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Archived News from April 2011

30th April 2011 10:58



Bogie verdict on Mansfield Town defeat
by Jeff Bowron

Ian Bogie was furious after watching his side throw away a two goal lead late in the game at Field Mill and the chance of a top half finish.


Gateshead led 2-0 with quarter of an hour to go following two first half goals from Gary Mulligan but capitulated late on to return to Tyneside pointless.

"The players are given instructions what to do when they get over the white line," said Bogie "it's not rocket science - defend when we haven't got the ball, get back and tuck in narrow and tight."

"When we've got the ball express ourselves, but from the defensive point of view we were totally lacking right across the board.

"It's too easy to barrack the back four. Where does the source of the problem come from ? We made poor decisions to allow teams to get on top of us and didn't keep the ball well enough.

"We're now regarded as a mediocre mid-table side and that's really disappointing after what we achieved in February.

"The back end of the season has been a total nightmare for one reason or another and if we keep the same players we are going to be in the same position next season so there will be have to be changes.

"My expectations are higher than what we have produced and those who will be leaving the club won't get better than Gateshead - Lee Novak is the only one to have done that.

"If players don't do well for Gateshead they will end up playing for clubs at a lower level, and by some distance in some cases."

Bogie has decided which players out of contract will be staying at the club and he refused to blame a lengthy in jury list as a factor in the defeat at Field Mill.

"There is no way I would use that as an excuse," he said "we had experienced players on the park yet didn't see the game through despite Mansfield causing us very few problems until they pulled a goal back on 75 minutes.

"We could have done without losing Ben Clark early in the second half when we were cruising but what happened in the latter stages was totally unacceptable.

"It showed our deficiencies and how we are short of real leaders on the pitch, we just weren't strong enough to see the game through.

"Mansfield didn't have any spark in front of a home crowd that booed their side off at half-time and had become very impatient.

"But we gift teams goals and it just doesn't mean enough. Injuries are a lame excuse and the players put out should have been good enough to do the job.

"They have let themselves down, as well as the chairman who pays their wages and the travelling fans who wouldn't have seen what was coming with 20 minutes to go.

"Mansfield didn't even give us a surge at the start of the second half and we were comfortable, but a lack of desire and will to win was massively evident and cost us the game.

"Too many players just let things happen and we have allowed three points to slip from our grasp by falling apart in the closing stages.

"We've now got one game to go against Newport County at home on Saturday and we've got to atone for this defeat by signing off with a win."


Ian Bogie: Giveaway just unacceptable
Evening Chronicle
Apr 26 2011

GATESHEAD somehow managed to turn victory into defeat against Mansfield Town at Field Mill after leading 2-0 with just 15 minutes left on the clock.

Read More http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/non-league-football/2011/04/26/ian-bogie-giveaway-just-unacceptable-72703-28584267/#ixzz1Kfeq6f4V

The toothless Stags had created very little but pulled a goal back on 75 minutes, levelled two minutes from time and then pinched a winner four minutes into injury time.

Two pitch invasions involving around 100 home fans greeted the last two goals as Wembley-bound Mansfield completed their home programme with a sensational comeback.

Gateshead were denied what would have been only their third win in 16 games and a shell-shocked Heed Army, many in fancy dress, headed for the exits bemoaning another giveaway.

One fan was fittingly decked out as Oliver Hardy, appropriate attire as this was another fine mess that left manager Ian Bogie fuming.

Ironically it had been comical home defending that had gifted Gary Mulligan the first of his two goals, the Irishman then putting the Heed two up just before the break.

Mansfield offered little until given a lifeline by the lively Adam Murray, who then equalised with a stunning strike before Louis Briscoe waltzed around Paul Farman for the winner.

The loss of captain and central defender Ben Clark 10 minutes into the second half with a tweaked hamstring was a setback for Bogie's men and added to an already lengthy injury list.

But the Tynesiders should still have seen the job through, and the fact they didn't left Bogie accusing his side of lacking mental toughness.

