MURRAY, CLEMENTS AND DERBY REACTION
Murray commends side's desire to win in Derby victory
mansfieldtown.net, 8th November 2016
Stags’ boss Adam Murray has praised his side for fighting until the end in tonight’s 3-2 Checkatrade Trophy victory over Derby County at the iPro Stadium.
Stags raced in to a 2-0 lead inside the first five minutes thanks to goals from winger Ashley Hemmings and striker Darius Henderson, before Rams’ midfielder Jamie Hanson pulled a goal back thanks to a deflected free-kick in the first half.
Andreas Weimann’s late deflected goal sent the game heading for penaltlies before midfielder Chris Clements curled an exquisite 25-yard strike in to the top corner to send Stags in to the second round of the competition.
And manager Murray has commended his side’s willingness to play until the final whistle after seeing them secure a stoppage time winner after being pegged back late on.
“Even at 2-2 in the last minute, they’re going for the game and we tweaked the shape a little bit and went to the three at the back in the second half to try and get bodies forward and fair play to the boys, they carried it out,” said Murray.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/murray-commends-sides-desire-to-win-3406811.aspx#bXcA4Gr0lAp19tCW.99
“You look at the first ten minutes, we played some fantastic football and what happens when you do that and you go 2-0 up, you think you’re Barcelona for 20 minutes! We played in to their hands, we scored two goals and the boys were fantastic.
“The thing that we speak about is getting the balance and the decisions right. You can’t play total football and not mix it up by playing forward when you have to and I think for probably 20 minutes of the first half, we overplayed and created our own problems and it was just getting that balance again.
"When the boys are like that and they’re confident, they just want to pass the ball and play and I don’t want to take that away from them.”
Midfielder Chris Clements’ wonderful injury-time winner capped off a captain’s performance from the man who was handed the armband by Adam Murray prior to kick off and the manager explained that the decision to name him as skipper is testament to the former Crewe Alexandra player's recent performances.
“I think in his performances of late, he’s been showing a lot of responsibility. I wanted to give him that little bit of an edge in terms of ‘take that next step in your development’. He’s someone that leads by performances at times and people have said over the years that he can be a luxury but when he’s on it, he can be one of our key players. I felt he earned the right to be captain tonight and it was really good to see.
“He played like a captain tonight - he led the team, it was an excellent performance from him and [he] tops it off with a fantastic goal.”
With his side now securing their passage to the next round, the manager has outlined his desire to progress as far as possible in the competition.
“What we want to do now is build on that and use that as a platform to spring in to the play-off fight and if we can progress in this cup now and get as close as we can to finals and stuff like that, let’s get some success.”
Supporters can now watch Adam Murray’s post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD.
Adam Murray: Mansfield boss still not a fan of EFL Trophy despite progressing
Boss Adam Murray says he is still not in favour of the EFL Trophy, despite seeing Mansfield beat Derby's Under-21 side 3-2 to reach the knockout stages.
The Stags were pegged back to 2-2 after Ashley Hemmings and Darius Henderson put them ahead, before Chris Clements scored a late winner on Tuesday.
Murray told BBC Nottingham: "I still don't agree with the principles of it and I'm not sure who it is best for.
"You get a bit of money if you win it, but we want to get promoted."
The Stags go through after they finished second in Northern Group E with two wins from their three matches.
"It's not that we don't want the competition, it's just with a small squad you don't necessarily need the games," Murray added.
"But the boys have done fantastic to come here against a tough Derby side and get the win to go through.
"We will take that. It's a tiny bit of success, why not push on?"
Murray praise for match-winning skipper Clements
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray paid tribute to match-winning skipper Chris Clements after his stoppage time screamer saw Stags home 3-2 at Derby County U21s to book a place in the Checkatrade Trophy second round.
Stags saw their 2-0 lead after just five minutes wiped out by two deflected second half goals.
But temporary skipper Clements, man of the match on Saturday, capped another great display with a 25-yard top corner finish.
“It (the goal) was fitting in the environment we were in. He played like a captain tonight and led the team,” smiled Murray.
“It was an excellent performance from him, topped off by a fantastic goal.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/murray-praise-for-match-winning-skipper-clements-1-8226582
“In his performances of late he’s been showing a lot of responsibility. I wanted to give him that little bit of an edge in terms of taking that next step in your development.
