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Gaffer wants Stags to come back fighting against Oxford

19 August 2015

Mansfield Town's 'driven group of players' must come back fighting against promotion-favourites Oxford United this Saturday, Stags boss Adam Murray has said.

Our team were consigned to their first league defeat of the campaign on Tuesday night at Accrington Stanley, due to a first-half strike from winger Sean McConville.

Speaking at this morning’s news conference, Murray said that his side need to stop the ‘little errors’ that crept into their performance in mid-week, and come back fighting. “We need to keep our focus. We are a good side but we need to make sure that we learn from the little errors and we 'get back on the horse' as soon as possible.

“Everybody I speak to at the minute, even their manager (John Coleman) last night when I spoke to him in his office, commented on what a good team we are.

“The squad we’ve put together are a driven group. They know last night that they 'took one on the chin', [but] winners come back fighting. I don’t think last year we came back fighting enough but I think this group will. Their ego and their pride's been battered last night because they know that they should have got something out the game.

"I know where I can take this football club and this team, I’ve got a time-frame on that and I will achieve that. 

“It’s exciting times here and we go again Saturday. It's another big test for us but we believe we can go and affect this league this year.”

Although the result on Tuesday evening was disappointing, the boss did take solace from the fact that it highlighted he still has work to do to get his side to where he wants them to be. 

“It does show that there’s still work to do, but the group is positive,” Murray said. “The group is a good group and we’re strong. Our aim this season is that we want to win [in each game]. We don’t want to scrape through and finish mid-table, we want to be up there and this group can do that.

“We’ve got great belief in ourselves, the players have got great belief in what we’re doing but it’s a building process. Everyone wants to see 4-4-2 with two flying wingers and two strikers but we’re not going to do that; it is a building process and we need to make sure that we do things in sections.

“We need to get ourselves defensively sound first. When we do change [the formation] and we go to two 'out-and-out' wingers and centre-forwards, we look like we’re going to concede, so we’re not ready yet. 

“We will be ready and we’ll be ready soon but it’s a case of getting the mentality and the solidness, then we build from that.”

Looking forward to this Saturday’s visit of Oxford United, the gaffer believes that his players are can expect a tough game, but is confident heading into the fixture.

“They've signed some very good players and it’s a big club. Their aim has got to be [to finish in the] top three this year, I imagine, so it’s a big test for us but one that we feel we can go and get something out of.

"We go into it with no fear. We’re confident in our ability and when we play the way we can play, we’ll affect anyone in this league.

“It's been a tough month for us. Speaking to other managers at our level, everybody finds this first month tough because it's non-stop. You don’t get as much time on the training ground; it is game, game, game. It’s physically and emotionally draining but we’ve got a lot of away trips this month so it’s nice to get back in front of our fans. 

“We want to make this place a cauldron this season, and we’re both (players and fans) going to have to play our part in that.”

Hear more from Adam Murray's news conference by logging into Stags Player.

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