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Archived News from March 2016

31st March 2016 20:16

Murray - We couldn’t give any more today
mansfieldtown.net, 29th March 2016

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray says his players ‘gave everything’ during today’s 2-2 draw with league leaders Northampton Town.

Stags went into half-time with a two-goal lead thanks to a brace of headers from striker Matt Green, before midfielder Jamie McGuire was sent off in first half injury time for a second bookable offence.

Murray's men fought hard in the second period to preserve their lead against the 11 men of Northampton, but were ultimately pegged back by a penalty from Ricky Holmes and a close-range finish by John Marquis to ensure the Cobblers went home with a share of the points.

However, Stags’ boss Murray praised his players for their determination after going down to ten men against the high-flying Cobblers.

“[I’m] proud of the lads, really, really proud of the players. They couldn’t give anymore. They’re on the last legs and they couldn’t have given more of a go.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/murray-we-couldnt-give-anymore-today-3029364.aspx#Qvylmh64Jb0QJOw8.99

“We deserved more than that today but it’s a good point against a very, very strong team. I can’t ask anymore of the players; they can’t do anymore than what they’ve done today - they’re dead on their feet in there.

“We still tried to go forward, we tried to keep two centre-forwards on the pitch for as long as we could, but they’re obviously a very good team and they tried to move us around and shut up shop.”

The manager said he knew there were certain weaknesses his side could exploit against the Cobblers, which paid dividends after striker Matt Green headed two goals from free-kicks in the first half.

“One of their strengths is set pieces - but we knew there were certain aspects where we could ‘get at them’ in general play and from dead ball situations.

“Our quality from set pieces probably hasn’t been to the standard that the lads set at the start of the season recently, but I think that does come with a knock-on effect of confidence etc.

“We work on our set plays a lot; delivery was great, bravery was great and we scored two very good goals.”

Our manager said that the players were ‘disappointed’ with only coming away from the game with a draw and are looking forward to finishing the Sky Bet League 2 campaign strongly.

"They’re disappointed they haven’t won it because I felt our first half performance deserved that. With ten men against someone like that, you’re always going to be under the cosh,” Murray said.

“They believe it should’ve been three points. That’s a gutting feeling, but that’s a building block to finish our season off strong against a team like that - let’s be honest, like we said before the game, they (Northampton) don’t lose football matches, they’ve been fantastic all season and you take your hat off to them for that.

“You look at what we’ve had out lately, Mal Benning, Mitch Rose, Dan Alfei, Mani (Dieseruvwe), even people like Chris Clements, they haven’t got a lot of Football League games and not a lot of Football League experience and you need that. This group will only get stronger.”

You can view Murray’s post-match interview on Stags Player.


Proud boss Adam Murray glad to see the back of ‘March of Doom’ after gutsy draw
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas, Monday 28 March 2016

Despite crucial decisions going against them, Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray was proud to see his 10-men pull off a magnificent 2-2 home draw with runaway leaders Northampton Town today.

He also said he was glad to see the back of a ‘March of Doom’ - a month in which Stags have seen their play-off hopes nosedive.

Stags are now six games without a win and sit 13th, eight points off the play-offs with seven to play.

However, Murray said: “Today to a man I take my hat off to them. It was a building block to finish our season off today.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/proud-boss-adam-murray-glad-to-see-the-back-of-march-of-doom-after-gutsy-draw-1-7821153#ixzz44KayDfLr

“We now just want to get as many points as we can. It’s about building confidence back up and that doesn’t come overnight.

“We’ve had the March of Doom. This month has been harder than some of the spells last year as, with all due respect to the team last year, we were poor.

“This season the team is good and when you are not playing badly and losing it’s tough to take.

“This squad hasn’t much League experience and we have to go through the tough times to get better. This March has been like a kick in the gonads every day and we are glad it’s over.”

Stags led 2-0 through an early Matt Green brace only to see referee Darren Handley send off Jamie McGuire for a controversial second bookable offence in first half stoppage time and then award a debatable penalty to put the Cobblers back into the game on 64 minutes.

