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Archived News from February 2016

25th February 2016 10:26

Murray inspires Stags to Daggers victory
mansfieldtown.net, 20th February 2016

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray’s half-time team talk acted as the catalyst in today’s 3-2 win over Dagenham & Redbridge.

The Stags came from behind in a thrilling comeback when second half goals from Matty Blair, Adi Yussuf and Matt Green cancelled out a first half strike from Oliver Hawkins and a late consolation from substitute Jamie Cureton.

Speaking post-match, both Matt Green and Matty Blair praised the manager’s half-time team talk and Murray told mansfieldtown.net his thinking behind the change of formation at the interval.

“We wanted to try and get a bit of width into the game and still keep the two centre-forwards and the midfield overload.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-inspires-stags-to-daggers-victory-2964967.aspx#yPJCHzkVqIrLfEqv.99

“We knew they would come with the same shape, but the two shapes cancelled each other out [in the] first half.

“We were both playing the same thing and it obviously didn’t go to plan so we had to do something at half-time and it wasn’t personnel, it was a change to the shape to give us a bit more width. We could get ‘2v1s’ against them and it proved to work,” Murray said.

The gaffer said his side were ‘more energetic’ in the second half and with the Stags sitting in fifth position in Sky Bet League 2, he wants his players to ‘enjoy it’.

“I want these players to enjoy this - I think we’ve gone to fifth now - enjoy it! I’ve just said to them in there: ‘I sat [in] pre-season over the summer and thought people are writing me off as a manager and we’re odds-on to go down and that gave me a fire. I wouldn’t let that happen.’

“Now I’m saying to them, let’s go and prove every Tom, Dick and Harry wrong. People said we weren’t good enough, people said I wasn’t good enough, people [wrote] you off at the start of the season - we’re in the mix for a reason because we’re a very good team - don’t throw it away now.

“We’ve got a great team spirit and what we need to do now for the remainder of the season is to show that for ninety minutes because we’re right in the mix now.

“And as much as I say we’re over-achieving, as much as the chairman says we’re over-achieving, we’re in the mix now so I’m giving it up easy. So if you want to take this off us, we’ve got to make sure we’re ready for every fight that comes along.”

After seeing defender Krystian Pearce given his marching orders for bringing down Jamie Cureton to give the Daggers a second half penalty, which the veteran forward duly missed, the gaffer admits that he’ll have to watch the incident back before deciding whether or not to appeal the red card.

“It’s not a penalty, it’s a free-kick. I’ve had a look at it - it’s close, it’s a tough call in the heat of the moment to make, but it’s probably just on the edge of the box, a free-kick.

“Krystian’s actually saying: ‘I didn’t actually touch him; he’s just gone down.’ From the angle I’ve seen it, you can’t really see but we shouldn’t be putting ourselves in that position anyway.”

Supporters can view Murray’s post-match interview, in full, on Stags Player.


Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray tells players to enjoy proving people wrong
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Saturday 20 February 2016

Mansfield Town boss watched his side dig deep for a thrilling 3-2 home win over Dagenham & Redbridge today to go fifth and told his players to just enjoy the finish to the season.

With bookies tipping Stags to go down pre-season, Murray is adamant there is no pressure on them as they continue to defy the odds.

But, with just 13 games to go, he also told them not to throw away a golden chance of proving everyone wrong.

“It was a massive win. I’ve just told them - you have got a great opportunity here,” said Murray.

Read more: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/local-sport/mansfield-town-boss-adam-murray-tells-players-to-enjoy-proving-people-wrong-1-7741550#ixzz40nIwmUHw

“We’ve only got 13 games left and you’ve put yourselves in a very good position.

“I want these players to enjoy this. Pre-season and over the summer people were writing me off as a manager and we were odds-on to go down. That gave me a fire.

“Now we are in this position I’ve told them to go out and prove every Tom, Dick and Harry wrong. We are in the mix for a reason and that is because we are a very good team. Let’s not throw it away now.

“Go out and play with freedom, we’ve nothing to lose. These boys have real passion for the shirt and the club - go out and show it. If we don’t win, we don’t win.

“I am happy with three points but disappointed with the first 45 minutes.

