MURRAY WANTS STAGS TO COME BACK FIGHTING VS OXFORD
Gaffer wants Stags to come back fighting against Oxford
mansfieldtown.net, 19th August 2015
Mansfield Town's 'driven group of players' must come back fighting against promotion-favourites Oxford United this Saturday, Stags boss Adam Murray has said.
Our team were consigned to their first league defeat of the campaign on Tuesday night at Accrington Stanley, due to a first-half strike from winger Sean McConville.
Speaking at this morning’s news conference, Murray said that his side need to stop the ‘little errors’ that crept into their performance in mid-week, and come back fighting. “We need to keep our focus. We are a good side but we need to make sure that we learn from the little errors and we 'get back on the horse' as soon as possible.
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“Everybody I speak to at the minute, even their manager (John Coleman) last night when I spoke to him in his office, commented on what a good team we are.
“The squad we’ve put together are a driven group. They know last night that they 'took one on the chin', [but] winners come back fighting. I don’t think last year we came back fighting enough but I think this group will. Their ego and their pride's been battered last night because they know that they should have got something out the game.
"I know where I can take this football club and this team, I’ve got a time-frame on that and I will achieve that.
“It’s exciting times here and we go again Saturday. It's another big test for us but we believe we can go and affect this league this year.”
Although the result on Tuesday evening was disappointing, the boss did take solace from the fact that it highlighted he still has work to do to get his side to where he wants them to be.
“It does show that there’s still work to do, but the group is positive,” Murray said. “The group is a good group and we’re strong. Our aim this season is that we want to win [in each game]. We don’t want to scrape through and finish mid-table, we want to be up there and this group can do that.
“We’ve got great belief in ourselves, the players have got great belief in what we’re doing but it’s a building process. Everyone wants to see 4-4-2 with two flying wingers and two strikers but we’re not going to do that; it is a building process and we need to make sure that we do things in sections.
“We need to get ourselves defensively sound first. When we do change [the formation] and we go to two 'out-and-out' wingers and centre-forwards, we look like we’re going to concede, so we’re not ready yet.
“We will be ready and we’ll be ready soon but it’s a case of getting the mentality and the solidness, then we build from that.”
Looking forward to this Saturday’s visit of Oxford United, the gaffer believes that his players are can expect a tough game, but is confident heading into the fixture.
“They've signed some very good players and it’s a big club. Their aim has got to be [to finish in the] top three this year, I imagine, so it’s a big test for us but one that we feel we can go and get something out of.
"We go into it with no fear. We’re confident in our ability and when we play the way we can play, we’ll affect anyone in this league.
“It's been a tough month for us. Speaking to other managers at our level, everybody finds this first month tough because it's non-stop. You don’t get as much time on the training ground; it is game, game, game. It’s physically and emotionally draining but we’ve got a lot of away trips this month so it’s nice to get back in front of our fans.
“We want to make this place a cauldron this season, and we’re both (players and fans) going to have to play our part in that.”
Hear more from Adam Murray's news conference by logging into Stags Player.
Adam Murray says Mansfield Town can’t wait for Saturday after Accrington setback
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Wednesday 19 August 2015
Adam Murray said his Mansfield Town side couldn’t wait for Saturday and were desperate to take on Oxford United today to put right last night’s 1-0 setback at Accrington Stanley.
A poor game was decided by a deflected first half goal and then coach didn’t get back to One Call Stadium until 2.30am due to road closures to crown a bad night at the office.
“It was a bad journey back - I think every road into Mansfield was blocked, so it took a little bit longer,” he said. “But it was a good time for reflection and I still feel it was a missed opportunity last night.
“After the game I was a little bit angry - not at the players’ performance overall but the fact that it was a missed opportunity.
“I think we are a group and a team that is strong and we go into those games expecting to win. We didn’t go there expecting to see it out and put points on the board. We expected to win it.
“The frustrating thing is for the first 30 minutes we didn’t really let them out of their half. If you listen to their manager’s comments after the game he was ready to make subs after 25 minutes.
“We carried out the game plan down to a tee again without really creating anything exceptional. We had a lot of territorial advantage where you have to create things, especially away from home, you’ve got to work the keeper more and we didn’t do that in the first half an hour.
“If we score in that period it could have been three or four last night as we did start on the front foot. Then they go down the other end totally against the run of play and score which was a kick in the teeth.”
He added: “The last 10 minutes of the first half I thought we continued to play on the semi-front foot, again without really creating anything, and then we came out second half, changed the shape, put three centre forwards on and the game became a little bit scrappy and bitty.
“They had chances then as we were having to to go for it, but we didn’t have that little bit of quality in the final third last night. We went from back to front too quickly second half.
