MURRAY PREVIEWS OXFORD GAME
Adam Murray Monday press conference (8th February 2016), 15 minutes in full here:
short clip here:
Murray on the two penalties for Morecambe:
"The first one I think he's got spot on. The second one I think is very harsh."
Murray on the U21 side for next season:
"We're looking at which league to go into next season. It might benefit us to go in a reserve league rather than a U21 league, as we can play as many senior boys as we want, rather than just a certain number."
Stags close to matching 2014-15 points haul
mansfieldtown.net, 8th February 2016
Stags’ boss Adam Murray says it will be 'phenomenal’ if his side can better or equal their 2014-15 points total against Oxford United tomorrow.
Mansfield racked up 48 points from 46 Sky Bet League Two matches last season, and a draw against the U’s on Tuesday night would subsequently see that number equalled.
In addition, Murray’s men scored 38 goals in the previous campaign, which they’ve already improved on by three with 16 games left to play.
Heading into tomorrow night's clash at third placed Oxford, the 34-year-old said: “It would be crazy; phenomenal is an excellent word [if the team can beat last year's points total]. We know that we’re way above where we expected to be, so we’ve got two games this week, where we go into and won’t be expected to get anything.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/stags-close-to-matching-2014-15-points-haul-2945495.aspx#74aUDmIpweTl73EI.99
“There’ll only be our dressing room that believes we can go there and win in both games. We’re going there to win, we’re not going there to ‘shut up shop’. We’re 'kicking on' again now, there’s a new energy about us.”
Despite being made one of the favourites for relegation at the start of the season by the bookmakers, Murray's Mansfield are within four points of the automatic-promotion places after their 1-0 home win against Morecambe on Saturday.
The Stags are widely seen as underdogs within the top 12 in League Two, but the manager reckons that his players are feared by opposing teams in this league.
“Tomorrow night will probably be our toughest encounter yet. I think they’re a team that has to get promoted this season, there’s no ifs and buts. They’ve got very good players, very good resources - I enjoy watching them, but I don’t want to enjoy watching them tomorrow. They’ll be scared of some of our players, they’ll be scared of some of our threats.
The Birmingham-born boss also lauded the contribution of the Stags' supporters in the weekend’s Sky Bet League Two game, and he believes the atmosphere generated had an influence on the match.
“It was incredible, the best it’s been this season I’d say.
"You couldn’t write the script with us conceding early at the minute at home - even after we conceded, the noise was incredible, it felt like we were going for something. When we’re like that here it’s a real force.”
While Murray awaits a decision on whether his sending off from the touchline on Saturday will be followed up by the authorities, the gaffer was keen to defend himself and reflect on his overall attitude to referees.
“I do all the refereeing reports [after the game] myself.
"It was [dealing with referees] something as a player that I wasn’t very good at so it’s something as a manager that I want to build a rapport with these guys - sometimes in the heat of the moment, things happen. I’m not someone that ‘ref bashes’, I understand that they have a tough job.”
You can view Adam Murray's news conference on Stags Player.
Shearer named in team of the week
mansfieldtown.net, 8th February 2016
Stags’ goalkeeper Scott Shearer has been rewarded for Saturday’s outstanding display against Morecambe by being named in the Football League’s Team of the Week.
Shearer performed superbly throughout and made two penalty saves from Paul Mullin and Shaun Miller to ensure that Mansfield emerged from the game as 2-1 winners.
The 34-year-old Scot recently returned to Adam Murray’s starting line-up in place of Brian Jensen and the manager has been pleased with how he has reacted.
Speaking in Monday’s news conference, Murray said: “Scott’s got seven promotions, he’s been in constant winning dressing rooms, he knows what it takes to win.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/shearer-named-in-team-of-the-week-2945692.aspx#iiuI5XGCLdiLOoGc.99
“He’s a different character to Bri (Brian Jensen) - he’s a little bit more ‘in your face’, a little bit more aggressive. For Scott to be patient; you have to give him a lot of credit for that because it would’ve been easy for him to lose his head, especially coming in expecting to play.
“Fair play, he’s been professional, he’s worked very hard in training and he deserved the opportunity.”
