MURRAY, COLLINS, PAUL COOK REACTION
Adam Murray post match audio from BBC Radio Nottingham:
Lee Collins post match audio from BBC Radio Nottingham:
Murray: We stuck to the game plan
mansfieldtown.net, 24th October 2015, by Nick Lough
Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray has paid tribute to his team’s ability to stick to a game plan after coming away with a hard-fought point from Portsmouth this afternoon.
Stags played out a 0-0 draw at Fratton Park after battling hard to deny the hosts the three points, and Murray wanted to put the onus on his players’ discipline during key moments in the match.
“It was one of our best away performances of the season, one of our best tactical performances and at times we had to dig in and work,” said Murray.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-2763054.aspx#LQVpurgzfkQ84X8g.99
“[In the] first-half we dominated large parts of the game, our shape was superb, we created a few chances, but when you come to Portsmouth you’re expected, at times, to come under the cosh and they’re a fantastic team with a very good manager.
“Our overall performance was fantastic, not just because it was an away performance but the way we carried the game plan out.
“We spoke about the game this morning that there would be periods where we would play without a striker and play with a false nine, so we’d have a front three that just drift. We knew we could get at them in certain areas but all the credit needs to go to the lads for sticking to the plan.”
Two clean-sheets in the space of four days at Pompey and Yeovil has seen the Stags’ defence receive high praise from the boss, with centre-half Lee Collins particularly earning the plaudits after replacing the suspended Krystian Pearce.
Speaking about the potential selection headache when Pearce returns, Murray said: “When Krystian returns he’s not getting his shirt back.
“That’s the nature of the beast, Krystian has been superb but over the last two games Lee Collins and Ryan Tafazolli have been immense along with the rest of the back four.
“Blair Adams again today was superb, great defensive display. For a guy who has come into the team out of the cold and put in the two displays he has done is world class.
“I’m proud of my football club again today, the fans were absolutely tremendous coming up against 16,000 [Portsmouth supporters] and still shouting their hearts out is what we stand for.
With the strength of Portsmouth’s squad over the past few years, Murray believes his side have set up defensively from the start in a bid to earn a point, but he feels his formation today allowed them to force the home side’s hand for at least 45 minutes.
“We didn’t want to come here and play five in midfield or five at the back, we wanted to come here and have a right go and in the first-half we had a lot of good possession and play around the box,” he said.
“Second-half when they do start getting on top of the game, shooting into that big stand there with the crowd pulling them in, it’s hard to play against that and they do get on to the front-foot and you have to try and keep the reigns on the game.”
With 800 miles travelled and four points picked up, Murray declared his delight for not only his players, but to his trusted board of directors who have backed him every step of the way.
Murray continued: “I’m absolutely over the moon. Obviously it (fatigue) does play a part for a long time but again I give credit to my chairman and the board who allowed us to come down yesterday and prepare perfectly.
“We trained at Southampton yesterday through some contacts that we have down there which was superb, and it allowed us to put in the performance we did.”
You can watch Murray’s interview on Stags Player later.
Adam Murray praises “outstanding” Mansfield Town
Adam Murray said his Mansfield Town side were “outstanding” last week as the Stags picked up four points from two games on the road.
A 1-0 win over Yeovil Town was followed by a goalless draw at pre-season promotion favourites Portsmouth to keep Mansfield within the play-off picture.
Each game represented a different challenge for the Stags, against sides at either end of the division, and Murray was pleased with his team’s return.
He said: “It’s good to be back home with some points on the board. Tuesday (Yeovil) we used to release our frustration from the previous Saturday against Bristol.
“We recovered and prepared right to put something on the board against Porstmouth. I thought the boys on Saturday were outstanding.
“We knew during the game we’d have to change formation a couple of times to keep them on their toes and keep offering different threats.
“We did that and we kept them going side to side for the majority of the game. They’ve made a more defensive change before the game with (Danny) Hollands in to midfield.
“They brought a centre-midfielder on right wing towards the end of the game to play for a point. Obviously we were happy with a point away from home.
“I think they’ve had five or six per cent more possession than us. Away from home it was an outstanding performance and it’s a good job the people inside this building see how hard these lads are working.”
Despite Pompey shading possession, they could only muster two shots on target throughout the 90 minutes which Mansfield keeper Brian Jensen dealt with.
“Brian’s had a cross-shot he’s pushed over the bar but I think, speaking to him afterwards, he was getting bored and he wanted to have the picture on his mantelpiece of him jumping with the big crowd behind him. He could have headed it if he wanted to,” said Murray.
“He’s had one he’s had fired at him, straight down his throat. It’s a credit to the whole team. You look at how the forward boys have worked defensively in both games and they’ve put a shift in. We stopped Portsmouth’s flow on Saturday and that started from the front.
