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Archived News from February 2016

8th February 2016 18:15

Adi Yussuf hoping on Mansfield Town start against Morecambe with Matt Green suspended
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk, Tuesday 02 February 2016

Adi Yusssuf will be hoping for a rare start on Saturday when Mansfield Town must face Morecambe without suspended top scorer Matt Green, who was sent off for two bookable offences at Crawley.

“Sometimes these things happen and there is always a plus point from these situations,” said Murray.

“It gives Greeny a chance to have a rest. He probably needs a bit of a breather. He has worked his socks off all season and has probably only missed a couple of games. So it’s not the end of the world.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/adi-yussuf-hoping-on-mansfield-town-start-against-morecambe-with-matt-green-suspended-1-7710948#ixzz3z5wLyNtk

“We are limited in our options there. Obviously we’ve not long had Adi back from injury, so we will have to weigh up if he’s ready to start. With what he has done as a sub, he’s probably warranted a start.

“Centre forward wise we’ve only got two options. We might be able to tweak things around, but the way we’ve played the last couple of games we don’t really want to change things too much. So we’ll have to have a look at it over the week.”


Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray calls for patience from home fans for Morecambe visit
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk

After two away wins in five days, Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray called on home fans to be patient with his side when they try to complete a double over Morecambe on Saturday.

Stags won 2-1 at Morecambe on 26th January and five days later came away from Crawley with a 1-0 success.

Murray is convinced Stags’ poor home form is down to players losing confidence and scared to make a mistake in front of a crowd that can quickly turn on them.

“We want to put this home form right,” said Murray. “It’s getting on our nerves a little bit now. That brings a challenge in itself and Saturday is important.

Read more: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/local-sport/mansfield-town-manager-adam-murray-calls-for-patience-from-home-fans-for-morecambe-visit-1-7710916#ixzz3z5wQlE00

“I looked at the Crawley game and in the first 10 minutes the ball spent more time in the air than it did on the floor.

“But because we are away from home, there are not as many moans and groans.

“It is the same with bad passes. Chris Clements passed one out of play after about three minutes. But because we were away from home it didn’t have the effect on players that it probably would have had if we were at home.

“So I am asking for patience on Saturday if we don’t get off to a good start. “Obviously we are going to try to get out of the blocks.

“But we have had two good results and it’s no co-incidence that away from home the boys seem to kick on when things don’t go our way. So everyone will have a part to play on Saturday.”

A win on Saturday will see Mansfield chalk up a double over the Shrimps inside just 12 days.

“We know what to expect - it’s only two weeks since we played them,” said Murray.

“They will want to put the previous couple of results behind them and get a win. So we will have to set up in the right frame of mind like we have for the last two games.

“We have taken a bit of the pressure off ourselves and we are not looking at the league in terms of we’ve got to do this or we’ve got to do that. It’s another game - can we win it? If we lose it it’s not the end of the world. We are in a super place.

“We will be going out to win the game and then we’ve got another massive game on Tuesday. So it’s another good week for us.

“We know Morecambe will provide us with a tough test.

“They went to Northampton and before Northampton scored, they were probably the better team. So we know it’s going to be a challenge for us.”


Murray - come and watch the Stags!
mansfieldtown.net, 3rd February 2016

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray believes the ‘kids for a quid’ offer this Saturday is the perfect opportunity to welcome the next batch of young Stags fans into One Call Stadium.

The club has seen a rise in attendances since the introduction of the offer for the previous three home games and the manager wants even more young people to watch the Stags in action against Morecambe on Saturday (3pm).

Children aged 7 to 17 can buy tickets for just £1 from our ticket office in advance of the game or on matchday. Kids aged under seven can enter the game for FREE, when accompanied by a paying adult.

“We need to start looking at the next generation," said Murray.

"I think we’ve got some really loyal fans here who have been coming for years and years. We need to now start looking at the next generation and providing a future for the football club.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-come-and-watch-the-stags-2937232.aspx#oSLKAqFcvlCQ5s8T.99

“That’s the way I’m looking at it, from the football side and putting a structure in place where the club will ultimately produce its own [players].