After they levelled five minutes later, it was all Northampton, but Stags dug deep to preserve a point and Murray said: “I am really proud of the players.

“They are on their last legs and I couldn’t ask any more of them. They couldn’t have had more of a go.

“It was never a penalty in a million years. Jamie has made two fouls and he has booked them both. One of their players made six fouls in the first half and didn’t receive one. These are the decisions that cost you games and it’s embarrassing.

“Before their second goal there was a foul on Pearce before it went out for a corner.

“We have to be careful as we are the ones who get in trouble for speaking what we see, but I know that Chris Wilder knows what Jamie McGuire is like and so every time someone went near Jamie they fell on the floor holding their face and within four seconds they were back up again.

“Is it gamesmanship? I don’t know but I feel we’ve been done there.

“You look at the penalty. The lad has let the ball run through and he’s run into Krystian (Pearce). It’s never a foul.

“It’s disappointing but you have to congratulate our players for playing for so long with 10 men against a team like that, who are exceptional.

“I know Chris very well and I am over the moon for him that they will be a League One team next year. He’s done a great job, but we deserved more than that today.

“It was a good point against a very, very strong team. The lads are dead on their legs in there and disappointed they haven’t won it when our first half performance deserved that.”

He added: “We still tried to go forwards and kept two centre forwards on the pitch.

“But they are a very good team and tried moving us around. So we had to try to shut up shop.

“I feel like three points has been taken away from us today.”

After five games without a win, Murray was hoping to see the old Mansfield Town from earlier in the season today - and wasn’t disappointed.

“Today was about the reaction and the performance. I wanted to see if my players till had the spirit,” he said.

“I wanted to see the character we had a few weeks back when we were fifth in the league. We’ve suffered a bit with confidence.

“Look how good the players were, look how good the fans were, we gave everything as a football club today and I am proud of everyone.

“Northampton couldn’t get out their box in the first half. The boys had fire in their belly, that was still there are the end.

“So with 11 men including one of our most influential players still on the pitch that would have been three points for us today.”


Goalscorer Green says Stags deserved more
mansfieldtown.net, 29th March 2016

Two-goal striker Matt Green feels the Stags' performance deserved three points following the 2-2 draw with Sky Bet League 2 table-toppers Northampton Town this afternoon.

The 29-year-old now has 14 goals in the current campaign following his first-half brace which put Adam Murray’s men 2-0 up, before Jamie McGuire was sent off on the stroke of half-time.

Ricky Holmes and John Marquis netted to draw the Cobblers level and that’s how it stayed, although Green believes that the result wasn’t a fair reflection on the Stags’ performance.

“We should’ve got something [more] out of the game but we went down to ten men and we dug in and showed our endeavour and eventually it evened itself out. It’s a great reaction and that’s what the manager wanted.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/goalscorer-green-says-stags-deserved-more-3029489.aspx#QX0Mx7jV22FGCvlt.99

“We ‘went for the throat’ and we were unfortunate not to come away with the three points. That’s the story of our run right now; it’s small margins. We’ve got to make sure the margins are more in our favour to build on for the future.”

The ex-Birmingham City man had praise for his team-mates for creating the opportunities that he took for his goals, and also enjoyed the way the side rose to the occasion against Northampton, who haven’t lost since 19 December.

“I’ve been on to the boys about getting chances and to be fair they all dug in today and created some. Backs were against the wall, the faithful wanted to come and see us and see if we could react as a team after the results we had - today we showed it.

“I saw that we can play football and pass the ball with a tempo against a good side. Playing against a team that’s running away with the league like that, you can easily crumble under the pressure and you could easily hide in your shell and do simple things, but we didn’t do that at all today.”

With seven games left to play, Green says the club must use the fluctuating nature of the division to their advantage, and keep their heads up and not give up in their quest for a play-off position.

“It’s football, anything’s possible. There’s 21 points [to play for] and things change, things happen - especially at this level. We just need to take as much confidence as we can out of this and move on to the next game.

