Stags boss Murray challenges his side to beat last year’s finish

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  • Stags challenged to beat last year’s 60-point total
  • Murray taking nothing for granted in safety chase
  • No foot coming off the gas

Mansfield Town could all but make sure of League Two safety by capitalising on their fine recent home form and taking six more points when they entertain Bury on Saturday and AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday.

Stags have taken seven points out of their last nine available and only lost once in seven games while, at home, they have won three and drawn two of the last five.

However, manager Adam Murray is taking nothing for granted and is challenging his side, currently 19th on 42 points with 11 games to go, to beat last year’s finish of 11th with 60 points.

“They are two home games against decent sides, but our home form at the minute is superb,” said Murray.

“But we still have 11 games to play and the way the league is, we are not taking nothing for granted this year as there are that many ups and downs.

“I want to beat last year’s points total and that will be our focus. There is still a lot to play for.

“There will be no foot coming off the gas in this camp.”

When Stags were outplayed in a 2-0 defeat at Bury on 28th December, Murray said his side were a million miles away from the classy Shakers’ display.

“We have come a long way since that,” he said. “We are a bit closer and we are only 900,000 miles away from them now.

“We are getting there and working hard. But we are only scratching the surface of where I believe I can take this team and this football club.

“Bury away was one of the three games in which we have been really poor since I took over, but you have to give some credit to the opposition, and I said before we played them that they were an outstanding outfit and, for the resources and infra-structure they have got there, probably believe they are a bit below where they should be.

“For me they are a top drawer team for this league and should be in the top three. I knew they set very high standards.

“It will be another tough test, but we can’t wait to get out teeth into the challenge. We will go into it with a lot of confidence. At home we have a certain way of playing, and that won’t change.”

He added: “It was a very good point at Cheltenham and it capped off a very good week for us and a good period of time.

“It is important now that we get our focus straight back on and our foot back down as we have another big game on Saturday.

“All credit to the boys. We have rotated players around the last couple of weeks and everyone who has come in have performed at a very high standard. Picking a side is a good headache to have and it’s important we keep the freshness and energy levels high.”