“If you look at our defensive record so far it’s good but that’s not a back four thing, it’s not a goalkeeper thing, it’s a whole team thing. The only way we keep these standards is if we keep battering it home. It does become monotonous at times but when it’s called upon it’s second nature.
“I think the performances of our boys on the road so far have been superb.”
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray remains grounded after “excellent” four points from Yeovil and Portsmouth away days
Adam Murray will not get carried away following an “excellent” four points from two away days.
The Mansfield Town manager recognises the progress in his side and believes there is more to come after a win at Yeovil and draw at Portsmouth in the last week.
A goalless draw at Fratton Park saw chances limited for the Stags but Murray was pleased with his side’s efforts, who entertain Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.
Murray said: “An excellent four points on the road. We’ve played the top three now and none of them have beaten us. You look at our record against these teams and we’ve gone in structured and organised.
“Maybe sacrificed a little bit of our attacking threat because we’re up against the big boys. Let’s not get carried away. Let’s not get arrogant about where we are.
“We’re up against some big boys in this league and our boys are fighting tooth and nail, they can’t give any more than what they’re giving so hyper-critical we would hae liked to have been better in possession at times but that’s our next stage.
“That can’t happen overnight and I keep saying when we achieve the standards that I think this team can achieve then they’re the kind of performances when we come away and we’ve nicked it one-nil.
“I said it after Accrington, those types of games we have to draw or we have to nick one-nil. We go to Yeovil and we do that because it was another couple of months down the line.
“The next step will be going to these bigger clubs and nicking the one-nils. It’s all part of the journey and I really enjoyed Saturday. I really did. It was a pleasure to watch my team and again I thought our fans were immense.”
Collins congratulates team effort
mansfieldtown.net, 24th October 2015, by Nick Lough
Mansfield Town defender Lee Collins believes that every member of the Stags’ squad deserves credit for the way they dug in deep during a tough second half at Portsmouth.
Delighted with the clean-sheet, Collins spoke about working as a unit when the going gets tough, with the final 45 minutes at Fratton Park this afternoon a shining example of that fact.
“The point was massive really and the clean-sheet was of vital importance not just for the back-four and Brian [Jensen], but as a team [in the] second-half we defended really well and kept to our shape we’ve been
working on, and I’m delighted with it,” said Collins.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/collins-congratulates-team-effort-2763526.aspx#QiB2y8iJmeOCJktZ.99
“I thought first-half they had their opening ten minutes [of being on top] which we knew they would have. I thought we came out on top at half-time and then in the second half we knew their fans would really get behind them and push them to go for it and we just kept our discipline and produced a really professional performance.
“I never thought we were going to lose.”
The visitors were resolute for the full 90 minutes on the South Coast as they battled hard in front of almost 16,000 Pompey fans, but Collins admits he was more enthralled than nervous on the giant stage that is Fratton Park.
“The atmosphere is just brilliant even though we are the away team. You hear the fans singing and it just adds to the whole occasion,” he said.
“If you put in a tackle and the fans get on to their player for not winning it, it gives you a little boost. I had a few 50/50s for a change and I thrive on them.
“League Two hasn’t become the Premier League overnight. They are a good team with a good budget and we’ve done really well against them.
“We won’t get carried away as we’ve still got a lot of the season left but [as long as] we keep up momentum and we’ll be okay.”
With manager Adam Murray admitting central defender Krystian Pearce’s place in the team isn’t a formality upon completion of his suspension, Collins admits the healthy competition amongst the players can only be a good thing, and personally feels like he has earned his spot in the starting XI.
He shared: “I had a bit of rotten luck at the start of the season getting injured but Pearcey [Krystian Pearce] and Taff [Ryan Tafazolli] have been unbelievable together so I’ve had no quarrels.
“I’ve not been knocking on the managers door to get me a game, I’ve just had to bide my time and when I get it, I take it and I think I’ve done this so far.
“He [Adam Murray] will have a predicament when everyone gets fit; Pearcey’s been outstanding and really bossed this level so far and I hope he comes back just as sharp because he’s an asset to have.”
A new addition to the squad after only signing from Northampton in the off-season, the experienced League Two defender believes the Stags’ squad is one the best he has played in at this level.
Collins continued: “It’s definitely up there with one of the best [I’ve played in]. The comradery, the way we play to each other’s strengths, and we’ve got quite a small squad compared to some of the other teams but the quality of it is definitely up there.
“On and off the pitch we just know each other’s games really well and inside-out; we always have each other’s backs.”
Portsmouth manager Paul Cook speaks to BBC Radio Solent:
"I was really pleased with us today, I thought the shape of our team was excellent, the structure was excellent but we just lacked that penetration.
