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Archived News from February 2016

21st February 2016 21:27

Adam Murray midweek press conference, in full (18 minutes) on StagsPlayer, Monday 15 Feb:


We'll fight til the end - Murray
mansfieldtown.net, 15th February 2016

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray has stressed that his side will ‘fight until the end’ as they enter the final third of the Sky Bet League Two season.

The Stags are seventh in the division despite the weekend’s 3-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle, which was their first loss in five matches.

Speaking in this morning’s news conference, Murray was keen to move on from Saturday’s encounter and start thinking about the next few weeks.

“We’ve got some big games coming up and we’ve got to focus straight away on them. I enjoyed the game [against Plymouth] because it was a good leveller of where we’re at and what we need to do. We’re not quite there yet but we’re still a very good team.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/well-keep-fighting-murray-2956751.aspx#RLHOz71OU1IhyUBE.99

“I’m trying not to look at the table because it’s that close; it’s pointless at the minute. All the teams around us have got to play each other.”

With many of Stags’ rivals having games in hand, he added: “I’m glad we’ve got the points on the board and we’re not having to catch games up. I think that’ll work as a bonus. It’s going to go to the wire but what a great position to be in. We’re going to fight until the end.”

Furthermore, the gaffer firmly believes that the Stags must not become disheartened about their defeat to the Pilgrims, with plenty of points to play for in their mission to finish as high as possible this season.

“There were some real tired bodies at the end. We had people coming over to the bench asking for energy gels. They were running on empty but it’ll do them the world of good getting games under their belts going into the last little bit [of the season] now.

“The thing I’ve learned over the past 18 months is that you’ve got to keep a realism during wins and losses. We’re joint fifth on points, we’re having a great season. If we get too low when you lose to Plymouth, it affects the rest of your season.”

Looking ahead to the fixture against lowly Dagenham & Redbridge at One Call Stadium on Saturday, Murray has urged his players to remain in the ascendency when they get on top of their opponents.

“These games are always tricky ones. We’ve got to focus on us. What we’ve done over the last few weeks is that we’ve been very organised and disciplined; very focused and very professional.

“Our possession count has dropped over the past few weeks but we’ve won more games so the thing for us at the minute is getting the right balance. We know we can cause teams problems but we need to make sure that we stay in control of games.”

As Mansfield head into the final 14 games of the campaign, Murray believes his players must chase maximum points in all of their remaining fixtures and not fear failure.

“We’re coming into the part of the season where points are everything and records and trends go out of the window. Every game is an individual game now.

“It’s about winning or losing now, it’s not about drawing games. The pleasing thing at Plymouth was that we had a go. You’re better off winning one and losing one, and going on that trend; that’ll get you higher in the table.”

Adam Murray’s full news conference is now available to watch on Stags Player.


Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray puts in official complaint to FA
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Monday 15 February 2016

Adam Murray has put in an official complaint to the FA over his spat with referee Mark Heywood which led to the Mansfield Town boss being given a touchline ban in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Plymouth Argyle.

Murray was sent to the stand near the end of the home win over Morecambe the weekend before but took charge of the midweek draw at Oxford United before being hit with the ban on Thursday.

Murray is furious over the description of events from the West Yorkshire whistler and, while deciding an appeal would be pointless, he does want to take it further and see some sort of justice.

He said: “It did come as a bit of a shock as I expected it to be Monday. They had to get their heads together. But nothing surprises you.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/news/mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-puts-in-official-complaint-to-fa-1-7732948#ixzz40G4FLE7d

“I was furious with it to be honest because what I got sent for happened after I was sent off. Without saying too much I have put a complaint in.

“I didn’t appeal it as I know how these things work. But I have put a complaint in - not over the referee’s performance as we all have bad days at the office. We had a bad day on Saturday - it happens. That’s football whatever department you’re in.

“So I am not going to ref-bash. But some of the things that happened - if they happened the other way round, then I am sitting in the stand.

“So I need to make the point that, if I get punished, then some of the things that went on during the game, at half-time and after the game, people can’t get away with that.

“They expect things from us, but we expect things from them. So we will see where that goes because it’s a two-way thing.

“They do massive things on Respect campaigns and it is a two-way thing.”

Murray continued: “It is what it is. We had a referee on Saturday who was very, very good. His communication was excellent. He was on your level and wanted to talk to you.

“There was a mutual respect and his attitude was open. There wasn’t an arrogance there. He was very good.

There are some very good refs out there and I am, not a ref-basher.”

Murray’s frustration was compounded after all the effort he has made this season to stay onside with officials as a rookie manager.

“I am in constant communication with head of referees David Allison and have been as all season as it’s part of the game that I want to get better as a manager,” he said.

