NOTTS CO PREVIEWS (12.15 kick off)
Mansfield Town v Notts County: Managers confident ahead of 'massive' derby
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray says his side are feeling confident ahead of Saturday's derby against Notts County despite their recent results.
The Stags started the season well but are without a win in their last six league matches.
Murray told BBC Radio Nottingham: "The performance levels have been really high. We haven't taken our chances and have been sucker-punched.
"We've kept our head down and kept working hard. The boys are confident."
Mansfield enjoyed a morale-boosting victory on Tuesday, beating League One side Port Vale in the EFL Trophy.
"We feel like we've brushed some things out the door and got some things back on track," said Murray. "All that's been missing over this last month is belief and confidence.
"This time last month I was nominated for manager of the month. I think this month some of our fans would probably chuck me out of a window, but that's the game.
"We just need to keep doing what we're doing and, the way this game goes, Lady Luck will again spring back around.
"Our focus now is on a massive game on Saturday. The boys have been preparing and we're ready for action. We want to put in a good performance."
Notts County, seventh in League Two, will be out for revenge at Field Mill, where they were thrashed 5-0 last season.
They will also be looking for a fourth consecutive away win under John Sheridan.
The former Sheffield Wednesday midfielder took over as Magpies manager during the summer and is confident they will fare better in the Nottinghamshire showdown this time around.
"It's one of those games that's about winning the game, no matter how you win," said Sheridan.
"We'll try to play. We don't want to get caught up in a battle, but sometimes when it's an ugly game you've got to deal with that.
"It'll be a good atmosphere and we'll take a big following. When you're a player you want to play in this sort of game.
"With it being Mansfield there's a bit more of an edge to it, but we've just got to treat it like another game.
"If it is a battle then I've got players I think can stand up to it. Whatever is thrown at us I think we can deal with."
Murray aiming to rekindle home form
mansfieldtown.net, 6th October 2016
Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray believes Saturday’s local derby against Notts County is an opportunity to put the frustrations of their previous home games behind them.
Saturday’s match, which kicks off at 12.15pm at One Call Stadium, will see Stags, who are unbeaten in their last three matches in all competitions, face an in-form County side who have won their last three League games.
And the boss is placing his, and his squad’s, entire focus on their own camp going in to the game as they look to put in another good performance against the Magpies after being frustrated in their recent home games.
“We want to make the game about us. It’s a game where we come in to it in good form, performance levels are very high and it’s one of them that we want to right the frustrations of the previous home games where every man and his dog in the ground knew we should’ve won the games,” said the Stags’ chief.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/murray-aiming-to-forget-home-frustrations-3350726.aspx#6SoYgxlPF1Q1Hlrf.99
“The prime example is Grimsby; [they had] one shot on target, a penalty and one goal and we end up losing the game after numerous opportunities and we all felt the frustration after that game and the previous game at home, so it’s a game that we want to put sole focus on ourselves and try and right some of those frustrations.”
The manager has highlighted the importance of everyone inside One Call Stadium on Saturday - the players, staff and fans - working together towards a positive result for the club.
“The home form, not just this season, but in lots of years at Mansfield, hasn’t been very good. The seasons that it has been good, they’ve ended up being successful. Be that play-offs, promotion, whatever it is, the big common denominator in that is players and fans [standing] side-by-side.
“So if someone makes a bad pass after three minutes, or someone makes a bad decision or I pick a team that somebody doesn’t agree with, for 95 minutes, we have to stay as one.
“Whether you agree with things or you don’t agree with things, you don’t like some players, you don’t like the manager, you don’t like the staff, you don’t like the way we’re playing, for 95 minutes the environment is key and what we can’t do is, whether it’s our local rivals or anybody that comes in to this house, give one scent of blood.”
After strikers Pat Hoban and Danny Rose have showed signs of a fruitful partnership over the last two League games, Darius Henderson put in a strong performance against Port Vale in midweek and Matt Green scored the winner in Staffordshire, Murray admitted that he has some tough decisions to make in regards to team selection on Saturday.
“That’s probably my trickiest thing for Saturday to be honest with you because the performances the lads have put in over the last few games, and I even include the losses in that because the performances have been good, it’s a tough one.
