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Archived News from January 2016

28th January 2016 22:26

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray asks ‘boo boys’ to get a sense of perspective
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Monday 25 January 2016

After seeing his side booed from the park after only a second successive League Two defeat against Luton on Saturday, the gloves were off again for Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray today.

As he prepared for tomorrow’s long haul to Morecambe, he said: “Fans get frustrated, but I am hoping that reaction at the end, was because they looked at the team and felt there was a lack of enthusiasm - as that’s what it looked like to me at times, so I’d agree with them.

“I hope it was for that and not just because we’d been beaten by Luton as, with all due respect, as much as people don’t like to hear it, we are in different ball parks. We are doing our best, but they are different ball parks.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-manager-adam-murray-asks-boo-boys-to-get-a-sense-of-perspective-1-7695645#ixzz3yHlg4D3H

“It’s not like the players are not trying. Sometimes if you are lacking a bit of confidence as an individual, it comes across as if you look lethargic as you are playing with fear and it’s not nice.”

Despite a largely successful season in which Stags have punched well above their weight throughout, Murray once again took personal abuse on Saturday.

He said: “Do we need to be better? Of course we do. Do we want to be promoted this year? Of course we do. We are trying.

“But don’t abuse me. Don’t come for me because I will come for you. The thing is with me is I understand I am a football manager, but at the same time I am a bloke.

“So if you want to get personal with me, it’s not a problem. I am a big bloke.

“I have been here long enough to deal with it. It hits my chin and bounces off. But it affects my players. You can see some of the lads are now drained of a bit of confidence.

“Adam Chapman didn’t have the best of games and he is suffering a little bit at the minute. But they cheer when he comes off. The poor kid is heartbroken. He has tried and it hasn’t come off.

“It’s a constant problem. The year we got promoted we had people jumping on the dug-out, they were throwing coins at us, we had people running on the pitch trying to attack the players.

“It would make a great book or if you could get a camera on the place 24/7 it would be unbelievable.”

He added: “Someone told me my time was up on Saturday, but I’d like to think I’ve brought the club on leaps and bounds in 12 months.

“I’ve had this for 12 years now. I expect it even when we win.

“It will get to a point where I go - we are working our so-and-so’s off for you. We are what we are. We are in a different ball park to where we want to be and who we think we are.

“I’ve tried to give the football club something they want. The fans said they wanted a team that plays football. So on Saturday in the first half we played some good football without creating too much and all you can hear is ‘get it forward’. When we get it forward all we hear is ‘hoof’. So I am confused.

“But I’ve got my beliefs and I am going to play the way I want to play.

“We probably got punished for Kav’s (debut loanee Sean Kavanagh) lack of strength. He got pinned for the second goal and they scored from that.

“But that was the gamble we took. He is a footballer and we want footballers.”

For the fifth time in six home games, Stags went behind to an early goal to give themselves another afternoon playing catch-up.

“It was a flat performance,” said Murray. “For the first time we lacked a little bit of oomph and a bit of fire and that hasn’t been like us since day one.

“I do think there is a little bit of a lack of confidence in the group at the minute, and I think that showed on Saturday.

“We keep putting ourselves in a position, especially at home, where we are climbing mountains. That obviously had an effect on the confidence on Saturday.

“First half without creating any clear cut chances, we had a lot of the ball. They were happy to nick the goal and sit back and we found it tough to break them down. We couldn’t play through them, we couldn’t get in behind them and we didn’t have Plan B to go ugly.”

He added: “We now need to look at a few bits and bobs and maybe freshen a few things up.

“It was disappointing, but the world hasn’t ended has it? I don’t think the place had this feeling about it when we were in the relegation zone last year - it’s such a strange place.

“We go up to Morecambe on Tuesday and get a result then we are one point off the play-offs. I can’t get my head round it.

“I hope Saturday’s reaction was because it didn’t feel like they’d been watching an Adam Murray team.

“With all due respect to the team that was at the football club last year, 75 per cent of them are either not in the game any more or in the Conference.

“So I’d like people to look back and see how far we’ve come in 12 months - four points off the play-offs with only 19 games to go. This isn’t like a flash in the pan and we’ve played 10 games and won the first three before dropping down.

