Mansfield Town will head to Luton Town on Saturday as underdogs, despite having enjoyed a more fruitful start to the season than their Bedfordshire hosts, manager Adam Murray has said.
The gaffer expects a hostile environment at Kenilworth Road and says the Stags’ approach to the game will be tailored to cope with that environment.
“Saturday’s a game where we’re going to have to go there and be solid. We will go there as underdogs so the team selection and the formation we go with will be one of positivity but also one of respect to the environment we’re going to," said Murray, speaking at today's news conference.
“It’s hostile, it’s tense and it’s a crowd that expects from the home side and they can be a very strong twelfth man. It’s something you have to control down there and the game management is vitally important.
“We’re going there to put points on the board and that’s the main focus.”
Luton have taken just five points from their opening seven league fixtures of the current campaign but Murray believes their performances have been better than the table suggests.
“When you actually sit back and watch the games that they’ve played so far, they’re not playing bad.
“Sometimes in this game, as we know, you don’t get that slice of luck that you deserve and they’ve put in some really good performances where I know John [Still, Luton manager] would believe that they deserve more points on the board than they have got.”
Murray is continuously on the lookout for ways to improve the club and says the recent use of GPS trackers by Wycombe Wanderers is something that he’d be keen to implement.
“I read in the papers at the weekend about Wycombe having the GPS systems for the games and for training and that’s something we haven’t got at the minute.
“It’s something that I’d love because the analysis from that and the data from that is superb and you can programme training and people’s loads to use that data to your benefit, so that’s our next step.
“There’s a lot of growth for us to do as a football club still, so as I said earlier in the week, we’re pushing forward and these little things help."
Stags this week welcomed back goalkeeper Scott Shearer and winger Matty Blair to full training and Murray says the latter is looking stronger and quicker than ever.
“Matty Blair has joined in full training now and he’s probably tempting me a little bit too much because he’s looking strong. It’s a case of patience with him now because we want to get him in [the squad], he wants to get in but we’ve got to bide our time.
“It is a temptation [to put him in the squad] but at the same time we’re not stupid. We’re seven games in and there’s a lot of football to be played and Matt will play a big part in that so it’s about biding our time.”
Our boss says the travelling Stags’ support on Saturday will be vital to the success of his side and wants the club to go to Luton ‘together’.
“We’ll go in there together, we won’t go in there as the football team and the football supporters, we’ll walk in the ground together and we’ll come out together.
“For that 90 minutes we’ll stick together and make sure that we are one and we go into war as one and hopefully at the end of it we’ll come out with more points on the board.”
The full interview will be available to view on Stags Player.