MURRAY AND DARRELL CLARKE REACTION
Murray - We need to play with confidence
mansfieldtown.net, 12th March 2016
Stags’ boss Adam Murray has called on his players to ‘express themselves’ after their 1-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium this afternoon.
Matty Taylor’s 61st-minute goal was enough for the Gas to secure the three points after an opening hour in which there was little to split the two sides.
And reflecting on the performance, Murray has urged his side to play with more belief in their remaining ten games of the season.
“They looked like they were always going to score and we didn’t. We just haven’t got enough attacking threat, we don’t look like we’re going to score and when we do get opportunities we’re nowhere near ruthless enough.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-post-bristol-3003381.aspx#gjgKYUYvr1myeK7r.99
“You look at all our goals, they’ve been conceded in a certain way and frustrating is the nicest word I can think of at the moment.
“We’re not playing with that confidence and belief that we were playing with - we’re not playing with that ‘no fear’ to go and attack and score goals. It looks like we’re doing the opposite to what they’re being told.
We’re telling them, ‘go and express yourself - go and play with an energy and enthusiasm to go and score goals’.”
Despite the defeat, Murray was pleased with the performance of captain Lee Collins who played in an unfamiliar role in central midfield, just in front of the defence.
The manager said: "Lee Collins played really well again. He was the only one that was driving us at times. It’s the half-chances that we need to make better - the balls into the box that bounce and we’re a yard off and we don’t anticipate anything. It goes forward, and comes back easily. When it’s like that you’re constantly on a knife-edge defending.
“They’ve got to stand up and put performances in. I don’t know if the players don’t believe that they’re good enough to make the next step but the gap from us to the top seven; it’s a couple more ingredients because we’re not there.”
Murray has a strong message for his side, as he aims to prevent the season from fizzling out after directing the Stags to a strong position in Sky Bet League 2.
“That’s why we are where we are in the league and we’re in the mid-table area. If we don’t play [with] the spirit and belief then we won’t move on to the next step. I’m not standing for performances like that where it’s ‘easy come, easy go’. I’ve told them, ‘you’re fighting for a job’.
“Against good teams, you only get two or three chances, you’ve got to score; whether it’s a final cross, whether it’s a final pass. That’s what’ll take us to the next level. They’re the ingredients we need adding, whether we’ll do it in the next nine weeks or not, we’ll try.”
With the five-match suspension handed to striker Adi Yussuf this week, Murray has only two fully-fit regular forwards at his disposal, and he wants to add a loan addition to his squad for the remainder of the season.
“We’re doing everything we can to get somebody because we need it, otherwise it’ll be a long nine weeks. We knew this spell was going to be tough for us - the fans that travelled want to see that spirit and want to see that fight. We look like we’re scared of making that next step; my teams aren’t going to be scared.
“When you do take losses it does affect confidence; it does affect belief. We’ve got to into these next ten games now with a fight. I can coach and I can talk. I can’t go over that white line as much as I’d like to. They’ve got to stand up and take ownership. They know the game plan, they know what’s expected of them; carry it out.”
Adam Murray's post-match interview will be available to view on Stags Player shortly.
Urgent striker hunt for Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, Saturday 12 March 2016
Adam Murray will spend this week desperately trying to bring in a new striker as Stags drew a blank for a third successive game in today’s 1-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers.
With Craig Westcarr out on loan and Adi Yussuf suspended for five games for urinating in public at Plymouth, Murray has few options up front and has already seen three players turn him down this week to go on loan elsewhere.
“They scored and we didn’t - that’s the bottom line of it today,” he said.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/urgent-striker-hunt-for-mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-1-7793559#ixzz42ilwN7ZC
“They are a team with momentum and consistency. They are right up there in the play-offs and they’ve got that momentum from three years. And they have goalscorers - that’s the difference.
“They have better players than us and will limit how many chances you get. We haven’t got enough in that area for me to say I expected us to create 10 chances today as I we don’t have those ingredients in the building at the moment.
“We have one striker and one striker that has injections and doesn’t train for parts of the week. So if I am expected to win games like that it’s a tough order.
“We have tried for the last three days to bring a striker in but they’ve chosen other places. We have nine weeks left and we’ll try to get someone in during the next seven days.
“That is the area we need to improve and looking forward to next season, an area in which we have to be better.
“It’s not just tools, it’s the type of tools we are lacking. We need different options. At the minute if Plan A doesn’t work we struggle for a Plan B.”
On Rovers’ winner, Murray was unhappy with his side’s static defending.
“The players have to take ownership as that was a goal we concede a lot of,” he said.
“We knew they have good centre forwards who score a lot of goals, so when you defend in your box you have to have your man by his throat. We had four mannequins in there. If you defend like that you will get punished.
“It started on the halfway line. I know Mal Benning has just come back from a bad injury and is a little bit wary of his tackles, but we can’t pull out of tackles or win our 50-50s. If that tackle was made on the halfway line the ball doesn’t end up on that side of the pitch.”
Stags have now slipped to five points off the play-off spots in 11th.
But Murray said: “We don’t want this season to fizzle out. We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time. It’s important now they understand we need to finish on a high.
“It was always going to be a tough challenge. It was always going to be a miracle if we got in there, as much as we believe we are one of the better teams in this league when we are at it.
“The consistent teams that are up there in this league do it week in week out. Our group are still learning.
“Those Rovers players today know each other inside out. A lot of the time they don’t think, they just play.
“It will come to us with time and a tweak or two.
“We knew going into this tough run of games that if we weren’t right it was going to be extra hard.
