Murray happy with feel-good factor at One Call Stadium
mansfieldtown.net, 9th September 2015
Stags’ boss Adam Murray believes that the club is a ‘great’ place to be around at the moment, after a solid start to the season.
It’s a real positive place because the only focus is forward"
Adam Murray, manager
The gaffer was speaking about the outlook of everyone associated with the club at this morning’s news conference and he says that everybody is looking forward after the opening month of the season.
With the Stags sitting just outside the play-offs after the first six games of the season, Murray is pleased with how different aspects of the club are coming together, both on and off the pitch.
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“To be a Mansfield Town employee at the minute and as a fan at the minute, it’s a real positive place because the only focus is forward,” Murray said.
“Over the last couple of days on the training ground I’ve said to the staff: ‘what a great place to come and work at the minute’ because we’ve got a group that is one of the best I’ve been involved in as a player and as a manager now.”
Following a hectic first month of the season which saw Murray’s side play eight games in just 28 days, our boss is pleased to have a little more time on the training ground, which also benefits other parts of the club. “It’s good to get on the training ground but the lads probably want to play games because they’re getting ‘battered’ on the training ground and that’s not just physically, but tactically.
“The other departments, the sports science and the medical department, they’re working just as hard and they’re doing a great job at the minute. That’s credit to the club, Paul Broughton (Stadium Director) and the Chairman have allowed us to bring these people in and allowed us to move things up a notch.
“I think, ‘touch wood’, we have haven’t had any serious muscular injuries yet which for this part of the season, [which after] going through pre-season is unheard of and it’s credit to the guys doing their job.”
Murray had some positive injury news to reveal as both goalkeeper Scott Shearer and winger Matty Blair have both returned to training after their respective spells on the sidelines.
“It was a scary time for Scott, out of nowhere he was in a real bad place but he’s come back into the building and he’s started light training and it’s a case of building him up now. We’ll get him back into the squad as soon as we can because Brian’s (Jensen) been superb, but he’s going to need some help.
“Matty’s back in training but again. We’ve got a couple of behind-closed-doors games coming up which the lads who haven’t played will be taking part in and Matty’s one of them.
“He’s got his final meeting with the specialist tomorrow to do the final ticks but we expect nothing to be brought up there and he’s back in and looking fit.”
After three consecutive home draws so far this season, the gaffer is hoping to get our first win on the board against this weekend’s visitors, Crawley Town.
“We know them inside out already and we want to put the points on the board now because we feel like we can 'grab' this league.
“We can feel something bubbling here and when we do click into place in our forward areas and our defensive areas then someone will be on the end of a ‘banging’.”
Adam Murray ready to let Mansfield Town off the leash against Crawley
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Wednesday 09 September 2015
Adam Murray says he is ready to let his Mansfield Town side off the leash against visitors Crawley Town this Saturday as they look for their first home win following three 1-1 draws.
The Stags boss admitted he has had to set up more defensively while his new-look side gelled but, happy with the discipline they are showing at the back, he now wants them to go out and express themselves more.
Murray said: “I looked at Saturday and it was a great ‘away’ performance at home and that’s the building blocks we’ve put in place so far. We looked solid and hard to beat and Saturday was another one that I only saw them winning because of our mistakes.
“We played in the wrong areas at times and we took risks when we didn’t really need to take risks. It’s about moving our game a little further up the pitch now and being a little more of an attacking threat - especially at home.
“I wouldn’t say it’s been by design but with a new group of players you have to put foundations in first. We couldn’t go into the season, especially with the way our league is. League Two is blood and thunder and if you go out there too ‘gung-ho’ you will get found out.
“What I wasn’t going to do was go, right we are going to play and try to win every game 6-0 and come out losing 3-2 or 3-1. I wanted to make sure as a base the team knew its jobs without the ball. I wanted to make sure we knew defensively this is how we go about things as, if you get that right, everything else is a bonus and you can build on that.
“But what we have to do now, especially at home, is be a little bit braver - that’s me included. We have to be a bit more, I wouldn’t say adventurous, but a little more forward thinking. But we are aware of that.