Bogie said: “It once again showed our deficiencies and it's as bad as I felt since we got annihilated at both Cambridge and Southport when we shipped five goals.

“The manner of the defeat – 2-0 up with quarter of an hour left – was unacceptable and the mentality of some of the players just isn't strong enough.

“There were no leaders on the pitch. Mansfield had run out of ideas and had no spark yet we gifted them three goals.

“Players allowed people to run off them and make things happen. We had injuries but that is no excuse as we had a lot of experienced players who were playing in their favoured position.

“Too many of them weren't good enough, it's as simple as that. We were coasting, just as we were at Darlington in the FA Trophy, but again we've been beaten when two up at half-time.

“The lack of desire and will to win was hugely disappointing and it's blatantly obvious we need to get some tougher characters in for next season.” A bad mix-up between Stags keeper Alan Marriott and Niall O'Rafferty allowed Mulligan to tap home the opener, the striker's back post header from Martin Brittain's 40th-minute corner doubling the lead.

Murray's brace and Briscoe's clincher, however, ignited the 1,769-strong crowd and left the Heed stunned ahead of Saturday's final game at home to Newport County.


Physio the key to Wembley team, admits Stags boss after thrilling victory

WITH Alan Marriott holding his hands up for mistakes for both Gateshead goals today and continuing injury worries, Stags boss Duncan Russell admitted he was a long way from having an idea what team he will put out at Wembley in les then two weeks,

“I am not certain of my Wembley team,” he said after the stunning 3-2 win over Gateshead this afternoon.

“Neil Collett had a good game at Wimbledon, so we will have to look at them this week, see who gets the shirt for Saturday and then who starts at Wembley.

“We only had one fit player who could play as a striker today and that was Niall O'Rafferty who is a midfield player really anyway.

“But he took a knock which seemed to lose his confidence a but and I thought he looked a bit nervous on the big occasion. So bringing him off was the right thing.

“It's all in the lap of the physio now. Paul Connor is an experienced player and we really need his calming influence at Wembley. We will have to see if he can train by the end of this week and if he could feature in any capacity at Bath. But he won't play if he isn't fit.

“Out of all of them Danny Mitchley is likely to be back sooner than later so he has a chance. And Luke Medley should be fine as is Tom Naylor who is likely to feature next weekend.”

“I wanted to win the game today. But I brought Adam Smith off as he had worked so hard and is still not back to his peak form. I certainly had no qualms about sending Paul Hall on as he is quality. It was a big thing for the team to see him come on and start talking to other players. He has a lot of experience.”

Less than two weeks from taking a Stags side to Wembley, the Mansfield boss was booed at half-time with some fans calling for his head once more.

But the jeers were replaced by cheers after the last fightback as three goals in the last 15 minutes earned the win.

“If we'd lost I would have been public enemy number one tonight,” he said.

“I changed a couple of things at half-time and told them to go out there and be brave.

“Keep the ball on the ground and play football as that's what we are best at.

“But yet again we conceded from two set pieces which really annoys me as it happens week in, week out.

“The players know who they are; if can't do something about it then I will get other players in.

“I know I should be happy after the win, we carved them open with three good goals from open play. Gateshead didn't do that – we gave them two goals.”

He added: “It was the Adam Murray show today.

“I rang Adam a couple of times and told him I was thinking of playing him behind a lone front player and said when you get the ball you can join in as a two. He is so comfortable on the ball.

“I know he is not a striker – he is a midfield general. But it is a role he can play and we were getting balls to him n acres of space. And when you give a player like Adam Murray that much space he is going to punish you.”


Stags keeper Marriott sorry for howlers

ALAN Marriott is still not sure if his torturous season will have a fairytale Wembley ending after blaming himself for both Gateshead goals in today's 3-2 win.


The classy keeper missed six months with a groin injury and then broke a finger in his comeback game.

Stags fans were delighted to see him back today, but Marriott knows Neil Collett is still a genuine rival for the Wembley shirt.

