{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from February 2016

10th February 2016 22:50

Murray pays tribute to club analysts after win
mansfieldtown.net, 6th February 2016

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray says the secret behind Scott Shearer’s penalty heroics was the hard work by the performance analysts before the game.

Goalkeeper Shearer saved a penalty in each half to ensure the Stags secured all three points against Morecambe this afternoon after goals from Matty Blair and Krystian Pearce cancelled out Kevin Ellison’s first-minute opener.

The 34-year-old Scot dived to his left to beat away Shaun Miller’s first half spot kick before saving Paul Mullin’s second half effort with his legs, and Murray says first team performance analyst Sean O’Callaghan and his team studied the visitors in-depth prior to the match - including their penalties.

“I think credit goes to Scott but a lot of credit has to go to Sean, the analyst. Him and his team, there’s only two or three, they work for the club just for the experience of being involved and they put a lot of time in.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-pays-tribute-to-club-analysts-2942421.aspx#8STAUQT3QtppwXRe.99

“I think Morecambe have had something like 11 penalties, it might be more than that, and there’s a reason why they get them.

“So we were aware of it and Sean has done his homework with his team and told Scott and Brian the patterns and the trends that have been happening, and it worked!

“That’s credit to the football club because I keep going on about the ‘one percents’ and today it got us the win."

The gaffer was also pleased with the determined attitude of his players on an afternoon when they had to deal with the tricky weather conditions as well as a battling Morecambe side.

“We kept coming back and we kept fighting and we kept clawing back. We never gave in and it’s that never-say-die attitude that we love to see.

“It was tricky. [In the] first half we had the wind, so things were running through a little bit too much.

“We knew that if we had our shape right, they’d play into our hands a little bit and they did play quite a few long balls which went through to Scott (Shearer) or we’d win the first ball with Pearcey (Krystian Pearce) or Taff (Ryan Tafazolli) and catch them on the counter.”

Following the award of the second Morecambe penalty, Murray was sent off by referee Mark Heywood for his reaction but the boss believes the referee got the decision for the first penalty correct.

“The first one, from the angle I’ve seen it from, it’s not too conclusive but I think he’s got that one right. The second one, I think it has struck Jack’s arm but I don’t know how he’s got to get out the way of it. It’s one of them where he’s gone to block the cross and he can’t really do much more.

“I’ve obviously reacted in a way that you react when you have a second penalty given against you. I didn’t say anything that was offensive but obviously my body language has told a story, but if people expect me to be happy, then I don’t know.

“I’m not sure why he’s sent me off but I’ve ruined my trainers walking round the pitch, so I’m not happy!”

You can watch Murray’s post-match interview, in full, on Stags Player.


‘We were phenomenal’ said Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray after 2-1 win over Morecambe
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Manager Adam Murray described Mansfield Town’s 2-1 home win over Morecambe today as ‘phenomenal’ as they came from behind to hang on for victory against the odds with keeper Scott Shearer saving two penalties.

On a dreadful afternoon weather-wise, the two sides fought out a thrilling battle with Murray sent from the bench for his reaction to the second Morecambe penalty decision near the end.

Kevin Ellison had netted as early as the first minute, but Matty Blair and Krystian Pearce had Stags ahead at half-time.

Read more: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/local-sport/we-were-phenomenal-said-mansfield-town-manager-adam-murray-after-2-1-win-over-morecambe-1-7719987#ixzz3zQtSofEC

But the visitors had a goal disallowed and saw Shearer save Shaun miller’s spot kick before he denied Paul Mullin from the spot near the end to secure a third win on the trot.

“I think it was phenomenal to be honest with you,” he smiled.

“You couldn’t write the script in terms of us conceding early goals. Something is written in the stars at the minute trying to make us concede even earlier.

“But from then I thought we were exceptional. We knew conditions would play a big part.

“They were two good, training ground goals that we were over the moon with.

“But the biggest thing that’s pleased me today is we got a lot thrown at us and we just kept coming back. We kept fighting and we kept clawing back. We never gave in.

“It was that never-say-die attitude that we love to see and it’s a major part of our team.”

He added: “It was tricky. First half we had the wind so things were running through a bit too much. We knew if we got our shape right they’d play into our hands a little bit. They would play quite a few long balls that would go through to Scott.

“Second half we were against the wind and couldn’t get out our half.

“People were probably thinking what’s he doing playing with no centre forward for 20 minutes, but we had to get some energy in there and overload our half and try to catch them on the break as the first ball forward wasn’t reaching and it was just coming back.

“Beardo (Chris Beardsley) put a hell of a shift in and didn’t have much more left in the tank.”

On the two penalty decisions, he said: “First one, from the angle I’ve seen it from, it’s not too conclusive, but I think he’s got that one right. The lads were saying it was a penalty.

“The second one, I think it has struck Jack’s arm, but how was he expected to get out the way of it? It’s one of them where he’s gone to block the cross and he can’t really do much more. It’s hit his arm but it wasn’t outstretched or anything. So I think that one was very harsh.

“We had everything we could thrown at us today so what spirit?”

