POMPEY PREVIEWS/SHOULD HAVE STRENGTHENED EARLIER
Green - Changing room belief is still high
Stags’ top scorer Matt Green says the belief in the changing room is still strong following a slight blip in form in Sky Bet League 2.
Adam Murray’s men remain in contention for a play-off position, sitting in 11th place and five points behind seventh position going into Saturday afternoon’s intriguing encounter with fellow promotion hopefuls Portsmouth at One Call Stadium (3pm kick-off).
And Green, who has 11 goals to his name so far this season, has stated that the atmosphere remains positive in the squad as they head into the final ten games of the campaign.
“It comes around in swings and roundabouts. We’ve come away with last-minute winners this season so if this is part of the process and we’re going to have some success at the end of it, then perfect.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/green-changing-room-belief-is-still-high-3011568.aspx#XqYgPgyJ2jcOSbVx.99
“There’s still 30 points to play for. It’s hard to keep faith sometimes when you’ve lost a couple of games but the changing room still has a lot of belief and everyone around the club hopefully does as well.”
Stags’ attacking arsenal has been bolstered by the loan signing of Chesterfield forward Emmanuel Dieseruvwe until the end of the season, and Green is encouraged to see the squad strengthened.
“I think he’ll be a big boost to the team and he’ll be a real handful and an outlet, something which we could do with right now.
“I always give my all for the team and do my best but sometimes you’ve got to realise you need a bit of a helping hand. I think ‘Manny’ could be a good asset for us.
“I’m excited to get going and build a partnership just like I have done with the other strikers here. He (Dieseruvwe) will obviously have to get his way into the team and prove himself and prove he can be effective.”
Ex-Birmingham City man Green has also called on the One Call Stadium crowd to remain supportive, and knows it can be a key ingredient towards the progression of the football club.
“When you look at the statistics throughout Mansfield Town’s history, we’re in a very good place. If we can keep building as a team and with the fans staying behind us and growing with us, there’s no reason why everyone won’t be happy at the end of it all.
“You’ve got men there (in the changing room), big characters and we bounce off each other. It’s only us that are going to get the results. They (the fans) pay their money to come in and watch us so their expectations have got to be high.”
After having trouble with injuries in the past couple of years, Green is pleased to be playing consistently for the Stags.
“It’ll do me a world of good getting this season under my belt because, psychologically, you are going to question yourself when you’ve been out for so long but there’s nothing to question anymore.”
On his potent scoring average of one goal in three games over the course of his career he added: “It’s a hard thing to do because from the start I’ve played on the wing, I’ve played in various positions and there’s been times when I haven’t been playing.
"So to do that from the age of 18-19 when I broke on to the game and maintain one in three; it’s not bad at all!”
You can view Green’s news conference, in full, on Stags Player.
Mansfield Town star Matt Green delighted with club’s loan signing
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town top scorer Matt Green can’t wait to strike up an fruitful partnership with loan striker Mani Dieseruvwe as the play-off chasing Stags seek to end a run of three games without a goal.
Giant Chesterfield striker Dieseruvwe joined the club yesterday until the end of the season and is expected to make his debut against visiting Portsmouth on Saturday.
Green has often been played on his own up front this season and found himself isolated, but he has still netted 11 times.
On hearing of the new 6ft 5ins signing, he said: “I think he will be a big boost to the team and a real handful. He will be an outlet and something we could do with right now.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-star-matt-green-delighted-with-club-s-loan-signing-1-7803495#ixzz43BE3KlpJ
“It has been frustrating up there at times. I always give my all for the team and do my best.
“But sometimes you have just go to realise you need a bit of a helping hand. I think Mani could be a good asset to us.
“I have played up front on my own many times but sometimes at this level of football it’s not as effective. I am excited to get going now and build a partnership just like I have done with the other strikers.
“He will want to get into the team and prove himself and prove that he can be effective for the team. I have no doubt he can do that and we will welcome him with open arms.”
Stags are 11th, five points off the play-offs, but Green stressed: “There are still 10 games and 30 points to play for.
“It’s hard to keep faith sometimes when we’ve lost a couple of games, but the changing room still has a lot of belief in there and hopefully everybody else around the club does as well.”