Marriott said: “Truthfully I didn't enjoy it one bit today.

“The first goal was my mistake and for the second I probably should have come and got the cross.

“It was my first full game for six months. It is difficult to get games with no reserve team. I push myself in training but it's not the same as playing.

“I can only apologise to the fans for making two howlers. David Grof has set the standards recently and I have got to reach those levels.

“There is another game next week and me and Neil Collett pushing for the Wembley place. Neil did really well at Wimbledon on Friday so I have not really done myself any favours today.

“You have to take the positives out of games and I have 90 minutes under my belt and I did come and take the crosses in the second half.

“A put a bit of strapping over my finger today so I could use that as an excuse, but I don't think anyone would believe me. The break is now healed though it is still swollen and could stay that way for eight months.

“It was important to win today as it does stay in the minds of supporters throughout the summer.”

He added: “It was a bit of a dull end of season game and both teams didn't look interested then for the last 15 minutes suddenly everyone lit the touch paper and it all went off.

“The management were very positive in the dressing room at half-time, saying apart from the two goals, there had been nothing between the teams so go out and get at them.

“We had the wind behind us down the slope and when we saw Gateshead look tired and disinterested we thought we would get a goal.

“A lot of people don't give the gaffer any credit but he decided to try something different today with the formation and it worked a treat. That is why Adam Murray is captain – he inspires you.”


Mansfield Town keeper Marriott unsure of Wembley place

Mansfield Town goalkeeper Alan Marriott says he is not confident of being selected for the FA Trophy final against Darlington on 7 May.


Marriott let in two soft goals on his return from injury in the win over Gateshead on Monday and told BBC Radio Nottingham: "I didn't enjoy it one bit.

"There's myself and Neil Collett who are pushing for the Wembley place and he did really well last week.

"I don't think I've done myself any favours but I'll keep plugging away."

Marriott suffered a groin injury in October and then broke a finger on his return to the side against Rushden on 2 April.

The 32-year-old explained: "We haven't got a reserve team and it's difficult to get games, I've been pushing myself in the gym but it's not the same.

"I can only apologise to the fans for making two howlers but it's 90 minutes under my belt so I can take the positives."

The former Lincoln City man has just one more chance to prove himself before the final, as the Stags complete their league season at Bath City on Saturday.


Marriott glad to be back but far from happy

AFTER his first full 90 minutes for more than six months, a degree of rustiness was entirely understandable. Yet, not, in Alan Marriott's eyes, forgivable.


Having seen a lengthy absence extended by a few more weeks following a broken finger, most players would have been happy enough just to make their way through their comeback game unscathed.

Mansfield Town's long-serving No.1, though, was bitterly disappointed, disgusted even, with his personal contribution on that occasion, even if his team did eventually beat Gateshead 3-2 with three late goals.

Marriott's consternation stemmed from the fact the two goals Mansfield conceded were, in his view, down to his errors in judgment.

The former Lincoln man was certainly culpable for the first, as he crashed into Mark Preece in attempting to claim a long throw, allowing Gary Mulligan to tap home from close range.

But the second goal, with Mulligan heading home from close range, could have been prevented with better marking, even though Marriott opted to stay on his line when he felt he should have taken the cross.

Even so, Mansfield fans are just pleased to see the popular custodian back in action in time for the FA Trophy final with Darlington at Wembley on May 7.

"Truthfully, I didn't enjoy it one bit against Gateshead," said Marriott. "I think the first goal was my mistake and the second one I possibly could have come and taken the cross as well.

"The first one I bumped into Mark Preece which knocked me off my balance. He said to me 'don't come for it', but that's what I like to do.

"The second goal was a corner into the six-yard box and that's your area and you need to command it. So I will hold my hands up for both of those goals and look to put things right.

"I can only apologise to the fans for making two howlers. I think Grofy has been playing well and has set the standard and even raised it. I have to try to reach those levels.

"The break has healed, but I have still got swelling there which could last up to eight months so I have to manage that myself.