“It’s a good place to be. It’s minor tweaks that are going to make us a very good team which is a real positive.”
Last weekend saw a 1-1 home draw with AFC Wimbledon and Murray said: “It was a strange one. I won’t say it was disappointing as we didn’t lose. Not to lose is always good.
“But we need to start turning these draws into wins now. Saturday was really frustrating as the goal we conceded, we were well aware of that strength and then we didn’t really didn’t get into our mode or into our flow. There was no rhythm about it. We looked a little bit disjointed at times.
“It was the first time that we looked like we were a new team together Saturday. It was always going to happen. We were always going to have a game where it was like that. So it was probably one of our biggest learning curves on Saturday.
“I said after the game to go through a performance like that, where we weren’t quite at it, and not lose, that’s a plus point we have to take out of it because last year, with all due respect, we’d have got beat 4-0 there Saturday.”
He added: “So to be one point outside of the play-offs with six games gone, would we have took that before the season? I think we all would have. With the new intake we’ve had and the new era we are creating we were always going to have teething problems. We knew as a group that during those growing stages we had to pick points up. What we didn’t want was to be having the teething problems but not be picking any points up and be sitting third or fourth from the bottom of the table.
“So there is loads to work on. It was a really good learning curve on Saturday. The lads learned a lot and I learned a lot and the good thing is we know what we need to improve on and what we need to tweak to turn these performances into wins now. And what a great position that is. We are not thinking we need massive changes here because we are in trouble. We are actually looking at just minor tweaks here and there to get us wins.”
Mansfield’s biggest problem last weekend was not giving enough help to lone striker Matt Green.
Murray said: “Away from home at York we spoke about it before the game and the boys got it spot on that game.
“The wide players got involved, the midfield players got up to him. We didn’t do that Saturday. We were a little bit too cautious in our approach and then when we did have the ball we played a lot of square backwards passes that put ourselves in trouble.
“We left Greeny to battle away on his own. It’s something we have identified and have been working on this week and I believe we will see vast improvements in our team over the next month to six weeks.”
He added: “This first part of the season was always going to be let’s put some points on the board, let’s get our feet under the table and now we can start building.
“We’ve probably done it back to front haven’t we? It’s one of those where last season, with respect to everyone that was involved last season, we went into games, we’d go one-nil down and it could have ended up six or seven if we are being totally honest.
“We need to put a bit of metal, a little bit of steel, a little bit of organisation and discipline into the team so people know we are hard to beat. We are organised and, even on off days like Saturday, I never really felt threatened. It was only ever us who were going to ruin it on Saturday.
“Their front four on Saturday and the two lads they had on the bench are some of the strongest in the league attacking-wise. So we knew we would have to deal with that - and for large periods we did.
“We do look solid defensively so now it’s about looking at the other end. We need to get our wingers being wingers now. At the minute our wingers are great full backs which is brilliant. You look at the top teams like Chelsea and their wingers do the crappy stuff and hard work otherwise they don’t play.
“We’ve got our wingers doing that now. What we need to do now is get the balance now in allowing them to be the flair players that they are. And we will do that. It was always part of the process. I’ve spoken to a few people over the last few weeks and we can feel something bubbling here. When we do click into place in our defensive areas and our forward areas, someone will be on the end of a banging.
“I imagine some people on the outside are worrying, thinking we are not attacking enough. But believe it or not I actually have a clue what I am doing. We are not worried.
“The thing about this league it that is unforgiving. You go into it flimsy or not respecting it and thinking you are going to beat everyone three or four-nil, you will get your pants pulled down.
“It’s a case of we have put a structure in place here, the team that plays and the lads that are not involved, they know their roles and their jobs.
“Our job now is to make sure we are a little bit more on the front foot, especially at home, that we are a little bit more forward thinking and it comes down to me because I have been a little bit secure in my approach to games and I need to take the shackles off a little bit and let people go and express themselves.
“It’s been a massive learning curve for everyone over the last months and the scary thing is we are four and a half weeks in and it feels like six months. We have learned a lot over this first period. I said from pre-season all we would do is grow and grow and we are in a really good place.”