“Like I keep saying, it [the club] will be competitive at its level and above, continuously. I think for the club to do that, and to grow, we need that next generation of fan-base because that’s the only way the football club is going to grow.

“The deals that have been on have been great and it’s up to us now to give the fans something to shout about and we’ll be looking to do that on Saturday.”

In other news, The Football League announced earlier this week that midfielder Chris Clements has been nominated for the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month award after scoring three goals in January and Murray says he’s flourished after being allowed to roam further up the pitch.

“A big part of this season has been about setting a brand about Mansfield Town. [We want] people to look at us and say: ‘this is how they do it and this is the way they play.’ Now the next step is about being effective and I feel that Chris has been superb for us.

“He finished the season strong last year and he’s had a bit of a ‘bitty’ season where he got suspended then he got injured and it’s took him a little bit of time [to recapture his form].

“[In the] last few games he’s been immense again and I think it’s about putting him in positions where he can create and affect things," Murray said.

“He’s scoring goals now, which we knew he had in him. With Jammer (Jamie McGuire) in the team, it gives him the license to get further up the pitch and create problems.

“[If] you look at some of his runs from midfield, there can’t be many as good as he makes in the league so he’s fully deserved of the nomination and I hope he wins it.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s match against Morecambe, which will be the second time his side have faced the Shrimps in the space of two weeks, Murray wants to record a positive result ahead of two tough away trips next week against high-flying Oxford United and Plymouth Argyle.

“After Saturday, we’re back on the road for two big trips so we’ve got to make sure our preparation’s right.

“We want another win [on] Saturday. There’s no pressure on us to do anything. We’re way above what were expected to do and that gives us a good feeling because it makes you want to go on and do more.”

You can watch Murray’s news conference, in full, on Stags Player later.


Mansfield Town ready to mix it up with Morecambe as Stags chase quickfire double
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk

Adam Murray admitted his side may have to mix up their passing style and add a little more direct football at home as they look to make it three wins on the bounce for only the second time this season when Morecambe visit on Saturday.

The Mansfield Town manager has utilised fit-again target man Chris Beardsley to perfection in the last two games and, with talisman goal ace Matt Green suspended on Saturday, may look to use quick players to feed off Beardsley’s flicks against a big, uncompromising Morecambe side.

“The big thing we’ve learned this season is we’ve got to get the balance right,” said Murray.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-ready-to-mix-it-up-with-morecambe-as-stags-chase-quickfire-double-1-7715581#ixzz3zDqgVfkq

“Through big parts of this season we’ve played some good football without really being as effective as we should be with it. We have had a lot of possession in games without being over-creative with our opportunities.

“So it’s about getting the balance. The league is sometimes a ‘bash down the door league’ which is not the greatest if I am being honest.

“I don’t like watching it. But you’ve got to do what wins games and the last two games we have gone a little bit more direct.

“But when you’ve got good players in the team, it’s not just a whack - it’s a long pass, so to speak.

“When you’ve got the energy and pace we’ve got up top, people like Reggie Lambe, Matty Blair, Matt Green, James Baxendale, Chris Clements when he joins in; then you’ve got a target man like Chris Beardsley, you do cause a lot of problems in the final third. We’ve found that over the last two games.”

He added: “At home we’d like to be a bit more in possession of the ball than out of possession. But we don’t really want to tweak too much.

“Away from home we sit off a lot more and allow teams to come on us and go from there. At home fans don’t want to see that. If we sat off teams at home there would be a reaction to that.

“There may be certain games against the better teams in which we have to do that at home and fans have got to understand what we’re doing if it’s the game plan.”

Mansfield’s home form has been indifferent this season with Murray saying that criticism from the stands by an over-expectant crowd has had an influence in players losing confidence on the ball.

However, Murray has again asked fans for patience on Saturday and feels a statement from chairman John Radford two weeks ago will help after Radford said he was happy with where the club was right now with the level of investment made.

“It is just another game though the home factor comes into it,” said Murray. “We are probably not expected to win on Saturday because we are at home which is a bit scary, but it’s up to us to prove people wrong.