On Saturday’s visit of Pompey, he said: “It’s going to be a big game and a big crowd with points on the line. It’s a massive game as every game will be between now and the end of the season.”
Green missed much of the last two seasons after a serious injury at Birmingham but feels that dark chapter is now well and truly behind him.
“I was out for two years but getting trained by a Championship club,” he said. “So I feel in peak condition and peak fitness. The are no issues there now.
“You do question at the start if you can play a full season. But I don’t think about it now and I am happy to be racking up the minutes.
“It will do me the world of good getting this season under my belt as psychologically you are going to question yourself when you’ve been out so long.
“But there’s nothing to question any more. I’ve hit the back of the net and ticked the boxes. It’s just about improvement now.”
Green is still averaging about a goal every three games over his career but wants to try to up that to a goal every other game.
He said: “It’s a hard thing to do as from the start I’ve played on the wing and various positions I am still making up for, and there have been times I’ve not been playing.
“So to do that from the age of 18/19 when I broke into the game and maintain that is not bad at all. But me being me I want it to be better.”
Green’s goals shot Stags to promotion from the Conference in 2013 before he moved on to Birmingham.
His return last summer was a surprise to a few fans. But Green said he never had any doubts about returning to the One Call Stadium.
“The fact I didn’t entertain many other clubs and I signed within three weeks of the season finishing shows where my head was at,” he said.
“I had no doubt I wanted to come back here and hopefully help Stags take it to the next level as I did previously. Nothing has changed. I’ve never lost faith or belief.
“The unity has been here since the day I walked back in. You’ve got men there, big characters who bounce off each other.
“It’s only us that are able to get the results with the great work the manager is doing, listening to him and taking it all on board and growing as a team.”
Dieseruvwe’s loan was crucial after striker Adi Yussuf was banned for five games for urinating in public at Plymouth - a decision seen by many as very harsh.
“I just think he has been very unfortunate - very unlucky,” said Green.
“It was a time where he was going to get his chance and play and something like that has taken the rug from under his feet a little bit.
“He does need an arm round him now to be picked up as he just wanted to do well for the team and score goals like any other striker.
“The good thing about Adi is he has time on his hands. He is 24 and he’s proved he can do it in the Football League.
“He just got to be patient right now. He has experienced players around him that will help him through this.”
Murray - There's still plenty to play for
Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray has declared that his squad are still feeling positive with 30 points left to play for in Sky Bet League 2.
After three consecutive 1-0 defeats, Murray admits that it's been a ‘tough three weeks’, but is looking ahead to taking as many points as possible from the ten remaining games.
"In the last three games, we haven’t got the results that we desired. Like we said earlier in the week, we believe we should’ve got something out of the games. There’s 30 points left to play for so it’s all still positive.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-the-pressure-is-on-portsmouth-3012466.aspx#zbHsOOecj71wRzTg.99
“We still believe we can achieve something and I’ve had some good chats with the chairman this week and he’s as positive as I am in terms of we know what we’re doing.
“Building-wise, we know where we’re taking the club, we’ve got a real aim and a process of what we want to achieve over the next few years and a big part of that is making sure that we’ve learned from our mistakes this season so far. Will we make some more in the next ten games? 100 percent, so get ready! I’ve already learned enough this season to make us better next season.”
Portsmouth, Saturday's visitors to One Call Stadium, have occupied a top seven berth for much of the current campaign and Stags’ boss Murray believes the expectation is on Paul Cook’s side to secure a play-off spot come May.
“The pressure will be on them - they’ve got to come and beat us, they’ve got to come and win. I imagine that is a different pressure to ours.
“They have to get promoted, don’t they? I think the club that they are, they’ve been in this league for far too long.
“They’re probably feeling a little bit of pressure now, they have to win football matches to stay in the top seven now, that’s their view that they can’t get automatic promotion and it is a crazy league, so you never know," Murray continued.
“For me, Cooky’s (Paul Cook, Portsmouth manager) the best manager in the league. I think he’s proven that, he’s got nothing to prove.
“He’s brought a lot of new players in as well, so like ourselves, it will always take time to ‘click’, but it’s a club where there’s always going to be pressure on them.