Adam Murray hails Wayne Rooney milestone 50th goal
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Wednesday 09 September 2015
Adam Murray paid tribute to Wayne Rooney’s record-breaking 50th goal for England on Tuesday night in the 2-0 win over Switzerland.
Rooney’s penalty success saw him finally overtake Sir Bobby Charlton’s record and Stags boss Murray, who represented his country at U20 level, said “To do that is an incredible milestone.
“I think any kind of milestone that any player at any level hits is always an incredible achievement. It always takes a dedication and a focus to get to targets, so all credit to him.”
Mansfield Town must come out the traps flying, says boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray has ordered his side to come out of the traps flying against Crawley Town on Saturday.
After three 1-1 draws, Stags are still seeking their maiden home win and for the second League game in a row had to achieve points the hard way by coming from behind in last week’s 1-1 home draw with AFC Wimbledon.
“One thing I didn’t think we did on Saturday, which we have done in most our games, is set the tempo,” he said.
“We allowed them to dictate. We didn’t come out our half in the first 10 minutes, which was disappointing. But we are aware of that and we have worked on that. So we are looking forward to Saturday.”
He added: “We know them (Crawley) inside out already and we are working on them this week. The lads are working really hard. Our focus is on Crawley and we really want that first home win. “We want to put the points on the board now as we feel we can really start grabbing this league by the so-and-so’s now - and that’s what we are going to aim to do.
“They are very efficient. They’ve only got a very small squad. I know Yatesy (manager Mark Yates) really well. I played with him (at Kidderminster). I did his running for a fair while, so I know he knows the league inside out and he will have them organised and they are very structured.
“We have watched a few of their games where they look very hard to beat, grinding out draws, so we are going to have to be on our mettle. But we are focusing on how we believe we can win the game and not on them. This is about us and, especially at home, we must adopt the front foot a bit more.”
Mansfield Town believe Mickleover move will be good for Spencer
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Wednesday 09 September 2015
Young Mansfield Town midfielder Chris Spencer is expected to get much-needed match experience at Evo-Stik Northern Premier League outfit Mickleover Sports on his three month loan.
The 18-year-old had spent a one month at Hednesford Town of Vanarama National League North, but Stags were unhappy how little he played there.
Boss Adam Murray said: “He went to Hednesford but didn’t get the game time that these moves are supposed to enable the boys to get. But we know the boys down at Mickleover, it’s a lovely playing surface and a really good environment.
“It’s a tough environment to work in and they will push them and work them hard. It is another valuable experience for him and, like we are trying to do with a number of our lads, it’s pointless them sitting round here doing nothing. They need to be playing football and be in an environment where the pressure is on to win.
“He played 90 minutes last night and they went down to 10 men after about 20 minutes and, to be fair to them, they were awesome and they nicked in in the last minute.
“It is a good standard. The lower levels get looked down at a little bit, but you get people like John McGrath that’s there, who had a good career at Burton, and there are some good people down there and we know that Chris will be tested and pushed.”
Consistency the key, says Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Adam Murray thinks his Mansfield Town team have as good a chance of success as any side of in a wide open League Two this season if they can find some measure of consistency.
Stags sit eighth with six points from nine games ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Crawley Town and Murray said: “We said this at the start that it was going to be tighter than last year but also tougher than last year.
“I think there are going to be a larger group of teams that are capable of competing at the top. I think it’s shown already that this season is going to be one in which anyone can beat anyone on any given day.
“It will be the team that’s the most consistent and the team that grinds out results when it’s having an off day. That’s going to be the difference in this league this season. I believe any team can go anywhere and win anywhere.
“So we are going to have to make sure we get that consistency and when things aren’t quite kicking into place, we take points.
“We were really disappointed we didn’t do that at Accrington. We should have got something out of that game but we failed to do so.
“To be sitting here and only having lost one League game at the minute we are happy, but we believe, and this is probably a bit arrogant, that we should be in the top four.”
