Pompey v Mansfield: The opposition view

Ashley Hemmings Picture: Anne ShelleyAshley Hemmings Picture: Anne Shelley
Ashley Hemmings Picture: Anne Shelley
There has been increasing pressure on Mansfield manager Adam Murray.

As a player, he was considered a legend here.

As a manager, his record – particularly at home – has been quite poor.

When he took over almost two years ago, the Stags were struggling and heading back to the Conference.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But he picked the squad up by their bootstraps and dragged them to safety.

Last season, his first full season as a manager, he managed a mid-table finish.

The team were in the play-offs for quite a while before falling away, but they were never expected to be up there.

All of a sudden expectations rose and when form dropped there was a lot of criticism and disappointment.

Murray made changes in the summer, and optimism was high.

A couple of the summer signings have impressed.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Pat Hoban suffered a pre-season injury but has done well since returning.

Ashley Hemmings was signed from Dagenham & Redbridge and looked poor until half-time against Plymouth in the FA Cup.

Since then he has looked like a world-beater and has now scored two in two games.

After 15 games, the side are only three points off the play-offs, but the record in recent weeks hasn’t been very good.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

In the league they’ve only won one game in 10, but they’ve drawn six of those – so it’s a case of turning those into three points.

The way the team are set up could be more positive.

They have one of the best goals conceded records in the division, but they haven’t been scoring enough.

Striker Matt Green recently suffered a goal drought and was dropped, but is still top scorer with eight.

He’s now sixth in Mansfield’s all-time top goalscorer’s list, and a real danger man.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Midfielder Chris Clements has so much skill, although he can sometimes look lazy.

He’s definitely the man of the moment.

It’s a talented but small squad.

Once injuries and suspensions hit, they may struggle.

Murray came off after a 2-1 defeat to Stevenage recently to intense abuse.

Afterwards, he said he was considering walking away from the club.

He had a think and reconfirmed his commitment.

He then invited fans to come into his office to talk.

He had 20 supporters in his office over five hours, and they came out saying what a nice guy he was.

The players do seem to love him, he creates an us-against-the-world mentality.

When there is adversity he uses it to get the players performing.