New Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray is hoping for a massive turnout to see his first game in full charge of the club at One Call Stadium with Saturday’s special offer of £7 tickets to see the visit of Cheltenham Town.
Murray was given a good reception two weeks ago when he was in the role of caretaker and admits he can’t wait for Saturday to come around with Stags expecting a bumper gate.
“It is a fantastic thought and I wish it was tomorrow – I am excited,” smiled Murray. “It is good to be back on home soil. The boys are confident and there is a good feeling about the group.
“We are hoping for a bumper crowd with the offer and we want to put on a performance to entertain the fans and hopefully pick some points up.
“I think we have shown glimpses of what we want to do over the last couple of weeks. I don’t want to bore people with it, but this is going to be a process that takes time and we need to be picking points up along the way.
“Hopefully we can show them a bit more of the product we are trying to put on.”
Murray, now in his third spell with the club, knows more than most what a boost the home fans can be.
“The part they can play is huge,” he said. “I have said over the past 12 years that they can be more than a 12th man. Through the good times they have been great and a real force.
“The boys have come out in the press over the years and said how much they make a difference. They are a key tool for us and we will do our best to put on a show for them. No doubt their backing will encourage the boys to take the three points.”
Stags failed to land a Premier League side in last night’s FA Cup third round draw when, if they beat Cambridge in their second round replay, they will take on Bury or Luton at home.
“First and foremost we face a tough tie to beat Cambridge and we have to focus on that first,” said Murray.
“We sat and watched the draw and, like everyone else at this stage, we were hoping for a glamorous tie. It probably wasn’t as glamorous as we’d have liked, but it’s a game we feel we can get something out of and progress.”
Murray, at 33 the League’s youngest manager, is now settling into his new role at the club after deciding to throw his hat into the ring at the last minute a week ago and then being chosen ahead of bigger, more experienced names.
He said: “I went with my heart and my gut instinct. I spoke to a lot of people in the game whose opinions I respect and I spoke to my family as it affects them. It took a lot of deliberation.
“If it had just been a career decision, it might have been easier. But it was a life decision that will affect me over the future years. I had to make sure it was right for me and right for the football club.
“People who know me well enough know I wouldn’t put myself or the club in a situation where I would be letting people down.
“I am confident in my ability and the people around me. I see it is a really good challenge.”
On being the youngest manager, he added: “I have not really thought about it. It’s like when you start playing at 16 or 17. It’s just a lot of talk to me if you have got the skills and knowledge and believe in yourself and people believe in you.
“If you can transmit your views and affect things then age is just a number.
“I have gone from being the granddad of the team to being the baby of the Football League. If anything that makes me feel fresher.”
Murray is still planning to speak to former Stags manager Billy Dearden about joining his backroom staff. But he has been unable to discuss the possibility as yet.
“Billy is on holiday, sat on a beach right now,” said Murray. “He is someone who has amassed a unbelievable amount of contacts over the year and counts someone like Alex Ferguson as a mate.
“But I have an experienced coach here in Micky Moore, people in the game know how good he is, and Richard Cooper is enthusiastic and a specialist in his area.
“So I am happy with them at the minute and, if Billy were to come in, which is a conversation I need to have, it would be more in a chief scout role as our scouting and recruitment is not where it needs to be.”