Murray is hoping there will be no further repercussions for his dismissal, saying: “That’s the first time I’ve ever been in that situation so I just hope it will be a bit of a telling off as there was nothing in it. It’s not as if I threw someone over the fence of something.

“I just reacted in the way you react when you get a second penalty awarded against you.

“I didn’t say anything that was offensive. I think my body language told the story, but do people expect me to be happy?

“I’ve ruined my trainers walking round the pitch so I’m not happy.

“I’ve not done anything to be specific to be sent-off apart from react to a penalty given against me which every manager in the world would do, especially when you’re 2-1 up and it’s the second penalty against you.

“I felt all game we had little things that didn’t go our way. We were a bit frustrated with the inconsistency of the decisions but you take it on the chin.”

Shearer took the man of the match plaudits with his saves, but Murray also paid tribute to his team of analysts who studied Morecambe’s penalties this season and advised where they would try to put them

“Credit to Scott but credit also has to go to Shaun O’Callaghan, the analyst, and his team,” said Murray.

“I think Morecambe have had something like 11 penalties and Shaun had done his homework with his team and told Scott and Brian the patterns and trends that have been happening and it worked.

“I keep going on about the one per cents and today it gave us a win.

“The points and the wins mean everything, but my team have to take credit for the reaction, spirit and attitude, which have been incredible.

“To do what they did today just sums up the group of men I’ve got. Nothing I didn’t expect, though, as I trust every one of them.”


Shearer delighted with Morecambe victory
mansfieldtown.net, 6th February 2016

Penalty-saving hero Scott Shearer declared the 2-1 victory over Morecambe this afternoon as the most satisfying win in his time at the club.

The 34-year-old dived the right way on two occasions to ensure Paul Mullin and Shaun Miller saw their respective spot-kicks saved.

But the Scot was humble about his achievement - while he believes the triumph was one he is most content with, he humbly points the credit towards first team performance analyst Sean O’Callaghan for his work behind the scenes.

“I don’t think I’ve been involved in a game when two penalties have been given. Luckily we’ve got Sean on board who works very tirelessly for the rest of the lads, and myself and Brian - so a big thank you to him for that.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/shearer-delighted-with-morecambe-victory-2942553.aspx#TOOMFlJoDilIKGF1.99

“The club have got him part-time but he works a lot more hours than that. He goes back to previous seasons, checks what they do, any similarities, any patterns. He gives us all the information we need.

“A lot of the lads in front of me have absolutely run their socks off today and they worked unbelievably. This was the most satisfying win I’ve had since being at the club, I feel.”

The ex-Crawley Town stopper believes the contest had a feeling of déjà vu about it, and also spoke about how he had to remain patient in the time that Brian Jensen was Adam Murray’s preferred choice between the sticks.

“It’s just nice to win the game - it shows the character we’ve got in the team. We’ve done it last Tuesday night to the same team, we came back very late on. In this game we’ve done exactly the same, we’ve relaxed ourselves, got ourselves composed and got back in the game with two really good goals.

“I’ve worked tirelessly, when the big man (Brian Jensen) was in the net, waiting for my chance and as it goes with goalkeepers you don’t get many chances so you’ve got to take it when you get it, so that’s my mindset.”

Looking ahead to Stags’ next two matches away from home, Shearer reckons that the side should relish the opportunity to show other teams what they’re capable of.

“We’ll just take the next game as it comes, we’ll prepare for Oxford as of tomorrow. We’ve got to go into the game realising we’re in a really good run at the moment, we should be fearless and go and enjoy the football.

“Winning becomes a habit. The feeling within the group increases and increases and everyone has a real belief with what we’re trying to achieve.”

You can watch Shearer’s post-match interview on Stags Player.


Blair backs team-mates' determination
mansfieldtown.net, 6th February 2016

Goalscorer Matty Blair praised the character of his team-mates after they collected a third straight win against Morecambe at One Call Stadium this afternoon.

The winger scored his first ever goal for the club to draw Adam Murray’s side level in the game, before Krystian Pearce netted a fine header to give Mansfield the advantage.

And the hosts held out in admirable style, showing their solidity to get the vital win and the former York City man lauded the ability of the team to battle for the victory.

“[The] character from the lads, superb; effort, superb - our quality at times could’ve been better but it was a game today for the conditions. We’ve dug in and we deserved the three points.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/blair-backs-team-mates-determination-2942530.aspx#JFClz68vwkH0mki0.99

“You can’t prepare [for the conditions], you just turn up and deal with it on the day - we had it for 45 minutes, they had it for 45 minutes. In the first half I thought we were a little bit sloppy with the wind when we should’ve been using it to our advantage more.

“That’s three games on the bounce, three wins, three difficult games that have been League Two-style games and we’ve dug deep and had to pull out a performance. The character is starting to shine, let’s keep going.”

Speaking post-match, Blair was eager to make sure everyone knew who Mansfield’s first goal was scored by with much discussion over whether the deflection took it away from the Stags' man.