“I always like to live my life positively and be a positive person and that way you attract positivity and the team will attract that. All we can do is win the games that we have, get good results and get good team performances. We were men out there [today], we were soldiers and I think everybody could see that.”

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


Matt Green believes Cobblers draw is a massive boost for Stags’ confidence
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Mansfield Town striker Matt Green believes Monday’s pulsating 2-2 draw with leaders Northampton Town will be the springboard for a good finish to the season.

Stags’ play-off hopes are almost gone after six games without a win following a very tough set of March fixtures.

But Green, who bagged a brace to take his season’s tally to 14, said: “It was a great reaction and that’s what the manager wanted. I think that’s the best way for the team to build.

“Our backs were against the wall. The faithful came to see if we could react as a team after the results we’ve had.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/matt-green-believes-cobblers-draw-is-a-massive-boost-for-stags-confidence-1-7823622#ixzz44NSTQRSP

“We will take so much out of that game. We were men. We were soldiers and I think everyone could see that.”

Stags led 2-0 only to have Jamie McGuire sent off and then see a disputed penalty let the Cobblers back into the game.

“We should have got something out the game,” said Green. “But we went down to 10 men, dug in and showed our endeavour.

“Eventually it equalled itself out unfortunately with a couple of decisions from the referee as well.”

Green got his head onto two excellent free kicks by Mal Benning and Chris Clements and said: “They were great deliveries to be honest.

“We’ve been on to the boys about creating chances and to be fair they dug in and created some.”

The goals took Green to sixth in the club’s all-time top League scorers list with 68, overtaking Dudley Roberts.

This Saturday Stags head to much-improved Hartlepool United.


ntfc.co.uk, by Elliot Stonhill

The Cobblers boss on Mansfield Town 2 Northampton Town 2

Cobblers boss Chris Wilder praised the battling qualities of his team as they fought back from 2-0 down in Monday’s 2-2 draw at Mansfield.

“It was a fantastic second half performance backed by an unbelievable support,” he said.

Read more at http://www.ntfc.co.uk/news/article/mansfield-town-v-northampton-town-chris-wilder-2447459.aspx#DhcmcgDUA5XQevSG.99

“I take full responsibility for the first half, I didn’t get it right and I stick my hand up to that but regardless we need to defend better.

“It’s another valuable point and we can take great heart from the second half.

“The chance to get promoted on Saturday is a great incentive to pack the ground out. The new stand will be open so come on let’s get a full house.

“It’s been a great effort all season, we’ve overcome adversity and hopefully we will have a really good day on Saturday.”


Wilder hails Cobblers’ spirit after comeback
by James Heneghan, northamptonchron.co.uk

Chris Wilder took full responsibility for Cobblers’ poor first-half performance against Mansfield on Monday but went on to hail his side’s never-say-die attitude as they fought back to earn a 2-2 draw.

Wilder opted for a change in formation to 4-3-3 with Marc Richards, John Marquis and James Collins all starting up front, but that decision backfired as Mansfield took a deserved 2-0 lead into half-time.

Ricky Holmes and Lawson D’Ath were introduced at the break and a switch to 4-4-2 had the desired impact as goals from Holmes and Marquis earned Cobblers a share of the spoils.

“I take full responsibility for the first-half performance, not the players,” said Wilder.

Read more: http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/wilder-hails-cobblers-spirit-after-comeback-1-7299799#ixzz44JoL2OvS

“I changed the team pretty late because I looked at the conditions and looked at the pitch and I thought we’d be better going with three in midfielders and three targets at the top of the pitch.

“I didn’t get that right and I stick my hand up.

“Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you get it wrong and I got that wrong first-half.

“But saying that, we’ve got to defend better from the two wide free-kicks regardless of what formation we play.

“I expect centre-halves to go and head the ball in that position but they’ve had two free headers right in the middle of the goal.

“So that’s a negative from our point of view, but the positive was a fantastic second-half fightback.

