Strong foundations key to Murray's plans
mansfieldtown.net, 19th September 2016
Stags’ boss Adam Murray says his side’s solid defence provides them with a good base to build on in Sky Bet League Two.
Murray’s men recorded their third clean sheet of the season in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Hartlepool United and his side have only conceded seven goals in total during their first eight games.
And the manager, 34, believes his side’s resolute defence provides them with solid foundations to be successful this season.
“We pride ourselves on not conceding goals because I think that gives you a base to go on and win games,” Murray said.
“We’ve just got to be a little bit more ruthless. We had chances [on] Saturday to win the game but we’ve got to start taking these now because we’ve got Pat Hoban who’s waiting in the wings - he could jump through my wall any minute now to ask why he’s not playing!
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/strong-foundations-key-to-murrays-plans-3315717.aspx#4V2YCp5a5I2Jzq18.99
“People like Hendo (Darius Henderson) are match fit now, Danny Rose has been excellent for me so far, so we’ve got goals in the team - I think you saw [against] Barnet, we had chances which we’ve got to do better with. But it’s not something that we’re overly concerned at, we know that once we get the structure right, we’ll build from that - it was the same last year.”
Speaking at this morning’s weekly news conference, Murray says bringing in 11 new players since the end of last season has had an effect on his side’s consistency.
“I think the fact that we have ended up bringing in a lot more players than we wanted to has probably slowed down our progress to be consistent, but we’re on track.
“We’ve had consistency in nothing so far; team selection, preparation, frame of mind, nothing, so we need to try and settle the ship down a little bit, settle the focus down a little bit and once we get that, we’ll be fine.
“We’re in a really good place now. The key this season, I think we’ve seen already with the league, is going to be, more than ever, consistency. You look at Plymouth - they’ve gone on a winning streak and they’re running away with the league!”
Focussing on his squad, Murray revealed that a number of players are approaching full fitness after a spell on the sidelines, whilst also saying that defender Krystian Pearce has been struggling with an ankle injury.
“He’s gone over on his ankle [on Saturday]. He’s having a nightmare at the minute - he hasn’t trained, so at the minute we’re just putting him out for games and I think, in certain instances, you can see that.
“He does look a little bit, [in the] last couple [of games], off the pace but we haven’t got a choice at the minute. We have to keep him wrapped up so we’ll see how he is this morning but we need to get him on the training pitch, that’s where it matters, that’s where it all counts.
“Kyle’s (Howkins) coming on rapidly, quicker than we expected, so we’re hoping maybe before Saturday, but hopefully next week we’ll have him nearly there, I’m not going to say there, but nearly there. [George] Taft’s going to be a while, Taft’s going to be [out for] probably four to six weeks, so no joy on that one.
“[The] likes of Chris Clements [and] Jack Thomas; I think Jack, touch wood, will make some major moves this week and hopefully Chris will be available for the weekend.”
The manager revealed after Saturday's stalemate with Hartlepool United that striker Matt Green is close to signing a new contract at the club and he now believes it is just a matter of time before the striker puts pen-to-paper.
"I think him and the chairman have had a conversation and I think it’s virtually done to be honest with you."
Supporters can view Adam Murray’s weekly news conference on Stags PlayerHD.
Stags hopeful one or two injured players will return before Mariners clash
by MATT BROOKS, chad.co.uk, Monday 19 September 2016
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray is hopeful one or two players will return from injury ahead of this Saturday’s match with Grimsby Town.
Chris Clements and Jack Thomas are making progress in their return to match fitness, with Murray hoping both will be available for selection for the visit of the Mariners.
On loan West Bromwich Albion centre-half Kyle Howkins should return in the next fortnight while Murray confirmed George Taft will be sidelined for up to six weeks.
Fellow defender Krystian Pearce sustained an ankle injury in the goalless draw with Hartlepool on Saturday and will be monitored over the coming days.
On Pearce, Murray said: “He’s gone over on his ankle. He’s not trained. We’re just putting him out for games.
“I think you can see that he does look a little bit off the pace but I haven’t got a choice at the minute. We have to keep him wrapped up.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-hopeful-one-or-two-injured-players-will-return-before-mariners-clash-1-8134087
“We’ll see how he is this morning. Out on the training pitch is where it all counts. We’ve got another free week this week and there’s a lot of good work going in.”
And added: “Jack (Thomas) will make some major moves this week and Chris (Clements) should hopefully be available for the weekend’s game.
“Kyle (Howkins) is coming on rapidly, quicker than we expected so think within the next two weeks we’ll have him nearly there. (George) Taft’s going to be four to six weeks.”
Stags brought in Oscar Gobern on Saturday and the former QPR and Huddersfield Town midfielder made an impression when he was introduced at half time.
“We didn’t look like we were going to get broken down first half, but I didn’t think we were going to open them up either. When Oscar came on at half time I think we were missing that type of player.
“He’s got loads of energy and will play box-to-box but at the same time he’s very creative. He’s a ball-player, he want the ball all the time and too good for League Two,” said Murray, who added that there has been more recruitment needed than he initially planned.
“We’ve recruited 11 new players now and I didn’t want that. It’s rocked the plans a bit but that’s it now, we don’t want anymore coming in or anymore going out, we’re locking the doors and this is us now.
“I said to the players after the game ‘this is us, our sole focus is getting into that top seven’. I can see the seas settling a little bit now. I’m good when I’m calm, I’m not good when I’m not calm.”
Murray: ‘It’s time to kick on’
by MATT BROOKS, chad.co.uk, Monday 19 September 2016
Adam Murray has set his sights on breaking in to the top seven in League Two.
The Mansfield Town boss believes his Stags side are well-placed in the standings after eight games while still searching for consistency.