“We are looking at the rest of the season game by game. We are not even looking at the league. We will finish up where we finish up. We know we are over-achieving.

“It’s good the boss has come out, put people straight and levelled everybody off where we are as a football club. That has made a difference as there is a drive to prove people wrong and there is a drive to keep over-achieving.

“You look back a couple of weeks and the expectation was outdoing the ambition. The balance wasn’t right.

“We’ve still got the ambition, but the expectation has come down now. I hope people see we are a million miles away from where we want to be when you look at the resources we’ve got.

“Obviously it’s a one-man ship here and we don’t get massive gates, we don’t get big crowds that can help fund the project. It’s a one-man band. So we are doing all we can.

“We will look at each game and ask - can we win it? If we don’t we’ll move on to the next one. We want to try to finish as high as we can. I think we are six points from safety - so let’s see how it goes.”

Stags, looking to complete a 12-day double over Morecambe after coming from behind to win 2-1 there on 26th January, will have to keep on eye on visiting keeper Barry Roche after he headed home from a corner in the last minute of Tuesday’s 1-1 home draw with Portsmouth!

“I was watching it coming in on Sky and sometimes they are the best way to get points,” smiled Murray.

“To get your keeper on the end of a set piece is decent and I might try it! From what I am reading the conditions up there were horrendous and it’s played a part in the game.

“I think Portsmouth will feel that’s two points last and it was a big point for Morecambe and might give them a bit of a boost coming into Saturday.

With Green missing for one game, Murray has to decide which way to go.

Beardsley will be at centre forward and he could pair him with striker Adi Yussuf or Craig Westcarr or even throw a quick midfield player up with him like Reggie Lambe or Matty Blair. He may also go with a three.

“We are limited in what options we’ve got as, against Morecambe, I think you need certain ingredients to get the best out of the game,” he said.

“You need to match them physically as they’re a strong side, but at the same time if you can match them and then use a bit of your energy and pace to get about them, as we saw up there we can hurt them.

“So we’ve got some thinking to do. The shape may need to be tweaked a little because of that.”

New signing Daniel Alfei is likely to make his debut at right back after joining on loan from Swansea City on Monday.

The game is the final ‘Kids for a Quid offer with anyone aged seven to 17 admitted for a pound.


Mansfield Town hoping Swansea City loanee Daniel Alfei can become part of the club’s future
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray is hoping former Wales U21 full back Daniel Alfei impresses on his loan spell from Swansea City and becomes part of the Stags’ future.

Alfei, captured for the rest of the season on Monday following right back Nicky Hunt’s departure to Leyton Orient, looks set to make a debut against Morecambe on Saturday.

Murray said: “I know his contract is up with Swansea at the end of the season.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-hoping-swansea-city-loanee-daniel-alfei-can-become-part-of-the-club-s-future-1-7715609#ixzz3zESXhHwz

“So there might be a chance that if he does well for us we can put something together to lure him here.

“The bigger picture is that it could work for all of us.

“Dan is 23, so it’s not like we are taking one of the U21s.

“Swansea wouldn’t let him out on loan this season as he was in and around the first team and they had a couple of injuries early on. They wanted to keep him around their squad. But now they have let him out.”

Murray added: “We only had 48 hours, but we did as much digging as we could to find the best replacement for Hunty.

“It was a case of do we go for someone of a similar age bracket with experience or do we get something we feel has the attributes but may need a bit of work in certain areas, but would bring a bit more to the team with more ability and pace.

“Dan is very good with the ball. You don’t go to Swansea if you don’t like the football.

“But he will need tweaking in certain areas as coming from Swansea to League Two, it’s a big difference in certain areas.”


Midfield role for Mansfield Town defender Lee Collins against Morecambe?
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk, Wednesday 03 February 2016

Mansfield Town defender Lee Collins could find himself in a new midfield role when Morecambe visit on Saturday.

Collins arrived as a central defender but has filled in superbly at both right back and left back in recent games.

As he can get forward well and helped set up a goal at Morecambe, boss Adam Murray is now looking at possibly utilising the former Northampton man’s experience in a more unfamiliar role further up the pitch, particularly with the back four places looking all but sewn up this weekend following the return from injury of left back Mal Benning and the loan signing of Swansea left back Daniel Alfei.

