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Archived News from February 2016

12th February 2016 21:07

Murray praises Stags' desire
mansfieldtown.net, 9th February 2016

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray hailed his side’s ‘ridiculous spirit’ to secure a late point at promotion-chasing Oxford United this evening.

Striker Matt Green marked his return from suspension with a goal to put the Stags ahead in the first half before a Danny Hylton brace sent the Stags heading for defeat for the first time in four games.

However, substitute Jack Thomas popped up with a late header to ensure the Stags made the trip back to One Call Stadium with a point.

With Stags yet again showing their never-say-die attitude to grab the late point, Murray says it shows the belief among his players in the dressing room.

“The boys showed the ridiculous spirit we’ve got in the camp to come back and nick a point.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-post-oxford-2947281.aspx#QRbS3ZaQYSDdjh5R.99

“These are the best team in the league for me, and to be disappointed that we haven’t come away with more than a point, it speaks volumes.”

The gaffer says both sides had chances to win the match and he believes that a draw was a fair result, on the balance of play.

“We did have chances to get more out of the game but they had chances too in the second half so it levelled itself out so I think.

“We’re very good defensively and to concede goals like that, it hurts a little bit. Both teams had chances; they hit the post, we’ve had a couple of scrambles and a point is a good result here.

“At times, it was a case of we had to be more ugly than we like to be. But we knew they had certain weaknesses and if we could exploit them then we would get chances and we did.

“They’re very good at what they do. They play a great style, they’ve got some great players and a very good manager so we knew it was going to be our toughest challenge.”

Murray continued: “But I thought [in the] first half, we deserved a little bit more than what we got, but our gameplan and some of our performances were superb.”

With striker Matt Green scoring his tenth goal of the season at the Kassam Stadium, Murray says the striker will be looking forward to scoring his next goal and also lauded the impact of his substitutes.

“It’s great for him (Green) to come back here and score and I thought his performance again was top drawer.

“I thought Chris (Beardsley), when he came on, changed the game. Dan (Alfei); great debut, [he was] superb when he came on and Jack Thomas, again, made the impact.

“I think our subs, through the season, have come on and played a massive part in our performances so I’m chuffed to bits with that.”

Tonight’s point saw the Stags draw level with their entire points total for the Sky Bet League Two 2014/15 season but the boss admits it isn’t something that interests him.

“Equalling the points tally doesn’t really mean anything to me because the team last year wasn’t my team, so I can’t really compare it to that.

“In my head, this is my first season as a manager. Last season, I was just trying to save a ship. This season, this is my team and to be where we are, in the group’s first season, never mind my first season, we’re chuffed to bits with where we are.”


Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray enjoying ‘over-achieving’ after fine draw at Oxford United
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Adam Murray said he was enjoying ‘over-achieving’ as his Mansfield Town side earned a superb 2-2 draw at promotion rivals Oxford United tonight to make it four games unbeaten and move to fourth place in League Two.

Oxford roared back to lead after Matt Green had put Stags ahead at his old club, but sub Jack Thomas popped up with an 89th minute leveller and manager Murray said: “To come here to a club like this in the mix with the big boys that we are at the minute, it feels really good. I am enjoying this over-achieving business.

Read more: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/local-sport/mansfield-town-manager-adam-murray-enjoying-over-achieving-after-fine-draw-at-oxford-united-1-7724672#ixzz3zl456mJW

“We’ve still got a lot of football to play. But, before a ball was kicked, if people had said we’d be four points behind Oxford at this time of the season we’d have bitten their arms, legs and head off. We are happy with that.

“To come here and be disappointed we’ve not got more than a point speaks volumes.

“We want to stay in here and we want to get promoted. But we are also realistic. “We are flying high right now and people don’t expect us to be here and think we should be at the other end of the table. We’re enjoying proving everyone wrong at the minute and we’ll keep working hard.

“As long as we keep on showing that fight and that spirit, you never know.”

Few gave Stags a prayer at the Kassam Stadium tonight, and Murray had much praise for his old club.

“It’s obviously a great point for us,” he said. “I said before the game that Oxford are the best team in the league for me. They are very good at what they do. They play an excellent style, they’ve got some great players and a very good manager. So we knew it was going to be our toughest challenge.

“At times we looked a little jaded from Saturday, while they were fresher which made it a little more difficult.

“First half I thought we deserved a little bit more than we got. I thought our game plan and some of the performances were superb, then at times they showed their quality, which they were always going to do.

“We felt a little bit disappointed with the goals we conceded because, as good as Oxford’s play was, they were two sloppy goals to concede from our point of view - not like us at all.

“But, again the boys showed the ridiculous spirit we’ve got in the camp to come back and nick a point.

“We made some good chances and the one save their keeper pulled off was top drawer. He’s nearly as good as our keeper, so you expect that from him.

“We did have chances to get more out the game, but they had chances as well so it levelled itself out, and at times we had to be more ‘ugly’ than we’d probably like to be.

“A point was a fair result. On the balance of play I think we edged the first part of the game but second half of the game I think they had longer periods of better spells.”

On Green scoring, he said: “It’s great for him to come back here and score and I thought his performance again was top drawer,” and on the success of his substitutions again, he added: “Chris (Beardsley) when he came on changed the game and Dan (Alfei) made a great debut. Jack Thomas, when he came on, made the impact.

“The subs through the season have come on and played a massive part in our season which I am chuffed to bits with.”


