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Archived News from February 2016

3rd February 2016 21:48

Adam Murray press conference, 28 Jan 2016
- 15 minutes in full here for StagsPlayer subscribers:


Let's keep building - Murray
mansfieldtown.net, 28th January 2016

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray says he wants to progress the club to a point where they are a constant threat in Sky Bet League Two.

What I want to do here is build something where year-after-year we compete."
- Adam Murray, manager

After seeing his side come back from 1-0 down to win 2-1 against Morecambe on Tuesday night, Murray and his staff are now planning for another long away trip on Saturday, this time to Sussex to face Crawley Town.

Following a statement from chairman John Radford outlining how pleased he is with the progress made by the squad, Murray says he wants the club to become a force to be reckoned with under his stewardship.

“What I want to do here is build something where year-after-year we compete and we stabilise ourselves as a Football League club because you’ve got to understand that we spent a lot of time out of the League [and] with all due respect to the Conference, I don’t want to go to some of those non-league grounds again.


“We’ve got to make sure that the club’s in a healthy position, which it is off the pitch, then grow and build from that. The aim is to be a consistent threat to this league, then above that. The biggest message that it (the statement) sent out, for me, is a reality of who we are at the minute.

“We’re probably over-achieving at the minute with where we are and I had to make sure I got my side of that message across. That’s not a ‘down-tools’, we’re not happy with mediocre - if we can get in the play-offs then we’re going to try and get in them.

“Everyone who’s got any emotion towards Mansfield Town, they owe everything to John [Radford] because without him, there probably wouldn’t be a club at the minute.”

Tuesday night’s trip to Morecambe saw the gaffer set up his side in a different system to what Stags’ fans are used to seeing, but Murray says that the visit to Crawley will provide his team with different hurdles to overcome.

“We know their strengths. Obviously it’s another long trip for us - another three/three-and-a-half hours down there, but we’re going down there in good spirits. There’ll be a new game plan which goes in place.

“We’re in a situation now where we’ve said as a group: we want to finish as high as we can in the league - that’s the ambition, not the expectation, which is very important for us as a football club.

Murray continued: “We don’t want to pay too much attention to the league position because for what we’re doing this season, it gets in the way. We’ll try and win as many games as we can."

In team news, Murray revealed that left-back Malvind Benning is closer to a return, after playing in a behind-closed-doors friendly yesterday.

“We had a game organised for Mal yesterday, which was called off, so we put together an in-house game for him and some of the boys who needed some minutes in their legs.

“It went really well and he came through it as we expected, so he’s put himself back in the picture now. Obviously he’s lacking minutes, but he’s only going to get that with games, so that is a huge boost for us. It’s a massive boost for the group, a big boost for Mal and a big boost for the supporters.”


Mal Benning back in Mansfield Town squad for Crawley Town trip
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Thursday 28 January 2016

Talented left back Mal Benning is back in the Mansfield Town squad for the League Two trip to Crawley Town on Saturday after coming through an inter-club practice game unscathed yesterday.

Benning, out with a serious knee injury since October, has shown no ill effects today and look set to travel south with the squad tomorrow.

Manager Adam Murray then has a big decision to make, whether to throw him straight into the starting XI, stick with Lee Collins, who won man of the match in that position in Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Morecambe, or utilise Fulham loanee Sean Kavanagh.

“We had a game organised for Mal yesterday which was called off, so we put together an in-house game for him and some of the other boys who needed minutes in their legs and it went really well,” smiled Murray.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mal-benning-back-in-mansfield-town-squad-for-crawley-town-trip-1-7702718#ixzz3yZezwokv

“Mal came through it as expected, so he has put himself back in the picture now.

“Obviously he is lacking minutes, but he’s only going to get that with games.

“So that is a huge boost for us - a massive boost for the group and a big boost for Mal and a big boost for supporters. He is ready to go.”


New game plan for Crawley Town trip says Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Thursday 28 January 2016

After reverting to a more direct game for the 2-1 win at Morecambe on Tuesday, Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray said he had a different game plan up his sleeve for Saturday’s trip to Crawley Town.

“Tuesday was a horses for courses game and Saturday will be another horses for courses situation,” said Murray.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/new-game-plan-for-crawley-town-trip-says-mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-1-7702760#ixzz3yZflCijs

“My philosophy hasn’t changed or my beliefs in the way we are going to play. But on Tuesday we looked at the opposition and thought we could get at them.