“After that we showed our team spirit to fight back. Fair play to the boys for that, but they know our standards are better than the first half.”

Murray continued: “They had a kick up the backside at half-time.

“It’s a weird time of the season now. I’ve watched games recently with the teams around us and people start shaking.

“A different pressure comes into it now and we’ve got to continue to believe how good we can be, and play with an enthusiasm and an energy, which we didn’t first half.

“Second half we came out the blocks and we showed what a good team we are. We should have had it won well before that nervy ending.”

Dagenham are bottom, without a win in six games, but fought to the end against 10-men Stags, who had Krystian Pearce red-carded on 82 minutes to set up what was a thrilling finish.

“These are the worst games - they’re bloody horrible. You have to understand teams are playing for their lives,” said Murray.

“We were there last year and we know how much teams put into it. You have to be ready. If you’re not you get your pants pulled down.

“We had to tweak the shape at half-time as the same shape saw us cancelling each other out.”

On Pearce’s dismissal, when he hauled down Jamie Cureton to concede a spot kick, that Cureton missed, Murray added: “It wasn’t a penalty. It was a free kick.

“It was close. It was a tough call to make in the heat of the moment.

“Krystian is saying he didn’t touch him. He just went down. From our angle we couldn’t really see.

“I will look at it again as we are not blessed with numbers in that department. But when was the last time an appeal was won here?”


Blair delighted with personal performance
mansfieldtown.net, 20th February 2016

Mansfield Town goalscorer Matty Blair believes his display in today's 2-1 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge was his best performance in a Stags' shirt.

The 28-year-old midfielder drew the Stags level with a tremendous half-volley to cancel out Oliver Hawkins’ first half opener, before goals from Adi Yussuf and Matt Green secured the three points for the home side, despite Jamie Cureton’s late tap in.

And Blair, who scored his second goal of the season against the Daggers this afternoon, says the Stags are beginning to express themselves going forward, after building on solid defensive foundations.

“We’ve been better away from home because we are, defensively, a very solid team. Away from home, the home team has to come and attack whereas at home [in] some games, they’ve (the opposition) defended and we’ve found it hard to break [them] down.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/things-coming-together-nicely-for-blair-2964709.aspx#FTd3tdoLwfymEmRX.99

“Now we’re improving on our attacking aspects as well as our defensive aspects and we’re finally getting that balance.

“I felt fit, I felt strong, I felt like ‘the old me’ and getting a goal and an assist today [is] pretty good.”

After a first half in which the Stags struggled to assert their authority on the game, Blair says things which were said at half-time inspired Adam Murray’s side to improve their game in the second period.

“In the first half I thought we were sloppy. We didn’t really have the ‘legs’ as what we did in the second half. [We] got a ‘roasting’ at half-time and a reaction from the lads as well at half-time.”

Blair continued: “We came out in the second half on the front foot all over the pitch and our decision making was a lot better as well, so we took the game to them.

“The biggest thing was we finally got into gear. It took 45 minutes and we were in a new shape to start with - I don’t know if that had any effect or not - but we finally got into gear and we kick-started in the second half.

Defender Krystian Pearce was sent off late in the second half for a foul on Jamie Cureton to hand the Daggers a penalty, but Blair believes that the foul actually took place outside the box.

“It is a foul but it was outside the box to start, so it was unfortunate to get a ‘pen’ and Pearcey (Krystian Pearce) was obviously sent off as well which is unfortunate for us because I thought he played much better [in the] second half.”

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


Mansfield Town’s Matty Blair back to his best at last
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Mansfield Town winger Matty Blair feels he is finally back to his best after his long injury nightmare last season.

Blair has just played five successive games in a Stags shirt for the first team and last weekend scored one, made one and took man of the match.

He said that the 3-2 home win over Dagenham & Redbridge was his best game for the club since he signed.

“Without a doubt. I felt fit, I felt strong and I felt like the old me,” said Blair.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/mansfield-town-s-matty-blair-back-to-his-best-at-last-1-7747257#ixzz41AbeQjXE

“So getting a goal and an assist felt pretty good.”