"But the finger was fine. I put a bit if strapping on it and couldn't use that as an excuse."

Still, Marriott has enough experience to know that things are likely to improve once he settles back in.

And it has to be remembered that it is his first significant lay-off in more than a decade, having been relatively injury-free previously.

The Bedford-born player will hope for another chance to bed back in Mansfield's final game of their league campaign at Bath City tomorrow as he vies with Neil Collett for the No.1 spot at Wembley.

Marriott said: "That's the first full game I have played in six months and we haven't got a reserve team, which makes it difficult to get games.

"I have been pushing myself in the gym, but it's not the same as playing games.

"The good thing is there is another game against Bath and there is Neil and myself pushing for the Wembley place.

"Colly did really well against Wimbledon and it was my turn against Gateshead and I don't think I have done myself any favours.

"But I have to take the positives in that it was 90 minutes under my belt and I have got my eye in.

"I came for crosses in the second half after my mistakes.

"That's the only way I can improve."

Marriott is pleased Mansfield's squad will get a full week to prepare for Wembley, after their Twerton Park trip.

The squad has been decimated by injuries of late, not helped by playing ten league matches in April.

"Everyone has had a tough shift recently and I know how everyone feels having put a lot of effort into it," said Marriott.

"Playing in the heat is hard as we have done against AFC Wimbledon and Gateshead – it's hard enough standing there picking the ball out of the back of your own net!

"It saps your energy and makes you tired but we're going to have a good few days to recover for the Darlington match."

Marriott is keen to see the Stags win to finish above Bath in the table and, in doing so, make it two consecutive victories ahead of the big trip to the capital.

He said: "It would be a good way to end the season and for the fans to go away because last season we were 3-0 up and ended up drawing 3-3 against Kidderminster.

"Those things tend to stay in supporters' minds over the summer and it helps with confidence ahead of the Wembley trip.

"We know we can score goals going down to Bath. It's just cutting out the silly individual mistakes."


It's been a crazy season, says mint Murray

SKIPPER Adam Murray turned in a captain's performance as, out of position behind the lone striker, he scored, twice and created the winner in today's thrilling 3-2 win over Gateshead


“Apart from the two goals I don't think I did anything else today I don't normally do, “ he said modestly.

“I will always work my socks off. I was asked to do a job and will always give 100 per cent whatever position I am played in. It is a role that suits me as my game is getting on the ball and creating things.

“We were gutted to be 2-0 down as we felt we'd dominated most of the play but gave away stupid goals.

“We had let ourselves down again and that's why we are where we are in the table.

“But we are a team who never say die and, even though the situations are usually of our own making, we have the spirit in this team to come back and get something out of it.”

Murray's afternoon might have unfolded in a very different way after he flicked a leg out at a layer who had grabbed his leg but escaped with just a warning.

He said: “The lad grabbed my leg in mid-air which the referee said was a foul. But he then gave the foul to them for my reaction.

“I know we have a big game coming up but the type of player I am means I will always wear my heart on my sleeve.”

Murray led the fightback almost single-handedly with an inspirational display and said: “As captain if the lads see you head go down you have got no hope.

“I know we were booed off at half-time. But when we got the first goal you could feel the whole place lift. It had a massive effect on the players.

“Once we got the second, to be honest, I knew we would get the third.”

Murray is certainly in no mood for a rest before the FA Trophy final on 7th May.

“The gaffer asked me if I felt like a rest but to be honest I am now feeling as fit as I have in a long time,” he said.

“People forget I was out injured for a year and it's taken a long time to get back my energy levels. The last thing I wanted today was a rest.

“It has been a frustrating season – one of the most up and down seasons I have ever known. Yet it is going to end at Wembley! It's been a crazy season.

“It is massively important and what this town and football club have been crying out for. They deserve some success.”

And Murray insisted that he and the rest of the players would not be easing up at Bath next weekend for fear of injury.

“I would be lying if I said we were not thinking about Wembley. It is a massive game,” he said.