“I looked at that over the summer. Because I was a feisty character as a player, I wasn’t very good with refs.

“I always used to react in probably the wrong manner. So as a manager I am trying to do the other thing and working very closely with David. I speak to him about the reports every week about how I can get better and my team can get better.

“But when you come across certain things, it’s just not acceptable. But I’ve been punished for it, so we’ll see what happens.”

For Murray is was a first time banished the the stands and he admitted: “I hated every second of it. It was tough.

“I am guessing as a manager as you get a bit older it might be different. But at the minute I’ve got too much energy to be sitting in the directors’ box.

“I felt a little bit out of control, even though I trust Micky and Coops (Micky Moore and Richard Cooper) down there. But when the whistle goes you’ve got to rely on your players.

“I was in contact with them at times but it’s tricky as they are focusing on the game and don’t need me in their ear. It takes the focus away from the job.

“I was expecting I’d get a different view on it and maybe see some different pictures, but there was nothing I don’t see when I am on the touchline really.

“I didn’t like it so I am not going to have to speak to officials again as I can’t do that.”


Fatigue catches up with Mansfield Town in Plymouth Argyle defeat
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Adam Murray said a lack of games for many players in his new-look Mansfield Town side caught up with them on Saturday in a tired 3-0 defeat at second-placed Plymouth Argyle.

Murray has brought a lot of players into the side recently after long spells out of action and saw many of them hit a brick wall at Home Park.

“It was a game too far for us on Saturday,” he admitted. “We looked very sluggish and, to be fair to them, they picked us off at times.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/fatigue-catches-up-with-mansfield-town-in-plymouth-argyle-defeat-1-7733430#ixzz40Jt69wiY

“Over the bigger plan, this week was always going to be tough for us - Oxford away and Plymouth away with everything that comes with it.

“I think what caught us out more than anything was a decision we had to make before the game whether to stick with the same personnel.

“I think I counted we have seven in the team at the minute that weren’t playing at the start of the season, and they’ve played four, five, six games on the bounce now.

“People like Mal Benning and James Baxendale have not played for 18 months really, Jamie McGuire’s been out of it, Chris Beardsley’s been out of it, Scott Shearer’s been out of it, Lee Collins has been out of it, Matty Blair’s been out of it - it’s basically like a new team.

“It caught up with us on Saturday and we looked very jaded. Plymouth were fresh, they hadn’t played for two weeks.

“I know this sounds like excuses and I am not making excuses. They were better than us and that’s the bottom line.

“But we had people coming over to the bench asking for energy gels, they were running on empty.

“I get that and it will have done them the world of good to get games under their belts after not playing much football all season.”

He added: “I’d imagine they will come back in with some stiffness and some knocks and bangs. But we’ve got a free week which will give us time to freshen up and do a bit of work on the training ground ready for a big game on Saturday.

“We’ve moved on quickly from Plymouth. We’ve got some really big games coming up and we need to focus straight away on them.”

Stags are only lost back-to-back League games once all season and Murray said: “We’ve bounced back straight away every time we’ve taken one on the chin this season.

“I don’t think Saturday was as much a learning curve for the team - I just said to the boys afterwards, as individuals, to go away and look where you can get better as an individual.

“I enjoyed the game as it was a good leveller of where we are at and what we need to do. We are not quite there yet. We are not top three yet. But we are still a very good team.

“It was always going to be a big test for us and it proved that way. Plymouth were clinical, very ruthless and took their chances when they got them.

“I knew they were good, but they were better than I thought. They are not as good a footballing team as Oxford, but they are very efficient and ruthless. They are like a machine when they get going and it’s the X-Factor that told the difference.

“Sometimes you have to hold your hands up and I believe they will get promoted.”

He continued: “We had a few half-chances we didn’t take and, ultimately, if you don’t take your chances against the better teams, you get punished - and that’s what happened.

“I wouldn’t look back at Saturday and say it was a bad performance. I was really proud of the boys as they gave everything they had. They couldn’t have given any more. There were a few of them dead on their feet on Saturday.

“It wasn’t an awful performance. They were just better than us on the day. They have been in the top three all season for a reason - and that showed on Saturday.

“Reading a few bits and bobs after it, they said that was their best home performance of the season - and they chose us to do it against us.”


Play-off race will go down to the wire - Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray feels the race for the League Two play-offs will go all the way to the wire.

With just 14 games to go, Stags are in the seventh and final place as they enter a run of three games against bottom five sides

“To be fair I am trying to not look at the table,” he said. “It’s that close, it’s pointless.