“We are looking at one or two bits and bobs,” said Murray.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/midfield-role-for-mansfield-town-defender-lee-collins-against-morecambe-1-7713834#ixzz3zBokjBqV

“Obviously with Danny coming in it gives us a bit more of an attacking threat at right back. So it might mean that Lee takes up another slot.

“The two performances we put it over the week were superb. Obviously this is a home game so we will look at it a bit differently.

“With our home form we want to start putting points on the board as we believe if we get that right it will give us a good chance to succeed this season.”

Benning came through his first game since his serious knee injury in October with nothing worse than cramp and Murray added: “He was a little bit stiff on Sunday and a bit fatigued on Monday, but there have been no major setbacks.

“He felt good, he felt strong and surpassed what we expected him to get through.

“For him to get through what he did what a massive credit to him and we hope we will now recover well for Saturday.”


Baxendale eager to impress after signing with Stags

New boy James Baxendale is delighted to have extended his stay at One Call Stadium after making his loan spell permanent earlier this week.

The attacking midfielder was one of Stags’ two deadline day signings after being rewarded for his impressive loan spell from Walsall with a permanent deal by manager Adam Murray.

Baxendale has flourished in his five Mansfield appearances, and while he’s delighted to have completed his loan switch, he feels Saturday’s ‘kids for a quid’ game against Morecambe (3pm) is the perfect time to get points on the board at One Call Stadium.

“I had a good month here on loan and it was something that was spoken about as soon as I got here about extending it, and I was glad to get it done. The lads have welcomed me well and obviously the management as well.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/baxendale-eager-to-impress-after-signing-with-stags-2937878.aspx#dCm6Ot0DbPcZvlje.99

“I came on the Friday, we won the game on the Saturday so I think you can’t really settle in much better than that. The debut was good, and we’ve won three out of the five since I’ve been here. At this stage of the season, picking up points is important.

“If you can pick up your wins at home and get the odd point away, that’s what people say is the form to ‘get you up there’. If we can get a few more wins at home, we’ll be there or thereabouts.”

Doncaster-born Baxendale was a frustrated figure on the fringes of a high-flying Walsall team and he knew that he was going to have to depart the Bescot Stadium to play regular football.

“The situation I was in at Walsall, I was itching for football - to come in on the Friday and know you’re going to play on the Saturday, it’s exciting.

“I couldn’t wait to get started. For the personal side of things, I had to come away [from Walsall] to play some games and I think I found the right club.

“Sitting in the dressing room, it feels so much better when you win so it’s something we want to replicate every week. If we can win more than we lose, we’ll be alright.”

The Stags face Morecambe this weekend, less than a fortnight after a dramatic victory over the Shrimps at the Globe Arena - Baxendale believes the memory being fresh for both sides could have a negative effect on Jim Bentley’s men.

“I think we’ll have the psychological advantage going in because we scored the late goals, it would’ve deflated them so they’re going to come here and know we’re not going to give up for 90 minutes regardless of what the score is.”

You can watch James Baxendale’s interview, in full, on Stags Player.


Regular football the lure for Mansfield Town new boy James Baxendale after Walsall frustration
by John Lomas, chad.co.uk, Wednesday 03 February 2016

James Baxendale is looking forward to the chance of regular first team football after signing full-time for Mansfield Town this week after a frustrating season at Championship-chasing Walsall.

Baxendale admitted he had no axe to grind with the high-flying Saddlers as they were not going to change a winning side.

But, like the time as a youngster when he went and played half a season at Buxton when he could not break into the Doncaster Rovers side, the energetic midfielder has shown he just wants to play football.

Baxendale arrived on loan for a month, scoring and winning man of the match in Stags 1-0 win over Stevenage on his debut last month.

