Adam Murray is looking forwards to pitting his fledgling managerial wits against England legend Teddy Sheringham at struggling Stevenage tomorrow night in a game the Mansfield Town boss knows may prove tougher than last weekend’s home draw with Plymouth.
Stags have successive games away to struggling sides this week with a game at Dagenham on Saturday to come and Murray said: “I have only been in the job as a manager a small amount of time, but I have realised that these are the toughest games.
“You have got to go in them more focused, more hyped-up, more concentrated, more prepared than sometimes you do to the top of the table teams because inevitably they take care of themselves.
“But when you get teams trying to get wins and get run of form going they are the hardest games. Stevenage is always a hard place to go, we know that.
“They have a good new manager in there that’s playing a different way so we have to make sure we are on our mettle and we go there prepared with a game plan to win.”
Former Manchester United, Spurs and Forest star Sheringham is cutting his own managerial teeth at Stevenage have yet to win away this season but have won two and drawn one of their last three home games, including a 2-1 success against Plymouth.
Murray said of Sheringham: “He is a legend in football. He is a fantastic player and someone as a player that I looked up to. That’s about it for me, though. My team is going there to win and that’s the bottom line.
“There are a wide variety of players, managers, coaches and as a manager I’ve got respect for all of them but at the same time I don’t look up to any of them.
“I respect them but I believe in my ability as a young manager and a young coach and I want to be the best and better than all of them. So I go into every game wanting to beat them and that won’t change tomorrow.”
Although Stags welcome back right back and skipper Nicky Hunt from a one game ban tomorrow, they will be without midfielder Mitch Rose, who has also been slapped with a one game suspension after picking up his fifth booking last weekend.
However, Murray said: “It’s a game in which we’ve got bodies to go in and carry the mantle forwards. So it’s not a big worry for us.
“Mitch has not played a lot of football over the last few years so a little breather will do him good. He will come back all the better for it and he now has a clean slate too.”
On former Stevenage striker Chris Beardsley’s shin injury, he added: “He trained yesterday, so we will see how he reacts today.
“You look at the squad on Saturday – you had Lee Collins come in, who hasn’t played all season, you had Jack Thomas, who has not started, and I thought they did really well.
“It showed they hadn’t played as at times they looked a little bit rusty. But that game would have been brilliant for them and will hopefully kick them on now.”