Read more: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/local-sport/play-off-race-will-go-down-to-the-wire-mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-1-7734486#ixzz40NJdy5Ss

“It is ridiculous. We are joint on points with fifth. There are four or five teams below us that who are chasing us.

“I think this will go to the wire, I really do. I think it will be like that to the end. All the teams around us have got to play each other.

“People keep saying these have got games in hand and these have got games in hand. But they will have to play Saturday/Tuesday, Saturday/Tuesday with small squads as well some of them.

“So I am glad we’ve got the points on the board and we’re not having to catch games up. I think that will work as a bonus. What a great position to be in. We will fight to the end.”

Stags beat Morecambe 2-1 and pulled off a superb 2-2 at Oxford in midweek before being brought down to earth with a 3-0 defeat at second-placed Plymouth on Saturday. But Murray said: “Overall it’s been a good week for us Saturday/Tuesday/Saturday.

“We’ve learned a lot and picked up some good points. We will move on swiftly as, just as we didn’t get carried away by the recent good run, we’re not going to get too low with losing one game.

“We need to get better in certain areas if we want to be a top three side. We will push for that. The big thing for me is over the next few years I want to make us a continuously competitive team.

“So every season we are doing what we are doing now - we don’t have run of the mill seasons, we don’t have seasons where we are fighting at the other end, so it’s important we learn from games like Saturday.”

He added: “You have to keep a realism on wins and losses. We lost to Plymouth away - it’s not the end of the world. It’s about learning.

“It’s not about beating ourselves up and saying we’re not as good as Plymouth. That is a fact. What we are is a very good team.

“We thank the travelling fans for the travelling they did this week. We know how hard it is for us, so it must be even harder for them getting up early in the morning and having to get down there.”


Dagenham & Redbridge are potential banana skin for Mansfield Town play-off ambitions
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

With Saturday’s visitors Dagenham & Redbridge rock bottom of the Football League, Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray knows what a potential banana skin the game could be for his play-off hopefuls.

As his Stags side try to hold onto their top seven place, he admitted: “These games are always tricky ones - horrendous.

“We have to focus on us and what we’ve done the last few weeks. We’ve been very organised and very disciplined - very focused and very professional.

Read more: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/local-sport/dagenham-redbridge-are-potential-banana-skin-for-mansfield-town-play-off-ambitions-1-7734455#ixzz40NJmrxuC

“Our possession count has dropped over the last few weeks but we’ve won more games. So the thing for us at the minute is getting the right balance.

“We know we can cause teams problems but we must make sure we stay in control of games.

“Saturday will be a tough one as they are obviously scrapping for their lives. “We’ve been there and we know what it’s like. You go into every game as life and death, so we need to make sure we are ready for what’s coming.

“We are going into some massive games - there are 14 to go and we’ve got to stay up there.

“Now we are there, even though we know we are over-achieving and we’re not expected to be up there, let’s stay there. The foot’s not coming off the gas now.”

Murray added: “It’s a weird one. People like telling me we can’t beat the teams in and around us - thanks for that!

“Our next step for us to be better is to beat those sides in and around us. If that comes this season or next, that gets you in the top four or five consistently through the season.

“The next step then is beating the top one or two consistently and that gets you in the top three. We are where we are in our journey - we can’t quicken the process up.”

Stags will certainly tackle the last 14 games in a positive frame of mind, with Murray saying: “We are at the stage of the season now where points mean everything.

“So records and trends go out of the window. Every games comes on its own merit and is an individual game now.

“We take it game by game and try to win every single one of them.

“Within this next 14 games there will be twists and turns.

“The big thing over this 14 games - and we’ve said it for the last three - is that it’s win or lose. Draws are nothing now.

“The pleasing thing for me against Plymouth was that we had a go. Sometimes we left ourselves too open.

“We could have gone there 4-5-1, defended and try to nick something. But we tried to win the game. We need points. You’re better off winning one and losing one now.”


Praise for patient Mansfield Town loanee Dan Alfei
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Swansea City loanee Dan Alfei received praise from Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray this week, despite the defender’s lack of game time.

Alfei has been substitute for his first three games, coming on twice, and in Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Plymouth played the whole of the second half.

But Murray said it had been hard to give more action to Alfei or fellow loanee, Sean Kavanagah, from Fulham, due to how well the side had been playing.

“I’ve been really pleased with Dan. I think the games in which he’s come on he’s done really well,” said Murray.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/praise-for-patient-mansfield-town-loanee-dan-alfei-1-7734534#ixzz40PodEyou

“He has done what I expected really. We’ve played him more of a wing back when he’s come on.

“He came on Saturday at half-time and we’ve tweaked the system like we did at Oxford. He has shown he has got great quality with some of his balls into the box.