Jack Thomas interview with Charlie Slater on Radio Nottingham after the draw at Oxford:

"I feel like the last couple of weeks I've been getting back to my best. And I've waited a long time for that goal.
I didn't think it was going to go in, but thankfully it did.
(On his celebration running over to the Oxford fans near the dugout:) All game there were a few fans giving Chappie a bit of gip; he's a team mate of mine and I wanted to shut them up.
It's a bit different to last year here, when I got dragged off at half time.
I want to kick on now. I know I haven't been good enough this season, but I want to show people what I can do now.
I've found it hard this season (not living up to last season) but Adam Murray's been brilliant with me, he's always kept faith in me and hopefully I can repay him now.
I just haven't been good enough and I need to show people I am good enough.
I need to keep working hard and hopefully I'll get back to my best, which I think I am doing.
I'm 19. People can't keep looking at me thinking about last year. This is a new year now.
Adam Murray keeps telling me I'm good enough and when I'm on my game I will play. Hopefully I can now."

(transcribed by Martin)


Danny Hylton told BBC Radio Oxford that his injury time effort would not have counted because the referee said there was a foul.

Danny Hylton told Oxford United Player website:
"We're very disappointed to drop two points in injury time against a good Mansfield team."


VERDICT: United 2 Mansfield 2

"We needed to be ruthless" says United boss

Oxford United were left frustrated by a last minute equaliser last night as they drew 2-2 with Mansfield Town at the Kassam Stadium. Having come from behind thanks to two goals from Danny Hylton, the U’s had to settle for a point after Jack Thomas nodded the Stags level in the 90th minute

“We had fantastic opportunities in the second half and could have been more clinical” Head Coach Michael Appleton told Yellow Player HD after the game. “It’s frustrating to throw two points away the way we did but I am sure there will be occasions over the next few months where it swings the other way.

Read more at http://www.oufc.co.uk/news/article/oxford-united-mansfield-reaction-2947874.aspx#tPyV1JxcipiMMc5I.99

“We spoke before the game about being ruthless in both boxes; that is what makes the difference in football whatever level you are playing. You have to be that if you want to be successful and we weren’t quite as ruthless as we should have been tonight.”

United now set off on a run of games which will see then playing Saturday/Tuesday for the next month.

“I think the players and staff are very good at that” Michael said. “Sometimes it takes a couple of hours to get it out of your system but you have to move on quickly.

“ Games are coming thick and fast and we have to just keep picking up points, and now we look to do that at Morecambe on Saturday.”


Michael Appleton backs Sam Slocombe to bounce back after Oxford United keeper has a night to forget
Oxford Mail, by Jack Johnson

MICHAEL Appleton has called on goalkeeper Sam Slocombe to bounce back after his two errors cost Oxford United victory over Mansfield Town.

Slocombe failed to connect with a punch, allowing Matt Green to nod the Stags ahead in the first half of last night’s Sky Bet League Two clash.

And, after Danny Hylton’s brace put United in control, he fumbled the ball to allow Jack Thomas to head an 89th minute equaliser for a 2-2 draw.

Head coach Appleton said Slocombe apologised to his teammates and believes his goalkeeper will respond.

He said: “It happens - I am sure he will take it on the chin.


“The only problem with a keeper making an error is that normally it does cost you a goal.

“If a midfielder or a full back makes a mistake sometimes they can get out of it, but unfortunately for us it has cost us two points.”

Slocombe spent a period on the bench earlier on in the season, but Appleton would not be drawn on whether Benji Buchel would start at Morecambe on Saturday.

“I’m not going to make those sort of decisions five minutes after the game,” he said.

“We have got two good goalkeepers who have been competitive with each other all season and have proved that when they have played the majority of the time.”

Striker Hylton broke a barren run of ten games without a goal and says United need to forget about what turned out to be a frustrating draw and concentrate on Saturday.

He added: “Sloc’s will know he could have done a little bit better, but people make mistakes.

“It’s a huge two points dropped, we are very disappointed, but there is nothing we can do about it now.”

Teenager Jonjoe Kenny was awarded man-of-the-match, but insisted it did nothing to shadow the disappointment of the result.

He said: “It’s just the worst feeling when you concede a late goal - it is gutting.”


Oxford United: Manager says 'it happens' after goalkeeper error

Oxford United boss Michael Appleton has shrugged off the error from goalkeeper Sam Slocombe which led to Mansfield's late equaliser on Tuesday.

Slocombe failed to punch the ball clear before Stags' midfielder Jack Thomas bundled home to make it 2-2.

Danny Hylton's two goals either side of half-time had seen the Us recover from a goal down in the League Two match.

"The only problem with keepers making mistakes is normally it can cost you goals," Appleton told BBC Radio Oxford.

"It happens and it will happen for the opposition when we play teams this season, no doubt about it.

"A midfielder or a full-back makes a mistake and sometimes they can get away with it. Unfortunately for us tonight, it cost us two points but we move on."

Appleton refused to say if Slocombe's place would be in doubt for the trip to Morecambe on Saturday after the 27-year-old was also at fault for Mansfield's first goal.

"I'm not going to make those sorts of decisions five minutes after full-time," he said.

"I think we've got two keepers (Slocombe and Benji Buchel) who have been competitive with each other all season."


Good point tonite against very good Oxford side lads dug deep till the end Great team spirit from the boys! @mansfieldtownfc

scott shearer @scottshearerGK
Buzzing with that tonight



Latest | February 2016