Stags boss Murray calls for ‘grit and determination’ at Hartlepool

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

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray wants to see his depleted side produce the ‘grit and determination’ they showed in the wins at Newport and Leyton Orient when they head for Hartlepool United on Saturday.

He also underlined that the biggest blow for the club right now was missing all three key midfielders Chris Clements, Adam Chapman and Jack Thomas.

After a hamstring injury last weekend Stags are now without George Taft as well as Kyle Howkins and the midfield three, leaving them with just 15 outfield players.

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But Murray said: “We have 15 really good players and you only need 11 don’t you? We will put out 11 players on Saturday that we feel can rock and roll

“On Saturday I want to see that grit and determination I saw when we had 10 men against Yeovil, when we won last minute at Leyton Orient and when we won last minute at Newport.”

Hartlepool are without a home win all season and had only won one game until last weekend when they pulled off a timely success at Yeovil.

“It’s one of those things isn’t it?” said Murray. “But we are going to focus on ourselves. We are going to Hartlepool and we want to win.

“They do try to play. I think last year they finished strongly. They have some good players and some good attacking threats.

“We need to make sure, with the bodies we have available, we try to put something in place that imposes ourselves on them.

“We have good players here. So until we get that full squad back it’s about making sure we are as good as we can be.”

Stags were booed from the pitch after a 1-0 home defeat by Barnet last weekend, and Murray said: “These fans at home get that angry because a lot of them don’t see it because they don’t travel away. And they go ‘okay we’ve heard about it and listened to it, but we want to see it’. It’s us that’s got to change that.

“Some of our performances this season have been super.

“You look at the games we’ve gone away and won and the performances we’ve put it, they have been outstanding. They have been promotion performances.

“Now we need to get that consistency home and away. When we get the group back together I believe that will come.

“It’s dig-in time, but we know it’s there.”

Murray knows his side is short of a creative central midfielder right now, but said: “You need one out-and-out ball-playing midfielder in your team.

“To be fair I thought Lee (Collins) and Mitch (Rose) did well on Saturday. I thought Lee was outstanding and Mitch did well.

“Having that energy in there helped. Mitch hasn’t played central midfield in a two for a long, long time, if he ever has.

“It’s a lot of positional discipline and he’s got to learn that. But I did feel at times we missed that cutting edge.

“Clem and Chappers get called for this, that and the other at times, but they’ve got the ability.

“Will they give it away at times? Yes, they will as they’re in League Two. “But they’ve got the ability to hit that 40/50-yard pass that does open a defence up. And I thought there were points in the Barnet game where we could have penetrated a little quicker.

“That comes from a player like Clem picking the ball up on 18 yard box and try to put someone in on their 18-yard box.”

He added: “You have to have that balance of being able to play and keep the ball, but go for people’s jugulars, and we missed that a bit on Saturday.

“We are going to be without that for a few weeks so we’re going to have to re-invent ourselves.”