“But before that we have got to go to Bath and do a job. No one will be taking it easy. I can't speak for anyone else but I will be doing my bit to get it across that that can't happen as professionals.

“You see how a player like Kevin Sandwith with Wembley so close got injured. But it's part of football and we are professional footballers.”


Stags boss delighted to end their home season on a high
Evening Post

DUNCAN Russell was delighted to see Mansfield Town end their home campaign on a high with a 3-2 comeback victory over Gateshead at Field Mill.


The Stags trailed 2-0 to two set-piece first-half goals, both netted by the Tynesiders' Gary Mulligan, that looked set to consign them to a ninth home league defeat of the season.

But skipper Adam Murray inspired Mansfield superbly with two second-half goals and then laid on the winner in the final seconds of stoppage time for Louis Briscoe, who took his seasonal tally to 19.

"If we'd have lost that game I would have been public enemy number one, but it was a fantastic feeling to win it," said manager Russell. "It would have been awful for me to walk away from that game having lost 2-0, which would have sent a sad message to the fans.

"But at least we have sent them home happy, even if they would have been annoyed with our first-half performance, which I was, because of the way we defended from set pieces.

"Football-wise I thought we did really well, but there was not much in terms of end product for much of the game, but in the last 15 minutes it just changed.

"I said to them at half-time this game was not over, I said they could go and win this game 3-2 or 4-2 and we kept working at it.

"We have carried on, not given in and won the game, so we have to be pleased with the application and attitude.

"Adam is quality, which you saw in his finishes, and then Louis Briscoe pops up again in the last minute as he always does."


Russell issues warning to Stags
Evening Post, 28 Apr 2011

DUNCAN Russell today warned his Mansfield Town players they must sharpen up from set-pieces if they are going to win the FA Trophy final at Wembley.


The Stags play their last league game of the season at Bath City on Saturday before facing Darlington in the non-league showpiece occasion on May 7.

Boss Russell remains concerned that the Stags' chances of victory against the Quakers could be severely affected by their inability to deal with dead-ball situations.

They have been breached in that manner at least once in each of their last three games, including twice in Monday's 3-2 win over Gateshead.

"I said as I walked into the dressing room on Monday, 'don't get done by set-pieces', but both goals came that way," said Russell.

"It's a 50-50 and means it's one player against another and each individual should be saying 'you'll have to work harder than me if you are going to score.'

"Yet how many goals have we had scored against us from set-pieces? We have to worry about it because we have got two important games left, including a final.

"Mark Cooper's side are normally big and strong and they are going to say 'hello, they are dodgy on set pieces. Run them down the sides, get corners, get free kicks and we've got a chance of beating them.'

"We have to change our ethos and that mentality when we defend."

Russell initially ruled out striker Paul Connor from playing at Wembley with a calf injury but says there is now a slight hope.

He said: "I want a fit Paul because he's got so much experience.

"I want to see if he can get out and train by the end of this week and see if he can feature a little part in the Bath game, but I'm not sure he will be able to.

"Then it's decision time because I won't field a player who's not fit, not on such a big occasion as going to Wembley. You can't do it."


Mansfield captain Murray is ready to lead from the front again
Evening Post, 27 April 2011

MANSFIELD Town captain Adam Murray is out to lead from the front again at Wembley after dragging the team back from the brink against Gateshead.


The Stags looked doomed to defeat when they still trailed to first-half goals from Gary Mulligan with just 15 minutes left in their final home game of the season on Monday.

But Murray almost single-handedly turned half-time jeers into full-time cheers with a brilliant display.

Playing in the hole between the midfield and second-half front-man Louis Briscoe, he scored twice before setting up Stags' top-scorer Briscoe for his 19th goal of the season to help seal a 3-2 victory.

Murray feels he is growing in stature all the time for Mansfield having spent the latter half of last season sidelined by injury at Oxford.

And he would love to play a starring role when Mansfield head to London for the FA Trophy final on May 7 against Darlington.

"The gaffer has asked if I need a rest, but this is the fittest I have felt in a long while," said Murray.