But this week, he penned an 18-month deal and said: “Obviously I had a good month here on loan and this was something I spoke about pretty much as soon as I got here. So I was glad to get it done.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/regular-football-the-lure-for-mansfield-town-new-boy-james-baxendale-after-walsall-frustration-1-7713827#ixzz3z8UIyjK8

“I felt like I settled in here pretty much straight away and saw the way the club is run day in and day out. The lads have welcomed me in well, as have the management. Now it’s done and I want to kick on with the season.

“I came in on the Friday and we won the game on the Saturday - you can’t really settle in much better than that.

“The lads were joking there’s only way for me now. The debut was good and then we’ve won three of the first five games since I’ve been here.

“At this stage of the season, picking up points is important as, if we continue that kind of form, we’re going to be there or thereabouts.”

He was not fazed about being pitched into the first team within 24 hours of arriving.

“You look forward to it because with the situation I was in at Walsall I was itching for football,” he said. “So to come in on the Friday and know you’re going to play on the Saturday is exciting and something you’ve worked for for a while.

“When you’re out the team you keep yourself fit for the time a game does come, so I couldn’t wait to get started.

“Sometimes it helps you out as they can see what kind of player you are. You don’t have a week in training to get a feel for it, you are thrown in and people see what you’re about. Sometimes that can bring you closer together.

“You’re here to play football. So to do it within a day is perfect.”

Since then he has tasted defeat at AFC Wimbledon and at home to Luton before playing his part in two away wins in five days last week.

“Luton were decent on the day, but we played some good stuff as well,” said Baxendale. “We were all gutted on the day after the result, but we watched the game back and we dominated possession but just didn’t really penetrate.

“The two away games after were both really good team performances. We dug in for 90 minutes both games, stuck to the game plan, and it worked out well again. When you win away from home, it’s a good feeling.

“Win your home games and pick up the odd point away, that’s what people say is the form to get you up there. So if we can pick up a few more wins at home, we’ll be there or thereabouts.”

This Saturday Stags have an ultra-quick home return with Morecambe less than two weeks after two late goals saw Stags turned around a 1-0 deficit to beat the Shrimps 2-1.

“That’s the way the fixtures are I think we’ll have the psychological advantage after scoring the late goals there, which will have deflated them,” he said.

“They will come here and know we’re not going to give up for 90 minutes regardless of what the score is and if we can get the early start they will feel like they’ve got a mountain to climb.”

Baxendale has no regrets at leaving Walsall and hopes to see his old club achieve their promotion dream.

He said: “The team at Walsall is flying and I wish them all the best. But from the personal side of things, I had to come away to play some games and I think I’ve found the right club.

“It’s been frustrating for the last season or so as I wasn’t really getting regular football.

“When I first started at Walsall I was playing every week which was ideal and I got a good grounding there and a feel for what first team football is about. But now it’s time to come here and kick on.

“The Walsall team that started the beginning of this season have not lost many as you can see - they are second in the league. So there’s been no way for me to bang on the manager’s door and say ‘why am I not getting a game’ as they lads have been so good.

“So it was either be happy to sit on a bench every week and watch them win or come away and find myself first team football. I am not one to sit on a bench so that’s what’s happened.”

He added: “It was a similar situation at Buxton. I started off the season in and around the first team at Doncaster. Then a change of management came and I found myself out.

“But I was only 18 at the time and a first year pro and I needed to get regular football again. You go from the youth team playing every week to no football whatsoever.

“You need to kind of do whatever it takes to get yourself ready for when you are called upon in the League.

“It gave me a good grounding. Every game you play you learn. So when you are a young lad every kind of experience you can get is invaluable really.

“It was good at Buxton. It was around Christmas time when I started playing there and the pitches were turning. So there wasn’t a lot of football played.

“But coming from the youth team, where it’s perfect football, to go to play football against men that want to kick you up in the air, you do learn.

“You learn that you’ve got to get away sometimes and you learn more about the game there than you can learn in training or reserve team football. For me it was crucial.

“The manager was Scott Maxwell. He lived in the same area I did and looked after me. To be fair he was very good with me.

“You are driven. As a young lad, if you want to make it in the game you’ve got to be driven - whatever it takes. And I just wanted to play regular football and get out there at 3pm on a Saturday, so at the time it was whoever would give me a game.