“I just want to see a spirit and a fight that we end the season on a high as I believe in this team and that we have very good players. They have to believe in that too.”
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"We haven't got enough in that area for me to say we should have created more. Don't have the ingredients in the building." - Murray. #Stags
Adam Murray says he as "one striker (Matt Green), who has injections and doesn't train for parts of the week."
Clarke plays down automatic promotion talk after Pirates close in on top three
By James McNamara, bristolpost.co.uk
Darrell Clarke has played down talk of anything other than a top seven finish after Bristol Rovers’ chances of claiming an automatic promotion spot were boosted with a victory over Mansfield Town this afternoon.
Clarke watched on from the Memorial Stadium touchline as Matty Taylor scored his 20th goal of the season to settle a hard-fought game against a Mansfield Town side that set-up with a game-plan of frustration in mind.
It was a goal that helped Rovers to secure a fourth successive victory and served to move them within three points of the top three after Oxford United, Plymouth Argyle and Portsmouth all lost as the battle for promotion enters the final 10 games of the season.
“I would be lying if I said I didn’t check the results elsewhere when we got back to the changing room at full-time,” Clarke said. “At the end of the day, though, it is all about us.
Read more: http://www.bristolpost.co.uk/Bristol-Rovers-1-Mansfield-Town-0-REACTION-Clarke/story-28910473-detail/story.html#ixzz42opL7GXT
“Results elsewhere are immaterial if we don’t win games to keep our end of the bargain up. I can’t speak for any of the other teams but I would imagine the teams above us will be under a little bit of pressure now.
There is still such a long way to go now and we are not the only team capable of stringing a run of three or four wins together. You never know what will happen so we just keep going and ticking the games off as they come. We’ll have a big following at Newport again next week. They have won 3-0 at Portsmouth so that just shows you no games are easy.
“The supporters have had hell here for a long time and I am pleased if they are enjoying the wins and getting excited about where we are in the league.
“It makes my Saturday night if I have sent them home happy, but for me and the players it is about putting this game to bed quickly and to start thinking about the next project.”
Clarke admitted that the game “wasn’t the most pleasing on the eye”, but he added: “It was probably our most satisfying recent win. It has been a tough few weeks and in the last few days we have been out on our feet with a virus and a few niggling injury problems.
“To go and grab a 1-o is really pleasing considering how difficult Mansfield tried to make life for us. They got plenty of bodies behind the ball and that didn’t allow us the room to play the way in which we like to.
“We’ve had a few half-chances but we weren’t as sharp with the ball as I know we can be. I think we defended well for the whole game, but you always need a bit of magic or a bit of luck to win a tight game sometimes.”
That bit of magic came from Cristian Montano, who aimed a left-footed volley across the face of goal to offer Taylor the simplest of tap-ins to decide the game in Rovers’ favour.
On his 20-goal top scorer, Clarke said: “I’m proud of him. He had a dip in form a few weeks ago and I had a chat wiith him about it.
He’s an honest lad and accepted that he was not hitting the standards he is capable of. That is to be expected over the course of a 46-game season and I knew it would only be a matter of time before he found his scoring boots again.
“I did not panic or consider getting someone else in. I have massive confidence in both Matty and the rest of the lads I have here and they are doing me proud with only 10 games of the season to go.”
Bristol Rovers still hunting down the pacesetters, says scorer Matty Taylor
Western Daily Press
Match-winner Matty Taylor says Bristol Rovers' ambitions have not changed at all despite improving their chances of claiming an automatic promotion spot following a hard-fought win over dogged Mansfield on Saturday.
Taylor's 20th goal of the season proved decisive on the hour mark at the Memorial Stadium as a well-drilled and organised Mansfield attempted to "shut-up shop" in a bid to bring Rovers' recent winning streak to an end.
A fourth successive victory for Darrell Clarke's side, however, saw them move up to fourth place in League Two and to within three points of the top three after Portsmouth, Plymouth and Oxford all lost on Saturday.
"It is good for us that a few of them slipped up and we closed the gap," Taylor said. "That's all it is at the moment. We are still behind them and hunting them down.
Read more: http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Rovers-hunting-pacesetters/story-28914708-detail/story.html#ixzz42rodZjFv
"Our mind-set hasn't changed. We're still three points behind and until it changes we don't alter our ambitions. We're just trying to win every game.
"We've had this experience last season so we know what is required and how to handle it. We have ten games left and we try to win each one.
"We'll see where we are at the end of them and then take it from there."
Taylor, meanwhile, is now just one goal short of the 21 he managed to score last season, and he added: "Going past last season's haul is the next target. It was a frustrating game from a striker's point of view. They shut up shop and they were difficult to break down.
"We knew it would be a case of wearing them down and that we would eventually get at least one chance to score.
"The goal set us on our way and we defended stoutly from back to front throughout. I think it was a solid all-round performance."
On his 20-goal top scorer, manager Darrell Clarke said: "I'm proud of him. He had a dip in form a few weeks ago and I had a chat with him about it.
"He's an honest lad and accepted that he was not hitting the standards he is capable of. That is to be expected over the course of a 46-game season and I knew it would only be a matter of time before he found his scoring boots again.
"I did not panic or consider getting someone else in. I have massive confidence in both Matty and the rest of the lads I have here and they are doing me proud with only ten games of the season to go."
On Rovers' hopes of breaking the top three, Clarke was singing from the same sheet as his star striker.
"Results elsewhere are immaterial if we don't win games," Clarke said. "I can't speak for any of the other teams but I would imagine they will be under pressure."
Latest | March 2016