“He is someone that leads by performances at times. People have said over the years that he can be a luxury, but when he is on it he is one of our key players.
“I felt he had earned the right to be captain tonight. It was good to see. He led with his voice at times in the changing room and on the pitch, so well done.
“He inspired people, which is a captain’s role. I’ve got a lot of time for Chris and when he plays like that he is a very good player.”
After an initial dislike of the new format of the EFL Trophy, Murray admitted he now wanted his side to go as far as they can.
“I know I ummed and arred about it at the start,” he said.
“But if was can progress in this cup and get as close as we can to finals and stuff like that, let’s get some success. Why not?
“We have now taken a real turn over the last 10 days, all of us, the players and staff, me especially.
“I have a bit of peace in my mind and soul at the minute because that’s my team playing and I am doing things my way - it feels good.
“What we want to do now is build on that and use it as a platform to spring back into the play-off fight.”
Murray was delighted with his side’s performance, but felt they overplayed at times after going 2-0 up and caused their own problems.
“In the first 10 minutes we played some fantastic football,” he said.
“When you do that and go 2-0 up you think you’re Barcelona for the next 20 minutes and we played into their hands.
“We scored two goals and the boys were fantastic. The thing we will speak about is getting the balance and the decisions right. You can’t play total football and not mix it up by playing forward when you have to.
“For 20 minutes of the first half we overplayed and created our own problems. It was just getting that balance again.
“But when the boys are like that and they are confident, they just want to pass the ball and play and I don’t want to take that away from them.
“I think we’ve seen Saturday and tonight I’ve actually got peace in my heart at last because my team is back playing.”
On the Rams’ two replies, he said: “Both were disappointing, both took massive deflections. It was a bit frustrating.
“To be honest when it got to 2-2 my first question was is it extra-time or straight to penalties as that was the last thing we wanted?
“It was interesting to see the boys in that environment today. We saw their team sheet and it looked strong, so we knew it was going to be a tough game.”
Murray added: “It’s a fine line between real belief and touching on arrogance. That’s what we want to get. We want to be arrogant about how good we can be.
“We want to be arrogant that we might be Mansfield Town but we’ll fight you for everything.
“The boys did that today and even at 2-2 in the last minute they were going for the game.
“We tweaked the shape a bit and went three at the back in the second half to try to get bodies forward and fair play to the boys, they carried it off.”
Hemmings can star with Stags says boss Murray
Adam Murray believes Ashley Hemmings can fulfil his potential and become one of the stars of League Two after his second goal in as many games in last night’s Checkatrade Trophy victory at Derby County.
Hemmings, 25, who signed in the summer from Dagenham & Redbridge, has so far only shown the odd glimpse of his talents and failed to win a regular place.
But the former Wolves winger had a storming second half on Saturday and last night netted after only two minutes.
Explaining how he has managed to get Hemmings to start showing what he can do, manager Murray said: “I have just given him a cuddle and told him how good he is.
“I said when I signed him that he could be, if he wants to be, one of the most influential players at this level.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/hemmings-can-star-with-stags-says-boss-murray-1-8227866?
“It is a mental thing with him. He has the ability and the physical attributes to be a very good player.
“With all due respect I think has been in an environment for a couple of years that’s been a comfort zone. We have had to nail that out of him.
“But when he plays like he did Saturday and does the shift he did today with the ball I am never going to question what he does. He is a fantastic player.
“He is understanding now he’s got to run around. When he does it, he’s fantastic and I have been proud of him the last two games.”
Youngsters showing Stags’ future is bright
As two more of Mansfield Town’s youth players found themselves in the spotlight this week, boss Adam Murray said the club’s future looked bright.
Striker Zayn Hakeem, just back from the Caribbean on Antigua and Barbuda U20s duty where he scored two goals, signed his first professional contract on Monday.
Then fellow 17-year-old Keiran Harrison, a defender, was named on the bench for the Checkatrade Trophy group game away to Derby County U23s, though didn’t get on the pitch.
“I am chuffed to bits for them and the football club,” said Murray.
“Moments like these with Zayn and Keiran just shows the club is moving forward and what we are trying to do.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/youngsters-showing-stags-future-is-bright-1-8231980
“It’s going to be a patience thing with the kids, like with Tom Marriott (another youth player who made his debut in the previous Checkatrade match at Port Vale).
