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Archived News from November 2016

15th November 2016 13:32

audio: Adam Murray interview with Charlie Slater on BBC Radio Nottm:

Charlie: "The vast majority of the fanbase weren't here and 4-0 doesn't tell the whole story."
Adam Murray: "It definitely doesn't tell the whole story. And that's why people like your report, Martin's report, Jason's report, the club's report, will hopefully put the proper light on it."


Murray highlights pluses despite Pompey loss
mansfieldtown.net, 12th November 2016

Stags’ boss Adam Murray was quick to emphasise the positives after nine-man Mansfield Town lost 4-0 to Portsmouth this afternoon.

The Hampshire side sealed maximum points after young Stags' defenders Kyle Howkins and Alex Iacovitti received their marching orders in the second half.

West Brom loanee Howkins picked up two yellow cards in the space of four second half minutes before 19-year-old Iacovitti was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Pompey skipper Michael Doyle.

The home side were leading just 1-0 until Stags went down to nine men thanks to Gary Roberts' first half penalty following striker Matt Green’s challenge on Kyle Bennett and Murray explained that he was pleased with his side’s performance until the brace of red cards.

“We ‘blew ourselves up’ because we came here and we carried on from Saturday, we carried on from Tuesday and to come to a place like this and be the better team for 60 minutes, this is going to sound really weird, but I’m taking a lot of positives from it," the Stags' chief said.

“We didn’t want to come here and hang on for a point, and [in the] first half I think we showed that. We put them on the back foot, we made them defend, we had chances that we should have done better with - we could’ve gone in 2-0 up.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/murray-highlights-pluses-despite-pompey-loss-3414025.aspx#GoGPDFYIoxCYwED0.99

“I think if you actually know the game and you’re watching the game up until 50 minutes or whatever it was, we more than matched them.

“I felt we were controlling the game, we were causing them problems going forward. They’re obviously a good side so they’re always going to cause you a couple of issues, but we felt comfortable.

“We’re comfortable at ten men. We’ve done it before, it’s something we actually work on because it’s 'the nature of the beast'.”

Despite seeing Pompey score three late goals thanks to a brace from Carl Baker and a tap-in from Noel Hunt, the manager said he was proud of how his depleted side fought until the end.

“To go down to nine men, it’s a kick in the teeth and it’s one of them where I’ve said to 95 percent of the lads: ‘look, you’ve got to take that on the chin today because for the most part of that game you’ve done yourself proud and you’ve come to a place and played our way.’

“I’ve watched the first hour and I was chuffed to bits with it; the last 30 minutes, they’re even trying to press and close down but we’re leaving ourselves open. It shows their endeavour and the passion just to do well and to do the right things, so I’m taking the 60 minutes from that (game).”

With Howkins and Iacovitti set to be suspended for a number of upcoming games, Murray revealed post-match that he hopes to have defender Lee Collins and midfielder Kevan Hurst available to recall next week after they both missed today’s match with their respective injuries.

Supporters will be able to view Adam Murray’s post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD later.


Murray: ‘We’ve got to take that on the chin’

Adam Murray has told his Mansfield Town players to take the 4-0 defeat to Portsmouth “on the chin”.

The Stags boss was pleased with his side’s performance at Fratton Park until two sendings off in little over 15 second half minutes shifted the advantage in Pompey’s favour.

Kyle Howkins was the first to be given his marching orders after picking up a second yellow in the 57th-minute before another on loan defender, Alex Iacovitti, was shown a straight red card.

Murray said: “Up to that point we’ve more than match them. I felt we were in control of the game. We were causing them problems going forward. They’re a good side so they are always going to cause you some issues but we felt comfortable.

“We actually felt like we could cause them more problems by the centre forward change (Darius Henderson for Matt Green). It’s a very skiddy pitch and we couldn’t get the best out of Greeny, things were skidding off him so we needed something to build from.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/murray-we-ve-got-to-take-that-on-the-chin-1-8235611?

“That plan lasted two minutes then you’re down to ten men.”

