{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from November 2015

11th November 2015 15:53

Boss eager for Stags to take on Oldham challenge
mansfieldtown.net, 4th November 2015

Manager Adam Murray is looking forward to the challenge of Oldham Athletic in Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup first round tie.

The Stags have a break from Sky Bet League Two action this weekend as they welcome the Latics to One Call Stadium, and Murray is looking forward to the prospect of challenging the League One outfit..

Speaking at this morning’s news conference about the preparation, he said: “It’s been a great week, it’s been a week where we’ve refocused. It’s been good to have a recap of where we’re at, what we feel like we need to do better. We go into the game on Saturday which is a great challenge for us.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/boss-eager-for-stags-to-take-on-oldham-challenge-2784277.aspx#sXhSWgc6crtSueP7.99

“They’re a very good side, probably underachieving at the minute but they want to play football so it’ll be a good game. They’re a league higher than us, we’re going to have to be on our guard because they’ve got some big players.

“The FA Cup is something you want to play in, as a kid it was always something special.

"We want to go and express ourselves against a better team, there’s no reason why we can’t go and beat them.”

The interval in league fixtures has given Murray time to reflect on the campaign so far and he is positively encouraged by how the Stags are doing, but knows where they can still improve.

“We’re up against some big hitters this year. [So] Credit to Mansfield Town, credit to our fans and our board and most importantly our players for us punching up there with them.

“We’ve got to be better with our end product at home, because teams are going to come and try and ‘shut up shop’ on us. Away from home, teams come out at you which makes them vulnerable. At home we’ve got to reinvent little bits to make sure that when teams do come and defend against us, we know how to break them down. If teams are looking in that manner at us now then ‘well done us’”.

The boss attended Monday night’s FA Youth Cup game between Stags and Cambridge City, and Murray thinks the game, despite not being the perfect performance, was another step in the right direction for the club.

“They can play better. [In the] first half we were average but second half we showed our quality, but like the first team it’s a whole new set-up - it will take time for us to get it exactly where we want it.

"The whole club is in a great place. We’ve got them (the youngsters) in today training with us, seven of them, because the ultimate aim is to get them out there [for the first team].

“When you play in the FA Youth Cup it’s a massive occasion. I know the boys built themselves up for it for four or five days before - there were a lot of nerves out there and they looked a little anxious and second half they began to play football. It’s another step on their journey.”

The manager's extended interview can be viewed on Stags Player.


Mansfield Town plot cup upset against struggling Oldham Athletic
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk

Mansfield Town may feel they are underdogs when Oldham Athletic visit in Saturday’s FA Cup first round tie, but some bookies have them down as favourites to beat the League One strugglers.


Stags sit sixth in League Two and host a visit from an injury-hit Latics who have only won once at home and once away in all competitions all season, sitting 19th, just a point above the drop zone.

Former England midfielder David Dunn has just been appointed manager after a spell as caretaker since Darren Kelly was sacked in September and Stags boss Adam Murray said “They’ve got a new manager and we have watched the games and they are a very good side - probably under-achieving at the minute.

“They want to play football, so it should be a good game on Saturday.

“My players have worked really hard this week. We have the GPS stuff up and running now and the data from the sessions this week has been high. It’s been a great week. We have refocused. We’ve had a few team meetings.

“We worked all day Monday and Tuesday and it’s been good to have a recap on where we are are at, what we need to do better, what we are doing really well and we go into a game on Saturday that will be a great challenge.”

Murray knows if his side are to progress, they will need to improve their frustrating home form where teams are coming to defend and the Stags have only won twice and have lost the last two.

Murray said: “A person with a football brain will see the type of games we are having at home.

“When you are away from home, teams have to try to beat you. Away from home they will settle for a point. I spoke to someone from our opponents (Wycombe) on Saturday and their set-up was to get a draw.

“They worked on our threats all week - and you’ve seen that. We’ve got to be better with our end product at home as teams are going to come and try to shut up shop against us.

“We are facing a different problem at home. Away from home teams have to come out at you which leaves them vulnerable. At home now we’ve go to re-invent little bits to make sure that when teams want to come and defend against us we know how to break them down and that’s the problem we are facing.

“Portsmouth’s home form is exactly the same as teams go there and think they have just got to defend.