“We’ve got to be patient with these babies, but they are good players.
“Keiran has had a good two years now in which he has had steady, steady progression and he has captained the youth team, who’ve had a fantastic season.
“We need him to develop a little bit physically as he is still a little bit skin and bone. But he is a very clever, very technical centre half or possibly a holding midfielder in terms of moving forward.
“I would have liked to have got him some minutes at Derby, but I think when you get into the nitty gritty, to throw him in into the thrust of it probably wouldn’t have helped him.”
Confident Stags ready to ‘give it a good go’ at Portsmouth
Adam Murray insists Mansfield Town will head for the cauldron of Fratton Park ready to ‘give it a good go’ against Portsmouth on Saturday.
The South Coast giants ended a run of three home defeats with a Checkatrade Trophy success against League One Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night.
But Mansfield are also full of confidence after two successive decent performances, winning 3-2 at Derby County U23s on Tuesday, and Stags boss Murray said:
“It’s obviously a good game to go into, but we are going into it wanting to win.
“We are feeling confident and we’ve got a lot of belief in what we are doing at the minute.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/confident-stags-ready-to-giv-e-it-a-good-go-at-portsmouth-1-8232352
“There is a lot of energy and we are playing on the front foot. We we are going to go there and have a right go and see what happens.
“When the boys put in a shift like Tuesday night I have got every confidence in them.”
We'll progress as far as we can in Trophy says Clements
mansfieldtown.net, 8th November 2016
Match winner Chris Clements has ambitious sights in the Checkatrade Trophy as Stags progressed through to the knockout stages thanks to a dramatic 3-2 victory away to Derby County.
The midfielder netted a wonderful curling drive to seal the victory in time added on to send Stags through into the next stages of the Checkatrade Trophy, finishing second behind group winners Doncaster.
"We'll look to get as far as can in this competition now," said Clements after the win.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/well-progress-as-far-as-we-can-in-trophy-says-clements-3406803.aspx#3yDmwKX9PQ52tJh0.99
"If we win these cup games it will give us momentum for the league games coming up.
"It was good to get a win against a good Derby side, who played a lot of young players but were still a good standard of team. It was a good test for us today and hopefully we can take it into our league programme."
On bagging his second goal of the season at the iPro Stadium this evening, Clements said: "It’s good to get a goal, but even more important to get the win. To get the winner is good for me and I think the team needed that win today."
The 26-year-old was impressed with the way Stags' implemented their game plan this evening.
"I think we started quick. We mixed it up; we played short and went long to Hendo [Darius Henderson], who in the first half I don’t think they [Derby] could deal with, to be fair, with the big presence that he was.
"These academy players play football, so I think we needed to mix it up today. They are good at it, as shown today; playing through the lines and passing the ball. So we needed to mix it up and when we did, we looked dangerous. We switched it up with different styles and it worked."
Named as captain for the first time this season, Clements reiterated that it is important to be a presence on the field, whether wearing the armband or not.
"Everyone has to be a leader no matter who has the armband. The gaffer wants us all to work for each other and to be leaders and talkers; that’s what the gaffer’s trying to get into us now.
"We need to learn how to win games, which we did today, but in previous weeks we’ve not slowed the game down when we needed to or managed the game as well as we could have.
Commending the travelling 357 Stags' fans, Clements added: "We brought a good following and that was good to see. They helped us over the line," he added.
Stags PlayerHD subscribers can view Chris Clements' interview in full.
Clements delight after winning debut as Stags skipper
Chris Clements was delighted to mark his first game as Mansfield Town captain with victory and a spectacular winning goal away to Derby County U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy last night.
The Brummie midfield ace admitted it had been a surprise to be named captain. “I have been here forever so that’s probably the reason,” he smiled.
“But I will take the armband if it’s given to me.
“It was different. It was a strange one when the gaffer named the team and I was skipper.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/clements-delight-after-winning-debut-as-stags-skipper-1-8229186
“But everyone has got to be a leader on the pitch, no matter who wears the armband.
“We’ve all got to work for each other, be leaders, be talkers, that is what the gaffer is trying to get into us now.