“I felt the boys who played on Tuesday gave us something different, but the boys that played on Saturday gave us something different to that. So a few decisions to make but we’ll base it on the game and the occasion.”
Supporters will be able to view Adam Murray’s pre-Notts County news conference on Stags PlayerHD later today.
Murray calls on fans to unite and help Stags kickstart home form in derby
by JOHN LOMAS, chad.co.uk, Thursday 06 October 2016
Adam Murray has called on fans to unite with the club on Saturday and help kickstart Mansfield Town’s home form when neighbours Notts County come to town (12.15pm).
Despite some good away displays, the Stags have not won any of their last four home games or even scored a goal, prompting some boos and barracking of players.
Boss Murray is very aware things need to improve, but wants fans to stay onside for the 90 minutes of the game and get behind their side come what may.
“This isn’t a new thing,” he said. “It’s not just this season, this has been going on for years, for past managers and I imagine for future managers. We have looked at every single stone you can pick up and have a look under.
“There are some mad stats about it as well, which bamboozle you. But if we keep the performance levels high and the environment stays positive that’s a massive thing.
“Away from home if someone makes a bad pass or makes a bad decision, it’s not the end of the world. The players are allowed to continue to focus on the job in hand. That’s why I think the results come away from home.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/murray-calls-on-fans-to-unite-and-help-stags-kickstart-home-form-in-derby-1-8168032
“It’s League Two, players are going to make mistakes. But when they do, they still have the freedom to go and express themselves. For me that’s a big reason why we pick up points away from home.
“It’s tough at home. You look at our last home performance, it was good. Grimsby had one shot on target, which was a penalty, and we lost the game.”
On the boos from the stand, he added: “I think it’s more frustration than the fact the fans think the team’s not very good as we know that’s not true. We feel that frustration as we believe we should have won probably all our home games so far.
“We want to get it right and we’ll be looking to do that on Saturday. “Our environment is key, not just for local derbies.”
Murray told fans to look back through history and see the part they have played in times of success.
“The home form for a number of seasons hasn’t been very good,” he said.
“The seasons it has been good, they’ve ended being successful, be that play-offs, promotion or whatever.
“The big common denominator in that is when players and fans stand side by side.
“So if some makes a bad pass after three minutes or I pick a team that someone doesn’t agree with, for 95 minutes we have to stay as one.
“Whether you agree with something or not or you don’t like a player, you don’t like the manager, you don’t like the staff, you don’t like the way we’re playing, for 95 minutes the environment is key.
“What we can’t do, whether it’s our local rivals or anyone who comes into this house, is give them one scent of blood.
“This league is ruthless. This will go on to the last day of the season. There will be 15 teams fighting to get into that top seven.
“We have to make this a fortress, and we do that by, however long the game is, staying on the same page.”
Big decisions for Murray as Stags look to kickstart home form against Notts
by JOHN LOMAS, chad.co.uk, Thursday 06 October 2016
Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray said he is planning to try something different up front to end Stags’ poor run of home form when local rivals Notts County come to town on Saturday (12.15pm).
Murray has some huge headaches over who to pick up front with star striker Matt Green dropped for the last three games to end a goal drought but coming on as a sub to snatch the winner at Port Vale in midweek.
Green’s replacement Pat Hoban had two fine games in his absence and Darius Henderson was excellent in midweek while Danny Rose has done nothing wrong.
“I thought Hendo was terrific on Tuesday,” said Murray.
“I know, who I am going to play. All of the players will prepare to play, all of them will want to play, all of them will expect to play, but unfortunately we can only pick two centre forwards, or three.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/big-decisions-for-murray-as-stags-look-to-kickstart-home-form-against-notts-1-8167757
“Because the home form needs to change we are looking at something bit different for Saturday where we want to have a right go.
“This is probably my trickiest thing for Saturday. It’s a tough one.
“I thought the boys who played on Tuesday gave us something different, but the boys who played on Saturday gave us something different to that.
“I have a few decisions to make, but I will base them on the game and the occasion.”
Murray said, despite his dislike of the Checkatrade Trophy, Tuesdays’ win at Port Vale will have done his players the power of good.
