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Boss could tweak things for Newport game

2 March 2015

Murray aims to find cure for away form as Stags prepare for trip to South Wales.

Manager Adam Murray has hinted that he may tweak certain things as our team aim to ‘kick on’ from Saturday’s victory over Dagenham & Redbridge by putting points on the board away at Newport County tomorrow night.

Despite going five matches unbeaten at One Call Stadium, our team have struggled on their travels in recent weeks with our last away success coming at AFC Wimbledon, just before Christmas.

“This away form is winding me up now,” said Murray. “We went over the previous away games yesterday as a group and looked at what it is that is the pain in the backside.

“Obviously, [our away form] has now been made an issue, but when you look at each game individually and when you take each game on the situation and the merit, you start to understand that there are certain reasons why we maybe haven’t got the result that we should have.

“We’re going to be looking to put that right. We might change things around a little bit and the way we go about the game, like tweak the shape a little bit, but we’ll see.”

He continued: “We don’t want to change too much because we’re starting to see the fruits of the pathway that these boys are on at the minute, so it’s not about making wholesale changes – it’s about [making] the tweaks that can possibly put us something on the board away from home.”

Tomorrow night, Jimmy Dack will take charge of his first home match at Newport since being appointed as the successor to Justin Edinburgh, who left Rodney Parade for Sky Bet League One side Gillingham last month.

When asked what we should expect from the Exiles, Murray replied: “I think there have been little tweaks [since the change in management]. 

“I know the guys down there quite well. Jimmy and ‘Hatts’ (Wayne Hatswell) are good football guys and they know what they’re doing. They’ve had a good couple of wins and performances, so fair play to them.

“Newport is always a tough place to go. Since they’ve come up to the Football League, they’ve adapted and 'put themselves on this league' which is a credit to them and is something we’re looking to do in the future as we want to move forward and we want to be sitting where they are.

“So it’ll be a good game to go into and we go into it with confidence after a good run of form and a  great month.”

Our team head to Rodney Parade on the back of registering their best points tally in a month so far this season.

In February, we picked up 10 points to climb to 18th position in Sky Bet League Two with wins coming over Stevenage, Luton Town and Dagenham & Redbridge. The other point came in a home draw with Northampton Town.

Reflecting on our recent upturn in form, Murray said: “I think we’re starting to see the results of the hard work that’s being put in. 

“When I first got the job I always said that is was going to be a process and a project that was going to take time and we’re only scratching the surface. We’re nowhere near where I believe we can get to and where we should be and we’re only a couple of per cent into the journey. 

“So I think that’s why we’re starting to pick up the results, ‘winning ugly’ when we have to and playing good stuff when we need to. We’re starting to get that balance right and people have stepped up to the mark and have performed well now in the five games in a row at home where we’ve been unbeaten.”

When asked about the importance of our weekend win over the Daggers, our manager replied: “Obviously, we knew it was a big three points for us before the game.

“People like John Lomas (Chad sports reporter) built it up to be a ‘must win’ and I didn’t want to let him down,” joked Murray. “But as staff and as the management, you have to manage the scenario and the situation, and we obviously knew it was a big game.

“If we’d lost would it have been the end of the world? No, but [the result] was a big step in our journey. We’re going to have a few more where they’ll be big games, but at the minute it’s about keeping performance levels as high as we possibly can and we move on [to the next game].”

In team news for tomorrow’s game, goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley is unable to feature against his parent club and is likely to be replaced between the sticks by Swiss shot-stopper Sascha Studer.

Otherwise, apart from long-term absentees Liam Hearn, Luke Jones and Matty Blair, our boss has no fresh injury concerns.

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