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Archived News from March 2016

21st March 2016 11:06

Murray - New face could reap rewards
mansfieldtown.net, 14th March 2016

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray says a new addition will bring the best out of his team as they look to reclaim a place in the Sky Bet League 2 play-offs.

The Stags are looking to bolster their attacking options as they aim to be more clinical in the latter stages of the campaign.

Speaking in Monday morning’s news conference, Murray has stated that a fresh face could maximise his squad’s potential for the remaining ten games.

“We have got goalscorers in the team but we need help - at the minute we’re asking them (the players) to do jobs that probably don’t suit them.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-weve-got-goalscorers-in-this-team-but-we-need-help-3007840.aspx#UZruOmcorXHzpETh.99

“We’re trying our hardest to get someone in that can fill that void, it’s not easy at this stage of the season. I’m not stupid, I know Matt Green plays better with somebody [alongside him]. There’s good players out there and it might be that we get the right ingredient to help the good players we’ve got.

“You don’t want to split the group up. You don’t want the group to think, ‘he doesn’t think we’re good enough’. It’s not very often in the last couple of years we’ve been in this position (challenging for the play-offs).”

Murray added: “Every time I close my eyes now, I see centre forwards. At this time of the season, will we be able to go out and get an out-and-out goalscorer? I doubt it.

“It might have to be a gamble; Gary Lineker’s not available at the minute! When you do lose games, confidence gets ‘hit’; belief gets hit and it’s our job to pick them up.”

Murray believes that chasing the top seven could work to their advantage, and he has acknowledged that everyone must improve in the coming weeks and months.

“Everyone will write us off now but that’s the worst thing you can do. The league is still that tight that we’ve just got to win a football match now; ‘get back on the horse’. We’ve all got to be better. I learnt a lot last year, and I’ve learnt even more this year.”

In addition, Murray thinks that his side must not give up the fight, and has reaffirmed his confidence that he will get Mansfield promoted from Sky Bet League 2.

“I’m 34-years-old, I’m not going to say I know everything because I don’t. We can affect this league, we do need a little bit of hope. It’s important now that we don’t lose focus of what we can achieve. It’s not over; the team knows it’s not over, I know it’s not over.

“Will I eventually get us out of this league? 100 percent. I’d hate it if anyone said I hadn’t brought the club on in 18 months and I haven’t progressed us, because I have. It’s not very often that I’ve let this football club down and that won’t start now. When I say I’m going to do something, I always stick to my word.”

Briefly looking ahead to the challenge of Portsmouth at One Call Stadium on Saturday (19 March), the gaffer has said that the pressure is all on the South Coast outfit to come away with the victory.

“They’ve got a very good group of footballers but we went down there and more than matched them and we will be looking to do the same on Saturday. They are probably the biggest club in this league.

“The expectation on them is real expectation. When you’re at a club like that and they have the resources they have, you are expected to get promoted.”

You can view Adam Murray's news conference, in full, on Stags Player.


Mansfield Town’s race against time to find loan striker
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Monday 14 March 2016

Adam Murray faces a race against time to bring in a striker to keep goal-shy Mansfield Town’s play-off hopes alive ahead of the loan transfer deadline a week on Thursday.

With Adi Yussuf now banned for five games over allegations of urinating in public at Plymouth, Craig Westcarr out on loan and Chris Beardsley struggling with his fitness, Stags have only Matt Green to call upon up front.

After the shock of the Yussuf ban on Friday morning, Murray missed out on three strikers before Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers with all three choosing to join Stags’ rivals.

Swansea City striker Oliver McBurnie chose Bristol Rovers, Plymouth signed Jamille Matt from League One side Fleetwood Town and AFC Wimbledon captured Oldham Athletic striker Rhys Murphy.

“It’s non-stop. I was on the phone all day yesterday. Every time I close my eyes I am seeing centre forwards,” said Murray as he tries to boost a side that has failed to score in four of their last five games.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-s-race-against-time-to-find-loan-striker-1-7795119#ixzz42tslQL00

“I’ve got the flu and all I can think of centre forwards! We’re working as hard as we can. We missed out on three within 24 hours last week.

“I thought I had one yesterday and that got ‘kiboshed’ while I was eating my Sunday dinner, so I didn’t even finish my Yorkshires which was disappointing as I look forward to them all week.”

Stags are now 11th, five points off the play-offs, after four defeats in the last five and Murray admitted: “It’s a learning curve for us as a football club as we should have strengthened when we were fifth and flying.

“It’s a really tough situation as you don’t want to split the group up and you don’t want players to think they are not good enough as I think they are.

“It’s about making things better and we should have done that. It’s a learning curve - not for me but for the club in general.

“You look at Northampton. They were top in January and signed six players - and hardly any of them are playing.”

Whoever Murray identifies to bring in, chairman John Radford is willing to back him financially.

But Murray admits it is unlikely a proven goalscorer would be available anywhere now this season and he may have to bring in a player who can work alongside Green and help him and the other players get on the scoresheet.

