Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray says his players have a siege mentality as they enter the month of February in which 18 points are up for grabs.Speaking at this afternoon's press conference ahead of Saturday's home game to Stevenage, the Stags' chief spoke candidly ahead of six matches in three weeks, starting with Saturday's visit of eighth-placed Stevenage.
Said Murray: "The boys are bouyant. The group's positive. We have a siege mentality against the world at the minute. We have to dig deep and stick together. We have 19 games remaining, 57 points [to play for]. Bring it on!"
When asked about his team slipping into the relegation places following last week's 2-1 defeat at Carlisle United, he said: "For us as a group, it hasn't changed our frame of mind. We've been in a relegation battle since day one. We need to cut the mistakes out. Earlier in the week, we analysed how we are conceding goals and it is coming in one area. We are putting that right and I am fully confident in the group that is here.
"Like we keep saying, this team has had four games together. If people expected us to hit the ground running... it was never going to happen. I looked at the transfer window and the last day and you see how many signings clubs around us are making, they will have to go through the same gelling period as we've had. We did our business early to allow for these four to six games of bedding in.
"We have to be careful not to do what a lot of people have done and hit the panic button and say 'we must do this, that and the other'. We have to take each game on its merit.
"The boys have performed well 70% of the time. We need to up that now and get a higher percentage of good decisions and get the win ratio up as quick as we can."
In team news, doubts hang over two of Murray's frontmen. Burly striker Matt Rhead withdrew midway through today's training session with a calf injury whilst fellow hitman Vadaine Oliver, our leading goalscorer, is ill with a sickness bug. It follows the more serious injury news from earlier in the week when it was announced that new winger Matty Blair would be out for the season after suffering with a cruciate knee injury.
"I pulled into the car park on Monday, put my breaks on continued to skid into the fence, so that sums it up," smirked Murray.
"It feels like one of those times in life at the minute which you go through as human beings when you have to come out fighting," said the Stags' chief.
"We have players who are more than capable of taking the mantle. Your Alex Fishers and Billy Kees come in to play. We're ready for the battle. The week's preperation has been geared towards getting three points and nothing changes."
Meanwhile, Chris Clements has returned to training following illness and will be fighting for a starting berth. New goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley, who joins us on loan until the end of the season from Newport County, will be aiming to make his debut for the Stags.
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