WYCOMBE PREVIEWS / STAGS STILL IN THE MIX
Murray - Players are excited play-off race
mansfieldtown.net, 22nd March 2016
Stags' boss Adam Murray says his squad is ‘excited’ to fight for the remaining 27 points in Sky Bet League 2 this season.
The Stags battled for a 1-1 draw against Portsmouth on Saturday at One Call Stadium and they now sit seven points off the play-offs with nine matches left to play.
And Murray says his players are in high spirits after bouncing back from a run of three defeats with a strong performance against promotion-chasing Pompey.
“We’re still ‘in this mix’, we’re fully in the fight for the play-offs - the point on Saturday 'kept us alive' so we go into these two games knowing they are big games.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-players-are-excited-for-run-in-3021103.aspx#CA3UIApZ8bYV55Wt.99
“There’s a lot of fight in the camp, a lot of spirit in the camp and we want to build on the season we’ve had so far.
“There’s a feeling of excitement. We like the fact we’re on the chase [for the play-offs]. We believe we should be higher, which is tough to take, but with that feeling of slight disappointment, there has been a lot of learning curves because we know 'the bigger picture' is bright," Murray continued.
“There’s a real energy in the group at the minute. We’ve had a really good couple of weeks training-wise. Things are clicking nicely - as long as you’ve got hope, you’ve always got a chance.”
The Stags travel to Adams Park to face fellow promotion-chasing rivals Wycombe Wanderers on Friday (25 March, 3pm kick-off), which presents Murray’s side with an opportunity to close the gap on the play-off pack and beat one of the top sides in the division for the first time this season.
“It’s one of those patterns we need to break and we want to start as soon as possible. Games are running out but there won’t be a better place to do it than at Wycombe - a team that’s doing very well this season; the manager’s done excellently there.
“You have to take your hat off to him (Gareth Ainsworth, Wycombe boss) because he’s put a squad together that works tirelessly for him. It will be a tough game for us but we go into it knowing our strengths and knowing their weaknesses and we’ll look to exploit them.”
Supporters can view Adam Murray’s news conference, in full, on Stags Player later.
Rally call from Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray as tough Easter looms
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tuesday 22 March 2016
Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray today issued a stirring rally call ahead of this weekend’s tough Easter fixtures and insisted his side still believe they can make the League Two play-offs.
Despite a fine draw with Portsmouth, a fourth game on the trot without a win last weekend saw Stags slide down to 13th, seven points short of the play-offs with nine games to go.
However, ahead of a Good Friday trip to rivals Wycombe Wanderers and an Easter Monday home clash with table-topping Northampton Town, Murray defiantly said: “I was a little bit disappointed after Saturday as it’s like some people’s heads have given up.
“You don’t want to be in my camp if you’re like that. We are still in this mix.
Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/rally-call-from-mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-as-tough-easter-looms-1-7810903#ixzz43eSJolAG
“The weak-minded always go under easily and don’t want to fight. We are seven points off it. We are fully in the fight for the play-offs and the point on Saturday kept us alive.
“So we are going into these two games knowing they are big games - we can’t away from that - but they are two great games. We will prepare this week to go to Wycombe and try to beat them and we are looking forward to it.
“That performance and result on Saturday gave us a boost in the right direction and if we come out of this weekend with some points on the board we will be in a great position.
“There are still 27 points to play for - that’s a hell of a lot of points in this game, and we are going out to get every single one of them.
“We have hope and, as long as you’ve got hope, you’ve always got a chance.
“We have an awful lot of belief in the changing room. With 27 points to play for, let’s go and get 27.
“There is a lot of fight in the camp and a lot of spirit in the camp and we want to build on the good season we’ve had so far.
“There is a feeling of excitement. We like the fact that we are on the chase and we believe we should be higher, which is tough to take. We feel we should be higher than our standing shows at the minute.”
If Stags are to get back into the top seven, Murray knows his side are going to have to end their season-long inability to beat teams in the top half of the table.
“The majority of the teams we still have to play are above us,” he said.
“Yes, we know we haven’t managed to pick up points against them this season but what a great opportunity and a great chance if we beat those teams.
“It is a bit of a monkey on our backs and a pattern we need to break and we want to start as soon as possible as time is running out and games are running out.
“There won’t be a better place to do it than at Wycombe - a team, that is doing very well this season.”
Stags will head south to Buckinghamshire on Thursday night for the 3pm Good Friday kick-off against a side that are 8th, just two points off the pace.
“The manager is doing an excellent job there,” said Murray. “People say they are a little club but their average gate is just under 4,000.
“We average just under 3,000, so if they are a little club we are a minute club. It’s a big challenge for us.
“You have to take your hat off to Gareth (manager Ainsworth). He has put a squad together there that works tirelessly for him, very hard for each other, and are effective.
“It will be a tough game for us but we go into it knowing our strengths and knowing their weaknesses and we’ll look to exploit them.