“I came out of it in a frustrated frame of mind as it wasn’t as if we’d gone there and been outplayed or deserved to lose. We’d missed an opportunity to put three points on the board.
“It’s frustrating, but it’s a good frustration as we’ve put a group together that go into games expecting to win. I was saying to the staff this morning that we lost football games last year and you’d come out of them thinking I don’t know how we are going to score this season. Now I am looking at it and thinking we can win lots of games this season and it’s a positive feeling.
“I do believe with the new group, these little knocks on the chin you take, the teething problems, you have to go through it.
“It was bitty and I think the referee blew his whistle about every 10 seconds, we couldn’t get any rhythm or flow to the game. But those are the games you grind out at least a 0-0 draw and put something on the board. It’s a big learning curve for the group.
“This morning we’ve woken up in a positive mood and we want to play Oxford today. The lads are a great bunch of players and a great bunch of people and they want to put things right straight away. So we can’t wait for Saturday now.”
Mansfield Town hoping to have Matt Green fit to face Oxford
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town are hoping to have striker Matt Green back firing on all cylinders for Saturday’s visit of Oxford United.
Green had a stiff back after an awkward landing at Notts County on Friday and, although he was all but fit, boss Adam Murray chose not to risk him at less than 100 per cent for the 1-0 defeat at Accrington on Tuesday.
“We had no choice in the decision. He wasn’t right,” said Murray. “It’s not like we chose to rest Matt Green on Tuesday night.
“We can’t put somebody in the team that’s not right. Matt Green would be a big miss to any team. At this level he is a super player in what he brings to your side, not just the goals but his general all-round play. But if he’s not fit we can’t play him. If he was fit he would have played.”
Murray continued: “Our aim now is to make sure he is all right for Saturday because I do think he adds something different to our team. But we had enough in there on Tuesday night to get something out of the game.
“We brought him off on Friday because he landed a bit funny. I am not a physio but I think it was a spasm or something. He has had intensive treatment all week and he is virtually there. But on Tuesday night we didn’t want to put him on a coach for two and a half hours and ask him to play and risk him doing something more serious than he actually has.
“We decided it wasn’t worth the risk so we hope we will now have him back on Saturday.”
Oxford’s promising start no surprise to Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Oxford United’ promising start is no surprise to their former player Adam Murray.
The Mansfield Town manager expects them to be among the frontrunners and ahead of their visit on Saturday, he said: “I should hope so ( a good start) with the players they’ve signed. There are some very good players and it’s a big club, a very big club.
“Their aim has got to be top three this season I would imagine, so it’s another good test for us but one we feel we can get something out of. They have signed players that can affect this level, but we are not going into it with any fear. We are confident in our ability.”
Murray said Tuesday’s 1-0 defeat at Accrington will be enough to see his players step up to the plate.
“I imagine and I hope there are a lot of sore egos in there this morning,” he said. “The group we have put together are a driven group and they know last night they took one on the chin. But winners come back fighting. With all due respect, last year I don’t think we came back fighting enough, but I know this group will and that’s the pleasing thing for me.
“Their ego and their pride has been battered last night as they know they should have got something out of the game. We go into these games expecting to win which is a good thing. We went into games like that last year and just said let’s get a point out of this and get out of here.
“In four to six weeks time I expect to see us pulling things out of those games.
“It’s been a tough month for us. Don’t get me wrong, everyone plays the same amount of games. Speaking to managers at our level, everyone finds this first month tough as you don’t get much time on the training ground to work, it’s game, game, game. It’s physically and mentally draining. But you have to go again. We have a lot of away trips this month so it’s nice to get back in front of our fans. We want to make this place a cauldron this season and we will both definitely play our part.
“It’s nice to be back and we are looking forward to Saturday.”
He added: “We need to keep our focus. We are a good side. But we need to make sure we learn from the little errors and make sure we get back on the horse as soon as we can.
“It was that frustrating at Accrington on Tuesday as we never got going. The ball was out of play constantly, the referee was blowing his whistle, there were little stupid fouls everywhere and we never got to create a rhythm and a tempo, especially after the first half hour. Teams that win things, these are the games you grind out. You see out a 0-0 then you go and win your next one. But that will come.
“We are confident as a group and we are positive. Everyone I speak too, even their manager last night when I spoke to him in his office afterwards, commented on what a strong team, we are. We are going to go places, I know where I can take this football club and this team. I will achieve that, there’s no doubt about that.
“But it’s a case of making sure don’t the ‘wobbly head syndrome’ that, when we win a game on Friday, we are going to win the Champions’ League and when we lose at Accrington we are going down to the Unibond.”