The Team of the Week is as follows:
Scott Shearer (Stags), Bojan Jokic (Nottingham Forest), Leon Legge (Cambridge United), Adam Barrett (Southend United), Mahlon Romeo (Millwall), Jamie Murphy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Joey Barton (Burnley), Bradden Inman (Crewe Alexandra), Tom Naylor (Burton Albion), Jobi McAnuff (Leyton Orient), Gary Hooper (Sheffield Wednesday).
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray hoping not to get touchline ban at Oxford United
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Monday 08 February 2016
Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray is waiting to hear today if he will receive a touchline ban for tomorrow night’s trip to Oxford United after being sent-off during Saturday’s stormy 2-1 win over Morecambe.
Murray felt many of referee Mark Heywood’s decisions were going against his side and, just after the West Yorkshire whistler had given Morecambe a second penalty decisions, a throw-in decision saw Murray jump into the air in anger and was sent to the stands.
Murray said today “I spoke to him afterwards. He gave me his side and I gave him my side. We will see what comes back today and if there are any repercussions.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-hoping-not-to-get-touchline-ban-at-oxford-united-1-7721898#ixzz3zb5WdCXq
“But I thought it was harsh to be honest and I told the ref that.
“Certain things happened during the game that from their side were not right. I am not just on about decisions, but I won’t go into that just yet.
“But I think he has actually sent me off for my reaction after the second penalty. It wasn’t my reaction to the penalty, it was my reaction to a throw-in right in front of me.
“The ball has blatantly come off their lad, we were defending for our lives, we’d already had two penalties against us, and I thought there was an inconsistency in the decisions - the same fouls not being given fairly on both teams.
“It wasn’t as if I’d verbally said anything. I think my body language kind of did it for me. But I am animated. I am passionate. If you’re going to send me to the stands for that, then okay.”
Murray has only been in the job since November 2014 and is hoping his unblemished record so far will stand him in good stead.
“Because it is my first offence, my record is clean,” he said.
“So if it was something that carries a ban, which would be harsh, I am hoping they would look at my record and say, look, he does work with the refs.
“I have a close relationship with head of refereeing David Allison and I speak to him constantly. I do all the referee reports myself.
“It is something as a player that I wasn’t very good at. So as a manager, over the 18 months I’ve tried to build up a rappore with the guys.
“Sometimes in the heat of the moment things happen and I am hoping they will take that into consideration.
“I am not someone that ‘ref-bashes’ and I understand they have a tough job.
“But if they do feel they need to stick me in the stand then we’ve got enough here to sort that out.”
Stags head to third-placed Oxford in fifth place with three wins on the bounce under their belts.
A win would pull them to within a point of Oxford and the automatic promotion spots.
Mansfield Town can home in on top three with win at Oxford United tonight
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Adam Murray finds it hard to believe his side could surpass last year’s points total already and go a single point off the League Two automatic promotion spots with victory at rivals Oxford United tonight (7.45pm).
The Mansfield Town boss saw his side edge up to fifth with Saturday’s 2-1 win over Morecambe and is now preparing the Stags for a tough week with the game at third-placed Oxford United tonight followed by a game away at second-placed Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.
Murray knows how big a win tonight would be, and said: “It would be crazy - phenomenal.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-can-home-in-on-top-three-with-win-at-oxford-united-tonight-1-7722836#ixzz3zg7BiJBy
“Like we keep saying, and I know it’s going to start winding some people up now, but we know we are way above where we expected to be.
“Now we’ve got two games this week that we can go into and won’t be expected to get anything from. There will only be our dressing room that believes we can go there and win - that’s both games - and we do.”
Stags are tonight going for a fourth win on the trot for the first time this season and their away form this season is superb, eight wins, two draws, four losses.
“We are not going there to shut up shop. We’re going there to win,” he said.
“The contrast where we’ve come in a season is phenomenal, and the boys have to take credit for that.
“We knew when we got past Christmas and had more time together, when we started to gel and things got tweaked, we’d get stronger - and that’s been the case.
“We are kicking on again now and there is a new energy about us.
“We understand these are two very tough games, we are not stupid.
“I think tonight will probably be our toughest encounter yet.
“I think they are a team that has to get promoted this season. They came out at the start of the season and said this is a no excuses environment, which is big for a club to say that as it leaves no stone unturned.