“I didn’t need it personally but I think the players needed it more than anybody,” he said. “ Performances of late have been very good.
“Anybody that knows the game and understands it will know that. We’ve just needed that little bit of Lady Luck and we got that on Tuesday.
“The performance level was as high as it’s been and we had that little bit of quality and that bit of luck to get the win.
“It was a good outing and It’s not that I am against the game. I just don’t believe in what the competition stands for. The game was good for us. It allowed us to work on a few things and get people minutes.”
‘Notts are totally different animal this season,’ says Stags boss Murray
by JOHN LOMAS, chad.co.uk
Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray has told his players to forget about last season’s double and 5-0 home drubbing against neighbours Notts County when the Magpies return to One Call Stadium for the first of this season’s local derbies this Saturday (12.15pm).
However, he did say that, were Stags to win, they should cherish and celebrate that better than they did last year.
Under new boss John Sheridan this season Notts are flying high in seventh place and Murray said:
“They are a totally different animal this season. Obviously they have a new manager, a new style, and a new way of doing things.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/notts-are-totally-different-animal-this-season-says-stags-boss-murray-1-8169507
“He is a very good manager, very experienced, and I think more importantly they have got experienced players in there. “So it’s going to be a totally different test for us but one we are going into confident. We are in a good run of from at the minute. We have picked up some very good points on the road recently, so we are up for the challenge.”
Stags’ Checkatrade Trophy win at Port Vale on Tuesday was their first victory in eight games and he said:
“The run that we had was a weird run. It wasn’t as if we were losing games. It was just that we weren’t getting the wins that everyone felt we should have got.
“The recent results have given us that bit of confidence and you can see the extra bounce in the players’ steps now and I think it’s come at just the right time.”
Murray said he and his longest-serving players understood the importance of the Notts County derby, and by Saturday any summer signings who didn’t would be made very aware of how big the game is.
“For the period of time that I’ve been here which is a long time, I understand 1,000 per cent as do people like Jamie McGuire, who’s been here a long time now,” said Murray.
“I probably feel it a bit more because of my connection with this club and the town and the rivalry.
“For the 11/12 new boys we’ve brought in this season, they probably know 90 per cent, and in the next 48 hours they’ll know that extra 10 per cent.
“These games, tactics and everything are brilliant but it all goes out the window. This is heart, soul, passion and fight. That’s how we’ve been successful in these games so far.”
With some indifferent home form, Stags find themselves languishing in mid-table, though know a win could see them leapfrog the Magpies.
“This time last season we were flying well above the radar,” said Murray.
“Everyone was going - what are they doing up there? They are supposed to be in the bottom two or three.
“I think this season we’ve probably gone a little more under the radar but we are three points off the play-offs and I quite like the under the radar bit at the minute. But as some point we want to knock on everyone’s door and say look, we’re here now.
“In the bigger picture, going above the radar so early last season, it ruined us because it put unexpected and unwanted, unneeded pressure on the players, from outside and from within.
“This season due to the ups and downs we’ve had off the pitch, injuries, suspensions, non-football situations, it has upset the group.
“But these are the games you’d give anything to play in. the boys will sign a separate contract today where they will commit themselves to a war. I expect them to fulfil that.
“The importance and everything that comes with the game is the fact it’s a proper local derby. We’ve had a couple of the last 18 months and we all know what big occasions they are.
“We are 11 games in, so it’s not life or death, but it is our biggest game of our season. Likewise when we play Notts County away in the second game of the season last year, it was the biggest game of our season. Because of the occasion it makes it even bigger.
“It’s an occasion that as a player and as a manager you don’t get a lot of sleep because it’s like Christmas and you’re excited.”
Should Stags win it, Murray says the club will mark the occasion much better than last season.
“It’s one you have to cherish and we probably didn’t do that enough last season, especially the result at home,” he said.,
“That was a fantastic moment for the football club and we probably didn’t cherish it enough.
“I know when I was on loan to Rainworth the lads went away to Chesterfield and beat them. I came back a couple of months later and the while place was decorated with pictures and posters from that day and we didn’t really do any of that.
“They are occasions you have to hold in your heart and relish them. They are big days. Saturday is a new battle and a different animal.”