In regard to recent loan signing Emmanuel Dieseruvwe, Murray admits that he’s tracked the Leeds-born striker’s progress for some time.
“I saw him when he was actually at Sheffield Wednesday and I thought he’s got all the ingredients to do bits of everything.
“Obviously because of his size, aerially he’s very good but technically he's very good as well, which you don’t often find. I think at his age as well, he’s got a good hunger to achieve and to do well, he’s got a point to prove because he hasn’t been playing.
“He’s one we’ve had an eye on for a long time and the two previous managers at Chesterfield really liked him but he’s not been in Danny’s (Wilson, Chesterfield manager) plans at the minute.
“It’s not necessarily about going out and getting a superstar - it’s a piece of the jigsaw that makes the whole thing better. What we’ve managed to do is get a very good player, as well as someone who will make the jigsaw better.”
You can watch Adam Murray’s midweek news conference, in full, on Stags Player.
Portsmouth feeling the pressure, says Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray thinks Saturday’s visitors and play-off rivals Portsmouth are starting to feel the pressure as the clubs go into the last 10 games of the season.
Former Chesterfield boss Paul Cook this week wrote off Pompey’s hopes of making the automatic top three places, resigning the club to trying to secure a place in the lottery of the play-offs.
“I think it’s a big statement,” said Murray. “For me Cooky is the best manager in this league. I think he has proven that and has nothing more to prove.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/portsmouth-feeling-the-pressure-says-mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-1-7802380#ixzz43AXY9veg
“He has put together a squad of exceptional players at a massive club. They expected to be in the top three, which is understandable, and it hasn’t gone as smoothly as they expected.
“But he has brought a lot of new players in like ourselves and it will always take time to click.
“It’s a club where there will always be pressure on them. They are obviously feeling a bit of pressure now. They have to win football matches to stay in the top seven now.
“If that’s their view that they can’t get automatic promotion - and it is a crazy league so you never know, especially this season - but if they are looking at automatic being out the window, then they are going to have to win to stay in the top seven.”
After three 1-0 defeats, Stags have slipped to 11th, five points off the top seven, but Pompey crashed 3-0 at home to Newport last week and are sixth, six points off the top three but eight ahead of the Stags.
“We are on the chase and sometimes it’s tougher to stay in there when things are not going smoothly, as we found,” said Murray.
“They have to come and beat us. They have to come and win and I imagine that is a different pressure to ours.
“They have to get promoted as, being the club they are, they have been in this league way too long. The resources they have they need to get out of this league, and I have no doubt Cooky will do that eventually.
“At the moment the pressure cooker has probably gone up a bit as they are not where they expect to be.”
Both sides have spent all week smarting from costly defeats last weekend and Murray added: “We are all hurting.
“It’s that stage of the season where losses hurt more, wins mean more, heads roll more, parties are bigger.
“You look at Newport - they beat us and then they’ve beaten a lot of teams recently, and they beat Portsmouth last weekend.
“You look at Yeovil, they beat us and they’ve beaten a lot of teams recently. So it’s been a tough run for us and Portsmouth found that out on Saturday against Newport.
“After that great win at Accrington they took one on the chin on Saturday. But Portsmouth are Portsmouth. They have a very good group of footballers.
“But we went down there and more than matched them and will look to do the same on Saturday.
“Being the biggest club in this league so the expectation on them is real expectation. That’s real pressure.
“When you’re at a club like that and have the resources they have you are expected to get promoted. Cooky understands that. If we had those resources I’d have that pressure to get promoted on me.
“No one has told me but I don’t think my expectation is to win the league.
“It will be a tough game as this whole block of games is - it’s a real pain in the backside this block.
“But in a way it couldn’t be better as, if you win games, you catapult yourself straight back in it.”
The size of the away following on Saturday will underline the gulf in resources and size of the two clubs.
Murraay continued: “It will be a full away end. They are a massive club. Look at their home crowds.
“When we were at home against Yeovil two points off the play-offs, we got 2,700. It is a massive gulf. We get that and accept that. But it doesn’t mean we can’t beat these teams or compete with them.