Matty Blair takes another step towards Mansfield Town return
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Injured Mansfield Town winger Matty Blair will be back in full contact training on Monday - but boss Adam Murray is refusing to put a date on his first team return yet.
Blair has been battling his way back from a serious injury all year and Murray said: “Matty is back in training. Again it’s going to be a case of building him up.”
Stags will take advantage of next week’s blank midweek to take on the Nike Academy at St George’s Park, Burton, to get players much-needed games and Murray said: “We’ve got a couple of behind-closed-doors friendlies coming up.
“The lads that haven’t played will be taking part in them and Matty is one of them.
“Matty and DT (Daryl Thompson, strength and conditioning coach) are going to be best mates for a couple of weeks which he won’t be very pleased with.
“But he is coming on really well and he’s got his final meeting with the specialist tomorrow to do the final ticks. But we expect nothing to be brought up there, he’s back in and he is looking fit.”
Murray added: “He will be back at full contact from Monday. He has trained with our first team this week as a floater, doing bits and bobs. But the way our group is, is that if you’re a floater you get smashed so he has taken a couple already.
“Matty is a little bit tentative and a bit nervous about it, which you’re going to be. You can see he is over-thinking at the minute. That will be down to myself and the medical staff to break the mental barrier for him.
“The biggest thing now is we did a little bit of a fitness session yesterday and the only person keeping up with him is Greeny so he’s always been ridiculously fit. He’s got a lot of pride in his physical state. So the good thing for us is that once we break those mental barriers down he will be back in.
“I am not going to put any pressure on him or expectation from the supporters that Matty Blair is going to be back on this date at 3pm. Matty Blair will be back when I feel he is ready.
“He is a top man and at the minute he epitomises this group. The last couple of days on the training ground, I have said to the staff what a great place to come and work at the minute.
“This is a group that is one of the best I’ve been involved in as a player and obviously as manager now. They are very, very good people and very, very good players and when this comes together in all areas, physically, defensively and in attack, we are going to be a very good team.”
Also due back into the squad is keeper Scott Shearer after a real fright with an infection in his ankle, following what was believed to be an insect bite, that quickly spread up his leg.
“It was a scary time for Scott. Out of nowhere he was in a really bad place,” said Murray.
“So he’s come back into the building and started light training. But it’s a case of building him up now. We need to get him back into the squad as soon as we can. Brian (Jensen) has been superb but he is going to need some help.”
Chapman aims for consistency
mansfieldtown.net, 9th September 2015
Mansfield Town midfielder Adam Chapman says he is glad to be back at the club and hopes for more consistency in his own performances in the coming weeks.
Chapman first joined the Stags on loan in 2013 and was part of the Conference-winning side which took the club back into the Football League after a five-year absence before rejoining this summer after a two-year spell with Newport County.
The ex-Oxford United man has been deployed as a defensive midfielder so far this season and he says it is a role which is different for him, but one that he’s enjoying.
“I’m enjoying it and I’m trying to find consistency with it. I haven’t been consistent enough, for me, in the first [eight] games. I feel like I’m having a good game one week then an average game the next, so I am quite enjoying the change but I am looking to improve and it’s more about consistency for me in that position now."
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/chapman-aiming-for-consistency-2678615.aspx#C6DhBUOJQREJh9Pk.99
With Chapman’s role requiring him to sit just in front of the back four, it gives the Stags’ other midfielders the license to go and influence the game further up the pitch.
“It’s about giving Clem (Chris Clements) the freedom to go and influence games and go and get on the ball and do what he does because he’s an unbelievable talent,” Chapman said. “He’s great on the ball and [he] gets us going.
“And also it’s been either Mitch [Rose] or Jack [Thomas] [playing in midfield]. I allow them to go and run around and charge around like they do with their unbelievable energy levels. It’s more of a disciplined role, organising people more and dictating, sitting out of it when I am itching to get forwards.”
Although predominantly a midfielder, the Sheffield United academy product was used as a defender in Adam Murray’s experimental team for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy game with Notts County, a position that Chapman says he is happy to play in when called upon.