On opponents Notts, where Murray has had loan spells in the past, he said: “I have always liked John and the way he does his teams.
“The most important thing is he’s a very good bloke and a football person. His teams are organised and disciplined and play the game the right way. They are a good team.
“They are seventh at the minute and are up there for a reason. They’re on a good run of form and some of their individuals are on good form.
“I have a lot of respect for the football club. They are a massive club with a good fan base and an excellent history.
“It’s going to be a tighter game than last season with two very good teams going head to head.
“They’ve probably had a bit better form than us recently, but performance levels of both teams have been very high. They’ve probably had a bit more rub of the green than we’ve had over the last five games. But this is football.
“A month ago I was nominated for manager of the month, four weeks later I am not nominated any more.”
Stags won’t rule out returning pair for Notts derby
by JOHN LOMAS, chad.co.uk, Thursday 06 October 2016
Although midfielder Jack Thomas and centre half Kyle Howkins have only just returned to full training at Mansfield Town this week, boss Adam Murray said he wasn’t ruling out either of them being involved in Saturday’s big home local derby with Notts County (12.15pm).
Murray said both were much fitter than fans may realise, saying: “They are very close, they are both back in training.
“The boys that played Tuesday performed exceptionally and there are some decisions to be made. We will have a look over the next two days and decide.
“They are both fit. Obviously Kyle has done a lot of his rehab at West Brom. Being a Premiership outfit they’ve got a bit better resources than us.”
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-won-t-rule-out-returning-pair-for-notts-derby-1-8167718?
On Thomas, he added: “Jack has been a long one - he’s been three months. But the way Jack is, it’s like having a new player in the camp.
“He looks stronger, he looks fitter and he’s from Mansfield, so you don’t get much bigger days for him do you?”
McGuire looking forward to local derby
mansfieldtown.net, 6th October 2016, by Tathagata Mukherjee
Mansfield Town return to action on home turf this Saturday against local rivals Notts County, and midfield dynamo Jamie McGuire is upbeat about the season’s first Nottinghamshire derby.
The former Fleetwood midfielder is now in to his fourth season with the club and was named as our Player of the Month for September earlier today.
Speaking at Thursday morning's news conference, the 32-year-old revealed his excitement ahead of Saturday's match against of local rivals.
“It’s a big derby, we are 40 minutes away from each other and the atmosphere is 'the one'," McGuire said.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/mcguire-looking-forward-to-local-derby-3351336.aspx#0K0tevoLEwMEgj8J.99
“So, [we are] looking forward to it, and I am sure the fans are looking forward to it, the club’s looking forward to it and the whole town is.
“[It's] a big match, the three points will help us go up the table. We are concentrating on what we’ve got to do, and I think our main aim is three points for Saturday.”
McGuire felt the Stags received a timely confidence boost with well-earned results in three consecutive away games, when Adam Murray’s men registered 1-1 draws against Accrington Stanley and Crewe Alexandra, followed by a 1-0 victory over Port Vale.
He continued: “We had two tough away trips, we got two points at Accrington and Crewe; that was a boost as well, because I think we looked solid.
“We went to Port Vale and did a professional job, got the 1-0 result, and it put [our confidence] right up there now for Saturday. I think it was a big shout for the boys who stepped in, and we made, I think it was four changes.
“Young Tom Marriott came in and did really well. [It was a] nice little solid performance from him. Matt Green came on and he scored the goal, so, [it was a] big game and confidence boost.”
When asked how he feels about his role as one of the senior pros in the squad, McGuire said: “When it comes to the game, I am up for the game [but] when it comes to the pitch, I have got to be a lot calmer [as a senior pro].
“But in the changing room I'm ready to go out in these kinds of games and get the boys roused before [the match].
Supporters can view Jamie McGuire's news conference on Stags PlayerHD.
Magpies boss John Sheridan wants to stretch winning away run in derby at Mansfield Town
Notts County boss John Sheridan says his players will go into Saturday’s big derby at Mansfield Town full of belief as they seek revenge for last season’s two defeats at the hands of the Stags.
The Magpies have won five out of their last seven matches to propel them into the play-off positions.
They have also won their last four away matches, while the Stags have just one home win this season.