“We wanted to play a little more direct on Tuesday and it was literally back to front. There wasn’t much of our possession football played.

“But we felt we could put them under pressure, so we went for it that way - and it came off.

“It was a punch on the chin to me, I won’t lie. I want to play the beautiful game, even though we sometimes keep the ball which doesn’t win football matches.

“But I will take one on the chin a few times when we have to go more direct and have got to play a little more ‘League Two’.

“So be it. If that gets Mansfield Town points, then it’s not about me and what I like watching. It’s about what wins football matches.”

He added: “Crawley will provide us with a different problem, but we’ll provide Crawley with different problems to what we brought to the table on Tuesday.

“That sums up the squad we’ve got. It’s small but it’s a strong squad capable of putting any game plan into play.

“I had a few messages before the game on Tuesday saying ‘what a weird selection’, but sometimes weird selections are good.

“I don’t think Morecambe expected it. It surprised me too.

“We get on really well with Morecambe’s management team, even though we nearly came to blows with them on Tuesday. They are fighters like ourselves.

“They’ve got that attitude that every game is life and death. Speaking to them after, they didn’t predict we’d do that.

“But this Saturday is a totally different game, different opposition, different game plan. So we will look at the personnel for that one.”

Stags will head south tomorrow night and Murray continued: “We know Crawley’s strengths. Obviously it’s another long trip for us - three and a half hours - but we will be going down there in good spirits.

“We are in a situation now where we’ve said as a group we want to finish as high as we can in the league - that’s never going to change. That’s the ambition, not the expectation. That’s very important for us as a football club, getting that fine line right.

“But we don’t want to pay too much attention to the league position as it gets in the way of what we’re doing this season.

“So we will try to win as many games as we can and progress from last year.”

Tuesday’s win was Mansfield’s sixth away success this season as they came from behind to score twice in the last four minutes.

“It was a battle of a game from the first minute - a very tactical 90-odd minutes, and the spirit and character the boys showed was superb,” said Murray.

“It was good to see that in them, especially when we went 1-0 down.

“It was never a penalty and very clever of (Kevin) Ellison. He’d done what he did a few times during the game and probably conned the ref, to be fair.

“I don’t think there was one yellow card on Tuesday, which you don’t see in League Two, so I was wondering if we had any officials?

“But it was good to see that belief in ourselves. At 1-0 down I looked at the personnel in team and I knew there was going to be a fightback. For the lads to get that win in the manner they did was huge.

“Chris Beardsley gave us a different option on Tuesday. As much as it pains me to do, sometimes you’ve just got to get the ball into the box and see what happens.

“We can still do that with a bit of finesse, which I think we did on Tuesday.

“The shape was a bit of a gamble as we didn’t have time to work on it. But the lads took it on board and credit to them for carrying it out.”


Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray hoping to keep squad intact as transfer deadline looms
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Thursday 28 January 2016

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray is anxiously waiting to see if he can keep his squad together for the rest of the season with the January transfer window looming on Monday night.

He said “We have got a lot of good players and we are always going to have interest in them, so there’s been a few sniffs and a few tentative phone calls. Nothing permanent.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-hoping-to-keep-squad-intact-as-transfer-deadline-looms-1-7702892#ixzz3yZfqNbnK

I’d like to keep the group as it in. With 18 games to go, we have enough to progress who we are and what we are at this current time.

“Don’t get me wrong, in the summer for us to move on again to the next level there has to be tweaks, not major like last summer.

“You can never say never. Me and the chairman both want it to stay the same as it is. But with four or five days to go you never know what is round the corner - that’s football for you.

“You can’t really know what’s going to happen in the next hour, let alone the next five days.”


Mansfield Town take stock but play-off chase continues
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

While continuing to chase the play-offs, Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray said the club needs to take stock this season and plan for a long-term future.

Murray was delighted with the message of backing chairman John Radford put out on Monday after Stags had lost two League Two games on the bounce.

After only just avoiding relegation last season, fans’ expectations had risen well beyond anything anyone imagined could happen.

But Radford’s message that he was very happy with what Murray and the players had achieved on the budget he had given settled the ship, relieved some pressure and saw them bounce back with a 2-1 win at Morecambe on Tuesday.