“To be in that position here after 16 games I am proud of that. It is frustrating at times as you look at the game on Saturday - 74 per cent possession and 13 shots on target and we’ve lost. You have to take that as a learning curve and find out if we come up against that again what do we do?

“I look at that as a positive and the football club should. These teams are looking at us in that manner now after just 16 games.

“The way football is going at the minute, a lot of teams play on the counter-attack. Plymouth are top of the league, they play with a holding midfielder and one striker. Say that to Joe Bloggs in the street and he will say that’s defensive.

“But a lot of teams are very defensively-structured, playing on the counter-attack with a lot of pace, especially away from home. It doesn’t matter what division you are in, when you’re away from home you do set up differently.

“Oldham are a division higher than us and a team that likes to play football so I don’t envisage they will come and play with eight at the back. But they are away from home.”

He added: “I hope it’s going to be a good football game but we are going to have to be on our guard from their threats as well. They’ve got some big players and we need to make sure defensively we are solid. At the same time we are not going to sit back or set up to defend. We are going to attack and I think at home you’ve seen we do play with numbers forward. At times it can leave you vulnerable.

“We try to play on the front foot at home and sometimes the need to score straight away leaves you a little bit isolated defensively. We have conceded a couple of early goals at home, not through bad defending but probably through a lack of patience of needing to score quickly. We have go to get that balance right and it’s all part of the learning curve.

“But I am enjoying the journey so far. It’s throwing up challenges that are positive. I had the opposite last year where it was throwing up challenges that were life or death challenges.”

Murray relishes the atmosphere of the FA Cup.

“It’s a different feeling,” he said. “Last year it was my second game against Concord.

“With the previous cup games this season, because our focus was on the league, we’ve tweaked a few things and looked at a few things.

“But the FA Cup, as a player you want to play in it. You go home on a Saturday and it’s not Match of the Day that you watch but the FA Cup highlights and it was always something special.

“It’s the same now as a manager. The build-up has a different feeling about it. There is obviously not the intensity of pressure having to get the three points and stay in that successful zone we want to stay in all season, but there is a new challenge that we want to go and express ourselves against a better team.

“We have worked on a few things this week that I think will make us a better team at home and we will be putting them into place. Knowing this group, when we work on certain things they carry it out so I am looking forward to Saturday.”

In central midfield Oldham have Liam Kelly suspended, Mike Jones currently injured and on-loan youngster Jay Fulton understood to be ineligible to play, so boss Dunn is hoping he won’t be forced to don his boots again.

However, the Latics are expected to give a first start to former Stoke striker Ricardo Fuller, who has made two substitute appearances after signing a three-month deal.

Stags will be without centre half Krystian Pearce as he completes a four-game ban. They are also waiting on clearance from Notts County to say if on-loan left back Blair Adams can figure.

The game is also something of a revenge mission for Mansfield as, after a fine 1-1 draw at Boundary Park, Oldham knocked them out of the FA Cup with a 4-1 replay win at Mansfield in 2-13/14 to deny Stags a second tie with Liverpool in as many seasons.

Last season Stags lost in a home replay to Cambridge having knocked out non-League Concord Rangers, also in a replay, in round one.

Neighbours Chesterfield and Notts County both face similar banana skins to the Concord one when they travel to FC United of Manchester and Salford City respectively.

“Managers will be going into those games with a bit of a grimace on their face as they are tough games, especially with those two clubs as they’re not bad clubs,” said Murray.

“It’s not as if you’re going to turn up and walk over them. I think our game is a bit different as we will be underdogs.

“Oldham will come here and expect to beat us. It gives us a challenge to show people how far we’ve come. It’s a good tie for us. We know it will be a challenge but there is no reason why we can’t go and beat them.”


Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray delighted his side are up with the big hitters
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk

Adam Murray is delighted to see his Mansfield Town side continue to be League Two’s surprise package as they sit sixth in the table after 16 games.

The Stags boss smiled: “We are in and around the big boys at the minute - the big hitters in this league, and you’ve got your Lutons and Cambridges that haven’t quite hit the momentum yet.


“People would say us and Accrington are probably the surprise packages at the minute, but when you look at the facts, are Accrington a surprise package?

“The days of small, old Accrington have gone. John (Coleman) has put a great team together there, they’ve got new backers in and I read the other day they have £600,000 spare money to go and play with. They train at Bolton Wanderers ground. So are they little, old Accrington any more?