“We need to learn how to win games as we did today. In previous weeks we’ve not slow the game down when we needed to or managed the game as well as we could have.
“There were a lot of good individual performances and, obviously, it showed with the team performance, winning against a good Derby side to be fair. They played a lot of young players but were still a good standard of team.”
The Checkatrade Trophy’s new format, allowing Premier League and Championship sides’ academy teams in, has attracted much criticism.
But Clements said: “It was a good test for us today and hopefully we can take this win through to our League form.
“We are looking to get as far as we can in this competition now.
“Obviously if we can win these cup games it can give us momentum for the League games that are coming up.
“We’ve got a difficult game on Saturday, Pompey away, that we need to get something out of. I think the win today will give us the momentum for the game on Saturday.”
Last night the Stags threw away an early 2-0 lead, but Clements then popped up in stoppage time to find the top corner from 25 yards and seal a 3-2 win.
“It’s good to get a goal but the most important thing was to get a win,” he said. “I think the performance on Saturday deserved a win, so it’s good to get through in this competition and to get the winner is good for myself. And I think the team needed that win tonight.
“I think we started quick. We mixed it up. We played it short and went long. “We went long to Hendo (Darius Henderson) and in the first half I don’t think they could deal with him, the big presence that he was.
“They had a few young lads who hadn’t come up against a Darius Henderson before.
“We mixed up different styles and it worked for us. “But I think it got a bit easy for us after the two goals and we started taking chances, taking too long on the ball. We’ve got to rectify that for next time.
“These academy players play football so I think we needed to mix it up. They are good at playing football as they showed, passing the ball.
“But when we mixed it up we looked dangerous. We got the two goals from going off Hendo.”
Stags fans made up almost half of the 870 crowd and Clements added: “They were loud, especially when we scored the last goal and at the final whistle.
“We brought a good following today. I know it’s a local game but it’s good to get a few here to get behind us and help us over the line.”
Lyons: “Checkatrade Trophy Experience Has Been Positive”
dcfc.co.uk. 8th November 2016, by DCFC Media
Pat Lyons described Derby County’s Checkatrade Trophy journey as a ‘positive experience’ despite their exit at the group stage on Tuesday evening.
Derby had a chance of progressing through to the knockout round of the competition going into their iPro Stadium encounter with Mansfield Town.
However, a Rams team blended with a mixture of youth and experience were beaten 3-2 courtesy of a goal in added time from Chris Clements.
Derby found themselves two goals down inside the first five minutes through Ashley Hemmings and Darius Henderson.
However, Jamie Hanson pulled a goal back before half-time before Andreas Weimann levelled with six minutes remaining.
Clements had the last word, meaning the Rams finished fourth in their group with one point from their three games - following a 1-0 defeat at Port Vale and a 2-2 draw at Doncaster Rovers previously.
Lyons, the Rams’ Senior Professional Development Phase Coach, insists Derby - as a Category 1 Academy taking part in the competition, will benefit from the experience.
“It has been a good learning experience for the players in their late teens and early 20s,”he told RamsTV.
“It’s been a real opportunity for them to learn where they’re at and it was a good test of having the mentality knowing that we had to win.
Read more at http://www.dcfc.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/lyons-checkatrade-trophy-experience-has-been-positive-3406792.aspx#qpZpseRVahrQSBuC.99
“At Under 23 level you’re up against players at a similar level and build, with the odd exception when a first-team player is thrown in by the opposition.
“Tonight, and in the other games, they were up against a number of experienced professionals who have played hundreds of games between them.
“It will stand them in good stead, I have no doubt.
“It has been brilliant to be in the competition and it’s a shame we couldn’t go through.”
Looking back on the clash with the Stags, Lyons admitted that Derby gave themselves an uphill battle after going two goals down early on.
He was, though, keen to praise the character of the Rams’ players for bouncing back and getting level.
He said: “We gave ourselves an uphill battle by conceding two goals in the first few minutes.
“Credit to the lads because it would be easy to go under at that point and it could have been a long night.
“We got back into the game before half-time and eventually equalised late on, which showed good character.
“It’s a shame we couldn’t get something at the end but they got the win with a very good goal; it was a sucker punch.”
Ashley Hemmings @AshHemmo23
Great win tonight & through to the next round. #COYS
Latest | November 2016