“It came out to the edge of the box, the strike was unbelievable! It’s bobbled, come off one of the lads’ head, and flicked it on. It was on target so I’m claiming it!

“If I’d connected with it properly like Chris Clements did it would’ve flew. It doesn’t matter, it went in.”

The 28-year-old also feels the three points is partly down to the ground staff, who worked hard to ensure the match was not only playable, but that a decent quality of football could be gained from it too.

“The wind really picked up second half, the rain had stopped. Credit again to Mez, (Michael Merriman) the groundsman who had done a fantastic job with the pitch. It was in perfect nick near enough with the amount of rain we had. It was hard to play in.”

Finally, Blair reflected briefly on his time so far as a Mansfield player and his relief at finally getting on the scoresheet, whilst he looked ahead to the upcoming two fixtures, both away from home.

“It wasn’t a great start for me, getting injured. To grab it today is something special. I’ve just got to keep going, keep working as hard as I can and hopefully the gaffer keeps picking me.

“I think we’ve been the better team this season away from home than at home. We’ve got great characters in the squad, we’ve got great men and I think we can go there and cause problems on both teams.”

You can view Blair’s post-match interview, in full, on Stags Player.


Matty Blair delighted to get off the mark for Mansfield Town in Morecambe win
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Matty Blair was delighted to claim his first goal for Mansfield Town in yesterday’s hard-earned 2-1 win over Morecambe, despite it taking a big deflection off the head of Ryan Edwards.

“It was on target so I am claiming it,” he smiled. “It was my first one. I had my chance last week and that should have been my first.”

Blair missed of last season injured after joining Stags in January 2015 and said: “It wasn’t honestly a great start for me here getting injured. To grab it today was a special moment which I will remember forever. It really meant a lot. I really enjoyed that one.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/matty-blair-delighted-to-get-off-the-mark-for-mansfield-town-in-morecambe-win-1-7720156#ixzz3zTNdSha5

“I will keep working as hard as I can and hopefully the gaffer will keep picking me.”

Yesterday, Stags had to come from a goal behind in the first minute to lead through Blair and Krystian Pearce, but it took two penalty saves from keeper Scott Shearer to deny Morecambe a comeback.

On the penalties, Blair said: “The first one - not for me, he went down too soft.

“The second one I thought was a penalty. Jack has gone in with his arms up. But Scott Shearer got to step up twice and be the hero for the day.

“I think the character of the squad is just starting to shine through now, that’s three difficult games on the bounce and three wins.

“We’ve really had to dig deep and pull out a performance.

“The wind made it really difficult and it was hard to play in.”

Mansfield now face tough games away at Oxford on Tuesday and Plymouth on Saturday, but Blair said: “I think we have been a better team away from home this season than at home.

“We have got great characters in the squad and great men, so I think we can go there and cause problems for both teams.”


Jim Bentley: Morecambe manager rues penalty misses and defensive errors after Mansfield defeat
Morecambe Guardian, by Adam Lord, Saturday 06 February 2016

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley lamented his side’s penalty woes as they went down 2-1 at Mansfield on Saturday.

Both Shaun Miller and Paul Mullin missed from the spot as The Shrimps’ search for a League 2 win went on, their run without a victory now at five games.

Bentley however insisted that the defeat to Northampton aside, the run didn’t reflect how recent games have panned out.

The Shrimps boss said: “It sums up our season.

Read more: http://www.lancasterguardian.co.uk/sport/football/morecambe-fc/jim-bentley-morecambe-manager-rues-penalty-misses-and-defensive-errors-after-mansfield-defeat-1-7719953#ixzz3zQtyPEs8

“I know it’s a results business and we’re in a bit of a sticky spell but I think the Northampton game is probably the only one we deserved to lose.

“We've had plenty of penalties this year and to be fair we've done alright with Mullin and Miller who've usually dispatched them but if you can't put them from away from 12 yards you’re struggling.

“That's the type of thing we're up against.

“Sometimes you don't always get what you deserve and that's been us.”

Bentley was perhaps even more frustrated by his side’s inability to defend corners as having gone 1-0 up inside a minute through Kevin Ellison, Krystian Pearce’s header turned the game on its head after Matty Blair had earlier levelled things up with a deflected strike.

The Shrimps boss said: “Over the season we can see what our Achilles heel has been.

“We've created enough chances but we're just too easy to score against us.

“The first goal's got a bit of luck about it and that can happen but the second goal that's down to us.

“We can talk about it all day long but once those players go over that white line it's up to them.

“It's great delivery but we've got to be a little bit stronger in the middle.”

Bentley has also rued his side’s luck in recent weeks with regards to refereeing decisions and again thought a possible second for Ellison was incorrectly ruled out in the first half.

He said: “We had an offside goal which I’m being told was onside which again sums up our season because it’s Ellison again who has probably had six or seven goals ruled out for offside.”


Matty Blair @MattyBlair17
Great result in woeful conditions. Buzzing for it. Go again Tuesday!!! #shearerisourhero

Club performance the team staff analysis team groundsman fans and everyone else!great to see the one call get behind us @mansfieldtownfc



Latest | February 2016