Portsmouth led 1-0 at that stage, after an 11th-minute Gary Roberts penalty, but a late flurry of goals from Noel Hunt and a brace from Carl Baker saw them run out comfortable winners.

“We’re comfortable at ten men,” said Murray.

“We’ve done it before and it’s something we work on because it’s the nature of the beast but to go down to nine men, it’s a kick in the teeth.

“I’ve said to 95 per cent of the lads ‘look, you have got to take that on the chin today because for the most part of the game you’ve done yourselves proud and played our way’.

“I’m proud of the nine men because I thought they were fantastic. I’m going to forget that game really, really quickly because I can’t analyse that.

“I watched the first hour and I was chuffed to bits with it. The last 30 minutes they’re even trying to press and close down and we’re leaving ourselves open but it shows our endeavour and passion to do the right things.

“I’m taking the 60 minutes from that. If we play like that for the rest of the 30 league games we’ve got left we won’t have a problem.”

On the sendings off, Murray added: “You’re in a professional environment and you have to learn quickly. If they have to learn on the job like that it’s tough to take but we felt we could have won that game.

“We’ve gone toe-to-toe with one of, if not the, biggest team in the league and more than matched them. My focus is on the first 60 minutes of real positives.”



Boss not going overboard after Mansfield win

It was a late Fratton flurry that saw Pompey move up a place in the League Two standings.

Three goals in the final few minutes against Mansfield was enough to see them leapfrog Luton into fourth spot.

Gary Roberts had already opened the scoring from the penalty spot when the visitors were reduced to nine men.

Kyle Howkins and Alex Iacovitti were both dismissed and the Stags were made to pay, as Noel Hunt doubled the advantage before Carl Baker added a brace.

But Paul Cook is refusing to get carried away on the back of one victory with so much action still to come.

The Blues boss said: “It’s three points and a clean sheet, but now we just have to move on to the next game.

“Sometimes too much is made about every performance when it’s a long campaign and there are 30 matches still to go.

Read more at http://www.portsmouthfc.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/paul-cook-on-pompeys-sky-bet-league-two-win-over-mansfield-town-3414185.aspx#VhAfuFqSKc70q4OR.99

“We’re paid to win games of football and throughout 90 minutes you’ve experienced all the emotions of being involved with Pompey in the past few years.

“You heard the crowd clapping, singing, booing and going through anguish - all in one match.

“Mansfield offered a threat throughout the afternoon and even when they were down to nine men, they still tried to get men forward.

“No fixture is easy, but there are a lot of managers in the stand these days that perhaps think it is.

“The reality is that we’re fourth in the league and doing our best to make sure we get out of this division.

“We had a bad result in the cup last Saturday, but around that period we’ve also won three games and kept three clean sheets, so there’s a glimmer of light in there.

“It can be mentally draining here because of the demands that there are at this club, but it’s my job to manage those expectations.”


Cook’s warning for Pompey fans after Mansfield boos
by JEFF MARSHMAN, Portsmouth News

Paul Cook refused to criticise the Pompey boo-boys but warned Blues fans against turning Fratton Park into a ground in which their own side ‘fears to play’.

The hosts ran out emphatic 4-0 winners over nine-man Mansfield Town yesterday to move into fourth spot in the League Two table.

Players have got to feel comfortable playing at Fratton Park Pompey boss Paul Cook But Pompey’s inability to put the game beyond their visitors until the 84th minute - when Noel Hunt doubled their advantage - was a source of major frustration for many among the 16,393 crowd.

That spilled into sustained booing as the Blues’ patient probing football failed to satisfy the demands of a vocal home support.

But Cook pointed to Hunt’s goal - his first for the club - as vindication for sticking to his passing philosophy.

He added: ‘The crowd were getting agitated and there were moans and groans coming down, yet the ball ended up in the net with a fantastic goal.

Read more at: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/sport/football/pompey/cook-s-warning-for-pompey-fans-after-mansfield-boos-1-7677731?

‘Sometimes you have just got to be careful what you want and how you want our players to play - it can’t always be about winning.

