MURRAY CHALLENGES YOUNGSTERS TO RAISE STANDARDS
Boss Adam Murray challenges Mansfield Town youngsters to raise their standards
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tuesday 28 July 2015
Mansfield Town will send a young side to Basford United for tonight’s latest pre-season friendly with boss Adam Murray challenging his young players to hit the higher standards needed to break into the first team.
Murray said some of his younger players, who perhaps felt they had made it last season, have had a culture shock with how high the quality of his new-look squad has risen over the summer with his 13 new signings.
Now he says they need to raise their game and show him they still deserve to be involved.
Murray said: “It will be a team of young pros with some of the youth team tonight.
“We looked at it yesterday afternoon, the amount of game time the lads have got in and the work we want to put in on the training ground this week, and we thought the training ground would be more important than more match time for the senior pros.
“So it will be a case of topping up the younger lads’ minutes and we will have a good week on the training ground with double sessions for the seniors.”
He added: “Coming back in, it’s been a kick up the backside for some of the young players.
“ Last year the boys that got involved with the group shone but they have come back in pre-season and it’s been a reality check for them.
“The group’s standards and their technical and tactical ability have risen and so they’ve had to get their game to match that and some of them have found it tough.
“It’s time for them to step up to the plate as it’s a tough group to break into. We’ve had a number of chats with the young pros of the last couple of weeks and it’s been a bit of a culture shock for them.
“It’s up to them now to come up to the standards the group are hitting and break into the first team squad. It won’t be a given. They’ve got to earn it.
“If you played five or 10 games in the first team it doesn’t mean you’ve made it as a footballer. You’ve got to do it on a consistent basis and push yourself.
“I want to see the young pros now going to your Carltons. your Granthams and your Basfords and I want to see some wins. They have their targets. But they wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe in them.”
Matty Blair boost for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tuesday 28 July 2015
Mansfield Town winger Matty Blair could be available again just after the start of the new season and boss Adam Murray will then sit down and discuss a new contract with him.
Blair has been sidelined since picking up a serious knee injury at Carlisle just after signing for the club in February.
But all the signs are that he has made a full recovery and is ready to resume his Mansfield career, so Murray is in no rush to bring in more wing cover.
“We are aware we are going to have Matty Blair back towards the start or probably just into the start of the season so we don’t want to do anything too drastic to block his pathways up,” he said.
“I am also aware we have a couple of good kids in there who, when they get up to the standards we need them to, they can do a job. It’s just about balancing things out.
“We have a small quad, but are maybe looking for some added quality rather than quantity.
“As a person and a character Matty is as strong as anything you will meet. He’s put loads of work in and is ahead of schedule.
“He has started running again which is brilliant and he’s had no ill effects from it. It’s now a case, like with Liam Hearn last year, that he needs monitoring and doing what’s right for him and the football club.
“We are chuffed where he is at and when we feel he is ready he will be integrated back into the first team squad.
“We will see how the next couple of weeks go in terms of where Matty’s head is at and then we will sit down with him. My job first and foremost is to protect the football club and make sure I do the best deal for us and the player, but Matty is someone who wants to be here and show everyone how good he is.
“He is a very good player and when we signed him, he was looked at as an X-factor player. So to have that coming back into the squad is a big plus for us.”
However, long term injured defender Luke Jones is awaiting a second opinion from another specialist.
Mansfield Town praise for MD Dons and Leicester City
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town have given warm praise to Premier League Leicester City and Championship club Milton Keynes Dons for their attitudes and help during the past week’s superb home pre-season friendlies.
Both games produced entertaining 1-1 draws and Stags boss Adam Murray said: “They have been superb. I can’t speak highly enough of the two clubs that have come.
“With Karl and Ritchie (Robinson and Barker) at MK, they allowed me to nick their sports scientist for an hour before the game. I kept him too long and he missed some of their warm-up.
“I managed to get some valuable information from a club that’s doing really well. There are little bits I picked out that I will be using.
“The kind of teams they put out on the pitch gave us more than a test. It was nice of them to come here and respect our environment, respect our fans and also respect our team on the pitch. We got a lot out of the games as they did.
“We have got a really good relationship with Leicester as we showed last year with Callum (loanee Elder).
“We are building good bridges with local clubs, not only professionally but also grassroots as well. We are getting some of our kids out on loan which helps the local clubs and also helps us as they will be playing men’s football and understanding the importance of the three points.”
Murray has chosen not to plan in another friendly this Saturday, preferring instead to work his squad hard on the training ground, tweaking things he has seen in the games, before ultimately keeping them fresh for the big kick-off on Saturday week.
“We have a couple of things lined up, but it was always the case going into this last couple of weeks that we should have, and we have, got the minutes that we wanted and I believe the training ground is the most important place for the lads now,” he said.
