MURRAY, HEARN, JOHN SHERIDAN REACTION
Murray: We'll continue to give everything
mansfieldtown.net, 11th April 2015
Boss determined to bring about change in fortunes after a tough defeat at Plymouth.
Manager Adam Murray insists our team will continue to give everything required to bring about a change in fortunes, following a tough-to-take 2-1 defeat to play-off hopefuls Plymouth Argyle this afternoon.
Despite having more shots, more possession and threatening more often than the hosts, we were left to rue two goals conceded from set-pieces - the first of which was in just the second minute of the game - and missed chances at the other end.
Nevertheless, results elsewhere in Sky Bet League Two mean that we remain six points above Tranmere Rovers, who occupy a relegation spot ahead of next week’s meeting with them at One Call Stadium.
There are four games of the season remaining.
“I spoke a couple of weeks ago about how we’re missing certain ingredients and it keeps telling,” said Murray. “It’s not the time to hound people out, but it’s been the story of our season. Individual errors have cost us. [We conceded from] two set-pieces again and there is no hiding place from it. At the other end, we’re not clinical enough.”
When asked about our record at defending set-pieces, our boss said: “It’s been a big piece of the season and it comes down to individual jobs. It’s the only time in a game where you have a one versus one battle and the ball is dead [to start with] so there is no excuse.”
He continued: “I know the reasons why we are where we are [in the league table]. A lot of them boys are pushing themselves to their individual limit and I can’t ask for any more than that.”
Despite the disappointing result at Home Park, our manager was able to take away some encouraging aspects - notably the performance of youngster Jack Thomas, who boasted a constant threat, and also the return of Liam Hearn to first team action following a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
“I look at people like Jack Thomas today and he inspires me,” said Murray. “If I was [one of the players] I’d get the DVD of today’s game and watch his performance, because he inspires me and I think he should inspire that team because the kid is on another level.”
Our boss has again emphasised the importance of togetherness as we look to find the necessary results to ensure survival in Sky Bet League Two.
“I’d like to say thanks to the supporters who were there today,” added our boss. “I thought that they were brilliant and I really appreciated them staying at the end and clapping the boys off. I think they saw that the boys worked to the max today.
“They understand that we’re missing certain things at the minute and we now go into three weeks, four games, where we’ve got to give our max and get something.”
Murray optimistic as dogfight nears end for Stags
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray vowed to keep the Stags up and then win promotion next season after today’s undeserved 2-1 defeat at play-off chasing Plymouth Argyle.
He also tipped teenage midfielder Jack Thomas for a Premier League future.
While Murray was furious to again see Stags undone by set pieces, he acknowledged his side’s ability shortcomings and the fact that it is this set of players that will have to achieve safety.
Six points clear of the drop with four games to go, today’s defeat was a fifth in a row, but Murray said: “It was a game we should have won.
“But I said a few weeks ago that we are missing certain ingredients and it keeps telling.
“I am not one to hang people out. But people are given certain roles and today has been the story of our season with individual errors costing us.
A lot of those players are pushing themselves to their individual limits and I can’t ask any more from them
“We have conceded from two set pieces and there is no hiding place from it. At the other end we haven’t been clinical enough.
“It comes down to individual jobs. Conceding from set pieces has been a big part of our season. It’s the only time you have a one versus one battles as the ball is dead and there are no excuses.
“It’s why we are where we are, but I have to deal with what I have.
“A lot of those players are pushing themselves to their individual limits and I can’t ask any more from them.
“We knew we were good enough to dictate that game, but it’s putting the ball in the back of the net that is the hindrance at the minute. When we enter the final third of the field we are not making the most of it.
“I could go to town on certain things, but now is not the time. Certain things must be dusted under the carpet. We have got to stick together as we have some huge games coming up, starting Tuesday. I will put it right at the right time.”
Murray said his players should use teenage midfielder Jack Thomas as an inspiration, tipping him for a Premier League future after another sensational man of the match display.
“Look at Jack Thomas today. He inspires me,” said Murray.
“I said to the players, if any of you think you have made it, have a reality check and watch the DVD of today’s game and watch his performance.
“He should inspire the team as the kid is on another level. He will go on to play in the Premiership.
“His has everything and his biggest assets are his personality and character. He wants to win more than anything. He doesn’t understand ‘sit down and die’ or ‘lose’.
“My team will be built on people like that. I won’t carry cheats or con men.”
