Stags boss Murray mulls over selection dilemmas for Newport opener

Mansfield Town Manager Adam Murray 
Picture by Dan Westwell
Mansfield Town Manager Adam Murray Picture by Dan Westwell
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Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray admitted he still has one or two decisions to make on the side to face Newport County in the new season’s curtain-raiser on Saturday.

Murray should have all but a full squad to choose from and said: “It will be chosen on everything – fitness, form, the environment we are going into, the opposition we are coming up against and the game plan we put in place.

“We are lucky in that we have had a lot of high performers over pre-season, so we are still mulling over a few positions and a couple of shapes ready to go for Saturday. It’s a nice headache to have.”

On their Welsh opponents, he added: “They have obviously made a lot of solid signings.

“Towards the back end of last season Warren (boss Feeney) got them playing for him. He added a lot of energy and a grit to them and I think they will be a strong side this season.

“It’s always a tough place to go and hopefully first game of the season the pitch might be a little better than it was when we went there at the back end of last season.

“First game of the season everyone is finding their feet so we are expecting a cagey game, but one we are prepared for. We have a lot of tools in our armoury and we will decide which ones we need to use for the enemy on Saturday.”

With pre-season over and new faces successfully integrated, Murray is excited about finally getting into the real action.

“It’s all very positive here. There is a lot of energy in the group at the minute,” he said.

“Obviously at this time of the season everyone is optimistic and we want to get going now.

“We’ve had a good pre-season. We’ve had a fair few games and we are up for the challenge of three points.

“The biggest thing this squad has gained is 12 months experience together, I don’t think you can put a price on that.”

He continued: “The core of the group have had 12 months together and 12 months of working with myself. That’s the major positive.

“I think we’ve added a little bit more quality to the group over the summer.

“But the team spirit and energy in the camp is still as high if not higher than last season. The new boys have settled in really well and it’s like they’ve been here for a long time.

“That’s always our aim in pre-season and I think we’ve managed to capture that again.”