Ahead of yet another match, Stags supporters are again left asking for assistance as they struggle to understand yesterday's news that Adam Murray could be leaving the club on loan. Loaning out a player is not the part that's tough to ponder, it's the question over what will happen with Murray's assistant manager duties. When a player goes out on loan, he stays at the club he's loaned too and doesn't return to the parent club until the loan expires - with this in mind, how on earth could the much loved Stags legend continue assisting Paul Cox from elsewhere? Put simply, he can't.
If Cox is willing to let the charismatic Murray depart, have the two had a difference of opinion? Has Cox reshaped his backroom structure, with John Ramshaw now overseeing the new accadamy structure, which Murray spearheaded, and Richard Cooper now guiding the reserves this could well be the case.One thing I hate to do is speculate on events where you've seen the headline but not read the inside story. Perhaps Murray has been given the ultimatum between playing or coaching like Andy Todd was - if so and Murray's opted playing over coaching then fair enough, but to even contemplate letting a man with Murray's passion, flare and love for the club exit, verges on ludicrous in my opinion.
The word opinion sums up the past 24 hours well - this whole situation is driven by it and sadly, those inside the dressing room will have an opinion which could have an adverse affect ahead of tomorrow's match with the daggers. A negative vibe is exactly what Cox's men need to avoid as they look to build on last weekend's positive 2-2 draw with Portsmouth and get that all important first home win. So far for me it's been a pleasing start to league two life however ahead of a tough September, we could do with a few more goals and wins.
Personally I felt that the back five did not work against Pompey, the wing backs offered little support going forward and left the three centre-halves stretched. Beevers and Jennings are two quality players but are slightly out of their depth playing higher up the pitch, the sad injury to the former gives opportunity for Stags to revert to a flat back four, getting two natural wide men into the side and pushing Calvin Andrew central, he was criticized regularly by supporters last weekend for being in-affective - like Hutchinson play him central and watch the rewards follow.
Later today the club are expected to release a statement over Murray's future - let's get that out of the way and focus on getting three vital points on the board - the measure of Murray's character will tell you that wherever he goes and whatever role he holds, the one thing he'll always want is success for Mansfield Town.
Last Time We Met
The Stags and the daggers last met on an afternoon Stags fans have whipped firmly from memory, as it was their final game in the Football League having been relegated without kicking a ball during the week.Paul Holland's Mansfield were literally down and out, tired heartbroken and uninspired - all they wanted was the game to be over, naturally it ended in defeat.
The players did stage some sort of fight as at half time, the scores where level, but with supporters dressed in black (attempting to signal the death of the club following relegation) it was always going to end sour. Goals from Strevens and Benson (Penalty) condemned the doomed Stags to defeat, Jake Buxton's sending off added to the occasion of doom and destruction.
Earlier in the season, the daggers took three points from Field Mill as Huke's 63rd minute goal sent Stags rock bottom of the division - the sides have only met on these two occasions.
Goalkeeper Ian Deakin remains sidelined whilst Cox will swet over the fitness of Iron Man Lee Beevers, who again injured what's left of his shoulder during last weekends 2-2 draw. On the positive side, midfielder Keiran Murtagh could return after exiting the physio room after a few weeks lay-off.
Written by Craig Priest
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