MURRAY TARGETS TOP DEFENSIVE RECORD
Stags' boss targets top defensive record
mansfieldtown.net, 21st September 2015
Stags’ boss Adam Murray wants his side to continue their defensive solidity as the season progresses.
Only Wycombe Wanderers have conceded less goals than the Stags so far this season and that is one record that Murray wants to keep come the end of the campaign.
“We’ve got one of the best defensive records in the league and I want to be top of that league because if we get that organisation then the rest will come. We’re going to create chances and we’re going to score goals and we showed that on Saturday without taking them.
“There’s only one team in the league that have conceded less goals than us, we’ve scored just as many goals as teams in the play-offs, if not more, so what a great position [to be in]. We’ve got to understand that we can’t go to anywhere away and expect to go ‘gung-ho’.
“We’re in a good place and we’re looking solid.”
Despite losing 1-0 to a Craig Mackail-Smith penalty at Luton Town on Saturday, Murray says there are positives to be taken from the performance.
“With the ball, we probably didn’t get our rhythm going but defensively we were solid like we knew we were going to have to be and in the second half we probably should’ve got something out of it.
“I’m really pleased with our progress and I’m really pleased with big parts of our performance on Saturday, so it’s a positive.”
The gaffer says that prior to becoming a manager he struggled to see the positives from a defeat, but he sees it more clearly now he’s stood on the touchline.
“I’ve never understood before that managers come out of games in a positive frame of mind after losing, but I get that now,” Murray said.
“There were lots of pleasing things for me on Saturday and the progression, from where we were, is massive.”
In other news, the gaffer revealed has taken a step back from social media since taking charge of the Stags last November, but he does admit to using Twitter on occasions to gauge popular opinion on different matters.
“I love Twitter. I’m not a ‘tweeter’ but as an educational purpose it’s fantastic because you get some real good stuff on there that you can read and pick up on.
“You look at the way we give our players information and that’s via iPads and iPhones because the game is moving forward rapidly and I’ve not got a problem with that. It’s keeping the focus of the way we look and how we determine things because the way the game is now, you have to be structured and you have to be organised.”
Murray revealed at this morning’s news conference that the club are still awaiting a verdict on the injury sustained by Chris Clements against Luton, but the boss believes that he has sufficient cover to replace the midfielder if he does have a spell on the sidelines.
“With a small squad when you do get injuries and suspensions you have to deal with it and that’s what we’ll do. Our recruitment enabled us to sign players who can play in various positions and do well there.
“Jack’s (Thomas) been super in training and he’s probably been a bit unlucky not to get his call a little bit earlier [in the season[ but we’ve got Mitch Rose who can play in there and do an exceptional job, we’ve got Jamie McGuire who we’ve not seen yet and we all know what he can do, so we’ve got people who can step in there and do the job.”
To hear more from the Stags' manager from this morning's press meeting, log in to Stags Player.
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray again calls on fans not to lose their heads on social media
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Monday 21 September 2015
While welcoming the explosion of opinions being voiced on social media, Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray again called for fans to be sensible and realistic after the 1-0 defeat at Luton Town and not have ‘wobbly heads’.
Murray was delighted with his side’s showing on Saturday, but disappointed with how some of the club’s followers have again reacted to a narrow defeat against a very good side away from home.
“The wobbly head syndrome comes out again with people when you’ve lost a game,” he said.
“But there is only one team in the League that’s conceded fewer goals than us.
“We have scored just as many goals as the teams in the play-offs, if not more. So what a great position to be in.
“We need to understand, it’s an arrogance, we can’t go to anywhere away and expect to be gung-ho and play eight up front and no goalkeeper and go attack, attack, attack. You can’t do it.
“The way the game is now you have to be structured and organised. You can’t be ignorant and arrogant and think we can go away to any team in this league and go gung-hu. You’ve got to be sensible in your approach.”
He added: “If it wasn’t for an X-factor bit of play on Saturday and we get the rub of the green then we come away with Luton with a totally different conversation.
“We went to Notts County solid with a 4-3-3 and people tell me it’s the best away performance they’ve seen in years.
“Then we went to York and did exactly the same and won. We got all our joy in the second half playing one centre forward.”
Murray said, while he welcomed opinions, they needed to be realistic.
“It’s got to be an educated opinion,” he said. “The game is turning into an interesting world. There are four million Gary Nevilles now.
“Now everyone wants to write a column, everyone wants to write a blog and the game is turning into an analytical minefield.
“It’s important we keep a real educated opinion on what we are saying as our set-up on Saturday was to handle their threat and then put ourselves onto them, and we did that.
“We are in a good place and we are looking solid. I read an article by Gary Monks saying when he went in there (at Swansea), one of the best attacking teams in the Premier League, all his work is on defensive shape.
“It’s brilliant. It’s the way the game is going and everybody is looking at the game in a different way.