On the defeat, he added: “Plymouth had three shots on target and scored twice That’s the difference that puts them in the play-offs.
“In certain aspects we are as good as the play-off teams. If we had that ruthlessness in both boxes. We’d be up there.
“I’d like to say we were unlucky, but we had enough chances to win and should have. We had them on the back foot for 87 minutes. But we must move on swiftly.
“I’d like to thank the supporters, I thought they were brilliant the way they stayed on at the end to clap the boys off. They are not stupid. They know we need certain things and they understand.
“We now have three weeks and four games. The boys are really positive with our performances. If we were not getting into that final third I would be more worried.”
Murray is hoping Stags find some luck in the last four games as their luck was certainly out again at Plymouth with defender Ritchie Sutton hurting his hip in the pre-match warm-up and unable to play.
“I am praying that for the last four games Lady Luck switches for us again,” he said. “We had Ritchie Sutton go down in the warm-up today and I am thinking - give us a bit back as we are grafting here.”
Biggest plus of the day was seeing striker Liam Hearn play the final 12 minutes of the game, some eight months after a serious cruciate knee injury threatened his career.
Said Murray: “I am proud of him. It has been a tough road and I wish I could put him back into a situation with not as much pressure on us.
“He deserved those minute on the pitch today as he took another step on his recovery. He has worked his socks off over the last eight or nine months.”
To the fans, he added: “Stick with us. Today you were superb. I understand and feel your pain and frustration. But we will complete this project.
“I won’t lie to you. Some in that dressing room have got to prove to me they want to stay on my path because I am getting promotion next year.”
Murray is hoping to extend Leicester City full back Callum Elder’s youth loan to the end of the season on Monday so he can face Tranmere Rovers in Tuesday night’s big game at One Call Stadium.
Murray post match on BBC Radio Nottingham:
Charlie Slater: You must be tempted to get your boots back on?
Adam Murray: I would if I was fit enough.
I never thought I was finished, says Stags striker Hearn on comeback
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Liam Hearn was happy and relieved to be back in a Mansfield Town shirt yesterday and said he had never contemplated his career may be over.
Goal ace Hearn suffered a serious cruciate knee injury in August, his third bad injury in as many seasons, which would have been enough to force some players into retirement.
When I came on I felt my heart racing a bit as I’d been out such a long time.
But Hearn has worked tirelessly and was rewarded with the last 12 minutes off the bench in the 2-1 defeat at Plymouth that leaves Stags in the relegation shake-up with four games to go.
“It was disappointing to lose, but on a personal note it was good to come on,” he said.
“It never crossed my mind I wouldn’t come back.
“I have put in a lot of hard work. Some people probably thought it was the end of me. But I have proved them wrong and I have done that all my life since I was a kid.
“I do feel fully fit now, though I know starting a game is totally different to coming on. I didn’t feel tired during the game and I did some extra runs afterwards and I still don’t feel tired.
“It was difficult. I wanted to do well but at the same time knew I had to keep calm. When I came on I felt my heart racing a bit as I’d been out such a long time.
“Hopefully next game I will be a bit calmer and get the goal I need.
“The physio has given me a programme and people around me have worked hard with me. A huge part of it has been the mental side. But if I hadn’t given it 100 per cent I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I know where I need to be.”
Hearn believes he may have to wait until next season to start a game, but is hoping in the meantime to play a bit part in keeping Stags in the Football League.
“I think a start is a bit ahead of me yet,” he said. “The lads are doing well, though we haven’t scored the goals we deserved. The gaffer has a formula and uses a game plan. With me it’s a bonus to have me coming on. But I think it will be cameo roles for the rest of the season.
“I’d like to thank the fans who clapped me when I was warming up, though I didn’t notice at the time as I was so focused on the game, and fans from everywhere who have backed me.
“The most important thing is seeing the end goal - that desire to be where you want to be in life and in your career is what drives you.”
All That Matters
pafc.co.uk, Rick Cowdery
NEVER mind the quality, take the victory.
If anyone was in any doubt that points matter more than performances at this stage of the season, Argyle’s 2-1 home victory over Mansfield Town was exhibit A.
Headed goals - the first by Anthony O’Connor after 98 seconds; the second, midway through the second half, by either O’Connor again or Carl McHugh, depending on your perspective - sent the Pilgrims back into the Sky Bet League 2 play-off zone with four games of the league season remaining.