Sheridan said: “I respect Mansfield because they’ve some good players, but we’ve won our last four away and we go there with belief.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/magpies-boss-john-sheridan-wants-to-stretch-winning-away-run-in-derby-at-mansfield-town-1-8168807
“We will have to earn the right to play, but we have the capability to do that.
“I won’t be changing too much. I want to win it for the supporters especially after last season. But I am just going into it looking to get three points.
“I am looking at it like it is Exeter or Cheltenham away. We just want to continue our form.”
The experienced boss said he would not be using last season’s defeats to the Stags as a motivation for the players because he was not at the club then.
“I won’t use last season as a motivation. I wasn’t here. I will go into the game differently and I think we are a better team than last year,” he said.
“Last season has gone. I’m a new manager, with new players. But I expect a really tough game.”
Sheridan said he didn’t want the derby to become a battle and hoped his side would be able to play some football.
“The players have to be careful. There will be a few tackles flying in,” he said.
“I’ve just got to prepare the best way. We’ve got to be patient and see how the game starts and deal with it.
“We have better players and if it’s a battle I’ve got players who will stand up to it.
“We’ve done that on a few occasions. Cheltenham was a tough game for us but we dealt with it really well.
“There will be a lot of desire and determination to win.
“It’s one of those games where it doesn’t matter how you play, you just want to win.
“But we will try to play. We don’t want to get caught up in a battle, but if it’s ugly then we will have to deal with that.
“Hopefully we can affect the game our way and affect it in a way that we end up winning it.
“I’d rather be playing than managing in games like this. It will be a great atmosphere, we will take a big following and these are the types of games you want to play in.”
Sheridan said his players were looking forward to the game after last Saturday’s league match at Meadow Lane was abandoned because of heavy rain.
He added: “We were disappointed not to play last Saturday. We are doing okay in the league.
“With it being Mansfield there’s a bit more of an edge to it. We’ve got to treat it like any other game.”
Local derby information
nottscountyfc.co.uk, 6th October 2016
Notts County supporters with tickets for the sold-out trip to Mansfield Town on Saturday 8 October (kick-off 12.15pm) are advised of the following procedures.
Following a number of incidents at last season’s fixture, the relevant authorities have informed the club that they will be employing a more robust search policy with a particular emphasis on preventing smoke canisters from being taken into the ground.
As all tickets will show a specific row and seat number, stewards will take a proactive approach towards assisting supporters to their allocated seat. Those occupying incorrect seats will be requested to move and failure to comply with this may result in ejection from the ground.
Mark Huckerby, Notts’ head of operations, said: “We have had a number of issues at some games, including the Mansfield away fixture, in which a small group of our supporters seem intent on creating problems.
Read more at http://www.nottscountyfc.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/notts-county-mansfield-town-nottinghamshire-police-mark-huckerby-3350196.aspx#v3zqkgwFjFXqdMsK.99
"We’ve worked hard with the police in an attempt to resolve this and a number of these individuals have now been banned. This will hopefully make the matchday experience a better one for the rest of our fans.
"We will continue to monitor this to ensure our fans enjoy their match days.”
Notts manager John Sheridan added: “I and everyone at the club understands the importance of this fixture to our fans, and their support will be greatly appreciated on the day.
"All I ask is that our supporters abide by the ticketing policy and ground regulations, which are in place to ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable matchday experience.”
Nottinghamshire Police are providing information on matchday parking, pubs and more.
Their chief superintendent Mark Holland said: "The behaviour of some Notts County fans last year was very poor. Since then, we’ve worked closely with the club to identify those who caused the trouble. This has resulted in club bans and court prosecutions.
"A significant investigation into public disorder in Nottingham city centre after another match at home to Exeter resulted in the prosecution of a number of fans who cannot attend matches as part of their bail conditions.
"We would say to anyone attending the game on Saturday to enjoy themselves but not to drink to excess. We’ve brought kick-off time forward to 12.15pm to reduce the risks around drinking, we have sufficient officers to police inside and outside the ground and we will be making sure that no licensed premise in Mansfield is available to away fans prior to kick-off."
Away tickets for this match have now sold out and, with no more on sale, only supporters with tickets are advised to travel.
Latest | October 2016