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Boss hopes to conclude deals soon

8 January 2015

Murray hoping to have crux of squad in place soon.

Manager Adam Murray is hoping to have most of his transfer dealings wrapped up before Saturday’s trip to Burton Albion in Sky Bet League Two.

Since the transfer window opened, our boss has signed no fewer than four players – including striker Billy Kee on a three-month loan from Scunthorpe United.

Winger Junior Brown agreed permanent terms yesterday following a successful loan spell, whilst experienced midfielder Ricky Ravenhill was unveiled as our third signing.

At lunchtime today, young left-back Callum Elder agreed terms on a one-month loan switch from Premier League side Leicester City.

Earlier today it was also confirmed that the club is close to completing the signing of free agent Michael Raynes, who recently left Oxford United after a two-and-a-half-year stay at the Kassam Stadium.

On our transfer dealings thus far, Murray said: “We had some plans in place and outlined a few things in different areas and characteristics that we wanted to bring into the group and we acted fairly quickly.

“The big thing for me was to get a lot of our dealings done in the early part of the window to allow the boys time to settle and time to gel. We obviously need to get points on the board and to get into the rhythm of doing that.

“The main thing for me is that we’ve signed good people who are reliable and can carry out duties, people that are experienced in the Football League and have been successful, and more importantly people with good ability.”

He continued: “The biggest thing in this window was that it needed freshening up. You can’t make a [managerial] change and then not do changes.

“So there had to be change and the dressing room had to be freshened up. We had to bring in a different kind of character and a different kind of player in and I’m hoping that these players will now push us on to the next level.”

Recent media speculation has suggested that Burton centre-back Ian Sharps could be in line for a move to One Call Stadium in the next few weeks and our boss says discussions have taken place.

When asked about the defender, Murray replied: “He’s a good player. We have made contact with Burton about him, but at the minute there is nothing happening on that one. He’s somebody that I do like and I think would add to our group.”

Saturday’s game with the Brewers is expected to be extremely tough as Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side are yet to drop points on home soil since the ex-Premier League striker took charge.

The Staffordshire outfit, who have won more league games than any side in this division this term, currently sit in second spot in Sky Bet League Two and haven’t conceded a goal in over six hours of football.

Looking ahead, our boss said: “Over the last few weeks, for want of a better word, the boys have been battered – physically, tactically – we’ve had a good of couple of weeks.

“We’ve managed to get some work into them and they’ve responded really well. For me, the standards have gone up – not just in the training sessions, but day-to-day around the building, standards are improving.

“Like I said six weeks ago, it was always going to be a slow process with the transition that we’re doing. That will continue to be the big thing moving forward.”

He continued: “We watched Burton on Saturday and they’re the most organised and efficient team in the league. They’re very hard to break down.

“We’ve looked at them closely and we’ll set up to try and exploit their weaknesses, but we go into a month now where we’ve got some really tough games and we’ll need to be on our mettle.”

In other news, Alex Fisher is nearing a return to full fitness following his dislocated shoulder in October’s draw with Tranmere Rovers.

Adam Murray's full interview will be available on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.

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