MURRAY MAY ADD MORE SIGNINGS
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray may add two last minute signings as insurance
chad.co.uk, by firstname.lastname@example.org, Tuesday 04 August 2015
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray may bolster his squad with a couple of U21 players from a higher level before the new season kick-offs with the visit of Carlisle United on Saturday.
Murray is delighted with the new squad he has assembled, bringing in 13 new faces, but with three games in the first six days followed by two more the following week, he is keen to make sure he can keep everyone fresh.
After the home clash with Keith Curle’s Carlisle, Stags head to Championship club Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday in the Capital One Cup before a mouthwatering local derby at Notts County next Friday.
“We are straight into the mixer,” said Murray. “I think the first month is going to be physically and mentally demanding for everybody and we are going to have to make sure our training is tailored towards that.
“We must make sure we stay fresh and stay driven in our goals for the season. We haven’t got a huge squad which was planned as we wanted it to be tight knit. It commits itself to each other more, but with that you have to manage certain aspects and have a bit of luck in terms of suspensions and injury.
“So we are looking at a few bits and bobs. We have got a couple of our young lads that, in the plan of their development, we want to get them out on loan early doors to get game time and to get in the environment of understanding about playing for three points, playing every week and being involved in men’s football.
“We may also look to bring in the other way. We’ve got a tight squad which we are very happy with. But because of the busy start to the season - we go Saturday/Tuesday/Friday, then Tuesday/Saturday - it’s an intense start.
“We need to make sure we keep people fresh to get the best out of the squad. So we may get one, possibly two, through the door by the weekend.”
He added: “I will probably look for another attacking option who will have a versatility about them and then we might look to get a little bit of cover in a defensive area.
“We will probably go for maybe a bit of a younger player to add to the group, maybe an U21 from a higher level. We are talking to a few at the minute so we will see how the negotiations go.”
Murray said his squad couldn’t wait to go out and implement his new footballing philosophy for the club.
“They are focused,” he said. “There is a real drive and focus about the group. We came in yesterday and you sensed the energy that it’s three points time. Points are on the line now and all the work we’ve done over the last few weeks is all working towards Saturday.
“There is a real buzz around the camp. We are looking forward to getting started. There will be a little bit of fine tuning this week ready to hit the road.”
Stags and Carlisle, managed by ex-Stags boss Curle, both flirted with the drop last season, but both have ambitions to be battling higher up the table this season.
“I had Keith as a manager so I know he is very detailed, a very good coach, and the group he has put together I think resembles him as a person,” said former Carlisle player Murray.
“He has got quite a big squad at the minute - a strong squad of 20-plus first team players. So he has an array of ability to pick from.
“I’ve watched them a couple of times and I know they will be a strong outfit this season. It is a really good game for us to get our teeth into first game of the season.”
Good ship Adam Murray ready to set sail at Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
After the trauma of taking over mid-season and steering a sinking ship to safety, Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray can’t wait to start his revolution this weekend.
Out this summer went 17 players as well as the direct, physical game employed by previous boss Paul Cox.
In has come 13 new faces plus a new footballing philosophy for long-suffering fans to savour.
Brimming over with ideas and enthusiasm, Murray wants to sail his sleek, new ship more along the lines of the beautiful game this year and is confident his side can challenge the other end of League Two.
“There is a real belief in the camp at the minute that, as a team, if we do what we can and stick to our beliefs, then we can affect this league,” he said.
“Like every other team in the league we are going to need that little bit of luck at times and we are going to have to ride over rough patches. We have to stay strong through those rough patches because, as good as want to be, we will go through rough patches.
“We have a real infrastructure and a philosophy of how we want to do things. But there’s no point having a philosophy unless you can make it effective. It’s important our group of players understand our beliefs as a football team and we make it effective. The bottom line of that is winning.
“The philosophy is to play a style of football that is open, expansive, attractive, that has a core of hard work, organisation and discipline and it wins.”
He added: “This squad has different attributes now. I think there is a really good balance with experience of not only winning but of people that have set high standards throughout their career.
“Then we have the youth with the energy and drive to achieve with our kids. So we’ve got the balance there. They push each other, the experience pulling the young kids to hit the standards they’ve had throughout their career and the youth pushing the experienced to keep up with them. The group has got good dynamics.”
Murray admitted going into the One Call Stadium is a far more pleasant experience now than it was for him as the relegation trapdoor flapped open in his direction last season.
“It’s a totally different feeling, and if I am being totally up front and honest, it took the summer for me to get that sinking feeling out of my stomach,” he said.
“We knew last season was going to be tough. We said it a million times. I actually got on the ship in the storm and soon realised how tough it was.