“Yes, there’s still a lot of football to play, which is good. We have had a sticky patch lately and drawn a lot of games. But only twice this season have we lost two consecutive League games which is brilliant.

“I have to keep perspective and looking at the facts of the matter or you get sucked into it. I got sucked into the goldfish bowl last season and it can kill you.

“I won’t have the mickey took out of me because I work too hard.

“Saturday wasn’t good enough and this town and these supporters demand 100 per cent effort, win, lose or draw. If you give that they are happy.

“Yes we want to win every game. I do. We want to be in the play-offs, but we have to progress. You can’t go from nearly being relegated into the top three. It doesn’t work like that.

“We’ve brought in new players and a whole new way of playing.

“I don’t think since I got the job I’ve ever gone on about budgets and resources as I think it’s a load of rubbish. Managers who do that - it sounds like excuses. You just have to be realistic who we are. The boys are trying and I am grafting my nuts off.”


Adam Murray pondering risking a Mansfield Town return for Mal Benning at Morecambe
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Adam Murray has to decide if he should risk bringing back talented left back Mal Benning into the Mansfield Town side for tonight’s tough trip to Morecambe.

The defender has only had one full week’s training since suffering a nasty knee injury in mid-October, but is naturally very fit and, with no reserve team, Stags boss Murray admitted he is tempted to throw him back in with no chance of a midweek friendly.

“He is close, very close” said Murray. “It was touch and go if we played him in the friendly at Solihull last week. When we got there the pitch was hard and the game got called off after 60 minutes.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/adam-murray-pondering-risking-a-mansfield-town-return-for-mal-benning-at-morecambe-1-7696350#ixzz3yLHvCFRp

“But Mal has joined in training and doesn’t look as if he’s been away to be honest. In terms of match fitness we are going to have to take one on the chin in that he is going to have to get fit playing.”

If and when Benning returns, it does give Murray the option of playing Fulham loanee Sean Kavanagh on the left of midfield.

Kavanagh had to be drafted in at the 11th hour last week after Blair Adams, who had been covering Benning’s absence, unexpectedly returned to parent club Notts County.

Murray added: “Adi Yussuf also needs match fitness now which we are trying to organise. We’re going to have to run the risk to the end of the season of playing friendlies as we need everyone ready. We have no choice now.

“The header Adi had on Saturday he should score. That puts you 2-1 with 15 minutes to go and gives you a bit of a kick. But because of his lack of matches and his lack of game time that’s an instinct for a centre forward. We are going to have to put games in.”

Stags have a couple of players needing fitness tests today.

“We did take a couple of bangs on Saturday that are going to be late calls, but apart from that we are good,” he said.

With so much pressure on Stags for their poor home form, Stags have the relief of a couple of away games this week.

But Murray, who took personal abuse on Saturday after the game, said he couldn’t wait to return to One Call Stadium and sort out the problems there.

“I want to get back at home,” he said. “My life has been a constant battle. I’ve been to the bottom of life, so I love fighting. So I want to get back here and have it again.

“At some point we’ve got to put it right. At some point the players have got to stand up and go - come on, let’s get this started. Home form is a pain in the backside at the minute.

“We have got quite a few away games coming up which might work in our favour. We want to go on a run now of winning football matches, however we have to do that we will do it.

“It’s tough for me as I want to play a certain way. Sometimes this league is unforgiving - you saw what Wimbledon did to us last week.

“Luton put two balls into our box on Saturday and scored. It’s all right playing great football and having lots of possession. We had more shots than them but we were not effective enough and we lack that bit of quality. They had four shots and scored two goals.”

Morecambe are just three places and three points behind a Stags side that have just lost two League games on the bounce for the first time all season.

“They have been playing 4-2-3-1 at home and they attack. So they will cause us problems,” said Murray.

“But as far as I am concerned, we just need to get back to being ourselves and settle the ship a little bit as, it shouldn’t be, but it’s rocking. That’s my job and it won’t be a problem.

“We will respect Morecambe. We know they’ve got a lot of strengths, but it’s about us.

“We are going up in the morning, we’ll have a team meeting, get the travel out the way, then prepare to play.

“I know we will have our tremendous away support that will follow us, so we want to give them something to go home with as that is an horrendous journey for them on a Tuesday night. We appreciate that. That will play a big part for us.

