MURRAY - STAGS GAVE ME CHANCE
Mansfield Town gave Adam Murray's season the kiss of life. The Derby County midfielder was wondering where his career was heading
before the Stags stepped in to take him on loan in February.
Initially, it was agreed that Murray would go there for a month but that was extended to the end of the season as the 20-year-old played a key role in Mansfield's push for promotion from Division Three.
And Murray helped the Stags clinch a place in Division Two on Saturday when they beat Carlisle United 2-0 at Field Mill to leap-frog Cheltenham, who lost 2-0 at champions Plymouth Argyle.
"It was scary on the day," said Murray. "We needed Plymouth Argyle to do us a favour against Cheltenham and fortunately it worked that way. But we scored an early goal and that settled us down. I was over the moon
when the chance came to go to Mansfield on loan because I wasn't really playing football at that time.
"I needed to play some games to give me more experience and get my fitness up. It was a massive difference to go from a Premiership club to a Third Division side. I was having to clean my own boots and wash my own kit but
the level of football was good. People said beforehand that it would be just a lot of tackling and the long ball game but, to be fair, they played some good football there, which suited me."
It also suited the Stags that Murray suddenly developed an eye for goal. Murray is still waiting to score his first goal for the Rams' senior team after 32 appearances and has never been prolific in the reserves, where he has not scored in his nine starts this term.
But he went on a scoring spree at Mansfield, with seven goals in 13 appearances.
"It's been strange because I don't normally score a lot," he added. "But I got two in my second game for Mansfield and it just went on from there. Once you get on a scoring streak it seems that everything you hit just
flies in. I was playing in my normal central midfield role but Mansfield are a very attacking side and the chances kept coming for me. It is easily the best scoring run I have ever experienced."
Murray's loan period ended the day after Mansfield's win against Carlisle and now he is waiting to see what happens during the summer. The England Under-20 international's confidence has been given an enormous boost - he is currently in the England squad taking part in the Toulon
Tournament in France - thanks to his time at Field Mill and now he is hoping for a chance to prove himself with the Rams.
"I don't really know where I stand at the moment and I will just have to see what happens during the summer," said Murray.
"I would like to go back and play for Derby but I might have to look elsewhere. Basically, I just want to play.
"At the start of this season, I had some games in the Derby first team but played mainly in the reserves before being left out.
"I lost two months and during that time I felt as low as at any time in my career. I was just not getting the breaks. So Mansfield came in at the right time and it saved my season. After being at one end of the scale I went to the opposite and it was fantastic to be part of the promotion at the end. There are some really good young lads there and I have a feeling they are a
team that will continue to rise. They were really good to me and it felt as though I had been there forever - it was like a big family."
Source: Derby County Official website
Latest | May 2002