"I thought the first 15 minutes was as good as we've started a game, but unfortunately we didn't get that first goal.
"Mansfield are a good side, they've got good players, and today we've limited them to what I think was no attempts on goal in the second half.
"If we'd have won 1-0, what does it change? Not a lot. We'd have another couple of points, we'd be a bit higher in the league, everyone's happier than they are. We've got a really good club and everyone should just be patient and be stronger."
Pompey 0-0 Mansfield: Paul Cook keen to move on
by Neil Allen, thenews.co.uk
Paul Cook called for Pompey to ‘Get on with it’ rather than mulling over another frustrating Fratton afternoon.
The Blues failed to beat Mansfield this afternoon, forced to settle for a goalless draw despite dominating possession.
In a fixture of few goalscoring opportunities, Ben Davies’ first-time shot and substitute Conor Chaplin’s scrambled effort were the only on-target attempts from the hosts.
It added to more points dropped at Fratton Park - a venue where they have won only twice in eight league games this season.
Although, Cook was afterwards quick to point out Pompey’s continued lofty placing of second in League Two.
He said: ‘Unfortunately, we are not firing like everyone wants us to. We are 15 games into a league campaign with a completely new squad, new management team and all-new system of how we are playing.
‘I don’t want to answer supporters who are being critical and those who are not (being critical), we are 15 games in so let’s get on with it.
‘There weren’t a lot of chances in the game, I think it was two teams with a lot of good players on the pitch cancelling each other out.
‘You are not fourth in the league table for nothing, as Mansfield are.
‘They offered probably no threat to us in the second half, very similar to Stevenage on Tuesday night.
‘But, unfortunately, we couldn’t win the game, so let’s get on with it.’
Danny Hollands makes the case for patience
Steve Wilson, thenews.co.uk
Danny Hollands believes Pompey must continue to show patience to reap the benefits of their possession game.
The Blues midfielder was back in the starting line-up for the first time in almost a month as boss Paul Cook opted to bring him into the fold, replacing Adam Barton alongside Michael Doyle.
The 29-year-old turned in an encouraging display but was left feeling frustrated at another home draw as Mansfield were the latest team to leave Fratton Park with a point.
But while Hollands understands the murmurs of discontent from some home supporters, he believes the style of play under Cook demands some extra persistence when Pompey are struggling to break down stubborn opponents.
He said: ‘The style of play is about being patient and it’s good to play in.
‘You get a lot of the ball and you get to pass it.
‘If we hurl balls in from long distances, that can get just as frustrating for fans.
‘If we are shooting from a long way out, they can get bodies in the way.
‘Sometimes, it’s a lot easier when you are watching from the stands. I’ve been there myself.
‘You can’t fault our fans and I totally understand that it can get just as frustrating for them as well as us on the pitch.
‘Over the past four or five years, there have been different managers and different styles of football.
‘The way that we are playing now, it’s a bit more patient.
‘The manager wants us to keep the ball and dictate games. I think we are doing that.
‘But that can be frustrating for the fans who might want us to get it into the box quicker.
‘We are second in the league playing the way we are.
‘Hopefully, they understand that and will keep getting behind us as they always do.
‘We are working hard every day and we will only get better.’
While Mansfield had their moments in the first half, they looked less threatening after the break.
And the former Bournemouth man felt they got the point they came for.
He said: ‘They were fourth in the league and they are no mugs.
‘They came for a point and our goalkeeper has not had a save to make.
‘It shows that we have been the better team.
‘There were a few chances but we would have liked to have created a few more clear-cut chances.
‘On another day, we could have had a couple of goals.
‘All you want is for a team to come out and have a right go.
‘But it doesn’t seem to happen much this season. After 70 minutes, they were taking their strikers off.
‘As you get further into the season, we might see teams being a bit more positive.
‘But it’s up to other teams how they want to play. We have to find a way to win games ourselves.
‘We are controlling games, which is the main thing.
‘Yes, it’s all about scoring goals but we are as frustrated as everyone else that we are not scoring as many goals at home as we would like.
‘We have to keep our heads and keep plodding away.’
Brian Jensen @jensen_com 16h16 hours ago
What a performance by the lads in front of me????Thanks to the fans for travelling all the way down ???????? @mansfieldtownfc #cleansheet #stags
Nathan Thomas @Naththomas19 16h16 hours ago
Great result away to Pompey, shows how far this teams come! Proving everyone who wrote us off wrong ???? #stags #promotionpush
John Radford @JRadfordMTFC 17h17 hours ago
Excellent point against Portsmouth. Real team spirit shown again by our boys.
Now let's fill the ground against Wycombe. COYS!!!
Latest | October 2015