“We are up against some big hitters this year, so credit to Mansfield Town, our fans, our board and most importantly the players for us punching up there with them, and long may it continue.”


Future bright as Mansfield Town youngsters begin cup march
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk, Wednesday 04 November 2015

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray believes the club’s future is bright after seeing the Stags’ in-form youth team advance into round two of the FA Youth Cup with a 3-0 home win over Cambridge City on the main One Call Stadium pitch on Monday night.

The youngsters now face the winners of Thursday’s Dereham Town v Peterborough United tie in the next round and Murray said: “When you play in the Youth Cup, no matter who you play it’s a big occasion.


“I know the boys had built themselves up for the four or five days before so there were a lot of nerves out there.

“It was the first time they had played on here in front of our home fans, so they looked a bit anxious. It was just a case of relax and play your game and second half we started to play some football, even though we couldn’t see each other because of the fog and, in the end we got the result.

“It was a great experience for them and part of the experience for when they do eventually come in with us. These games and these occasions are invaluable, so it is brilliant for the boys.”

He added: “They can play better. I think first half they were average but second half we showed our quality. Again, it’s a bit like the first team - it’s a whole new set-up and it will take time to get it exactly where we want it with the type of football we want to produce and the type of players we want.

“But the boys are sat top of the league, so like we keep saying, the whole club is in a great place and to see some of our young boys on show on Monday was excellent.

“We had seven of them in today training with us and we will have a look at them as the ultimate aim is to get them out there.”

Giant centre half Corbin Shires, who was hospitalised by a virus after making the first team squad, played in the game and Murray said: “He’s obviously had his illness, which shook him for a couple of months, but he’s back now and needs games.

“He played in a back three on Monday which he is not used to playing and it took him a little bit of time to get going.

“But he is one for the future. He is 17 years old, 12ft tall and feet like a wizard, so he has all the attributes you want.”

Murray continued: “I went with Demps (youth team manager John Dempster) to some of the trials over the summer and obviously you get a lot of lads from the bigger clubs who have been released. We picked a couple out together and we’ve got some good boys in there.

“You’ve got Cain Smith in midfield who for me is industrious, very good technically, and he’s fit. And you’ve Zayn (Hakeem) up front who is quick, has good movement and scores goals.

“There’s some really positive young lads in there who are 16/17/18 years of age and we want to get them in the first team as quick as we can. If they are good enough at 16 then they will go in.”


First start was another big step for Mansfield Town’s Matty Blair
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk

Although it only lasted 45 minutes as Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray tweaked his side’s shape, Matty Blair was delighted to come through his first start on Saturday since his serious knee injury at the end of January.

The winger was sacrificed for striker Adi Yussuf at half-time as Stags chased the game in the 2-0 home defeat by Wycombe, but Murray felt the outing had helped Blair remove mental barriers about how strong his knee was ahead of tomorrow’s home FA Cup tie with Oldham Athletic.

“It went brilliantly for Matty,” he said. “But I think partly the way we weren’t getting the joy out of the game we wanted first half on Saturday led us having to tweak it at half-time.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/first-start-was-another-big-step-for-mansfield-town-s-matty-blair-1-7553391#ixzz3qjKDl3qT

“But for his first start in eight or nine months, it was massive for him. He needed to get that in. “There was a couple of incidents where you go, mentally, you needed that as he was still only 90 per cent sure of himself in terms of challenges which you’re going to be. So we had to get that out the way and he will be better for that. Now it’s just being patient with him.”

Murray added that he would also be remaining patient with striker Matt Green, who is still trying to regain his goalscoring form after also suffering a serious injury while at Birmingham.

“I know people keep talking about Matt Green’s not scoring, but people forget that he had two years out,” said Murray.

“He has played 16 games. Now what do we do as a football club? Do we throw the towel in and go - ‘Matt, you’re not good enough’ or do we go ‘Matt, you’ve done enough at this football club for us to go we love you and we are going to stick by you because we know you will come out the other end? I know what I am going to do.”


Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray’s sympathy for sacked Cambridge boss Richard Money
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray said he was disappointed to see fellow manager Richard Money sacked from his post at League Two rivals Cambridge United this week after just five wins all season had left them 18th.

The pair worked together at Luton Town and Murray said: “It’s ruthless. It is disappointing that a manager gets sacked so early on in the season but it’s part of the game.