“Having started making the additions through the summer, once I started having the chats with the players I’d brought in, the chairman and the board, and the positivity we have created, that sinking feeling has turned into a feeling of real belief and drive that the work that we have put into these players and this football club can take it forward.
“I walk into that dressing room every day and see what I have in front of me. There is a real strength in character and a real bond there and it’s a pleasure to come to work at the minute.
“The bottom line now is that we make the squad that we’ve put together effective in winning football matches at League Two level.”
He added: “The biggest part of this summer and the early part of the campaign is the gelling process. We need to make sure people understand each other, one as people, and two on the football pitch so they know how each other plays, whether that’s as units or individuals and then as a team.
“That process has been kind of accelerated with this group as they’ve taken to the ideas and the things we want to put in like ducks to water as they say.
“It’s been a pleasure to have the group for the pre-season so far. The group runs itself at times - they push each other and when we do put in detailed work on the training ground we do see it come out in games which didn’t happen last year.
“They are doing okay, but this is the time the foot goes down and we really see what they are about now because it’s a different ball game from playing pre-season to the life and death of three points.”
So far the Stags have remained remarkably injury-free in pre-season compared to previous years which Murray puts down to the skills of his staff.
He said: “We brought in Dan Taylor, a strength and conditioning coach who looks at the sports science and the physical aspect of the game. He is top drawer at what he does and up to yet we haven’t had any muscular injuries or anything like that.
“It’s now about making sure we get that 100 per cent sharpness that you always push on the final week.”
New-look Mansfield Town can taste glory says Nicky Hunt
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town may not have the biggest budget in League Two and will kick-off as a new-look side with 13 new faces - but experienced defender Nicky Hunt is confident the Stags can still achieve promotion glory.
One of the new arrivals, the 31-year-old former England U21 man, who has spent much of his career in the top two divisions, said: “The gaffer talked about it on the first day and the players have taken all that on board.
“We believe in ourselves that we can get it - either way, play-offs or automatic - so we will see how it goes.
“We’ve got a great set of lads. The changing room is always buzzing from morning until we go onto the training ground when we know it’s time to work as soon as we step on there. He has had that instilled in us.
“We believe in his philosophy, we believe in the way he plays, we believe in the way he wants us to play and I believe we can handle the pressure this season that’s he’s put on and we’ve put on ourselves.
“Pre-season has gone really well. I think the lads have adapted well. There are a lot of new faces here and it’s always hard to adapt to different playing styles.
“The manager wants us to pass the ball this season and get at teams that way which has been great for us because I think everyone in the team can do that.”
Hunt does not believe that having to compete with clubs with far bigger budgets will hold them back either.
“I’ve had to deal with that for the last two years at Accrington and they had one of the lowest budgets in the League, and maybe the Conference as well,” he said.
“But we overcame a lot of people that were putting us down and I am sure it’s the same here.
“We haven’t got the biggest budget but what we have got is a lot of heart, a lot of character and a lot of good players.
“It’s a good place to be around. The staff are friendly and have made everyone feel welcome. I just hope that on Saturday, and I am quite confident we can do it, is that we get off to the perfect start.”
Hunt is one of the more experienced new face at the One Call Stadium - and he has been very impressed by the young players he has found in the dressing room.
“There is an awful lot of talent here,” he said. “You’ve got young Jack Thomas and Mitch Rose, you’ve got Nathan Thomas, you’ve got some some really good up and coming players. Corbin Shires, the centre half, is only 17.
“You’ve got a lot of home-grown talent here which is always nice to see at lower league clubs.
“Maybe they don’t get the chance at the higher clubs because of all the foreign transfers, but especially League Two/League One and the Championship to some extent it’s great to see young lads coming through.”
Hunt said another ambition was to try to be an ever-present in the side this season, though concedes it would be a big ask.
“I just want to keep fit all season - that’s the big one for me - and to play as many games as I can,” he said.
“Obviously I’d love to play 46 League games and all the cup games. But it’s a tough season and a long season and we’ve got a really good squad. So I am sure the manager wants to use all the players in the squad when needed.
“I still have the same enthusiasm as ever, though my legs won’t carry me as fast as they used, but I have always loved the game.
“I am sure there might be a time when I fall out of love with the game, then that would be the time to finish. But at the moment I am loving every minute I am here.”
He added: “They just get longer and longer these pre-seasons at my age. But it’s brilliant to get back into the swing of things.
“To be honest it’s been exactly the same as any other pre-season. There’s differences in training obviously wherever you go. But, apart from that, you are working hard and gearing up to Saturday, which is the first game of the season.
“You never go into that first game at 100 per cent fitness. You can play as many matches as you want but nothing is like the league that you play in.
“There will be three or four games where, though not rusty, we will need the game time, and that goes for every club in every league, even as high as the Premier League.”
Latest | August 2015