“Saturday will be a good atmosphere - rocking and rolling. The two set of fans always get on so let’s hope we give our fans something to brag about and cheer about.”
Mansfield Town aim to halt losing streak against Portsmouth
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town must tomorrow bounce back from losing three games on the bounce for the first time this season when play-off rivals Portsmouth visit One Call Stadium.
Stags have just been pipped 1-0 in three successive games and boss Adam Murray said: “This is the first time we’ve lost three games on the bounce all season, so we don’t know what this feels like.
“But the attitude from the boys this week has been spot on and they’ve come out firing.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-aim-to-halt-losing-streak-against-portsmouth-1-7803516#ixzz43FCD6ZXS
“We want to finish as high as we can. We don’t want the season to fizzle out. We still believe we can achieve something.”
Murray added: “I honestly believe we will be up there.
“That’s a big statement by me, but I believe we still have a very good chance. We will finish off fighting and it’s going to be interesting.
“We are not used to it (the three defeats). It’s tough to take as we don’t think deserve to have lost those games. But we have and we must deal with it and learn from it.
“I spoke to the chairman this week and he is as positive as I am. We know what we are doing building-wise and where we are taking the club.”
Murray said he and the club would learn and benefit from mistakes made this season, however the current season ends up
“We have a real aim and process we want to achieve over the next few years,” said Murray.
“A big part of that is making sure we have learned from our mistakes this season so far. Will we make some more in the next 10 games? 100 per cent, so get ready.
“But I have already learned enough this season to make us better next season.
“I am chuffed to bits at the minute. As a football club we’ve probably made a couple of mistakes in not moving at the right times in the window.
“We didn’t want to disturb the balance but that’s a risk I think we might have to take.”
Mani Dieseruvwe could be vital part of Mansfield Town jigsaw
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Wednesday 16 March 2016
Adam Murray feels that new loan signing Mani Dieseruvwe can be a huge part of his play-offs jigsaw this season with one eye on next year when the giant striker is out of contract at rivals Chesterfield.
The 6ft 5ins, 21-year-old arrived at the One Call Stadium today and manager Murray said: “It’s great to get him in.
“With the situation we’ve had it’s been a tricky one and, to be be honest, we should probably have done this a month earlier.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mani-dieseruvwe-could-be-vital-part-of-mansfield-town-jigsaw-1-7799623#ixzz4356BwLpA
“As we were doing so well three weeks ago, fifth in the league, you don’t want to break your rhythm up or interfere with the group too much.
“Obviously in the last three games we haven’t got the results we desired, though we believe we should have got something out those games.
“So we’ve had to act now. We’ve still got 30 points to play for so it’s all positive, and we think Mani is the right one to come in and help us out.”
(read more in Dieseruvwe story)
Paul Cook interview pre-Mansfield game
Muzza's done a great job. He's a great young manager. He's tried to play the game the right way. He's done his best in sometimes difficult circumstances.
As the season gets to the latter stages, squad size and things like that comes into it.
He's just managed to bring in one of my former players Mani Dieseruvwe who will be a good acquisition for Mansfield.
But they've had a fantasic season. If they fall just short that will still be a fantastic season in my opinion for Mansfield.
Paul Cook: Pompey need to wise up
by JORDAN CROSS, Portsmouth News, Thursday 17 March 2016
Paul Cook warned Pompey they need to wise up to get their promotion bid back on track.
The Blues boss has aired concerns about his players’ inability to adapt the way they are playing in matches to pick up success.
And he feels improvements have to be made to his team’s ‘game management’ as the campaign reaches its climax.
A comprehensive defeat to Newport County was a bitter pill to swallow on Saturday - after the high of beating promotion rivals Accrington Stanley last week.
Read more: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/sport/football/pompey/paul-cook-pompey-need-to-wise-up-1-7280726#ixzz43AXlthDX
Cook was clear about where the problems arrived against the Exiles in the first half as his team stalled.
Pompey too often chose to play in congested areas in the middle of the park, against the diamond formation employed by Warren Feeney’s side.
Staff have discussed the matter with the players this week at the club’s training ground, as preparations are made for Saturday’s trip to Mansfield Town.