“We dominated and we’ve got a proud old record going for us having not been beaten since the Portsmouth game.

“Yet again, the boys, backed by an unbelievable support, refused to be beaten.”

Northampton were given a lift just before half-time when Jamie McGuire was sent off for two yellow cards, although Wilder felt that decision had little impact.

He added: “We were always making the substitutions and we were always going to do better second-half regardless of the sending off.

“It’s disappointing from their point of view but I don’t think he can have any complaints and then I’ve looked at it and we’ve scored a goal today, Ricky Holmes’ shot was over the line so I don’t see a lot in the decisions.

“You have to keep 11 players on the pitch and we’ve done that and you have to deal with the decision the referee makes.

“We’re a little bit disappointed that we’ve not won it but after the second goal went in for them, to get a point out of the game we can take that as a positive.”

Richards was one of the two causalities to be replaced at half-time as his return from an Achilles injury was cut short.

Wilder continued: “He was always coming off after 60 minutes so it was a difficult decision because I wanted to make the substitutions.

“I couldn’t really keep him on the pitch and then make the decision so it was a tough one on Marc but he understands because he’s a proper pro.”


Northampton boss Wilder felt Cobblers were hard done to by decisions as well
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas

Northampton Town boss Chris Wilder felt his side also suffered with decisions going against them in Easter Monday’s pulsating 2-2 draw at Mansfield Town.

Stags led 2-0 but felt hard done to as referee Darren Handley sent off Jamie McGuire for a second bookable offence and then gave the Cobblers a contentious penalty that got them back into the game.

However, ex-Alfreton Town boss Wilder felt McGuire might have seen red for the first booking which he saw as an elbow and he also felt that sub Ricky Holmes’ shot that came back down off the bar was over the line.

“I don’t see a lot in the decisions,” he said. “Ricky Holmes scored a goal today that was over the line and not given.

Read more: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-news/northampton-boss-wilder-felt-cobblers-were-hard-done-to-by-decisions-as-well-1-7822888#ixzz44JWPpp8g

“The boy (McGuire) was a bit fortunate he wasn’t sent off for the elbow. He ran a tightrope from there on in.

“I didn’t think the free kick for their second goal was a foul either. But these things happen.”

Stags looked set to end Northampton’s unbeaten League run of 16 games until the fightback and Wilder said: “We had a proud old record going for us, not getting beaten since the Portsmouth game and today the boys, backed by an unbelievable support, refused to be beaten.

“We were a little bit disappointed not to have won it, but after their second goal went in after 16 minutes, we can take it as a positive to get a point out of the game.

“I expect centre halves to go in and make headers in that position but he’s (Matt Green) had two free headers.

“We can nit-pick but they were two great balls in that they stuck on the wind.”

Wilder felt his side handled Stags’ aggressive, direct game well.

“We knew what to expect and I have no issues with it as long as it stays within the boundaries,” he said.

“It was a tough old game and they put it into our box with a bit of quality and we couldn’t handle it.

“They were snapping at people and winning tackles and headers and had something to hang on to.

“We were always making the substitutions at half-time though and we were always going to do better than we had in the first half regardless (of the red card).”

Now the Cobblers can be promoted next weekend and he ended by saying: “It’s a great incentive for everyone to fill that ground out. With what we’ve been through this season, on game 40 we have an opportunity to stick a little ‘P’ next to our name.

“We will keep going, it’s been a great effort today and all season, overcoming adversity.

“Maybe I will pick the right team next week and we can have a really good day that can live on in the memory for a long time.”


Matty Blair @MattyBlair17
Absolutely loved my nephew being mascot today. He had an amazing day. The lads gave everything, proud day all round

1/3: Late apologies for my sending off on Monday to my team-mates and our fans.
2/3: I’m a full-hearted player and want to win every ball for us. Very disappointed with the two yellows and outcome of the game, especially
3/3 after a terrific 1st half from the boys and great vocal backing from our fans. We move on and will fight to the finish for the club.



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