“We spoke a lot in the summer, me and the gaffer, about what positions he sees me playing. Like in the Notts County game when I’ve gone and played as the middle one in a three at the back, we’ve looked at that as a position for me, not for a season, but if needs be I can go and do that.
“I think there will be games where he allows me that license to go and kick on a little bit further, but for the moment, I’m going to play wherever he wants me to play and I’m happy to do that.”
The 25-year-old sees Mansfield as a place to settle down with his family after moving around a lot in the early stages of his career.
“I’ve spoken with the chairman in the summer and the manager and I’m looking to settle here now. Hopefully I can perform to a standard which everyone thinks acceptable and I’d like to be here for a good number of years now.
“I’ve never really felt like I could settle in Newport, I enjoyed my time there and I don’t regret it and I wouldn’t change it but I never looked at it as somewhere I could stay for five or six years.”
Adam Chapman happy to be home at Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town midfielder Adam Chapman is happy to be home as he settles into his second spell with the club. And he would be happy to spend the bulk of the rest of his career there now.
Chapman, 25, who hails from Retford, helped Stags to the Conference title in 2013 while on loan from Oxford United but, when a permanent move did not materialise, he ended up spending two season with Newport County before returning to the One Call Stadium this summer.
On his first spell, he said: “I enjoyed it. It started off very well.
“I had a little bit in the middle where I wasn’t sure about it but at the end, obviously, it was brilliant. It was a fantastic end. I wanted to stay but couldn’t get it done for whatever reason. So I am just delighted to be back now.
“I spoke to the chairman in the summer and the manager and I am looking to settle in now and hopefully it’s not going to be from my want of choice of leaving. Hopefully I can perform to a standard that everyone thinks is acceptable and I’d like to be here for a good number of years now.
“I love everybody involved with the club. There has not been that much change off the field staff-wise behind the scenes, I love all them. Obviously the manager is still here, Coops and Micky (coaches Richard Cooper and Micky Moore), and I do enjoy it, so hopefully this is me.
“It’s been two years here, two years there and I never really felt I could settle at Newport. I enjoyed my time there, I loved it there. I don’t regret it and wouldn’t change it but I never looked at it as somewhere I could stay for five or six years.
“There were a few clubs in the summer that I thought I could go there for a year or there for two years but I’d want to move again.
“This was obviously the stand-out candidate from being here in the first place because I wanted to come back. But also I looked at it from my family point of view as somewhere I could settle and see myself here for a good number of years.
“We moved down to Wales as a family but it’s nice to be back home. Retford is only half-an-hour and that’s where we are from.”
As he prepared for Saturday’s visit of Crawley Town, Chapman said the players were disappointed to be held 1-1 at home by AFC Wimbledon last weekend, saying: “We definitely feel like we’ve dropped two points there.
“We had a couple cleared off the line, but we don’t feel we are clicking in our attacking form at home at the moment.
“We do think as a group that when it clicks, especially at home, we are going to give someone a real good three or four-nil. I do think we look relatively solid. Against Carlisle and Wimbledon I never felt we were going to lose the game. Against Oxford maybe a draw was a more fair result.
“Other than that it’s just, on the attacking side, we need to click and gel as a team and hopefully that will come on Saturday.”
He knows it would help if they didn’t give the opposition a goal start like in the last two League games.
“It’s not something we want to be doing and we don’t want to be giving away sloppy starts,” he said.
“It’s something we make a big thing about in the changing room before the game and even on a Friday.
“We want a quick start - a fast start - as that’s how we feel we can affect teams. The last two games we have conceded an early goal which is disappointing. But on the flip side it’s good to know you can come from behind to draw or win a game.
“We had a meeting the other day and said if you offered us that on 4th July, we’d have took it, especially knowing we haven’t kicked off what we feel we can do as a group.
“One good sign is that when you’ve been average to good for the first period of games, we’ve still picked up a reasonable amount of points and we are just outside the play-offs. It could be better but it isn’t doom and gloom and, especially at home, we are just waiting for something to click and that will really kick us on and hopefully that will be Saturday.
“There are a lot of sides that haven’t got themselves going yet. You look at Luton, they’re down near the bottom but I think they are another side I don’t expect to be there for very long.