“He is at Swansea and you don’t play rugby at Swansea do you? You like the ball and he’s given us that little bit of quality.”

Murray continued: “There are certain people itching to get into the team, but the boys have been flying so it’s tough to change it.

“We’ve got Kav, who’s come in - another excellent footballer. But at the minute when the team is doing so well, it’s tough to take people out just because you are good footballers.”


chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Dagenham & Redbridge manager John Still knows his hands are tied as to what money he can spend to keep his struggling side in the Football League.

As he prepared to bring his bottom-placed club to One Call Stadium on Saturday, Still admitted: “Finances are tight and we’re not that kind of club.

“We had to replace the centre backs who left, which we did and I’m pleased with them.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/-1-7738393#ixzz40XoadN50

“We let Kyle Vassell go and brought Oliver Hawkins in, who I’m delighted with. We brought Luke Guttridge in to give us some experience and knowledge, so him being injured is a huge blow.

“We’ll look at the market and there may be one or two things we can do. I’ll have a good look at that.”

The Daggers have four away wins to their name, so will be no mugs on Saturday, but amazingly they have still not won at home, crashing 2-0 to Barnet last weekend.

“At the moment, we’re down mentally,” said Still.”Even if we had a great run and lost against Barnet, they’d be down and that’s natural.

“That feeling of being down can only be overcome by people who are willing to be warriors. “Obviously it’s been a difficult season for them all, but there’s no magic wand. It’s down to hard work and it’s down to being focused and organised.

“Barnet was the first game I came away from feeling disappointed.

“I know these players work terrific, but I think it’s that mental focus that’s needed as much as that physical work. I think it’s a mental thing that they have to overcome.”

On the threats posed by the Stags, he said: “We work all week on everything.

“But the problem you get is that sometimes all it takes is a little bit of discipline in a fraction of a second, one step too far or slow, that can be the difference between winning and losing.

“We have to try and put all those little things into our advantage, not our disadvantage.

“Since I’ve been back here, I think Barnet was the worst performance that we’ve put in.

“I thought we were very good in the week against Wycombe and very good at home to Northampton, but I thought we had no consistent tempo about our game against Barnet.

“I thought the first goal we gave away was really poor defending.

“I felt were up against it, sometimes you can be behind and be the dominant team, but we never looked like being dominant.

“Our attacking play was patchy, if we got the ball to Oliver and got in around him, we looked like we might create something.

“I was a bit disappointed, not with the effort, but we just needed that extra touch of quality at times. We needed the right cross or the right ball, but we never found it against Barnet.”

“It’s really difficult because when things go against you, how do you get confidence?

“It’s by continually doing the right things, it doesn’t guarantee you anything, but your game becomes better for it.

“A lot of the work since I’ve been here has been repetition work to get people confident with themselves.”

Still’s plans for a way of surviving have been rocked by an injury to Luke Guttridge on his debut.

“We almost hit on a way of playing and brought Luke Guttridge which would enable us to get the ball in the final third because he has a great eye for a goal and a pass,” he said.

“Unfortunately he’s injured and that’s been a massive hit for us because I worked hard to bring him in.

“I don’t know how long he’s going to be out, so that’s a massive blow.

“For us, we have these very experienced players and it’s a big influence we’ve lost.

“ I can’t fault how hard people work, but it’s working with your head as well as your body.

“That’s the challenge now and one we’ve got to live up to.

“We can mope and be disappointed, or we can get back into it and work as hard as we can.

“I think it’s a mental thing we’re working with, but that’s part and parcel of the job.”

“It’s not difficult to say to ourselves that if things aren’t going well, what are we going to do about it?

“That’s the time when people have to step up to the plate and I’ve told the players that we’re at that stage. The players have to step up, they have individual jobs to do and that’s the key, to be confident in what you have to do.

“People start using things (like home form) as an excuse, but I’m not one for an excuse. I don’t believe in luck, I think it’s about hard work.

“It can become an excuse and the fact they haven’t been successful at home could be that excuse. There’s only one way to do it and that’s doing the job you’re given efficiently.

“We’re not doing it consistently at the minute, we’ve been doing it okay. The games since I’ve been back, I’ve taken lots of plusses from all those games, but I’m struggling against Barnet.”

“When we work in training, they work so hard and diligently. They’re so focussed and everything we ask, they’re doing it.

“They have to come on matchday and produce the same levels. That’s not always the same levels of ability, it’s the same levels of concentration, discipline and commitment.

“It’s all of the different levels and I think at the moment, I don’t know if they fear playing at home, but it’s their job!”



Latest | February 2016