"I think people forget I was out for nearly a year and the first game this season was my first competitive game for ten months.

"The last few weeks I have felt my energy levels and fitness levels are back up there.

"It's always nice to score goals like I did against Gateshead – I felt like Ian Rush!

"It's one of the most frustrating, up and down seasons I have ever had and some of the things that have happened you couldn't write. But we have still ended up at Wembley, which sums it up really.

"We have Bath City on Saturday and we fancy ourselves to go down and win. But I'd be lying if we are not thinking about Wembley now and I'd love to play a big part in us winning there."


Murray not prepared to hide behind excuses ahead of final Stags home game
Evening Post, 25 Apr 11

IT doesn't seem two minutes since Adam Murray was beginning his third spell at Mansfield Town in October's 1-1 draw up at Gateshead, yet this afternoon he will lead the Stags out for their last home game of the season in the return fixture against the Tynesiders.


Back then, the former Oxford man had high hopes of matching his former club's achievements of winning promotion back to the Football League by this point of the campaign.

As we all now know, that has not happened, nor have the Stags, in truth, ever looked likely to do so.

Changes in management have not made things easy, with David Holdsworth's exit no doubt having an unsettling effect.

It cannot have helped that there has been so much going on off the field either, with the club briefly kicked out of Field Mill and their ongoing battle for the ground still raging with landlord Keith Haslam.

However, when it boils down to it, Murray believes there is one, simple reason why Mansfield have finished in mid-table – and the honest, straight-talking Stags skipper is not afraid to share that viewpoint.

"You can't hide behind excuses because people are not stupid and can see it has not been good enough," said Murray.

"As a team that wants to get promoted to the next league, you can't play 45 minutes and then not turn up for the next 45 minutes, it just doesn't work.

"Now whatever needs to change has to happen over the summer. That is obviously not up to me, that comes from other places.

"If you are looking at a team who wants to win promotion then you are looking at us needing a better quality of player in the squad.

"That's not being harsh to the lads who are involved, but if you look at the teams who get promoted, that's just fact.

"The boys this season, even though they have tried hard, have not been good enough and if the club wants to move on then some things have to change.

"We have to learn from this season. We have to look to next season and improve what we have been weak on this season."

That pretty frank assessment may make things look gloomy, especially with current boss Duncan Russell's future still up in the air.

But Mansfield do at least have a number of their better players already contracted for next season, including Alan Marriott, Tom Naylor, Louis Briscoe, Paul Connor, Adam Smith and Murray himself.

And the captain has also been encouraged by the way new owner and chairman John Radford has gone about his business since stepping in last September.

Murray said: "If you look at our chairman, he is a very successful man and someone that I get the feeling is not going to settle for second best.

"As a footballer and as a captain knowing you are going to still be at the club, that's brilliant.

"It leaves you thinking 'this is why I came to the football club' and I think we are in great hands.

"I think you will see a club at Mansfield next season that is pushing for good things."

Mansfield have won eight and lost eight of their home matches this season and Murray is desperate to end on a high.

He knows it is important for the players to regain some confidence ahead of their Wembley trip following consecutive defeats to Grimsby (2-0) and AFC Wimbledon (2-1).

"We have to come out on this last home game of the season showing we are hungry for three points and try to come into Wembley with a bit of form," said Murray.

"I don't think it's just the home form where we have struggled. If you look at our form all season it's all about that word inconsistency, but we want to finish off at Field Mill on a high."


Straight-talking Murray lays it on the line


AFTER producing the kind of all-action, thoroughly committed display that had Mansfield Town fans purring following the 3-2 win over Gateshead, there is no reason to doubt Adam Murray when he says he will give nothing less than his all against Bath City this afternoon.

With the Twerton Park clash being the last game before Wembley, which is now just a week away, it would be understandable for any player to take it easy, shy away from tough challenges and steer clear of trouble.

For Murray that would seem an especially tempting way to go, given he missed a chance to play at Wembley last season for Oxford United when he was frustratingly ruled out through injury.

