Stags’ boss Adam Murray is pleased with how his side are developing following their performances in Saturday’s double-header against Clipstone FC and Carlton Town.
Goals from striker Adi Yussuf and midfielder Mitch Rose contributed to the 2-2 draw at the Worksop Van Hire Stadium, whilst goals from left-back Mal Benning and forward Jason Law added to striker Matt Green’s brace to ensure the Stags recorded a 4-3 win at The Bill Stokeld Stadium over Carlton Town.
With the first-team squad split and a number of youth-team players being introduced for the 2-2 draw at Clipstone and 4-3 win at Carlton, the boss had high praise for his players.
“There were some very good individual performances [and] some really good play at times, the pitch didn’t help, the pitch was very slow, the grass was a bit long but we tried to get some of the things we’ve been working on out and I felt we did,” Murray said.
“I was a little bit disappointed that over the two games we’ve conceded three mistakes for the goals, which you allow a little bit as we’re in the second week of pre-season so people are still a little bit rusty, but overall we’ve seen some real good positive play and things are starting to click into place now.”
Frontman Matt Green scored a brilliant brace at Carlton and Murray is happy with last season’s top scorer’s start to pre-season, as well as the competition for places in the forward areas.
“We’ve got some good centre-forwards in the building at the minute and I think we’ve seen over the three games that we’re going to create chances; it’s up to us then to one, take the chances and two, to work out different ways to break teams down.
“We’ve seen last week [against Rainworth] and especially first half here today [at Carlton], when we do come up against teams that want to sit back and we have to break them down, we’ve got to have a number of ideas to do that. And I felt we did that today, some of the opportunities we had and created were very good."
New signing George Taft spent a large part of last season on the sidelines with a knee ligament injury and completed more than 60 minutes against Carlton Town this afternoon and the manager had high praise for the defender on his comeback.
“We’re all chuffed to bits for Tafty to come back and get his first minutes on the pitch, he was only due to play half-an-hour but he felt comfortable. He’s looked strong in training, he’s been doing everything in training, he hasn’t missed a day yet.
“I think today he showed what a good asset he’s going to be; he can defend but his range of passing is top drawer and I think he improves us from last year.”
First-team coach Karl Hawley came off the bench in the early kick-off against Clipstone, however the boss admitted that the former Carlisle man’s inclusion as a player this season isn’t ‘in the forefront’ of his mind.
“I think part of the thinking today was with Karl’s experience and because he is so fit, sometimes to get the voice on the pitch, it helps better than when you’re on the coaching field.
“Can Karl Hawley play at this level? In my opinion, 100 percent. I look at people like (Jamie) Cuereton and people like that, and he’s a lot fitter than them and obviously brings a wealth of experience but it’s not in the forefront of our mind but it’s always a nice option to have.”
Supporters can view Adam Murray’s post-match interview on Stags Player HD.