Now Cook wants his players to show the shrewdness needed to better handle the ebb and flow of games.
Cook said: ‘On Saturday, we couldn’t manage the game or the way they played.
‘I don’t think we are smart enough at the minute. We don’t manage games well.
‘We try to pass through people and there were people occupying those areas. That’s why we struggled.
‘Game management is the phrase at the moment.
‘We are not bright enough to identify a game and the way we need to play.
‘Yes, we’re a team who’s played 36 games, so we won’t have a tick in every box.
‘We’ve offered great encouragement to our supporters last week against Accrington but we fell flat against Newport.
‘You could see what needed to change after 10 minutes on Saturday.
‘If I could have stopped the game at that point I would have done that.
‘We have to change the way we play within that 10-minute spell.’
Cook was concerned to see Pompey return to the more negative elements of their play shown against Barnet and Yeovil last month.
That, for the 49-year-old, includes an over-reliance on the undoubted ability which exists within the squad’s ranks.
It’s a subject the Blues manager has returned to on more than one occasion in recent weeks.
Now, there is little room for manoeuvre with just 10 games remaining this season.
Cook said: ‘We think this is the way we play and that’s it.
‘It was like the games against Barnet and Yeovil.
‘We think we’re good enough but we fell on our sword.
‘Sometimes you can’t just rely on your quality to pull you through.
‘We couldn’t occupy the right areas and that’s why we lost.
‘That’s something we will look at because we need to get it right.’
Ben Davies’ contract concern - but still focused on Pompey
by NEIL ALLEN, Portsmouth News, Thursday 17 March 2016
Ben Davies revealed concern over his Pompey contract ticking ever-closer to expiry.
Yet the experienced right-back is determined not to let uncertainty over his future distract him from the Blues’ promotion aspirations.
Read more: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/sport/football/pompey/ben-davies-contract-concern-but-still-focused-on-pompey-1-7280845#ixzz43AY3cacE
The issue of a new deal for the 34-year-old remains unresolved, despite negotiations having kicked off before Christmas.
Davies has taken to representing himself in talks as he seeks to reach a conclusion to keep him at Fratton Park beyond the summer.
The player-of-the-season contender has made 41 appearances and been an automatic choice for Paul Cook.
He can be expected to once again line-up at right-back for Saturday’s trip to Mansfield Town.
And the ex-Sheffield United player is eager to tie himself to Pompey for longer.
Davies said: ‘It is still the same on the contract, nothing has really been worked out.
‘But hopefully we can get it sorted and I can stay focused for the last 10 games.
‘I would take anything really, just a new deal.
‘You kind of get concerned a little bit when you are out of contract in a couple of months but there is nothing you can do about that.
‘You have to concentrate on your football and keep plugging away and something will be sorted out. I have been in this situation before.
‘You have to pray you don’t get injured and hopefully you keep winning and contributing, then it is easier.
‘But every time you get a disappointing result you have to put it on the backburner and go again looking to help the team win games.
‘I have done most of the negotiating myself this time. My agent is back in the midlands area so hopefully he can get himself down and try to sort it.
‘My wife’s a lawyer, maybe I need to send her in!
‘I’m staying focused on the football, though. The most important thing is getting last weekend’s result out of the way and beating Mansfield.
‘Hopefully I can get the contract done and dusted and also help being part of the team moving on and achieving automatic promotion.’
Last weekend’s dismal 3-0 defeat to Newport County undid the optimism generated from a stylish win at Accrington the previous fixture.
It also represented a seventh match in 22 days, including three consecutive midweek away matches.
But Davies does not believe tiredness can be rolled out as a reason behind the Newport let-down.
He added: ‘I felt fine for that game. I had a bit of a virus after the Accrington match and managed to shake it off in time and train the day before.
‘The lads went in feeling fresh and feeling sharp, which is why we are baffled about that performance.
‘We are fine, ready and raring to go for the next 10 games. As disappointing as Saturday was, we have to dust ourselves off and get ready for Mansfield.
‘With no midweek game, it has given everyone chance to have a good week and get a few things out in the open - so we can crack on with the final six weeks.’
Latest | March 2016