“Everyone used to go - they play 4-4-2 and they play 4-4-2. Ninety per cent of the teams in world football don’t play 4-4-2 now. It’s no co-incidence. There is a reason for that.
“The game is becoming a midfield battle and every team looks to gain an advantage in midfield, whether that’s an overload centrally or wide men coming in.
“So everyone wants to analyse the game now and the chat in the local pub is becoming a chat that’s splattered across everybody’s internet page with social media.”
He added: “It’s fantastic as the game is opinionated, but things have to be focused and educated in what message they are giving out as we know what these messages are like and they get put forward and people jump on bandwagons.
“I love twitter. I don’t tweet, but from an educational purpose it’s fantastic as you get some good stuff on there that you can pick up on. You also get a lot of tripe on there which is brilliant to read and makes you smile. It’s the way of the world.
“You look at the way we give out players information now and it’s via iPad or iPhones. The game is moving forward rapidly and I’ve not got a problem with that.”
Reflecting on the Luton defeat himself, Murray said: “Obviously we lost which is disappointing, but sometimes you’ve go to see the wood for the trees so to speak.
“We went there with exactly the same set-up as we played at home to Crawley the week before, exactly the same mind-set. The difference was we came up against a better team on Saturday so we couldn’t affect them as much as we wanted to, especially first half.
“With the ball we didn’t really get our rhythm going, but defensively we were solid like we knew we’d have to be for periods away from home and second half we should have got something out of it.
“You can’t miss as many chances as we did away from home and expect to come out with anything.
“But I am really pleased with our progress and big parts of our performance on Saturday. So it’s a positive.
“I said after the game to John (Still) that I never understood managers coming out of games in a positive frame of mind after losing, but I get it now.
“The way we went about Saturday there were lots of pleasing things for me and the progression I saw Saturday from where we were coming from was massive.
“We’ve gone to a place that is always tough to go to for any team and we should have won. So you have to be pleased with that.”
He added: “Looking at the fixtures in our first 10 games, we looked at Luton and Plymouth probably being our toughest ones. But we are more than capable of beating these teams - and what a great position to be in.
“You wouldn’t have said that last year. I wouldn’t have. So let’s get our happy faces on. We are in a great place. We are one point out the play-offs and only five points off top.
“You’d have taken that after eight games, so put the wobbly head syndrome away and let’s get on with it.”
Stags' boss embraces varied opinion on social media
Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray said yesterday that the mix of football opinion on social media was 'brilliant' in the modern age.
The Stags' chief also revealed Twitter as his favourite social media platform.
To hear more from Adam Murray, log in to Stags Player.
Stags boss Murray says Twitter is great for football education but also contains a lot of ‘tripe’
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Stags boss Adam Murray is a big fan of social media site Twitter, but warns it contains a lot of ‘tripe.’
Murray, who uses Twitter, but doesn’t put his own opinions on it, welcomes the way football has embraced social media for expressing views on the game.
But he also says the views expressed need to be educated.
A number of Stags fans took to Twitter at the weekend to express their desire to see Mansfield play with a more attacking mindset, after defeat at Luton.
Murray responded, insisting that going ‘gung ho’ against many home sides in League Two would not be a wise move.
Tafazolli could have been red-carded, admits Mansfield Town boss Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Adam Murray admitted some referees would have sent off Ryan Tafazolli on Saturday when his foul on Craig Mackail-Smith gifted Luton Town their 1-0 win from the penalty spot.
But Stags boss Murray also paid tribute to the quality of players like Mackail-Smith and Brian McCourt whose Championship experience helped Luton home.
Tafazolli could have been seen as the last man when he pulled down Mackail-Smith from McCourt’s sliderule through ball and Murray said: “Some referees would have sent him off.
“But I think if you look at the direction of the ball, the position of Krystian (Pearce) and how close Brian (Jensen) was to eating Mackail-Smith I think it was a fair decision.
“Refs do give them, but sometimes you have to hold your hand up to good play.
“This happens when you sign people from Championships clubs. Paddy McCourt played in the Championship and played at Celtic - and what a player he is.
“He played two or three of those balls on Saturday that are X-Factor play. And sometimes you just have say it was good play.
“We have one of the best defensive records in the League and we pride ourselves on that. I want to be top of that league as I think if we get that organisation and that discipline, the rest will come.”
He added: “We will create chances and score goals, we showed that on Saturday without taking them.
“Some of our chances on Saturday - if you’ve got a mortgage you would have put it on Matt Green scoring first half, you’d have put in on Craig Westcarr scoring second half and if Adi (Yussuf) was a little bit sharper, he’d have scored. These things happen and you move on.”
Murray and his players could only stand and marvel as former Scottish international Mackail-Smith whipped a superb overhead kick into their net, ruled out for offside.