And Murray reckons his squad deserves praise for the start they’ve made to the season, with off-the-field issues also playing their part.
He said: “They know when something’s not quite right but they’ve got the points on the board. Now it’s time to kick on. We’re sitting in a nice place.
“You can’t read the league at the minute. Looking through, down to 18th, there’s no points in it.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/murray-it-s-time-to-kick-on-1-8134146
“I think top seven, Morecambe are probably the only ones that you expect (not) to be in there at the minute, but they always have that flying start.
“When you do look at the top eight or nine teams there are some big clubs up there.
“Leyton Orient are just below us, you’d expect them to be up there, Carlisle have gone for it this season, Doncaster, Colchester, Gillingham, Crewe, Plymouth - all huge clubs.
“Our next step is to try and break that little band of big boys and rough them up a little bit.”
Mansfield will begin that task with the visit of Grimsby Town, who lost at home to Crewe last weekend, to the One Call Stadium on Saturday.
Murray said: “What a game to start that than a local derby. We’ve not had consistency yet in anything from team selection, preparation, frame of mind, we need to settle down a little bit.
“Once we get that we’ll be fine.
“We are in a really good place at the minute and after Saturday’s game I enjoyed my Saturday and Sunday because my mind is a lot more clear on where we’re going and what we’re doing now.
“I don’t want to speak to soon but I feel we’ll see a rise in performance hopefully in the points scored in the next few weeks and months.”
And added “If we can get nine to ten consistent players playing week-in week-out, we had it last season a lot at the start, it helps everything. Everyone’s on the same page and know what we’re doing.
“So to keep having to chop and change, not just for the personnel but the shape to fit personnel into it, it’s been tough. It is what it is. We’ve done really well to cope with that and now it’s time to settle down. I think the key this season more than ever is consistency.
“If you can put three or four results together then fantastic. Again, like I said last year, we don’t want to go more than one-game in a row losing and we’ve done that again on Saturday. We want to build on that on Saturday.”
‘Shackles are off for Grimsby visit,’ says Stags boss Murray
Stags boss Adam Murray wants his side to play with freedom and confidence when Grimsby Town visit the One Call Stadium.
Murray insists the early kick off on Saturday (12.15pm) won’t disrupt Mansfield Town’s preparations too much but is hoping to change one thing - Stags’ home form.
“We’re going in to battle on Saturday,” he said. “They’ve had a solid start but so have we. We want to come out of the blocks on Saturday.
“It’s our home ground and we want to start making this a place where people fear coming. I need the shackles off the lads on Saturday and I want us to play.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/shackles-are-off-for-grimsby-visit-says-stags-boss-murray-1-8142430
“When we do that we’re a very strong team. I don’t want us to be scared about making a mistake. That’s the environment we’re in and we need to deal with it.
“I’ll be giving them the full licence and the full confidence to go for the jugular.”
Stags have won one of six home matches in all competitions so far this season, including an EFL Cup tie with Blackburn and an EFL Trophy game with Doncaster.
That win came in the league, against Yeovil, as have draws with Cheltenham and Cambridge, and most recently a defeat to Barnet before last Saturday’s goalless draw at Hartlepool.
Grimsby sit two points behind Mansfield in 15th after eight games following promotion and a return to the Football League.
Murray said: “As long as it’s a result, we want to be winning football matches, whether it’s home or away. Home form hasn’t been super since we were in the Conference.
“It’s hard to put your finger on why because it’s not like we say don’t do certain things at home. I’ve got a couple of ideas to maybe change.
“For me, our home support has been fantastic. They’ve seen that we’re in a good place and we’re doing the right things. The players can’t work any harder.
And added: “I think we’ll be successful this season.”
Green contract ‘virtually done’, says Murray
by MATT BROOKS, chad.co.uk, Monday 19 September 2016
Adam Murray has hinted discussions between Mansfield Town and Matt Green over a new contract are reaching a conclusion.
Green’s future had been the subject of intense speculation over the summer with rumoured interest from a handful League One clubs.
Two approaches were turned away for the 29-year-old and Murray underlined his value to the club by slapping a £5m tag on the striker’s head.
Reports in London suggested Leyton Orient had lodged a £500,000 bid on the eve of the Stags visit to Brisbane Road.
But in attempts to put a stop to the rumours Murray and the club released a statement insisting Green would remain at the One Call Stadium.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/green-contract-virtually-done-says-murray-1-8133958
Talks began over a new contract to tie Green to the club long-term and Murray sounded confident the matter would be settled soon.
Speaking about the progress of those talks, Murray said: “I think he and the chairman have had a conversation and it’s virtually done.”
Stags haven’t scored since their 2-1 victory over Orient on August 27, when Green popped up to score a late winner after missing a first half penalty.
Murray stated Green had been unsettled by the speculation after Saturday’s goalless draw at Hartlepool but has backed all his strikers to find the net.
Only top of the table Plymouth Argyle (six), fifth placed Portsmouth (six) and mid-table Barnet (five) have conceded less than the Stags (seven).
“We pride ourselves on not conceding goals,” said Murray.
“I think that gives you a base to go on and win games. We’ve just got to be a little bit more ruthless. We had chances Saturday but we’ve got to start taking them.
“We’ve got Pat Hoban waiting in the wings, he could jump through my wall any minute now to ask why he’s not playing, Hendo (Darius Henderson) is match fit now, Danny Rose has been excellent for me so far. We’ve got goals in the team. Barnet we had chances.
“We’re creating chances. It’s not something we’re overly concerned about. We know when we get the structure right we can build right. It was the same last year. I think the fact that we’ve used more players than we wanted to has probably slowed down our progress to be consistent. We’re on track though.”
Latest | September 2016