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Stags' boss wants strong finish to season

27 April 2016

Stags' manager Adam Murray says he expects his players to maintain their high performance levels in the final two games of the season.

The Stags will be hoping to end the 2015-16 campaign strongly in the final two weeks, as they face a trip to Leyton Orient on Saturday before hosting Cambridge United at One Call Stadium seven days later.

And Murray's men will be targeting a continuation of their current strong form, having won three matches from their last four, sitting in 11th position in Sky Bet League Two with two matches to play.

And the Stags' boss says that although the play-offs are now out of reach, he expects his players to keep the same level of intensity as they aim to finish as high as possible in the league.

“Now we can’t get into the play-offs, it’s about personal pride. Players have got to perform – so when we do come to pre-season and we do kick-off the new season, they give themselves the best chance of starting," Murray said.

“If anyone was to take their foot off the gas, I’m sure the group would pull them into line and if I sense that someone stepped over the line, they wouldn’t be in the squad.”

Looking ahead to the away game at Leyton Orient’s Matchroom Stadium on Saturday (3pm kick-off), the 34-year-old manager is looking forward to coming up against strong opponents who are likely to name former Mansfield right-back Nicky Hunt in their side.

If the Stags defeat the East Londoners, they will equal the record number of away wins by a Mansfield team in the Football League, which stands at 11, and was set in the 1974-75 promotion-winning campaign. 

“It’s a huge club (Leyton Orient), a very big club with some very good resources behind them. It’ll be good to see Hunty, but it’ll be another tough game for us. We want to finish on a high and we want to go unbeaten – the boys have kicked into some real form and we’re looking forward to the game.

“The players have had a great season individually and as a group. We are looking at next season but at the same time, we’ve still got just under two weeks to go [of this season].”

Despite Murray stating that he doesn’t want the season to finish as the players are ‘in a good mode’, he has outlined his plans for the summer and what needs to be added to progress the club even further.

“I think it’s not necessarily going out there and signing five or six top class players – it’s about getting the right ingredient that’s going to add to what we’ve already got. We haven’t got a recruitment department, we haven’t got a scouting department; everything’s on us. 

“We like a small squad, I like a small squad, I know the chairman likes a small squad – what it does do, like we’ve seen, is that it gives you a ‘ridiculous’ team spirit.”

John Dempster’s under 18s will seal the Football League Youth Alliance title on Saturday with a win over Grimsby and Murray was full of praise for the way the youth team has performed.

“I think it’s got to have been one of the biggest steps forward in terms of a season that the club’s made in a long while. I went to watch the [under] 16s the other night and you don’t want to speak too early but there’ll be a couple of them that’ll be in and around our first team very quickly. 

“What people won’t see is that the recruitment for it (the under 18s) was last minute – to put the group together that they’ve done, credit to them.#

"For me, this is a three-four-five year project where I’ll take this forward and I expect a lot of our ‘own’ players to be in this. I expect the youth setup to grow.

“The problem they’ve got now, like we (first team) have, is that they’re going to be expected to do better next season. It gets tougher but that’s where the club has got to stand up as well and move forward with us.”

Supporters can view Adam Murray’s midweek news conference on Stags Player HD.


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