“They have signed very good players and have good resources and a good manager. They get 7,000, 8,000, 9,000, 10,000 a week. So fair play to them, you can’t knock them for it. They have set their stall out and set their target and they are achieving so far.
“They are a very good team and I enjoy watching them, but I don’t want to enjoy watching them tonight.
“You look at their squad, you look at their bench, they have good players literally everywhere. They have strength in depth, but we believe we can hurt them.”
He added: “We are on a good run of form and we are playing with a lot of belief.
“So we have got our own strengths and they will be scared of some of our players. They will be scared of some of our threats. Give us half a chance and we will punish them.
“In the part of the league that we are, we are the underdogs. That creates a fire and I think it showed on Saturday, when we are not expected to do this or that, it makes you hungrier to do it.
“With 16 games to go in that top 12 pack as underdogs, we just want to prove everybody wrong - and keep proving it.
“The facts are that we were odds on to get relegated this year. As soon as I saw that pre-season I thought, right, that’s not on - and I made sure the team knew about that. We want to keep improving.”
Murray was last night waiting on a report from last weekend’s 2-1 home win over Morecambe to see if he has avoided a touchline ban tonight after being sent off near the end.
Oxford head coach Michael Appleton said: “We know it is going to be a difficult game.
“Mansfield have cemented themselves in the play-off positions which is good from their point of view, but from our point of view it is an opportunity to take points off teams that are around us in that mix.
“It is an opportunity where we can really cement our position and three points is all we are thinking about and geared up for.
“We are aware of their strengths, we know they have got some decent ability.
“They have got a couple of ex-Oxford people in their camp so they are going to want to do well. You don’t want to sound arrogant, but I don’t really worry too much about the opposition from that point of view.
“We make sure the players are aware of their strengths so there are no surprises, but in terms of what we do it is about us and how we can win the game.”
Mansfield Town fans ‘the best all season’ last weekend, says boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Adam Murray paid tribute to Mansfield Town’s supporters for their stirring backing in Saturday’s 2-1 home win over Morecambe, which he felt was the best all season so far.
The Mansfield Town boss had been critical of a section of the home fans for negativity, culminating in boos during and after the previous home defeat by Luton Town.
However, on Saturday the fans stuck noisily with it, despite going behind after just 58 seconds, and Murray said it made all the difference as his side clung on to a hard-earned three points.
Ahead of tonight’s away game at Oxford United, Murray said: “It was incredible, the best it’s been all season I’d say.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-fans-the-best-all-season-last-weekend-says-boss-adam-murray-1-7724335#ixzz3zgkyLOsp
“You couldn’t write the script on us conceding early goals at the minute at home, but even after we’d conceded, the noise was incredible.
“The atmosphere felt like we were going for something on Saturday. When we’re like that here, it’s a real force.
“That’s what we need to see for the last part of the season.”
He added: “It was a battle and our last three games have probably been like that to be honest. We’ve not played as much football as we did earlier on in the season but we have picked up up a few more results. Saturday was a real League Two scrap.”
Tonight Stags try for a fourth League Two win on the trot, away to third-placed promotion rivals Oxford before an even tougher road trip on Saturday away to second-placed Plymouth Argyle.
Mansfield return home on Saturday, 20th February to take on Dagenham & Redbridge.
Matty Blair starts to sparkle at last for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray is delighted to see winger Matty Blair finally begin to shine just over a year since he joined the club and immediately suffered a serious knee injury.
Blair, 26, notched his first goal for the club in Saturday’s 2-1 win against Morecambe as, for the first time since signing in January 205 he started a third Stags game on the trot.
“The fitness part of it in terms of games is massive for him,” said Murray. “He is getting 90 minutes under his belt now.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/matty-blair-starts-to-sparkle-at-last-for-mansfield-town-1-7724342#ixzz3zmLEpU8G
“Blairy has always prided himself on fitness. He’s got some great legs on him and he’s as quick as anything. Also, he’s got good quality.
“We just needed to get him back to being the Matty Blair we signed, the Matty Blair that was so successful at York and got Fleetwood to Wembley as well in their successful season.
“So it’s good to see him shining. We said all along that he’d be a massive player for us and in the last few games he’s shown that.”
Latest | February 2016