Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray says his side’s stellar defensive record is something they can’t become complacent with ahead of tomorrow’s game at Stevenage.
Only Championship side Middlesbrough and fellow League Two club Wycombe Wanderers have conceded less goals than the Stags so far this season and Murray is aiming to take the next step by winning matches on a regular basis.
“In the 72 Football League teams, there’s only two who have got a better ‘goals against’ than us so defensively we’re looking solid and now we just need to start putting it in the other end and winning football matches on a consistent basis which I’m confident we’ll do,” Murray said.
“We’ve scored in and around the amount of goals that teams have scored in the play-offs, so it’s not like we’re not scoring goals. If we weren’t creating chances then I’d say it’s an issue but we’re creating enough chances to score goals so I’m not worried.”
“The big thing now is to not get complacent and put the foot down and keep working hard. I keep saying it but the football club’s in a great place. From where we were last season, how far we’ve come in 12 weeks is a massive well done to our football club, to the fans and to the players for all the work we’re putting in, but this is just the start of the journey.”
Tomorrow’s opponents Stevenage currently sit 20th in the Sky Bet League Two table after an inconsistent start to the season, but Murray knows that Teddy Sheringham’s side pose a different test to what they’ve faced so far.
“When a team is trying to get wins and get a run of games going, they’re the hardest games and Stevenage is always a tough place to go. They’ve got a good new manager who are playing a different way so we’re going to have to make sure we’re on our mettle and we go there prepared and with a game plan to win.
“I’ve only been in the job as a manager a short amount of time but I’ve realised these are the toughest games. You’ve got to go into them more focussed, more hyped-up, more concentrated and more prepared than sometimes you do to the top-of-the-table teams because inevitably, they take care of themselves.”
The gaffer announced this morning that Chris Clements’ groin injury isn’t as bad as first feared and Murray is hoping to welcome the midfielder back into training in the next couple of weeks.
“It’s not as bad as we expected so we’re hoping to get him back in the fold in a shorter space of time than we anticipated.
“The initial look of it and the symptoms, we thought it was going to be 6-8 weeks. Like all his other injuries, he’s a quick healer and he’s a good few weeks ahead of where we thought he would be already so we’re looking at getting him back in the next couple [of weeks].”
After stating in previous weeks that he’d like GPS tracking devices for the players to wear in training and in matches, Murray was pleased to announce that the club have used their partnership with Brooksby College to implement the devices in the future.
“We’ve acquired the GPS vests now so we’re going to start using them in games which will give us better data on matchday distance and fitness. Obviously we’ve got a relationship with Brooksby and it’s part of their equipment and they’ve agreed to help us with it and we’ll help them with the data so they can give that to their students for their degrees.”
To watch the full interview from today's news conference, log in to Stags Player.