“What we won’t do is give in,” said Murray. “I spoke to the chairman on Saturday night and he said we’re still in it so go out and get a centre forward. He still believes and is fully behind it.

“At this time of the season, will we be able to go out and get an out and out goalscorer? I doubt it as the promotion teams are keeping them, the teams fighting relegation who have goalscorers are keeping them, and the ones in the middle are probably not good enough.

“It’s tough. But I think if we get the right personnel we’ve got goals in our team.

“Matt is a top goalscorer, a finisher, but he might need a bit of help. That’s what we aim to do - and I’ll give it everything I can as next Sunday I want my Yorkshire puddings.

“The amount of people I have spoken to yesterday and this morning already, there are a couple of things we are working on. It might have to be a gamble as as at this stage of the season Gary Lineker is not available.

“It may be we get a certain ingredient to get the best out of the good players we have got.”

It has been a frustrating time for Murray as Westcarr has failed to score regularly and Yussuf and Beardsley have both struggled with their fitness.

“When we have won games we have given Greeny a little bit of help,” he said.

“So people will go why aren’t you doing that? I am not stupid. I know Matt Green plays better with somebody.

“It’s a case of using the tools we have in the right way to get the most out of them.

“Now and next season we need to get people into the team who can play certain ways and formations.

“Right now it’s about what is best for the club and this group of players. The search is on at the minute.

“We need to being in someone to give us that bit of help. We have goalscorers in the team, but they need help. At the minute we’re asking them to do jobs that probably don’t suit them.

“So we are trying our hardest to get someone in that can fill that void. It’s not easy at this time of season.”

He added: “It’s a tough one with Chris and Adi.

“Adi has worked his socks off. We’ve spoken a lot of about Adi’s game time and fitness and that’s been a Catch 22.

“He was coming into a good run of form and looking strong and fit. We sat down and had a chat and said it was time now to come in and start games. But now he’s banned.

“Chris has had the fracture in his shin all season which he’s been playing catch-up over. So when he’s had that run of games he did a job for us.

“Chris has been more frustrated than anyone as it’s been a stop-start one for him. He missed a big part of the season when he wasn’t training or getting game time.

“So when we threw him in for that group of games he did really well before the group of games caught up with him. So we had to take him back out.

“Then you’re looking at other permutations to get the best out of what you’ve got. We are working hard.”


Write us off at your peril, says Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray is happy to have his side written off as Stags head into the last 10 games with a five-point gap to the play-offs.

He also stressed he has every faith in his players and his post-match anger at a third straight 1-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers last weekend was purely down to frustration.

“I think everyone will write us off now,” he said. “But that’s the worst thing you can do as you know what we are like and what I am like.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/write-us-off-at-your-peril-says-mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-1-7796457#ixzz42yCUIaZ3

“The league is that tight that all we’ve got to do now is win a football match and get back on the horse.

“I’ve looked back at last Saturday’s game a few times now and it makes me even more frustrated as there was nothing in it.

“They had the lion’s share of possession at times which we expected as they are in good form with good momentum.

“They are a good team. We knew we’d have to control the game without the ball at times, and we did that really well up until the goal.

“Both teams had the same type of chances, the difference was they made our keeper work.”

He added: “It’s really fine lines at the minute and that’s three games on the trot where we’ve come out of it saying how did we lose that? We have learned a lot. We have been more than in every game.

“It just shows how tight the league is. Three weeks ago we were fifth and I was brilliant, the staff were brilliant, the players were brilliant, now we are all rubbish. It’s part of the job. We get it. But we are still positive.”

Murray said a few angry things about his side at the final whistle, but stressed today that he loves them all and believes in them.

“I get way too emotional after a game,” he smiled “I am that close to the players with our relationship.

“There won’t be many players in that changing room that have had a relationship with a manager like they’ve had with me. We are very close and whatever I say to anyone I else I say to them.

“Maybe it came across after the game that I don’t like any of them. That’s not true. I love them all and they’ve been fantastic.

“It’s more frustration than anger as I know how good they are. I see them at times not fulfilling their potential.

“Day to day you get to see their eagerness to work hard for this football club. You don’t always see that actual pride in wearing the shirt like these do. I’d never question that. We are very tight, maybe too close at times.

“But that’s the way I work - my heart on my sleeve. That won’t change. Maybe I just need to cool down a bit.

“Even my missus said - what are you doing? I said I can’t help it. I am an emotional guy. I get angry and I get sad and I can’t help but show it. We will all be having a big cuddle today and then we’ll get on with it.

“It’s a learning curve for me. I am 34 years old and I am not saying I know everything. But I am having to learn rapidly as this team is.

“I am really proud of what this group has done so far but I get frustrated as I know there is a lot more in the tank.”

Murray is trying to bring in a striker on loan this week to help a side that has failed to score in four of their last five games.

“We know what tweaks we need and these boys may need a bit of help,” he said.

“I do think we are suffering a little lack of belief. These are very good players but they have to believe how good they are.

“We have 10 games left now and I know these boys will give me everything they’ve got as they have all season.