“We can get to work on the little bits and bobs we must improve on, tweak certain things, and get to drill them in the way we want to perfect things.
“We’ve got things lined up if we need them (games-wise), but we are not overly fussed about more game time.
“The games we’ve had have worked perfectly for us. The build-up we had working from Rainworth into Leicester, we wanted different things out of different games and our training schedule was based around that.
“Credit to the group for the work they have been putting in on the training ground which they’ve taken onto the pitch. They’ve seen the things we are trying to put into them are right.
“We are still a million miles away from where we want the team to be which was always going to be the case. We have 13 new bodies in and we’ve had three weeks work so we can’t expect things overnight, but we are on the right track.
“We wanted to go into these last two weeks with objectives we wanted to get into the boys on the training ground and so far it’s working to plan.”
He added: “We know what they can do with the ball and, attacking-wise, we’ve shown we can create problems.
“We’ve made sure we got the right work in over the last seven days to tweak the defensive side of things to get that discipline and organisation into us.
“People in the game, who’s opinions I respect and have come to watch us pre-season, have said we look organised and disciplined.
“I think if you have that in a side then that’s the biggest base you can get to start everything else from.
“It’s something, not just pre-season but over the season, that we will drill into people until they get bored of it. But it’s one of the biggest things that wins you football matches.
“We will make sure everyone knows what they are doing and what their team mates are doing and we will be a very organised side.
“We have signed players who are relaxed in possession, we’ve signed clever players and people with distribution in all areas that are very good.
“Over the next weeks we have now got to make that effective for League Two. With the way we play there will be an element of risk but I am happy with that.”
Murray said he was delighted to see his new-look pre-season regime of working with the ball from the start and not running players for the same of it, looks to have paid off perfectly.
“There is no game this weekend, so the lads are in for a tough week this week,” he said.
“I said from the off it wouldn’t be your normal pre-season. There’d be no running round tracks, no doing 400m or 800m. It’s been working with the ball at high intensity, though you have to manage the load and not risk injury.
“They’ve been sessions where you end up with knocks and bruises from day one. But we have managed that and, so far, come out of it okay. You’ve seen the fitness levels in the games.
“The boys have looked sharp and match fit which you get from playing games and training with footballs. We are happy where we are at.”
Windfall for Mansfield Town as Sam Clucas makes £1.3m move to Hull City
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Tuesday 28 July 2015
Mansfield Town received an unexpected six-figure windfall last night as former Stags winger Sam Clucas joined Championship side Hull City for £1.3 million.
Stags built in a sell-on clause when Clucas moved to local League One rivals Chesterfield last September for £100,000 and, although the club are not revealing how much it is, it is believed the Stags could get as much as £260,000 if the clause was 20 per cent.
Lincoln-born Clucas, 25, was signed by Paul Cox from Hereford United for £20,000 in June 2013, a fee decided by a tribunal, and has continued to flourish ever since with many Stags fans disappointed to see him join Chesterfield.
“I spoke to Sam last night and he is first and foremost a great lad, so it’s nice to see good people doing well,” said Stags boss Adam Murray.
“Ability-wise everyone saw what he was about at our level ,so he’s gone on to League One and shown it again and I have got no doubts at some point he will end up in the Premiership, he’s that good.
“So I am over the moon for Sam. I said to him last night the kit matches your hair - he is a nice bloke.
“It is an added bonus to the football club. You don’t plan for these things. But I am not saying we are going to use that money to sign two or three players. It’s something I imagine the board and the chairman will have a chat about where that money goes. It’s not something that’s been mentioned.”
Murray added: “I would love to have him in my team. He is a super player and somebody that, in the team I am putting together, would have fitted right it.
“At the same time some of the young players we have brought into our squad this season, there is no reason they can’t hit the heights that Sam has already.
“We have a lot of ability in our team - a lot of pace and power and, a big ingredient at this level, we have a lot of intelligence.”
Spireites boss Dean Saunders stressed the deal represented good business for Chesterfield.
“For a club like ours we cannot turn this down, we have to remember where we are,” he said.
“I am very disappointed to have lost him, but he is going to a big club who were in the Premier League last year.
“We have got a big transfer fee for a League One player, there are not many League One clubs who get a transfer fee like that.
“He is probably one of our better players and, as the manager, I am disappointed to have lost him, but good luck to him.
“We can’t stand in the way of anybody. I expected this sort of thing could happen but having paid £100,000 a year ago, it’s very good business for a League One club.
“I will have some money to reinvest into the squad. I’ve been shopping in Lidl up to now, but now I’m going to be shopping at Marks & Spencer.
“No doubt we will sign two or three good players, who can make a difference to us.”
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