Stags’ boss Adam Murray believes a ‘fantastic focus’ from his players has contributed to his side’s six-match unbeaten run.
Murray’s men have avoided defeat since the 1-0 loss at home to Grimsby Town in September and during the excellent run, they’ve recorded two victories alongside four 1-1 draws – three of which have been achieved away from home.
And the boss has paid tribute to his players for their hard work during the excellent run of results.
“I think discipline, organisation and a fantastic focus from the players [has been crucial],” Murray said.
“We obviously do a lot of work on the training ground on our structure. I think over the last two years, I’ve learnt and come to realise that my strength is probably organisation and structurally putting a team together and making us hard to beat.
“The players have bought in to that, we would’ve liked to turn a couple of those draws in to wins and I think that would see us sitting comfortably in the play-offs. I think before and after the Accrington game, I noted in press that I’d changed certain things and gone back to certain values that I believe in and we’ve done that and since then, we’ve been unbeaten.”
Top scorer Matt Green, who has scored eight goals in all competitions this year, has been nominated for the Nottinghamshire Professional Footballer of the Year award and Murray says it is testament to Green’s character and work ethic, whilst also praising youngster Zayn Hakeem after his brace for Antigua and Barbuda under 20s on Tuesday evening.
“He’s a fantastic player and, of late, not his ability on the pitch or his performances, I expect that from Matt, his attitude and his focus has been Championship [level], the way he’s gone about his day-to-day business has been Championship [level] and that’s why he’s got the goals he’s scored in recent weeks.
“Zayn will be a good player for Mansfield Town, but we’ve got to get his progression right. It’s the same with the likes of Tom Marriott, it was the same with Jack Thomas and I felt I dealt with Jack in the right manner and he’s become an established player so I’ll do the same with Zayn, I’ll do the same with Tom and I’ll do the same with the other young players that we’ve got coming through.”
Stags will welcome Stevenage to One Call Stadium on Saturday afternoon (3.00pm kick-off) and Murray says his two sidelined players, Jamie McGuire (dead leg) and George Taft (hamstring), are progressing well with their recoveries, but are likely to be unavailable for Saturday’s clash.
Speaking about the opposition, Murray believes the Boro will pose a tougher task for his side than what the league table suggests, with Darren Sarll’s side currently dangling just one place above the relegation zone.
“I think the position is a little bit false at the minute. When you look at the squad, they’ve got some household names, they’ve got some good experienced players and they’ve also got some very good talented young players. They like to play a good brand of football and I think the position in the league that they lie in at the minute is probably lying.”
Supporters will be able to watch Adam Murray’s pre-Stevenage news conference on Stags PlayerHD soon.