Murray said: “Let’s be honest. He’s come from Brighton and you pay for those kind of players don’t you? To do something like that out of nothing. We were controlling their threat really well, and something like that, you can’t cope with as a defender. Luckily it was offside.
“That’s the difference. You look at this League this year and we are lucky. We’ve got Matt Green. We’ve got Craig Westcarr, who at this level are X-Factors.
“They didn’t quite get the rub of the green on Saturday that they did the week before. If they had they would have got goals.
“It is going to be a ridiculously tight season and the team that can get that little bit of consistency, if you can get back-to-back wins, you are in there.
“It’s that simple. That’s our next step now. If we get a win we can’t quite get that next one.
“That’s our building block. When we get that we will move up the gears. I said from day one this team will get stronger and stronger as the season goes on.”
Matty Blair back in Mansfield Town action in Nike friendly tomorrow
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Winger Matty Blair will play his first game since his serious knee injury in January this week when he turns out in a behind-closed-doors friendly with the Nike Acdemy at St George’s Park, Burton, tomorrow (Wednesday).
Blair, who has battled his way back from a cruciate ligament injury sustained at Carlisle just after signing for the Stags, was given a big boost last weekend when he was put on the bench in the 1-0 defeat at Luton at the end of his first full week’s contact training.
“We’ve got a game Wednesday at St George’s Park, so he will play in that and he will be like a new signing when we get him back,” said Murray.
“The quicker we can get him back into game mode the better because he is an all-round player. He does the defensive side, but attacking-wise he gives you a goal threat and creates chances.
“I keep speaking about our attacking players doing the defensive side of the game. I thought at times on Saturday we didn’t do that as well as we have done, and Matty is excellent at that as well as giving us that goal threat.”
He added: “We played them (Nike Academy) last season, and it’s a great facility, a great pitch and a great game to get people minutes in a good environment, again limiting risks to certain things.
“It’s good to get people minutes but we have to be mindful we are low on numbers.”
Mansfield Town star Chris Clements looks set for injury lay-off
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Monday 21 September 2015
Mansfield Town look set to lose midfield ace Chris Clements with a groin strain, but boss Adam Murray is more than happy with the potential replacements.
Clements limped off the field in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Luton Town and was still limping as he arrived for treatment at the One Call Stadium today.
“He is being assessed as we speak, but it’s not looking great,” admitted Murray.
“So we will see how the next 24 hours goes and what the physios say. But we knew this was always going to be the case.
“When you have a small squad and you get injuries and suspensions, we knew we’d have to deal with it and we will.
“Our recruitment enabled us to sign players that can play in various positions and do good jobs there, so we will have a look at it and move on in a positive vein.
“Jack (Thomas) came on last Saturday and was superb. He gave us a different dimension to what Clem does. He brought a little more out of Chappie (Adam Chapman).
“Sometimes when Chappie and Clem play together they both want to do the same thing, which is good. But at the same time another combination can bring different strengths.
“I will be disappointed if we do lose Clem but it opens the door for someone else.”
Last season’s player of the year, teen star Jack Thomas, will be hoping to be in pole position to replace Clements after spending much of this season on the bench.
“That’s credit to the standard of the group, which has gone up so Jack has had to raise his game, which he has done,” said Murray.
“He has been super in training and probably been a bit unlucky not to get his call earlier.
“But we’ve got Mitch Rose that can play in there and do an exceptional job and we’ve not seen Jamie McGuire yet, and we all know what Jamie brings to the table.
“So we have people who can step in there and do the job. It’s not a major worry.”
Also missing Saturday’s visit of Plymouth Argyle will be skipper and right back Nicky Hunt, after picking up his fifth booking of the season.
However, Murray said: “Again we have people that can step into the mould. We’ve got Lee Collins, Liam Marsden, Mitch Rose - all equally as good.
“You look at someone like Mitch Rose going in there - I foresee his position eventually seeing him ending up there as he is attacking-minded, physical and has good distribution.
“Then you’ve someone like Lee Collins who to add to your back line, ups you again as he has organisational skills, he’s a great defender and we knew before we signed him he can play left back, right back or centre half. We’ve got a number of options there. Nicky will be a big miss - but it’s only for one game.”
Chris Beardsley missed out on last weekend’s squad with a slight shin injury and Murray said: “He will only be a week to 10 days. Best case scenario we will have him back for Saturday which we are hoping for.”
Don’t worry, be happy says Stags boss Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Monday 21 September 2015
Adam Murray was brimming with positivity about his side’s start to the season, despite Saturday’s 1-0 defeat by Luton.
The Stags boss believes they’ve made a fine start to the season, and has told everyone at the club to put their ‘happy faces’ on.
“We move on and take the positives and get better,” he said after Saturday’s defeat.
“We’re in a great place, five points off the top - we’d have taken that after eight games, before the season start.”
Latest | September 2015