“I said before we played Cambridge that I had Richard as a manager and he was one of the best coaches that I have had as a player.

“You look at Cambridge at the minute and I know they’ve had a go this season.

“They had a good FA Cup last season and, from the outside looking in, they’ve used that money to strengthen the squad. That demands results - it’s the nature of the beast. If you are putting those resources into it, more often than not you have to get results.

“But he is a good manager and a good coach, so I am sure we’ll see him soon somewhere else.”


Oldham boss David Dunn ready for ‘aggressive, high-tempo’ Mansfield Town in FA Cup clash
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk

Oldham Athletic manager David Dunn is expecting a tough game from an ‘aggressive, high-tempo’ Mansfield Town in tomorrow FA Cup first round clash at the One Call Stadium.


Ahead of the tie, the struggling Latics’ newly-appointed boss said: “Let’s not kid ourselves, it’s going to be a tough game and a typical FA Cup tie.

“We will need to win our individual battles all over the pitch. They will be aggressive and a high-tempo team, certainly from the games we have watched them in.

“It will be tough and we will have to go there and stand up and be counted. We need to win the battle and the middle of the park.

“If you have a mindset every game of making sure you work harder than the opposition, all the other things will take care of themselves.

“I have come from the top level and there is no difference there, either. There are top players in the Premier League but they all have that mindset, that’s a fact.”

Skipper Liam Kelly misses the game through suspension and Dunn added: “Liam Kelly is a miss for us every time he doesn’t play if I’m being honest.

“We will miss the captain for sure and he will miss it too. He loves these types of games where it’s about rolling your sleeves up and getting stuck in. That’s what he is about.”


Mansfield Town cup tie forces Ricardo Fuller misses out on Jamaica jaunt to see Usain Bolt
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk

Ricardo Fuller missed out on a trip to Jamaica this week to see good friend and Olympic sprint star Usain Bolt after being told he would probably make his full Oldham Athletic debut in tomorrow’s FA Cup first round tie at Mansfield Town.

Jamaican international and former Stoke City star striker Fuller has signed a three-month deal at Boundary Park and said: “I was supposed to go to Jamaica this week to link up with him (Bolt) and Ricardo Gardner and Chris Gayle as well.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-cup-tie-forces-ricardo-fuller-misses-out-on-jamaica-jaunt-to-see-usain-bolt-1-7555664#ixzz3qjJnTFSA

“I was supposed to go back for some family reasons and see them, but the gaffer said he needed me for this game, so I changed my flight, costing me a lot of money!

“He (Bolt) came to a game in Jamaica. I was slow running onto a ball played by Rudolph Austin and he called me lazy getting out of the blocks! I told him that was because I am a footballer and not a runner.

“He is always trying to tell me what to do. But I don’t tell him what to do. He is the man and knows his stuff.

“These are the games the gaffer was saying I will probably get more of a run in.

“It is a nice game to play in, against a lower league team in the FA Cup. It will be a battle, which is good as you sometimes you have to do more running.”


Tafazolli relishing FA Cup underdog tag
mansfieldtown.net, 4th November 2015

Stags’ defender Ryan Tafazolli wants the club’s 'unbelievable' supporters to again get behind the team as they head into the Emirates FA Cup tie with Oldham Athletic on Saturday as underdogs.

The 24-year-old is looking forward to Saturday’s clash with the Latics at One Call Stadium (3pm) and he wants the Stags' faithful to act as a ‘12th’ man as they face opposition from the league above.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/tafazolli-relishing-fa-cup-underdog-tag-2783547.aspx#QBLCaogjBETQAqpS.99

“They (the fans) have been unbelievable all season and it does help when they’re behind us, I know it’s a bit of a cliché but they are like a 12th man," said the former Southampton academy player

“This Saturday, we are the underdogs and they are a bigger team so we’re going to need them to get behind us.

“They’re going to come here as favourites so we’ve got to be prepared for what they’re going to throw at us.”

Stags bowed out of last year’s competition in the second round, losing out to Cambridge United after a replay and Tafazolli says he would relish an extended cup run this season.

“Every player would like to do well in the FA Cup and draw a big team in the third round but I think this Saturday will be a massive test for us. It’ll be good to test ourselves against good opposition.