“For 70 per cent of the game on Saturday our fans were brilliant. Even at 2-0 down you can hear them on the DVD getting behind us, even though they are getting frustrated.”


Midfield role for Mansfield Town loanee Sean Kavanagh?
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

With left back Mal Benning’s return from injury imminent, Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray said fans could see Fulham loan signing Sean Kavanagh operating more on the left side of midfield.

The talented youngster had a tough baptism of fire in Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat by Luton, but ahead of tonight’s game at Morecambe Murray said: “Kav has played all his games in the Championship.

“He is a Republic of Ireland U21 international and has played his games at left back for them and a couple for Fulham.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/midfield-role-for-mansfield-town-loanee-sean-kavanagh-1-7697513#ixzz3yNFbmQBQ

“But a lot have been left midfield or left wing. Mal is back in training, so with that in mind, after losing Nathan Thomas, we needed to add a bit more balance further up the field.

“Like many of our players, he can play a number of roles and is multi-functional.

“The gamble on Saturday was that at League Two he might get caught out physically. Technically you saw on Saturday his left foot is a wand.

“He is quick. He’s got a good brain and he reads situations well. He is a little fellow who’s not scared to have a go.

“So he will give us something going forward and when Mal is back then that will be tremendous.”

Kavanagh had to be brought in at short notice last week after Notts County changed their minds about allowing on-loan left back Blair Adams to Mansfield on a permanent basis - a change of heart that clearly upset Murray.

“Without saying too much, we were led to believe by some individual at Notts County that they didn’t want Blair and it was done,” he said.

“It was just a case of them agreeing a deal with him to go and us agreeing a deal with him to stay, which we did.

“At quarter to 11 the night before he was due to go back I got a phone call - I was in the bath, washing my so-and-so’s and they said they were taking Blair back tomorrow.

“I dropped my soap - it’s a good job I didn’t drop my phone.”

However, the Stags will not be bringing in any new faces ahead of Monday’s January transfer window deadline.

Murray said: “We are what we are and we’ll deal with what we’ve got.

“We will work as hard as we can with what we’ve got. We can’t go out and sign big X-Factor players like Oxford and Northampton. We will just work twice as hard and see where that take us.”


Morecambe ready to roll their sleeves up for Mansfield Town visit tonight
by Adam Lord, Morecambe Guardian

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley says he will have to manage his players during a busy period for his depleted squad ahead of tonight’s visit of Mansfield Town.

The Stags home game is the first of three at the Globe Arena in seven days.

Bentley replaced both top scorer Shaun Miller and assist king Jamie Devitt in the defeat at Northampton on Saturday as he bids to ensure the key duo and the rest of his squad are fit and firing.

He said: “We’ve got a lot of games coming up and it’s a tough period for a small squad.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/morecambe-ready-to-roll-their-sleeves-up-for-mansfield-town-visit-tonight-1-7696951#ixzz3yM10ThPj

“We’ve been rocked by a couple of injuries, we are right down to the bare bones.

“There’s no one else in the building who can sit on the bench for us, the next step would be me!

“But I think we’ve got to manage the squad.

“People might think it’s negative taking your top scorer and top assist maker off but there’s not much between all our players.

“Paul Mullin came on and scored a goal and that’s what we want.

“It is testing times and we can’t shuffle it around a lot but there might be one or two fresh ones who come in on Tuesday.”

Games against Mansfield in the past have been a real battle with Bentley hoping his side are ready to roll their sleeves up.

He said: “In the past they’ve had one of the worst disciplinary records.

“They’ve battled and been physical. I remember big Matt Rhead when he was there who is still doing it now at non-League level.

“The manager’s changed now and there’s a lot more footballers in there, but they’ve still got battling qualities.

“I know the management team, they are made of that kind of stuff.

“We know it will be a tough game and we have to be ready to fight fire with fire and get in amongst them.”

Bentley is hoping tonight will have a similar feel to his side’s last home game, a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Yeovil.

He said: “The crowd really got behind us, I really enjoyed it and hopefully it’s the same again.

“We can play well, win the game and hopefully give the fans something to cheer about.”



Latest | January 2016