It will also be in his mind that, as captain, he is in line to lead the team out onto the lush, green turf at the world's most famous stadium – and lift the FA Trophy should they beat Darlington.

But easing up is simply not in the midfielder's vocabulary, nor his make up; for him it is all or nothing, no matter what the occasion.

And, as far as he is concerned, he intends to lead by example with another full-blooded performance against the Romans of the kind that saw him net twice and tee up Louis Briscoe's winner in Monday's final home league game of the season.

"I can't speak for the other lads but I don't think we can let it happen where we go in half-hearted. I will be doing my bit as captain to get it across that it can't," said Murray.

"You see people like Kevin Sandwith (out with a knee injury) who had Wembley on the horizon but was still flying into tackles in the last minute of a game.

"That's the kind of commitment you want to see because we are professionals and we are paid to give it our all in every game.

"These things happen with injuries, it's football, and you can get people missing out.

"But you still have to go into every game giving 100 per cent, that's just the way it is."

Some of Mansfield's players have made it clear that supporters have not always helped the team at Field Mill.

But Murray was very impressed by the way the fans got behind the them against Gateshead and is looking for a similar backing at Wembley and when the club gets back to league action come August.

Murray said: "You have to give credit where it is due because I know things have been said about the fans booing and whatever.

"But against Gateshead they dragged us through and even when we were 2-0 down they were still behind us.

"A bit of success is what this town and this club is crying out for. If you give them a little bit of success, and they deserve it, you get a great response."

Murray was pushed forward into an advanced role in his last outing because of injuries to the likes of strikers Paul Connor, Luke Medley, Conor Higginson and Luke Medley.

It is a one he enjoyed, but insists the Stags will need to play a particular way if he is to play there regularly and produce his best form.

"It's a role that suits me because my strengths are getting on the ball and creating things," said Murray.

"In this league I have to do a lot of running and tackling, which is not really my game and a lot of people forget that.

"But the thing about that position is that unless you play the right way, there is no point playing there.

"If you are going to just keep launching it and putting it down the sides, then you won't touch the ball.

"But if you do play the right way then it's a great position to play and you can have a lot of effect on the game."

Today's game is effectively a battle for 12th place, which Mansfield currently occupy but with Bath one point behind.

Murray said: "On any given day, I fancy us against anybody – and that's the most annoying thing. We can actually beat anyone in this league.

"We are really looking forward to Wembley now, of course, but we have to go to Bath and we have to be professional."


Marriott: Murray can be the bedrock for Stags


MANSFIELD Town should be looking to build their team around captain Adam Murray next season, keeper Alan Marriott insisted today.

The skipper leads the Stags into their final league game of the season against Bath City at Twerton Park this evening (5.15pm) fresh from his heroics against Gateshead where he scored twice in a 3-2 victory.

It took Murray's tally for the season to seven since joining Mansfield from Luton.

Marriott, back against the Tynesiders for his first full game since that same week, was hugely impressed by Murray.

And he believes the 29-year-old can be an increasingly key figure as the Stags turn their attentions to 2011-12 following next weekend's FA Trophy final at Wembley.

"Muzza is definitely one of the players we need to look to build a side around next season," said Marriott.

"That is why he is captain, because he can inspire you with those moments in games.

"We tried something different against Gateshead because we were down to our bare bones with the strikers and I think it worked a treat.

"I know Muzza and Paul Connor have been talking about what possible partnership they could bring together with Paul up top on his own and Muzza behind him.

"As long as you have got players who can play all around the pitch it helps you out."

Boss Duncan Russell is not surprised Murray has excelled in an advanced role.

He said: "It was the Adam Murray show against Gateshead. I saw what I had to pick from and I thought back to the Gateshead game at their place and I spoke to Muzza and said 'I'm going to play you in behind the front player like you played up there'.

"I said I'm just going to go for it, because I can't go 4-4-2 and haven't got the players to do it. And it worked."



Latest | April 2011