In the previous home game, Blair had claimed a deflected goal, but against Dagenham, he smashed home a half-volley off a post to double his tally for the club and said: “There was no doubt today. It was an all right strike wasn’t it?”

Blair added: “We are thoroughly thinking about promotion now - that’s what everyone in the changing room wants. We need to win games to do that.

“We have been better away from home as we are defensively a very solid team and the home team has to come and attack.”

Boss Adam Murray is delighted to see Blair finally hit top form.

“It was always going to be time with Blairy as he was out a long time,” he said.

We know he needed to get his rhythm, to get his game time.

“We played him in a slightly different position on Saturday, but his energy and his drive gives you a good threat.

“I thought he was superb on Saturday and will just keep getting stronger and stronger now.”


Green lauds birthday boy Yussuf
mansfieldtown.net, 20th February 2016

Top scorer Matt Green praised the influence of birthday boy Adi Yussuf after his appearance off the bench inspired the ten-man Stags to a 3-2 home win over Dagenham today.

Mansfield were 1-0 down, before Yussuf, 24 today, was introduced in the 51st-minute.

Then, Adam Murray’s side levelled two minutes later through Matty Blair and went on to score another two thanks to Yussuf and Green, although Jamie Cureton hit one back shortly after Krystian Pearce was sent off.

The second half display from the Stags' attacking duo was impressive, but Green was delighted that his Tanzanian partner could get in on the act with his fifth goal of the campaign.

“He (Yussuf) has got all the ability to kick on and achieve a lot at the club and I’m really happy for him on his birthday to get a goal and change the game for us.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/green-lauds-birthday-boy-yussuf-2964961.aspx#4pqVGiDukozaGfOu.99

“The most important thing is for us to win but I didn’t get many chances in the game which is something that I’ll have to work on. When they did [come], I’m glad I took one out of two.”

Despite triumphing this afternoon, ex-Birmingham City man Green, who bagged his 11th goal of the season today, believes improvements can still be made.

“The chairman’s got expectations of all of us, and the fans have more importantly than anyone so it’s a good three points but we need to go back and do a bit of work.

“I think we were quite fatigued against Plymouth but we can’t have any excuses at all. We need to be better. The main thing out of today was just to get the three points and we can crack on to the next game now.”

The Stags have played more league matches than anyone in the top half of the division and Green wants to focus on how Mansfield fare whilst continuing to get himself on the scoresheet.

“No matter what, they’ve got to win their games [the teams in and around the play-offs] and we’ve got to keep winning ours. As long as we keep winning ours then we should have success at the end of the season. As long as I keep knocking them in and we keep winning games, then fantastic.

“I never have a target, if there’s goals there to be scored I like to score them. I’ve been out for over a year so to come back, be scoring goals and be part of a team that looks like it’s going to be successful this season; so far, so good.”

Matt Green's interview can be viewed on Stags Player.


Mansfield Town talisman Matt Green back to his best
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Saturday 20 February 2016

Mansfield Town marksman Matt Green took his season’s tally to 11 with the winner in yesterday’s heart-stopping 3-2 win against Dagenham & Redbridge.

And, after returning to the club in the summer after two injury-ravaged seasons at Birmingham, the talisman striker said he is finally starting to feel fully fit and himself again.

“It was another goal for me and I am over the moon with that, but I am just happy we won it after the way we started,” he smiled.

Read more: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/local-sport/mansfield-town-talisman-matt-green-back-to-his-best-1-7741569#ixzz40nIr67mq

“I am lasting 90 minutes now and coming off feeling good about myself. It’s just good to be back out there on the green stuff with something exciting to play for at the end of the season.

“I’ve come back to the club to achieve things. The chairman and the players all want the same thing - and I am sure we will achieve it.”

Stags trailed 1-0 at the break, fought to go 2-1 up, then had Krystian Pearce red-carded and saw the Daggers miss a spot kick before Green’s goal.

Even after that Jamie Cureton pulled one back and Scott Shearer had to make a crucial late save.

But Green said: “It was three points on the board, though it wasn’t a great performance from us.

“We were inspired by the manager’s words at half-time. We were all quiet as we knew we needed to be better and thankfully we did second half.

“Every game at the moment is a cup final for us. We know we have a couple of games on everyone else so it’s important we keep putting those points on the board.”


