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Stags' boss encouraged by Henderson's hunger for success

4 August 2016

Stags’ boss Adam Murray says new signing Darius Henderson’s ‘drive to win’ confirmed to him that the frontman would be a good addition to his squad.

The 34-year-old striker signed a deal at the club yesterday after chairman John Radford and chief executive Carolyn Radford reached an agreement with Henderson following positive discussions. 

And the manager says that Henderson, who turned professional with Reading 16 years ago, showed great hunger to continue to be successful in a meeting between the two parties prior to his signing. 

“It’s took a little bit of time to get both parties to meet an agreement – the chief exec and the chairman must take the credit for that – they’ve worked tirelessly on this one for me,” Murray said. 

“But it’s a fantastic signing and we met up with Hendo [on Tuesday] night with the chairman and Carolyn and after ten minutes, the hunger and his drive that he’s got to win and to be successful and the passion about the way he plays, it really 'sucked me in'.

“The fact that, gauging him early on in the conversations with him, he just wants to win. He’s got such a drive to win, that rubbed off on me and it sealed the deal with me to be honest.”

Murray believes that his senior strike-force – Matt Green, Danny Rose, Pat Hoban and Darius Henderson – is the strongest and most diverse that the club has had in ‘many years’. 

“I’d say on paper it’s the best strike-force the club’s had in many years, not just in my time as a manager, but like I say, the paper bit it does look good but it’s on the grass where it matters. 

“We’re very confident in the strike-force we’ve put together now – we think it’s got a little bit of everything; we’ve got experience, we’ve got youth in there. For young Zayn (Hakeem), you’re not going to get a better forward to learn from. 

“It gives us all different kinds of 'weapons' now that we can use; we’ve got brains, intelligence, pace, power, 'beast-mode', and it’s up to us choose the right ingredients to win every game.”

The gaffer believes that Henderson, who won promotion to the Premier League with Watford in the 2005/06 season, will be able to use his experience to help the other players at the club. 

“I think he’s one of these guys that, because we are such a tight-knit group, I had to make sure in the meeting that I gauged his character. 

“I gauged the personality and what I felt he could bring to the group and it was all very, very positive. He’s a very strong-minded, big character, very open, very honest, but he’s all about the team. His first thing was: ‘I want to help the team’ and that’s great to hear. 

“The guy’s been in successful teams, he’s got teams promoted, he’s got that much experience, it would be foolish of me not to pick his brains at times. We are a relatively young squad so to bring someone like Hendo into the environment, common sense tells you that he’s going to help that.”

Supporters can view Adam Murray’s interview after completing the signing of Darius Henderson on Stags PlayerHD.

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