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Stags close to matching 2014-15 points haul

8 February 2016

Stags’ boss Adam Murray says it will be 'phenomenal’ if his side can better or equal their 2014-15 points total against Oxford United tomorrow.

Mansfield racked up 48 points from 46 Sky Bet League Two matches last season, and a draw against the U’s on Tuesday night would subsequently see that number equalled. 

In addition, Murray’s men scored 38 goals in the previous campaign, which they’ve already improved on by three with 16 games left to play.

Heading into tomorrow night's clash at third placed Oxford, the 34-year-old said: “It would be crazy; phenomenal is an excellent word [if the team can beat last year's points total]. We know that we’re way above where we expected to be, so we’ve got two games this week, where we go into and won’t be expected to get anything. 

“There’ll only be our dressing room that believes we can go there and win in both games. We’re going there to win, we’re not going there to ‘shut up shop’. We’re 'kicking on' again now, there’s a new energy about us.”

Despite being made one of the favourites for relegation at the start of the season by the bookmakers, Murray's Mansfield are within four points of the automatic-promotion places after their 1-0 home win against Morecambe on Saturday.

The Stags are widely seen as underdogs within the top 12 in League Two, but the manager reckons that his players are feared by opposing teams in this league.

“Tomorrow night will probably be our toughest encounter yet. I think they’re a team that has to get promoted this season, there’s no ifs and buts. They’ve got very good players, very good resources – I enjoy watching them, but I don’t want to enjoy watching them tomorrow. They’ll be scared of some of our players, they’ll be scared of some of our threats.  

The Birmingham-born boss also lauded the contribution of the Stags' supporters in the weekend’s Sky Bet League Two game, and he believes the atmosphere generated had an influence on the match.

“It was incredible, the best it’s been this season I’d say.

"You couldn’t write the script with us conceding early at the minute at home – even after we conceded, the noise was incredible, it felt like we were going for something. When we’re like that here it’s a real force.”

While Murray awaits a decision on whether his sending off from the touchline on Saturday will be followed up by the authorities, the gaffer was keen to defend himself and reflect on his overall attitude to referees. 
“I do all the refereeing reports [after the game] myself.

"It was [dealing with referees] something as a player that I wasn’t very good at so it’s something as a manager that I want to build a rapport with these guys – sometimes in the heat of the moment, things happen. I’m not someone that ‘ref bashes’, I understand that they have a tough job.”

You can view Adam Murray's news conference on Stags Player.


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