“Scott gave me games and that experience you get on the pitch you can take forward.”

Baxendale came through the youth set-up at Leeds United, but failed to break into the first team.

“The facilities were unbelievable at Leeds,” he said. “You see good players coming into the first team, and you go to Elland Road, which is inspiring as it is.

“That was what I always aspired to do - try to get out in front of that Elland Road crowd every week.”

His early loves were Nottingham Forest and Sheffield Wednesday, though his footballing heroes played for neither.

“I had a season ticket at Forest when I was a kid, and then as I knew better I went to Sheffield Wednesday.

“But my heroes were Steve Gerrard and Joe Cole really. Gerrard can carry a team on his own - he won that Champions’ League final in Istanbul on his own in my opinion.

“Then players similar to myself like Joe Cole - well maybe not similar to myself - in the sense that he carries the ball and excites people. Football is an entertainment sport and he entertains people.”

Baxendale loves to get on the ball and run at players, but accepts he will have to mix that up with a more direct game at times in League Two.

“You can tell here that we adapt to win a football game,” he said. “You want to play the attractive football but everything’s got to be done to win a game - whatever it takes. And it seems we can mix it up.

“We can go longer if needs be and we can keep the ball as well as anyone.”

He added: “You want success. You play every week to win.

“You want to be as high as possible up the league, but I think it’s good we’ve taken the approach that if we have a game we will try to win it and wherever that takes us, it takes us. But, of course we want to get in the play-offs.”


Morecambe boss targets swift revenge against Mansfield
Morecambe Guardian, Friday 05 February 2016

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley has challenged his side to swiftly right their Mansfield wrongs on Saturday.

The sides meet for the second time in less than two weeks this weekend with The Shrimps hoping to put to bed one of the lowest points of their season.

Bentley’s men were seemingly on course for victory leading 1-0 with five minutes to play before a remarkable conclusion saw them surrender three points with a 2-1 defeat at the Globe Arena.

It wasn’t the only crazy end to a recent game for The Shrimps with goalkeeper Barry Roche scoring a dramatic late equaliser against Portsmouth on Tuesday night.

The Shrimps boss said: “It was a bizarre end to that game similar to what it was against Portsmouth.

Read more: http://www.lancasterguardian.co.uk/sport/football/morecambe-fc/morecambe-boss-targets-swift-revenge-against-mansfield-1-7715976#ixzz3zHjXHGzY

“I don’t think we deserved to lose the game but we did.

“Now it’s a case of going there and the lads should be knocking walls down to get at them because I certainly am.

“I want a response to get the three points.

“We don’t want any team to do the double over us so it’s a big game.”

One boost for The Shrimps is that Stags top scorer Matt Green is missing after being sent off in the win over Crawley on Saturday.

Bentley said: “I thought he was very good against us.

“He’s had a good season. He was a bit of a marquee signing in the summer and is the top scorer.

“Any team is going to miss a player like that and hopefully it will give us a little bit of an advantage because he’s one of the best around in the division.

“But it does open the door for someone else to come in and we’ve got to be ready.

“They’ve got good players all over the park. They’ve done a little bit of wheeling and dealing on transfer deadline day in the full back area and they’ve got players who can cause problems.

“I know we can cause them problems though like we did on that Tuesday night.”

Despite being without a win in four Bentley is hoping Roche’s remarkable goal in the 93rd minute that sealed a 1-1 draw can help get his side heading back in the right direction.

He said: “I do honestly think we’re not far away.

“People might think I’m a little bit biased or a little bit silly.

“We didn’t deserve to lose the games against Mansfield and Newport and it could be a different story if we’d had a bit of luck or just kept that bit of concentration at the back.

“To get the equaliser in the manner that we did though it puts points on the board and just changes the feeling around the place.

“Hopefully it’s broken the cycle and we can get back to winning ways.

“We’re not in a bad position but we do need a couple of wins.”

Aaron Wildig and Alex Kenyon are closer to returns than Aaron McGowan, all three having been battling hamstring problems.

Charlie Bailey and Nathan Bondswell will also come back into the reckoning after their loan spells at Kendal ended.



Latest | February 2016