It was a win which owed everything to resilience and desire, especially after Vadaine Oliver’s margin-reducing strike within two minutes of Argyle’s second goal, and not much to silky skills and flowing football. It was good, though.
“I can honestly say I’m not really bothered how we played,” said Argyle manager John Sheridan. “It’s about getting the three points.
“It’s a great result because we’ve got the three points and the results around us have enabled us to get back into the play-off positions. The result is what it is all about.
“We have had good chances and got in really good areas to possibly score four or five goals. We got in some good areas and, with the right pass and the right bit of movement, we probably would have scored goals.
“We didn’t hit the target when we we’re shooting, which is always criminal; I always tell them: ‘Just hit the target, make the ’keeper work’. It’s a massive three points for us.”
Mansfield, who have issues of their own at the other end of the table, proved obdurate and feisty opponents, leaving Argyle’s players with plenty of reminders that they had been in a contest.
“It was a tough game,” said John. “They have got a lot of lads who are over 6ft, big lads who put themselves about, and you are in a bit of a battle; you go in for balls and there’s body contact.
“They need the points because of where they are in the league. It was always going to be difficult. They should have beaten Shrewsbury, who are top of the table, last week, when we had them watched. I was never expecting an easy game.
“We defended when we had to defend. Obviously, to concede a goal is poor after going 2-0 up when I just about to make subs to see the game through. You are always edgy when there is only a goal between the teams and they are putting balls into the box; you are vulnerable.”
pafc.co.uk, Rick Cowdery
WHILE debates - especially inside the Argyle dressing-room - will continue as to the identity of the Pilgrims’ second scorer in their 2-1 win over Mansfield Town...
...manager John Sheridan is just happy how both goals were created.
“Two set-plays; good delivery from Bobby [Reid],” he said.
“After Conor Hourihane, who had the best delivery in our division last year, our delivery hasn’t been that great, but we scored against Burton from a set-play, so three goals from set-plays, and different people scoring goals, is good.
“All I say is: ‘Put it in an area where you make them defend and it gives us a good chance of scoring goals; and, in around the box, if you are trying to bend one in, just hit the target; make the ’keeper work’.
“But, this year, when we have had good positions in and around the edge of the box, we haven’t really worked the ’keeper enough.
“Sometimes, in this league, set-plays are very important and I am pleased we got a couple today.
'Both goals in win against Mansfield were mine' insists Argyle defender Anthony O'Connor
By Western Morning News, By Chris Errington
DEFENDER Anthony O'Connor insisted he scored both of Plymouth Argyle's goals as they beat relegation-threatened Mansfield Town on Saturday.
O'Connor put the play-off chasing Pilgrims into an early lead at Home Park with a header from a free-kick taken by Bobby Reid.
The 22-year-old also claimed he got the last touch on the ball when Argyle went 2-0 ahead in the 63rd minute.
It came after McHugh had flicked the ball towards the net after a corner from Reid.
McHugh was credited with the goal by the stadium announcer at Home Park and also in many of the media reports.
But O'Connor was absolutely adamant the goal was his, and offered stand-in skipper Peter Hartley as a witness.
When it was suggested to O'Connor that McHugh had made it 2-0, he replied: "Don't you dare say that - he knows it as well.
"Carl has flicked it on and I have then put it in with my head.
"He has turned around and it's in the back of the net so he thinks he has scored it, but Pete was behind me and said if I hadn't got a touch he would have.
"So I have scored two today, and that takes me to three for the season, so I'm happy with that.
"It's officially my goal - you can ask Peter Hartley yourself if you don't believe me," added the central defender.
There was no doubt about who scored Argyle's first goal, after only one minute and forty seconds, as O'Connor powered home a far post header.
"I think it was Bobby who took the free-kick and he stuck it at the back stick," said O'Connor.
"I saw it coming and jumped as high as I could and I caught it sweet, right on my forehead, and the next thing I know it was in the top corner. It was a great feeling."
Mansfield 'keeper Sascha Studer was rooted to the spot as the ball flew past him.
"No 'keeper in the world would have saved that," added O'Connor, whose only previous goal for Argyle before that had come in a 2-0 home win against Northampton Town in March.
Liam Hearn @Hearnz10
Home sweet home, what a trek that was.. brush our selves down ready for the biggest game of the season Tuesday #stags
Latest | April 2015