Commanding defender Ryan Tafazolli today hailed Stags’ boss Adam Murray as ‘the best manager outside the Premier League’, adding that the 34-year-old chief had transformed him from ‘a boy to a man’.The former Southampton trainee is now in his fourth season at One Call Stadium and is the club’s current longest serving player,
Widely regarded as a contender for the Player of the Season award, the 24-year-old has been a mainstay in our backline, making 40 appearances in all competitions.
And today he heaped praise upon manager Adam Murray in a news conference at One Call Stadium whilst declaring his intention to play under the Stags’ boss next season.
“Playing under the gaffer; he has turned me from a boy to a man, he really has,” said Tafazolli.
“He has 'brought me on' massively and I can’t speak highly enough of him.
“For me, he is ‘hands down’ the best manager outside of the Premier League.
"I want to improve as much as I can as a footballer and I know that if I'm playing under Adam Murray I will become twice the footballer I am this time next year.
“There are no managers out there who would improve me as much as him. To work underneath the gaffer here again [next season] would be unbelievable."
When asked how he had improved as a player during his stint in North Nottinghamshire, Tafazolli said: "The biggest thing for me, as I have said, is going from a boy to a man.
"He’s [Adam Murray] taught me how to become a leader, set examples, influence others and get the best out of my team mates. That’s probably what I’ve improved on the most. I'm a 'different animal' now and I have to put that down to the gaffer."
The defender was substituted mid-way through the first half in Monday’s 2-2 draw against league leaders Northampton following a dead leg. It is unknown at this stage whether the centre-half will be fit for Saturday’s trip to in-form Hartlepool United, with the club awaiting results of a scan.
“I had a scan yesterday and am waiting for the results now. I’m hoping it’s not too serious and that it’s a minor one so I can get back in [the line up] for Saturday,” he added.
Stags, who currently lie in 13th position in Sky Bet League Two, travel to Hartlepool United on Saturday, who sit four places below Adam Murray's men.
Tafazolli is eager to earn a positive result at Victoria Park to act as a benchmark heading into the last six games of the season.
"We just want to build some momentum now. If we can get a good result at Hartlepool, I'm sure we can begin some momentum and take this into the final stretch of the season."
View Ryan Tafazolli's full interview on Stags Player HD.