“They are a big club. So it’s a good sign we haven’t clicked yet but we have picked good points. We are not really chasing this early in the season, so there’s no real panic.”
Chapman played an attacking midfield role last time he was with the club, but this season he has played much deeper in a holding role and, at Notts County in the Johnstone’s paint Trophy, he was a part of an experimental back three.
On his new role, he said: “I am enjoying it but I am trying to find consistency with it. I’ve not been consistent enough for me in the first eight games. I feel like I am having a good game one week and an average game the next.
“I don’t mind it. I am quite enjoying the change but I am looking to improve.
“It is a lot more disciplined. It’s about giving Clem (Chris Clements) the freedom to go and try to get on the ball and do what he does, because he is an unbelievable talent. He is great on the ball and gets us going.
“And it’s allowing Mitch (Rose) or Jack (Thomas) to run around and charge around like they do with their unbelievable energy levels. So it’s more of a disciplined role, organising people and sitting out of it when I am itching to get forward, and then maybe I get caught in between going forward and not being as disciplined as I could.
“We spoke a lot in the summer, me and the gaffer, about what positions he sees me playing. At the Notts County game I played in the middle of a three at the back. We’ve looked at that, not as a position for me for a season, but if needs be I can go and do that.
“I think there will still be games he allows me that licence to go and kick on a little bit further forward. For the minute I am going to play wherever he wants me to play and I am happy to do that.
“To be fair back in my younger days I did play centre half for two seasons. But I think the amount I wanted to get on the ball and pass it, that didn’t last very long. I think they always wanted me to get out of there.
“But I did play there a couple of times for Newport last year and I played all right. So I don’t think it’s a position in which you’re going to get 15 games out of me because I don’t think that’s me. But if needed I could go there and do a job.
“I don’t think I will be needed. I’d much rather see one of them big boys back there than me.”
Chapman has seen his cash-strapped former club Newport sink to the bottom of the table already
“There are problems,” he said. “I still speak to a couple of people there and they say it’s not as bad as it looks.
“But it’s going to be hard for the new manager there to go in with the budget cuts and restraints on what he can do. But I really do hope they get out of where they are and stay in the League as I really enjoyed my two years there and I wouldn’t change it.
“I don’t want to see them go down as we all know once you go down it’s hard to come back up.
“I enjoyed it there and I’d like to think they enjoyed me too.”
On Saturday, he added: “We are expecting a tough test from Crawley. We know what they are about.
“We know what their strengths are and we know they’re a good side.
“We probably know they haven’t kicked off yet, so they will be looking to come here and put in a good away performance and hope that can kickstart them, but hopefully it will be that does that on Saturday.”
Yates gives update on Crawley Town injuries ahead of Mansfield Town
Crawley News, September 09, 2015
DESPITE Crawley Town having enjoyed nearly two weeks off for the international break, manager Mark Yates admits the Reds still have some injuries concerns.
Defender Joe McNerney was forced off with a knee injury just before half-time in Crawley’s goalless draw against Wycombe Wanderers, and Yates confirms the problem is worse than first thought.
Read more: http://www.crawleynews.co.uk/Yates-gives-update-Crawley-Town-injuries-ahead/story-27767901-detail/story.html#ixzz3lGwEHMhA
“Joe is still the same,” Yates lamented. “He’s feeling something in his knee. He has been in the physio department and so we will see when we have him back in for training on Thursday. We want to get it right.
“It hasn’t settled down as we would have liked. With the players away and no games, there was no point rushing him.
“We will see how it is on Thursday and give him every chance of being available. He is still working extremely hard with the physio while keeping off the little knock that he’s got.”
And Gavin Tomlin and Lanre Oyebanjo are both long term concerns having had operations in the summer, but Yates has confirmed the forward is closer to a comeback than the right-back.
“Gavin is probably a couple of weeks away from joining in training and Lanre is probably a couple of weeks on top of that,” the manager said. “They are in and around the group and they are working hard, so it will be good to see them back.”
Latest | September 2015