Stags’ supporters were in fine voice at Meadow Lane on Friday and Murray knows they will get behind his players again on Saturday
“I know the fans will get the place rocking on Saturday. We need them,” he said. “Credit to the people that travelled to Accrington as it’s a horrible journey on a Tuesday night, so we thank them and we are looking to put things right on Saturday.
“With putting new faces in and still finding each other out, we are a little bit up and down at the moment and at times at Accrington we looked a little disjointed, especially when we changed the shape. It does show there is still work to do, but the group is positive and our aim this season is to win.
“We are not going through it and saying let’s scrape through to mid-table. We want to be up there and this group can do that. We’ve got great belief in ourselves and the players have got belief in what we are doing.
“But it’s a building process. Everyone wants to see 4-4-2 with two flying wingers and two strikers and we put loads of crosses in and create loads of chances, but we are not there yet. We need to make sure we do things in sections. We need to make sure we are defensively sound first. Every time we go to two strikers and wingers we look like we are going to concede so we are not ready yet, but we will be ready soon.
“It’s a case of getting the mentality and solidness right and then we will build on that.
“It’s exciting times here and we will go again on Saturday. It’s a big test for us but we believe we can affect this league this year.”
New role for Mansfield Town new boy Nathan Thomas
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town fans were expecting summer signing Nathan Thomas to be rampaging down the wings after his move to the One Call Stadium from Motherwell.
But, so far, manager Adam Murray has employed him in a more central role in midfield and said:
“We want our wingers to be attacking but they need to do the other side of it as well and I think Nathan is someone that needs to be freed up.
“He is not very defensive-minded. He is an attacking player. So giving him that licence to go and get around from the middle of the park, get at people and drive from the centre of the pitch, it gets more out of him at the minute.
“But last night we didn’t stretch the game as without Greeny you don’t create the space to allow Nathan to play, so it became a little bit congested in there.
“We shifted him out there for a period of the game, but what we haven’t done - and we will be hammering this home this week - is that we haven’t given a lot of service to our attacking players. It will come. We have some exceptional players in that group and Nathan is one of them.”
The Beast: Home atmosphere will make big difference this season
Vastly experienced goalkeeper Brian Jensen says our home fans will play a huge part in turning One Call Stadium into a fortress this season.
Jensen, nicknamed 'The Beast', made his debut for the Stags in last week’s 2-0 win over Notts County, and kept his place for Tuesday’s defeat at Accrington Stanley.
The former Burnley shot stopper, who has previously played in front of 75,000 fans at Old Trafford whilst in the Premier League with The Clarets, amongst other mammoth crowds, described the Stags’ away following of 2,767 to Meadow Lane as ‘spectacular’ and says the supporters will play a huge part in the team’s success this season.
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“The fans were absolutely spectacular but I've said all the way through it's not only that game, we need them all the way through the season. They need to be our 12th man, especially at One Call Stadium because we need to turn this place into a fortress and hopefully they will do that again on Saturday.”
Jensen says that not everything always goes to plan in football, as shown at Tuesday's match at Accrington Stanley. However with games coming thick and fast, Saturday’s visit of Oxford United is an opportunity to build on a opening league record of: won one, drawn one, lost one.
“You try to do your best, you try to win the game but it just doesn’t work out for us [sometimes],” Jensen said.
“Obviously we were really disappointed. The gaffer said our pride has been dented a little bit but there’s nothing better than another game so quickly. We just have to redeem ourselves and just crack on with the game on Saturday.”
After turning 40 years-old in June, Jensen became the oldest ever player to appear for the Stags in Friday’s win against Notts County, beating the record of then-39-year old Tony Ford in 1999. The title raised a smile from the Danish stopper when reminded about the feat, as he says he will keep playing as long as his body let's him.
“There’s still life in the old dog," he quipped. "I’ll just keep it ticking over and working hard and see how it goes.
“I've always said it’s just a number [age], as long as I feel good then that’s the main thing.
“Obviously you don’t know about injuries but you just want to keep it going as long as you possibly can, but I've always said I'll keep going 'until the wheels come off'.
“It's been a tough ride but it's been pleasing and satisfying, to go and be a professional footballer from the area that I'm from is a 'hell of an achievement'.”
The giant ‘keeper is also the Stags’ goalkeeping coach, helping to nurture the next batch of young stoppers, something which he says he really enjoys.
“We’ve got a good bunch of goalkeepers here and I would love to teach them, show them what to do and try to improve them and develop them.
“It's definitely something that I’ve been looking at and something I want to do.”
Hear more from Brian Jensen, on Stags Player.