“When you get there on a Saturday, you don’t know what to expect from the opposition. It’s just a one-off game and a great opportunity to show everyone what we can do."

The 6ft 4in defender has been an ever present in the team after winning a spot in the team due to an injury to Lee Collins on the eve of the season.

However Tafazolli enjoys the competition for places between himself, Collins and Krystian Pearce and says it forces him to work harder.

“My pre-season was a bit of a weird one because obviously Lee Collins and Krystian Pearce were playing but you never know what’s going to happen in football. You’ve just got to grab your chance with both hands, it’s been a good start to the season for me personally and for a lot of people so hopefully that can continue.

“Those two are both exceptional players and we push each other every day. We know that, for example, whether it’s me and Lee Collins playing on Saturday or me and Krystian Pearce or Krystian Pearce and Lee Collins, we all know that one of us is just waiting for one of us to ‘muck up’ and come in.

“So every time we go on the pitch we know that we have to play at 110% because we’ve got the other one breathing down our neck.”

The London-born defender is into his fourth season with the club and he says he has grown as both a player and a person during his time in Nottinghamshire.

“I think I’m mentally a lot stronger now. I’m a lot more experienced and I think I can read the game a lot better [now]. I’m better at everything now; better in the air, better on the ball and just better all round.”

You can view Tafazolli's news conference, in full, on Stags Player later.


Ryan Tafazolli dreams of big FA Cup run for Mansfield Town
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk

Ryan Tafazolli said the lure of a big name draw in round three was a major spur for Mansfield Town to try to see off League One visitors Oldham Athletic in Saturday’s FA Cup first round.

Although he didn’t play in the game, centre half Tafazolli can still remember the visit of Liverpool in 2013 and Stags have come so close to big ties in the following two seasons when beaten in round two.


“Obviously every player would like to do well in the FA Cup and draw a big team in the third round,” he said.

“That is the motivation. Every boy dreams of playing at Old Trafford, Anfield, The Emirates, even if we draw a big team at home, it would be unbelievable.

“I think Saturday will be a massive test for us. We are up against a good side from the league above us and it will be good to test ourselves against better opposition.

“Our luck in the FA Cup seems to be pretty good, drawing Liverpools etc, so I think if we can just get past the first couple of rounds and keep our fingers crossed, we can hopefully get one of those big teams again.

“People always refer to the magic of the FA Cup. You never know what to expect from the other team and they won’t know what to expect from us. It’s a one-off game and a great opportunity to show people what we can do.”

Last season Stags bowed out to Cambridge in a second round replay after overcoming Conference South Concord Rangers in a replay at one of Tafazolli’s old clubs.

“Obviously I spent a brief time at Concord after Southampton, just playing a few games,” he said.

“They were a couple of leagues below us but even that proved a really hard game and they ended up taking us back to their place and we had to grind out a result there.”

The defender said another incentive was to put last weekend’s disappointing 2-0 home defeat by Wycombe quickly behind them.

“The result was a disappointing one but I think if you break down the performance and actually look at the stats you will see we were the better side,” he said.

“But their game plan paid off a little better than ours as they got the early goal and just sat back. We probably weren’t expecting them to score as early as they did. We have been unbelievable this season so far and we’ve just got to carry on doing what we’re good at and we’ll pick up results.

“Oldham will come here and be the favourites so we have to be prepared for what they are going to throw at us, but I think we are a good side and we will be able to deal with whatever they do come with.”


Battle hots up for centre half berths at Mansfield Town as Krystian Pearce returns
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk

Despite having a superb season to date, Ryan Tafazolli admitted he and Lee Collins would be looking over their shoulders when Krystian Pearce comes back from a four-game ban.

Tafazolli and Pearce had forged a steely central defensive partnership before Pearce was sent off against Bristol Rovers and, in his absence, former Northampton star Lee Collins has been magnificent.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/battle-hots-up-for-centre-half-berths-at-mansfield-town-as-krystian-pearce-returns-1-7561624#ixzz3r7TOQH9Z

“Those two are both exceptional players.” said Tafazolli. “We push each other every day.

“I know if it’s me and Lee Collins playing or me and and Krystian Pearce or Krystian Pearce and Lee Collins, we all know the other one is just waiting for one of us to muck up to allow them to come in.

“Every time we go on the pitch we know we have to play at 110 per cent because we have the other one breathing down our necks. It’s great to have that competition which really does help.