‘We must have the confidence to play the game. ‘Players have got to feel comfortable playing at Fratton Park.

‘We can’t and I can’t turn Fratton Park into a place where lads fear to play.’

And Cook has called for togetherness as his side continue on their League Two promotion quest.

He added: ‘I don’t grasp the crowd reaction. ‘But for as anxious as our fans get, they only want success.

‘And I will never be critical of Pompey fans - never.

‘They turn up in their thousands and only want success.

‘But we are where we are - and nobody is getting promoted in November.

‘We have to make sure we all stick together.’


Pompey boss welcomes ‘big three points’ for Blues
by JEFF MARSHMAN, Portsmouth News

Paul Cook hailed a ‘big three points’ as Pompey powered past nine-man Mansfield Town 4-0 to climb to fourth in the League Two table.

The Blues led after just 11 minutes when Gary Roberts netted from the penalty spot. Second-half dismissals of Kyle Howkins and Stags substitute Alex Iacovitti then turned the game firmly in the home side’s favour.

And Noel Hunt climbed off the bench to net his first Blues goal late on, with Carl Baker’s last-gasp double putting the seal on a resounding victory, as Pompey responded to two successive league defeats at home.

The Fratton fans voiced their frustration at times, however, after the interval as Pompey went in search of the game-clinching second goal.

But after acknowledging anxiety had crept into his side’s play, Cook vowed to work on the Blues’ identity after securing a crucial and hard-fought victory.

He said: ‘It was a big three points. ‘After all of the Checkatrade Trophy games, we have won on the Saturday, which is quite an interesting stat.

Read more at: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/sport/football/pompey/pompey-boss-welcomes-big-three-points-for-blues-1-7677228

‘We knew today was a difficult test - Mansfield are a good side and have got some very good players.

‘There are no easy games in this league.

‘The days when you turned up and just rolled teams over are well gone now.

‘Teams are very well set up - they are organised with fitness and sport science.

‘Today you can see within our lads anxiety creeping into our play.

‘I have got to make sure our lads become themselves and their identity becomes strong and good and we can achieve everything I believe we can.’



Midfielder explains tactics behind latest victory

Some fans made their frustrations known as the clock ticked down at Fratton Park.

Pompey were leading Mansfield thanks to Gary Roberts’ early penalty, but the visitors were down to nine men following red cards for Kyle Howkins and Alex Iacovitti.

Those in the stands wanted to see their side go for the jugular rather than looking to keep possession.

But that patient passing paid off as Noel Hunt opened his account for the club before Carl Baker grabbed a late brace.

And the latter explained that it was always their plan to wear the Stags down before striking.

Baker said: “It was a good performance, although it was frustrating for the fans at times after they went down to nine men.

Read more at http://www.portsmouthfc.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/carl-baker-on-pompeys-sky-bet-league-two-win-over-mansfield-town-3414189.aspx#1QmmcDhTh7AY0hlQ.99

“We just had to stay patient. The sideways and backwards passing got some criticism from the stands, but it was part of the plan to tire them out.

“I think that’s what exactly what we did and took full advantage of that by scoring three late goals - and there could have been a couple more.

“The fans are unbelievable - they just want to see us going forward and attacking. That’s what we want to do as well, but it’s not always the right thing to do.

“The game’s 90 minutes and you have to be clever. I’m sure we’d have received more stick for going gung-ho and then conceding on the counter-attack.

“Hopefully the supporters will all have gone home happy like the players, but now we’re looking for another win next week.”

Baker’s late contribution took his tally to six for the season and help improve Pompey’s goal difference to an extent that they leapfrogged Luton into fourth spot in the table.

The midfielder said: “I’m delighted because I haven’t scored for a few games and when one came back off the post in the first half I thought it wasn’t going to be my day.

“I didn’t start very well after the break and was a bit sloppy, so I was happy that the gaffer didn’t take me off!

“Thankfully, I saw that period out and just had to keep going. It was pleasing to end up with the two goals and, more importantly, the win.”



Latest | November 2016