Brian Jensen beats Mansfield Town club record in first game
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
When giant Danish keeper Brian Jensen made his Mansfield Town debut at Notts County on Friday, he immediately broke the club record as the club’s oldest ever first team player at the age of 40.
The club’s previous oldest player was Tony Ford, who played against Cardiff City in 1999 at the age of 39 years 359 days, while oldest debutant was former manager Carlton Palmer, who was 39 years 244 days when he played at Stockport County 10 years ago this month.
But vastly experienced former Burnley and West Brom stopper Jensen has no intention of hanging up his boots as yet.
Jensen was drafted in on Friday when Scott Shearer was ruled out with an ankle problem caused by a virus and more than played his part in the superb 2-0 derby win.
However, since then he was beaten by a deflected shot in the 1-0 defeat at Accrington on Tuesday night and said: “I have to say it’s been a tough start to have a local derby and then go away to Accrington.
“But to get something out of the big one and then go to Accrington and not get anything, that was a really, really disappointing thing.
“It was a great atmosphere on Friday and to drag nearly 11,000 over there in League Two is spectacular. The fans were absolutely magnificent. But I’ve said all the way through, it’s not only that game, we need them all the way through the season. They need to be our 12th man, especially when we are here at the One Call Stadium. We need to make this a fortress and hopefully they will start doing that again on Saturday.
“We apologise that we had to disappoint them at Accrington, but we are as disappointed as they are. It was a little bit of a kick in the teeth but it’s a great game to get into here again on Saturday to redeem ourselves and show what we can do.
“There’s no magical word. Why did we do this, why did we do that? We tried to win the game and it just didn’t work out for us and we are really disappointed. Our pride has been dented a little bit but there is nothing better than another game coming up so early and so quickly, so we just have to redeem ourselves and kick on on Saturday.
“But why that happened at Accrington, we don’t know. It could be Accrington played better and tried to stop us from playing as, of course, they must have seen us against Notts County. Stuff like that, it’s a combination between the two.”
On the winning goal, he said: “It was going the opposite side and the deflection killed it a little bit. But when you shoot, anything can happen. What goes around comes around and hopefully it will happen for us soon.”
Jensen is proud to break a club record by playing his first game and said: “I can’t really keep it quiet when I am walking around with a squad number of 40 on my shirt, so what can I say? There is still life in the old dog. It’s all good. I will just keep it ticking over and see how it goes.
“I have always said it’s just a number (age). As long as I feel good, that’s the main thing. As long as the body keeps going. I am still hanging in there.
“I’ve said all the way through that, obviously you don’t know about injuries - touch wood - and all that kind of stuff. But you just want to keep it going as long as you possibly can. I always said I would keep going until the wheels came off, so that I am here now to do this is pleasing.
“I am not finished yet. Obviously from the background I am from it’s been a tough ride, but it’s been pleasing and it’s been satisfying to go in.
“It was only my hobby at the time, so to go in and be a professional footballer from the area where I am from, it’s a hell of an achievement I have to say.”
Jensen is doubling up as the club’s goalkeeping coach and hopes to bring through the next generation of stoppers at the One Call Stadium.
“Yes, 100 per cent. We’ve got a good bunch of goalkeepers here and I would love to teach them and show them what to do, try to improve them and develop them,” he said, “It’s definitely something I’ve been looking at and want to do.”
As he spoke to the press, Jensen’s two sons were kicking a ball outside and he smiled: “They are here again today. Yes, that’s the pension.
“I need to keep them ticking over, they are doing really well football-wise, one a keeper and the other a striker.
“I need to please both of them, I can’t say I have got a favourite just because one of them is a goalkeeper! Though we did say to Sebastian that when Kasper (Schmeichel) finally retires, it’s your slot. We have said that to him a few times.”
Now Jensen has the jersey, he has no intention of letting Shearer get it back and is relishing the battle.
“Obviously Scotty has loads of experience as well and we clicking well already,” he said. “We stand by each other - the little GK union - so it’s going well at the moment.
“It always has to be like that or there would be issues. I’ve never come across it being otherwise. I wouldn’t change anything, regardless of who is playing.”
Although he respects the side Saturday’s opponents Oxford United have put together, Jensen said he felt the players in his own dressing room were more than a match for them.
He said: “We have a good bunch of lads and there is an absolutely huge amount of quality in there, so like the gaffer said, Oxford have quality and have signed some good players, but we have as well, so we can hurt them.
“They can hurt us as well so it’s going to be a very good game on Saturday. We need to do something about our performance at Accrington as we set the standard last Friday, so we need to get back to scratch again.”
Latest | August 2015