Determined Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray today reaffirmed his staunch resolve in leading the club to eventual success.Saturday’s slender 2-1 loss at home to Stevenage ended Stags’ six match unbeaten run, but still leaves Adam Murray’s side just three points off of the play-offs.
Some of the manager’s moving post-match comments led to some media outlets speculating if the Stags’ chief was considering his position at the club.
And today, the passionate 35-year-old, widely considered as a cult-hero in North Nottinghamshire, moved to reiterate his determination to continue to move the club in the right direction and clarify Saturday's comments.
In a frank interview for Stags PlayerHD, the club’s official online broadcast channel, Murray said: “My head was clear on Saturday [but] I’m an emotional guy, aren’t I? I don’t want to change that, that’s my way of caring.
“On Saturday, it was probably blown out of proportion by yours truly… me, because of my passion and my care. I will never hide that. I live and die for this football club.
“I do apologise to the fans and to anyone else if I gave a sense of the unknown because that’s not nice. That’s my emotions. As a passionate guy, I knew when I first took the job that my passion and ties to the club were going to be one of my biggest strengths, but if I didn’t manage it right it would be one of my biggest weaknesses.
“On Saturday, I needed to know that the situation was right for everybody. I came into this job with a personal aim of progressing the club consistently.
“I needed to make sure over the past couple of days that the club and team can move forward as one and after speaking to a lot of people and having a good chat with the chairman especially, it confirmed my beliefs and commitment to the cause and project that we’re on.”
Revealing his conversation with Stags’ owner John Radford, the Stags’ boss said: “The chairman believes in what we have done and what we’re doing. He backs me to the hilt and [tells me] to basically ‘get on with it’ and ‘stop pussyfooting around’,” smiled Murray.
“Sometimes his harsh words are good for me and it enabled me to take the time to focus on what is probably not quite clicking. I’ve done that and I’ve spoken to my players over the past couple of days. I always know when I look people in the eye where everyone is at.
“The feeling I have received over the past few days is that there is a frustration in the group because we feel we should have won more games than we have done but at the same time there are very fine lines.
"We have been on a good run of results, and have lost only four games this season. Had we turned some of the draws into wins then we would be sitting in a very healthy position. Had we taken some of the golden opportunities on Saturday we would be sitting sixth now and probably wouldn’t be having this conversation.
“But at times you need these moments to make you stronger and grow and we’ve had that over the past few days.
“I still believe that this project is nowhere near finished in my eyes. Whether it’s this year, next year or the year after, I want to leave the club in the better place than I found it; that’s always been my aim.”
And the Stags' boss also re-committed his future to the club.
"My biggest strength is making this club as one. This is about us. We all want the best for Mansfield.
“This isn’t a one-man target for Adam Murray, I came into this job for us and as long as I believe we can progress us, I will continue to do that. I’m not going anywhere for a long while.
“I probably needed the weekend to shake me up, have a conversation with my family, the chairman and some of the fans over the last few days. Sometimes we forget how far we’ve taken the club in a short amount of time.
“I believe this group can consistently win and I believe we’re very close to be consistently winning. We’re three points off the play-offs. Should we be in the play-offs? Yes we should. Would we be saying that two years ago? No.
“We need to get back on track and what we’re about and what I believe in and what I believe is right."
In related news, manager Adam Murray will open his office door tomorrow (Thursday) from 5pm until 9pm, for supporters who wish to discuss football with the manager and his staff. [Author's update: Appointments were available from approximately 2.00pm on Wednesday afternoon and have now all been filled].
“From 5pm, when everyone finishes work, we’ll be having an ‘open office’ to any of the supporters who have any questions or ask why we do certain things. Instead of shouting over fences, we can sit and have a chat and be on the same page. I know I’ll never make everyone happy but we are building an environment where we all want to be singing fom the same page.
“When we enter the battlefield, we all want the same thing; the end goal is the same for all of us.
We’re going to pull everybody in and pull ranks as a football club. My aim is to progress us. My expectations are high. We’re a little stuttery at the minute but we can fix that,” he added.