Boss Adam Murray pledges play-off chasing Mansfield Town will be more adventurous in second half of the season

Mansfield Town Manager Adam Murray.'Picture by Dan Westwell
Mansfield Town Manager Adam Murray.'Picture by Dan Westwell

Mansfield Town head into Christmas games against Morecambe and York City with boss Adam Murray promising fans his in-form side will be more adventurous as they chase a play-off place in the second half of the season.

Murray said his aim was always to build a cautious foundation for the first half of the season and hope to still be within touching distance of the play-offs by now.

That has been achieved with something to spare with Stags eighth after a fine 1-1 away draw at Cambridge last weekend.

Stags now drive up to Morecambe on Christmas Day for their Boxing Day clash before returning for a home clash with struggling York City on Monday.

After a decent start, Morecambe have only won once in their last seven outings and have slipped to 17th while York are two points and one place above the drop zone, their win over Morecambe last time out ending a dreadful nine game losing streak.

Boss Murray said: “I said at the start of the season my aim was to make us hard to beat, organised and disciplined – probably for myself and what the club went through last year. I wasn’t going to risk that again.

“So I knew if we could get to this stage and be in and around it six or seven points off the play-offs, I felt we could push for it. We’ve done better than that so expectations have risen, which is good.

“In the first half there have been certain games in which we wanted to be concrete. We’ve done that, so the second half will be - can we edge it and try to get promoted now?

“The second half of the season plan was always going to be a little bit different if we were in with a shout of success, which I believe we are. It will be a little bit more risk versus reward.

“The second half I want to establish us as a good League Two side – a team that people looked at with a brand. To look at us as being hard to beat.

“We are not happy with mid-table. We are not happy with just being a League Two team that goes through the motions. We want to be promoted now.

“To do that we have to take the next step in our journey. That will be a few tweaks here and there – nothing major. We have been superb so we don’t need major tweaks.

“What we do need to do is cut out the little mistakes, then evaluate the risk v reward in certain games.”

He added: “We were relegation favourites so we don’t need more fire than that.

“We want to prove people wrong. So far we have but it’s only half a job done. The second half will be a bit more going out there at times to win certain games.

“It’s a big weekend for us as I feel going into the next month we are in a good position. The chase is on now to get in the play-offs and can we cement that for the rest of the season?”