of players that will go into every game thinking that we still have to get points on the board,” he said.
Clements believes that there is still plenty to play for as the Stags look to mathematically confirm their survival in Sky Bet League Two this weekend: “Everyone is playing for their future. Lately we have been putting in good performances and playing the right way.
“Next season is going to be an exciting time for the club,” he added.
Safety first says Stags midfielder Chris Clements
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Midfield maestro Chris Clements has warned that Mansfield Town can take nothing for granted as they sit eight points from the drop zone with three games to go ahead of the game at Cambridge United tomorrow.
It would take a remarkable sequence of results for Stags to go down after Tuesday’s tonic 1-0 win in the big showdown with Tranmere, yet Clements said: “The win has got us closer to the line, but we’re not over it yet.
“Crazy things have happened and you can’t think you are safe. You never know what’s going to happen below us. We are a professional lot in the changing room.
“Everyone is playing for their future. A lot of players are out of contract. But lately they have been putting in good performances so the future will look after itself. It will depend on what the gaffer wants and what players want.
“Next year, from what has been said around the club, is going is going to be an exciting time for Mansfield Town - watch this space.”
Clements is enjoying playing alongside hot teenage prospect Jack Thomas in the Stags’ engine room, and said: “He is one of those players who is going to go far in the game.
“He is only 18 but on the pitch he is playing like an experienced professional. He has other stuff he will learn along the way. But he is outstanding. His enthusiasm and raw talent helps you. You see him flying into a tackle as he does and it gets the whole team up and fighting.
“And you know exactly what you are going to get from Jamie McGuire and Ricky Ravenhill behind us. They both do what they really well, protecting the back four, ratting and battling to the very last minute.
“It will be difficult at Cambridge tomorrow and our away form hasn’t been the best. But, bar York and Tuesday, we have probably been playing the best football we’ve played all season, so we don’t go there fearing anything.
“Now there is this little gap, the lads can go out there and express themselves tomorrow.”
Clements thanked supporters for their deafening backing on Tuesday.
He said: “I though the atmosphere before the game was electric and that’s what we as players want every game. The fans were brilliant throughout the 100 minutes.
“The game was very scrappy to say the least. But obviously the only thing that mattered was the result and we got that. We wanted to play and give the fans something good to watch, but at the end of the day the result was key and the performance came second.
“It felt like forever and it felt like it was never going to end. People say the fans are like a 12th man and I think if they hadn’t been as good as they were, I don’t think we’d have kept that clean sheet.
“Once they got behind you and you had something to fight for, it’s about hanging on and getting the result you need. I though Reggie’s goal was unbelievable.
“Muzza said game management was going to be the key. I thought Tranmere played really well in the first half and we struggled to get going.
“Then it was about the little things - taking your time on throws and killing their momentum.
“We have this team spirit and we were not going to concede. There was no chance that ball was going in our net.
“Even when Liam Marsden came on in stoppage time and made that last ditch tackle, it just shows it’s not just the 11 players that start games, it’s about the whole squad.”
Cambridge United manager Richard Money told BBC Cambridgeshire:
"All I'm focusing on is trying to get the best out of this group of players to go into the next game.
"We just want to get over the line, everybody is aware how important that is to the football club, and there's no doubt it is affecting the consistency of performance.
"But on Saturday we have a chance to finally put it to bed, and then we can talk about whether our objectives for the season have been met.
"It's important for the supporters we finish off at home as strong as we can - and for the group of players it's important they get over the line by their own merit, by what they do, rather than what others don't do."
Latest | April 2015