“We’ve come through a lot of learning curves so we know the bigger picture is bright.
“There is a real energy in the group at the minute as we’ve had a really good couple of weeks training-wise and Saturday’s performance was full of spirit and energy. I think we got the balance right on Saturday. We played some good football but went direct when we had to.
“We looked offensive and we looked very structured defensively. Things are clicking nicely.
“It was a good point and a very good performance. It was a tough environment to go into on the back of three defeats. Against one of the top teams in the league it made it even tougher.
“But the boys were superb and put in a really good fighting performance with some good play at time. We showed some real spirit to take the game to them and on the day could have won it.
“It has given them a bit of confidence. After the three defeats you can’t just walk out on a Saturday afternoon and say I am confident now. It doesn’t work like that.
“Confidence is the biggest thing in life, especially in sport. So it would have helped to build that confidence back up again.
“But we need to put another good performance in on Friday and Monday and kick on again.
“I do believe that would be a springboard for us to go again.
“These are two big games against two of the teams that are up there, but against teams we believe we can get points from.”
Why Wycombe boss will always be thankful to Mansfield - but will be out to beat them again tomorrow
24 MAR 2016, BY TIM STREET, getbucks.co.uk
Stags helped assists in Wanderers' great escape of two years ago
Gareth Ainsworth admits he will always owe Mansfield Town a debt of gratitude - but insists there will be no room for sentiment tomorrow.
Going into the final day of his first full season as Wycombe Wanderers boss, the Chairboys were three points adrift in the League Two drop zone and had to win at Torquay on the final day, and hope Bristol Rovers lost.
In the event, Wycombe delivered with a 3-0 win at Plainmoor - and so too did Mansfield, beating Rovers 1-0 to send them down to the Conference instead of Wanderers.
Almost two years on, Wycombe host Mansfield tomorrow looking to do a league double over the Stags following their 2-0 win at Field Mill back in October.
Ainsworth said: “Looking back to our great escape year, I have a lot be thankful to Mansfield for - but this is professional football, and you can't afford to have soft spots for anyone.
“They have changed their manager and are not as big and physical as they have been in the past, they are trying to play a bit more.”
The Chairboys will be without Marcus Bean against Mansfield as the midfielder sits out the first game of a three-match ban for his red card against Carlisle .
Ainsworth added: “It was a harsh red card but a difficult one to appeal, so we will take it on the chin. Beany will be a big miss, but with a squad our size, any player would be.”
read more at http://www.getbucks.co.uk/sport/football/news/wycombe-boss-always-thankful-mansfield-11093941?
Ainsworth signs Villa striker on loan
Wed 23 Mar 2016, wycombewanderers.co.uk
Gareth Ainsworth has strengthened his attacking options ahead of the loan transfer deadline with the capture of Aston Villa starlet Jerell Sellars.
The 20-year-old has been a regular goalscorer for Villa’s under-21 side this season and joins the Chairboys on loan for the rest of the campaign.
Ainsworth said:” We have an excellent relationship with Aston Villa and I’d like to thank them for again allowing one of their young talents to come and continue his development here with us.
“Jerell is an exciting forward who loves to run at players and he could help to provide a spark up front. It’s no secret that we have been short of goals lately and he gives us another option.
“He’s a young lad who’s never kicked a ball in competitive senior football so we would never place too much expectation on his shoulders, but hopefully during his loan spell we can bring out the best in him and continue the progress he’s been making at Villa.”
Sellars goes into the squad to face Mansfield Town at Adams Park on Good Friday, and will wear number 26 during his stay with the club.
Read more at http://www.wycombewanderers.co.uk/news/article/ainsworth-signs-villa-striker-on-loan-3023479.aspx#EVQs8DYsxDk6zh7m.99
Why Wycombe Wanderers loanee Rowan Liburd has plenty to thanks this former Brentford favourite for
23 MAR 2016, BY TIM STREET, getbucks.co.uk
Wycombe Wanderers loan star Rowan Liburd has credited the man who once scored a wordly against the club with helping get his career back on track.
The striker, who is on a month's loan from Reading , was at Chelsea as a youngster, where he played in the same side as Fulham midfielder Rohan Ince.
But, with so few Blues youngsters making it as pros, Liburd tried his luck in the United States, where he spent four years on a scholarship at Thomas University in Georgia, studying while playing football.
Liburd is yet to get off the mark in four games for Wycombe, but has impressed and had a warning for Mansfield and Notts County, who the Chairboys face this weekend.
He added: “I'm somebody who loves to score goals. I've got lots of pace and like to get in behind defenders.
“I'm really enjoying it at Wycombe. I had yet to win my first game as a pro before I came here, and now I'm hungry for more. Wycombe play some really good football, which was something I wasn't expecting.”
Read more at http://www.getbucks.co.uk/sport/football/news/wycombe-wanderers-loanee-rowan-liburd-11088185?
Latest | March 2016