“It’s just important now we don’t lose focus about what we can achieve. People will write us off.

“But it’s five points. I can guarantee you teams like Cambridge will think the other way as they are coming up and will see it in a positive manner that they are only five points off it.

“As we’ve been up there all season and only dropped out the top 10 once, that’s amazing for us. It’s not over so we have to keep fighting.”


Mansfield Town seek advice over fighting Adi Yussuf ban after urination row
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Monday 14 March 2016

Distraught Mansfield Town striker Adi Yussuf is speaking to the Professional Footballers Association union over his stinging five-game ban for public urination during the game at Plymouth Argyle last month.

Stags chairman John Radford is also speaking to solicitors to see if the club can in any way fight a suspension that has shocked football.

Yussuf was warming up to go on as substitute when he needed to answer the call of nature and a Plymouth steward and two home players showed him where he could go discreetly behind a stand out of view.

However, subsequent complaints made have been upheld by the FA who handed out the unprecedented ban.

“We heard Friday morning,” said furious boss Adam Murray. “We’d already had a letter through from the FA and we thought that was it. It was a small fine.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-seek-advice-over-fighting-adi-yussuf-ban-after-urination-row-1-7794975#ixzz42tseTRtM

“We had to submit statements about what happened. Then all of a sudden people have changed their stories. It’s a co-incidence that everyone who has put a statement in are now all saying the same!

“It’s really frustrating. By the sound of it, the ban has been made out to be worse than racism and nearly as bad as eating someone.

“It seems to me for some reason that they have chosen to make an example of Adi, whether it’s because an unusual situation as it may be one of the first. But it’s very harsh.

“Adi is devastated. He is gutted and shocked. I think he is talking to the PFA as he wants to see if there is anything he can do as it’s a very harsh ban. Everyone has said it. Everyone knows it.

“I know the chairman is speaking to his solicitor to see if there is anything we can do. But I think we’ve all seen with the FA, they don’t answer to anyone so you can’t really win.

“What we will do is let them know we think it’s out of order. The whole of football thinks it’s out of order.”

Murray added: “If he’d stood on the corner flag and dropped his kecks and stood there going for it then, yes, ban him for 10 games. But he hasn’t. It’s been made out so much worse, I think the ban’s been given that he’s run round the pitch naked weeing everywhere.

“Adi has asked a member of the football club’s officials where do I go to the toilet? I am in the middle of a game, I might be going on soon, the changing rooms are about six minutes away so by the time I’ve got there and got back if I am not ready the manager is going to kill me.

“So their subs went to the toilet and came back. He asked if that’s where we go and they said yes. No one has actually seen him.

“The thing is players have been doing that at Plymouth all season.”

The Stags boss made it clear: “We don’t condone going to the toilet in public places or weeing up stadiums, let’s get that right.

“But it was in the heat of the moment with a game going on.

“As a professional you have to prepare right and hydrate. He’d been on the bench getting his fluids in and needed to go to the toilet.

“He has followed the protocol he thought was right and been punished for that.

“It’s hurt us as he’s won a lot of games for us and made a massive impact for us - especially games like Saturday when it’s really close.

“You know if you put him on the pitch he will either get a chance or create you one. We didn’t really have that did we? So we are very disappointed and very surprised.

“It’s taken away half of his season that’s left and he was coming into a good run of form. He was looking strong and fit. We sat down and had a chat and said it was time now to come in and start games. But now he’s banned.

“He’s not happy, the same as all of us, but we have to take it on the chin and get on with it.”

The FA statement on Friday had read: Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, Adi Yussuf has been suspended from all domestic club football for five first team competitive matches and fined £700 after he admitted an FA misconduct charge.

“It follows a breach of FA Rule E3 by the Mansfield Town player in or around the 30th and 53rd minute of the league fixture against Plymouth Argyle on 13 February 2016.

“The decision of the Independent Regulatory Commission, which sat on Thursday 10 March 2016, also included a warning as to the player’s future conduct.”

With Craig Westcarr out on loan and Chris Beardsley short of full fitness, it currently leaves Mansfield with one fully fit and available striker in Matt Green.


Delight over Lee Collins’ midfield debut for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Adam Murray was delighted with Lee Collins’ first game as a defensive midfielder last weekend.

Collins came to the club as a defender last summer but Murray has often said the former Northampton man is a good footballer who would do well in midfield and was rewarded for taking a chance in the 1-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers with a man of the match display.

“I thought he was outstanding to be honest and our best player on the day,” said Murray.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/delight-over-lee-collins-midfield-debut-for-mansfield-town-1-7797287#ixzz42zccYy5m

“Lee has a defensive mindset, but he has a good range of passing and he gives you a bit of stability in there.

“When we went 4-4-2 in the second half it was the most solid we’d looked in a 4-4-2.

“I was over the moon with him. Then he was the one going past six people, trying to put it in the top corner near the end.

“He played the role really well and gives us a bit of a different option in there which may allow us to move bits of the jigsaw about.”



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