New game plan for Crawley Town trip says Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray

Mansfield Town's Mansger Adam Murray - Pic by Chris Holloway
Mansfield Town's Mansger Adam Murray - Pic by Chris Holloway

After reverting to a more direct game for the 2-1 win at Morecambe on Tuesday, Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray said he had a different game plan up his sleeve for Saturday’s trip to Crawley Town.

“Tuesday was a horses for courses game and Saturday will be another horses for courses situation,” said Murray.

“My philosophy hasn’t changed or my beliefs in the way we are going to play. But on Tuesday we looked at the opposition and thought we could get at them.

“We wanted to play a little more direct on Tuesday and it was literally back to front. There wasn’t much of our possession football played.

“But we felt we could put them under pressure, so we went for it that way – and it came off.

“It was a punch on the chin to me, I won’t lie. I want to play the beautiful game, even though we sometimes keep the ball which doesn’t win football matches.

“But I will take one on the chin a few times when we have to go more direct and have got to play a little more ‘League Two’.

“So be it. If that gets Mansfield Town points, then it’s not about me and what I like watching. It’s about what wins football matches.”

He added: “Crawley will provide us with a different problem, but we’ll provide Crawley with different problems to what we brought to the table on Tuesday.

“That sums up the squad we’ve got. It’s small but it’s a strong squad capable of putting any game plan into play.

“I had a few messages before the game on Tuesday saying ‘what a weird selection’, but sometimes weird selections are good.

“I don’t think Morecambe expected it. It surprised me too.

“We get on really well with Morecambe’s management team, even though we nearly came to blows with them on Tuesday. They are fighters like ourselves.

“They’ve got that attitude that every game is life and death. Speaking to them after, they didn’t predict we’d do that.

“But this Saturday is a totally different game, different opposition, different game plan. So we will look at the personnel for that one.”

Stags will head south tomorrow night and Murray continued: “We know Crawley’s strengths. Obviously it’s another long trip for us – three and a half hours – but we will be going down there in good spirits.

“We are in a situation now where we’ve said as a group we want to finish as high as we can in the league – that’s never going to change. That’s the ambition, not the expectation. That’s very important for us as a football club, getting that fine line right.

“But we don’t want to pay too much attention to the league position as it gets in the way of what we’re doing this season.

“So we will try to win as many games as we can and progress from last year.”

Tuesday’s win was Mansfield’s seventh away success this season as they came from behind to score twice in the last four minutes.

“It was a battle of a game from the first minute – a very tactical 90-odd minutes, and the spirit and character the boys showed was superb,” said Murray.

“It was good to see that in them, especially when we went 1-0 down.

“It was never a penalty and very clever of (Kevin) Ellison. He’d done what he did a few times during the game and probably conned the ref, to be fair.

“I don’t think there was one yellow card on Tuesday, which you don’t see in League Two, so I was wondering if we had any officials?

“But it was good to see that belief in ourselves. At 1-0 down I looked at the personnel in team and I knew there was going to be a fightback. For the lads to get that win in the manner they did was huge.

“Chris Beardsley gave us a different option on Tuesday. As much as it pains me to do, sometimes you’ve just got to get the ball into the box and see what happens.

“We can still do that with a bit of finesse, which I think we did on Tuesday.

“The shape was a bit of a gamble as we didn’t have time to work on it. But the lads took it on board and credit to them for carrying it out.”