“The biggest message it sent out was the reality of who we are at the minute,” said Murray.

Read more: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/local-sport/mansfield-town-take-stock-but-play-off-chase-continues-1-7702884#ixzz3yeek8y1o

“Anyone with any kind of emotion towards Mansfield Town, they owe everything to John because without him there probably wouldn’t be a club at the minute or we would have dropped down 4,000 leagues. We owe him.

“Now is the time to take stock of who we are and where we are and build, bringing our own kids through, not just a League Two team trying to survive for their lives every season.

“I have last year imprinted like a tattoo on my brain as I never want to feel like that again. Even though I am not going to use it as a marker we are seven points off our total last year already.

“We are probably over-achieving at the minute where we are.

“I had to get my message across to as it’s not a down tools or we are happy with mediocre. If we can get into the play-offs, we’ll get go for it in the play-offs, but as a football club that would be a swim in the ocean at the minute. It doesn’t mean we’re going to stop trying.

“The focus is about performing. If we perform the way we can - and we have got a lot of different ingredients we can use - we will win a lot more games than we lose.”

So did Murray think the Radford statement had made a big difference to the players?

“They are weird creatures these footballers aren’t they? To give an honest answer, I haven’t asked any of them. Putting myself in a player’s head I am going to say yes.

“I don’t think it will be massive as they’ve got pride and want to win every game anyway. People think footballers are stupid, but they are not. A lot of them have been in a lot of dressing rooms and know the standard of the league. They know a lot of clubs in the top five or six are big hitters.

“They are a million miles away from us. That’s not to say we are not proud of who we are.

“You look at teams like Wycombe and Accrington. Every message that comes out those clubs is ‘little old us’ or ‘poor old us’ and the players thrive on that as there is no expectation. They are underdogs in every game they go into. If they win it’s brilliant, they go on to the next one. It’s not the end of the world. That’s why they are achieving at the minute.

“Their players play with confidence and an eagerness to prove everybody wrong - and that’s a brilliant position to be in.

“So I am hoping it will help the lads in certain areas, though we have got to keep improving.”

He added: “I want us to become competitive every year. So if we can get top half, top 10, and keep pushing for those play-offs year on year, at some point we are going to get in there.”


New role ahead for Mansfield Town defender Lee Collins
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Adam Murray intends to use defender Lee Collins in a new role after seeing his all-round qualities come to the fore with a hand in both the goals in Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Morecambe.

Collins arrived at the club as a centre half of some repute, but has already played right back and on Tuesday was an attacking left back.

Murray now has a new position for him to fill, though is keeping it under wraps for the moment.

“For me he is brilliant,” said Murray. “He is an all-round footballer. He is a man - which is big to have in games like that.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/new-role-ahead-for-mansfield-town-defender-lee-collins-1-7702877#ixzz3yefpesrr

“When you have lost a couple on the bounce you need a response, and I think the men stood up on Tuesday.

“Lee was a perfect example of that. He is a naturally centre half, both footed, he can play left back and right back, and for him to be in that area of the pitch in that part of the game sums up the never-say-die performance of the lads.

“For me we haven’t seen Lee in his best position yet, and that’s not at centre half. I will keep that one under wraps as it will be part of our evolvement. I think it will get the best out of Lee’s attributes as well. I am painting a beautiful picture in my head. Lee literally has got everything He can do bits of everything.

“He can play, he has two great feet, he is a leader, he is a bloke. “He is very good aerially and he’s got a tremendous range of passing too.

“He will be a very big part of the future of this club and he got his just rewards on Tuesday when he was immense.

“ He is a centre half in his head and he has been frustrated that, in his eyes, he hasn’t been playing in his preferred position.”



"We were very poor at Mansfield back in September and I think that is in the back of the minds of the lads who played. We have shown to be a better side than we were that day since then and we'd like to erase the memory of that game on Saturday.

"We've been able to do a lot of good work in training this week back on grass and the players have had a good discussion about last Saturday's game and the need to keep standards high and get back to the levels of performance we produced not too long ago."

Read more at http://www.crawleytownfc.com/news/article/crawley-town-mansfield-town-2925067.aspx#SQI29QOtqQ0kAdz6.99


Crawley won 7 out of 8 home games from 10th October to 9th January, but then lost their last home game to Notts Co.



Latest | February 2016