Stags boss Murray warns of Stevenage ‘false position’

Mansfield Town Manager Adam Murray'Picture by Dan Westwell
Mansfield Town Manager Adam Murray'Picture by Dan Westwell

With Mansfield Town continuing to produce play-off form away from home, boss Adam Murray knows his side now need to string some consistent results together at home, starting with Saturday’s visit of Stevenage (3pm).

But Murray has warned that he believes struggling Stevenage are in a false position in the League Two table.

“If we can keep our away form and just tweak our home form, it is play-off form,” he said. “We now want to get three points on the board this weekend and that will push us right on.

“You look at our away form, going back to last season. We are one of the toughest teams to break down in this league.

“Our focus is our home form and, if we can tweak that, we’ll be in the mix at the end.”

Stevenage are currently struggling, but Murray warned: “They’re a team who like to play football and have some good young players.

“They have some experienced players in vital areas and have put a strong squad together. When you look at some of the names within their squad, their position is false.

“So we know that it will be another tough game and, as we’ve found out from the results across the board so far this season, this league is unforgiving and on any given day anybody can beat anybody.

“But we go into the game six games unbeaten, one point off the play-offs, a chance for us to go into the play-off pack on Saturday, along with an opportunity to progress into the next round of the FA Cup and the Checkatrade Trophy all within the space of two weeks.”

Stags will be hoping midfielder Jamie McGuire has recovered from a leg injury to rejoin the squad.

Visiting Stevenage went into the season looking for a better campaign than last year, targeting a top half finish, possibly leading to the play-offs - but it’s been a tough few months.

Darren Sarll’s men have just the one win on the road in the league and are now third bottom. Defensively they have struggled for consistency while in the last three games all four goals conceded have come from set pieces.

In those three games Stevenage have played Plymouth (2-1 home defeat), Morecambe (2-0 away win) and Carlisle (2-1 home defeat), which is a tough run of opposition, but against Morecambe and again last Saturday they played quite well.

Matt Godden felt his calf on Saturday and was taken off a few minutes before the end, but should be fine to play.

Nottingham Forest loanee Tyler Walker has missed the last three games with a knee injury but could also be back in contention. However, Jobi McAnuff (fractured toe) is a couple of weeks away from a return.