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Manager expects to lose star defender

Posted onPosted on 7th May
Manager expects to lose star defender

Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray admitted centre half Ryan Tafazolli will probably leave the club this summer after the Stags finished 12th following a goalless home draw with Cambridge United.

Tafazolli, named the fans’ player of the year before kick-off, went off injured at half-time and Murray said: “My gut feeling is he will probably move on. Taff has been brilliant for this football club and he’s put a right shift in. If he decides to move on, the chairman can’t do any more to put a deal together for him (than the one he has).

“It’s one of the best deals I’ve seen and fair play to the club for doing that.

“Ultimately he has to make a decision. Taff is not someone who is financially driven. He just wants to play as high as he possibly can.

“In my opinion he’d gain more from playing another season in League Two and becoming the division’s best defender. He still has a lot to work on. But he is ambitious and has a lot of drive.

“If he gets a contract elsewhere, fair play, we can’t do any more.”

Murray was also pleased with teenage debutant youth team striker Zayn Hakeem, who was a lively second half saubstitutre.

“I thought he was excellent. We had to throw him an energy gel on 10 minutes after coming on. It’s an emotional moment when you first come on,” Murray said.

“I remember that moment when I first came on myself and I was actually sick after 10 minutes.

“It drains everything out of you. You are trying to run around but emotionally you have the whole occasion to deal with.

“I think if he got that opportunity that fell to him after two minutes, if he’d been on longer he’d have scored as he is a goalscorer. But I thought his hold-up play was top drawer and he gave a lot of energy to us.

“He is probably quicker than Greeny which is a good asset, I am very pleased for him.”

Murray said he would announce his retained list this week.