“Both are unbelievable players and probably too good for this league. Breaking down their games, one is obviously a lot more physical than the other, Lee is a great reader of the game and great technically for a centre half. They are both very quick and they are both a pleasure to play with to be fair. Whoever plays, you are replacing the other with just as good a player.

“They both have experience, a lot of League games behind them. Every day in training I learn from them.”

Before the season kicked off it seemed that Collins would be the club’s new skipper and Tafazolli left out until an injury to Collins let Tafazolli back into the picture.

“My pre-season was a bit of a weird one where Collins and Pearce were playing and I wasn’t playing much,” he said.

“But you never know what can happen in football. Injuries can occur and when they do you’ve just got to take your chance with both hands. It’s been a good start to the season for me personally. As a team it’s been good for a lot of people, so hopefully that will continue.

“The determination has always been there. It was just keeping that focus and consistency. If you keep working hard and stay dedicated you will see results, and that’s what’s paid off for me so far this season.”

Tafazolli is now one of the longest-serving players at the club as he plays his fourth season with the Stags.

“I think only Chris Clements has been here longer than me now which feels odd,” he smiled.

“Time has gone so quick, it feels like I’ve only just joined here a couple of months ago. It’s flown by.

“Mentally I think I am a lot stronger now. When you are that age you don’t realise how big a part the mental side of the game is. But if you can get yourself mentally strong you’ve always got a chance in this game.

“I am now more experienced too. I am able to read the game better and I think I am a bit better at everything from four years ago, better in the air, better on the ball, better all round. But the biggest thing is being mentally stronger.”

Another strong to his bow this year has been four goals already, making him joint top scorer. But he has no expectation of ending up top of the charts.

He said: “I think the likes of Matt Green, Craig Westcarr and Adi Yussuf will probably claim that title, but I’d like to get to around 10 goals this season. I am on four at the minute so if I don’t get to 10 it would be an under-achievement now.

“I’ve never really got that many goals before in previous years but this year with the new set pieces you never know and I am hoping for 10.”


Oldham Athletic boss David Dunn may have to play in FA Cup clash with Mansfield
4 NOV 2015, BY SHELDAN KEAY, manchestereveningnews.co.uk

Injury crisis means player-manager may start, despite admitting it was a mistake the last time he played

Oldham Athletic manager David Dunn may need to play for his side during this Saturday’s FA Cup match against Mansfield Town.


The League One team are limited in central midfield, with Liam Kelly suspended, Mike Jones currently injured and on-loan youngster Jay Fulton understood to be ineligible to play.

Dunn has played just once for Latics since he became manager in September, with the 35-year-old coming on as a second half substitute during the 4-2 home defeat to Scunthorpe United last month.

He revealed after that match that he regretted playing in the game , but a change in circumstances might force the former England international to line-up for Oldham once again.

“We might be missing quite a few players against Mansfield so we’ll have to go down there and try to be very competitive,” he said.

“The FA Cup is a great competition to be involved in and this game is one that we are taking seriously and will be trying to win.

“I only ever managed to get as far as the semi-finals during my career but I remember being disappointed for so long after losing in that match.

“We were beaten in extra time by Chelsea and it was very hard to take as we were unlucky on the day.

“Everyone knew we were the best side but the best side doesn’t always win football matches, as we saw when we played Burton Albion on Saturday.”

The 1-0 defeat to Burton means that Oldham have won just one match at home since March.

It is a streak that Dunn is keen to end, but he insists that he has been taking positives out of the games.

“Everyone is frustrated, no more so than the supporters, but I hope Saturday’s match showed that there is some encouragement,” he said.

“Burton are an organised team and I would argue that we created more chances against them than most other teams will this season.

“We need a spark at the moment as we were getting a bit flat in the game, especially at the start of the second half.

“We obviously have Ricardo Fuller now and I think everything will be set up for him to start against Mansfield.”

Another player that will be available for the FA Cup clash at Field Mill on Saturday is Cameron Dummigan, after his loan at Oldham was extended for an extra month.

The 19-year-old defender has been impressive since joining Latics at the start of November, playing in five matches.

His teammate Daniel Lafferty has returned to parent club Burnley though, with a shoulder injury picked up during the 0-0 draw with Rochdale ruling him out of an immediate return to Latics.



Latest | November 2015