Dagenham & Redbridge coach Ian Culverhouse told BBC Radio London:

"I thought we were excellent first half. Controlled the game in good parts, scored a well-deserved goal and went into the half deserved winners.

"It's a bit of a blow really to come out on the wrong side of it.

"We're giving away soft goals at the moment and nothing goes for you when you're at the bottom of the league."


Culverhouse: Penalty miss cost Daggers in mad minute
by Ned Keating

Dagenham & Redbridge assistant gutted after Mansfield loss
Ian Culverhouse believes Dagenham & Redbridge were unfortunate not to take anything from their 3-2 loss at Mansfield Town after conceding another lead.
Daggers took the lead three minutes before half time at Field Mill when Oliver Hawkins tapped in unmarked at the back post for his first goal for the club.
Liam O’Brien had been in inspired form throughout following his recall to the starting XI, but was finally beaten by the hosts’ Matty Blair via the post in the 53rd minute.
When the sides met previously in October, Adi Yussuf scored the winner for the Stags and he inflicted more pain on the east Londoners with a 67th-minute strike.
Daggers, though, were offered a lifeline when Krystian Pearce was dismissed for hauling down Jamie Cureton in the box seven minutes from time.
The evergreen striker took the resulting spot kick, but put it high and wide with his misery further compounded by Matt Green scoring for Mansfield a minute later.
Cureton did get his name on the scoresheet in the 86th minute and Ashley Chambers fluffed a late header, but it was too little, too late for the visitors.
And assistant manager Culverhouse believes the 60 seconds between the missed penalty and Mansfield’s goal proved the game’s crucial moment.
“For them for to go up the other end, it was a double blow with Jamie missing the penalty,” said Culverhouse.
“I thought the lads were outstanding at the end, we came back into the game again.
“Jamie gets a goal, Ashley has a chance in the six-yard box, they’re down to 10 men and we threw everything at them, but that’s the way it goes at the moment.”
The result means Daggers lost ground to Yeovil Town, who drew with Portsmouth, but remain six points adrift of safety after York City lost at Cambridge United.
Yeovil and York are, by quirk of fate, the next two visitors to Victoria Road on consecutive Saturdays.
And Culverhouse knows those games present Daggers with the perfect chance to go on a run and preserve their Football League status.
“It’s getting to a situation now where we have to win games,” he added.
“If we perform like we did at Mansfield and everyone stays together as a team, we’ll turn it around. It’s a case of everyone staying together and believing.”


Match Reaction: John Still on the Mansfield Town defeat

John Still has said he was disappointed about Saturday’s away defeat at Mansfield because he felt his side had opportunities to get something from the game.

“I was disappointed because I thought the application of the side was very good and I thought we had deserved something from the game. I’m not one to moan about referees and officials because it can go for both teams but that (the second goal) was disappointing. I’m also disappointed because we had a goal scoring opportunity from Jamie. Its football and I’m not blaming Jamie at all but you’d look for that to go in.

Read more at http://www.daggers.co.uk/news/article/john-still-dagenham-and-redbridge-mansfield-town-post-match-2967886.aspx#HTmOU197kjIyT3Ij.99

“I’ve seen great signs. We went down and battled back and we haven’t always been able to do that. But we did against a side that are pushing for the playoffs. We looked more of a threat attack wise. We changed our system and we are going to continue working on playing 2 up front consistently. Oliver Hawkins is beginning to show what he is all about and the whole outlook of the team looked better. We had consistency in the game and I felt for the players because the offside goal was a kick in the backside, but we have to be stronger characters.”

The game saw Matt McClure and Matt Richards return to the matchday squad. With the former starting for the first time since the injury he picked up in the win against AFC Wimbledon on the 24th November.

“They are two players with a little bit of knowledge which we currently lack. Losing Luke Guttridge is a real blow. I worked hard to bring him in and I can’t do anything about that but getting Richards back gives us that little bit of knowledge and experience as well. Having them two back are definite pluses. Losing Raymond just before the game on Saturday was a blow because he is a competitor but if we can work in the same vein and work as hard as we have done we can turn this around.”



Latest | February 2016