A clearly emotional Adam Murray hinted he was considering his future as manager of Mansfield Town after abuse directed at him by fans following today’s disappointing 2-1 home loss to struggling Stevenage.
Murray, a legend as a player at the club, said he was starting to wonder if he was fighting a battle that couldn’t be won and, after all he had done with the club, was not prepared to take personal abuse.
The match was won by a wonder goal from teenage Aston Villa loanee striker Harry McKirdy on his full debut, racing clear from his own half.
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But Stags were poor and not enough of the players lived up to their potential in a dour game.
They were booed from the pitch and Murray suffered some abuse through the fence as he walked to the tunnel which has clearly forced him to ponder his future.
“I am used to it and I understand people’s frustrations,” he said.
“If you’re not happy with the team and my decisions as manager that’s fine, I am okay with that, it’s the game.
“But I have put too much in for people to come at me personally. You wouldn’t talk to me like that in the street sop don’t be brave enough to do it over a fence.
“That’s something I need to decide on. I have put a lot into this club and I won’t sacrifice everything again to be personally targeted.
“Sometimes you have to look – are battles winnable? In the distance can the battle be won? I’ve been here a long time and I have said it before with managers I’ve played under. Sometimes you have to understand if you can win the battles.”
He continued: “I have never walked away from anything in my life. It’s not me. Every battle I’ve had in my life – and I’ve had a lot in football and personal – I have always known at some point I’d win it whether it took me four years, six months or two days. I always knee there was a chance of winning it.
“But if I don’t have an army behind me I am not going to fight my own army.
“I am going to have a pizza with my wife tonight and see the kids, I’ve not seen them all week again.
“Speaking to their manager he said you’ve created your own problems here with the way you were last season.
“You put the expectation on your own head now. The club was going down before I took over. I was in the team so I knew how bad it was.
“If I don’t feel I can take it to the next step I am not one of those guys who will stand around and just pick a wage up. I’d rather go and work as a plumber or something. I am about success and the ability to win fights.
“If I feel it’s unwinnable, I am not going to stay around for the crack. It’s not worth the unhappiness that seems to follow.”
On the game itself, he continued: “It was a pure Halloween day today – evil everywhere
“We got played massively today. We spoke about it before the game. We came up against a team that sat in and wanted to catch us on the counter-attack and did just that.
“We showed our vulnerability and the naivety that’s in the squad at the minute.
“We didn’t have enough quality in the first half. You expect your big players to turn up.
“In the second half we get back in the game, started well. But then their second goal was horrendous and it will keep us in mid-table if it’s not corrected.
“The whole game was flat for me. But that’s when we need people to get the tempo going.”
Stevenage won few friends with their spoiling tactics and Murray said: “Don’t get me wrong they were fantastic and ran the game.
“Every time the ball went out it was three minutes and they had tactical stoppages with people going down when there is nothing wrong with them.
“Then the ref decides to book one after 70 minutes when they’ve been doing it since the first five minutes.
“We looked wide open as well and that’s not what we are about. We had the second best defensive record for a reason.
“We don’t concede goals from set plays so that was very disappointing.
“Then the second goal was a calamity. We have all bodies in their box and were are trying to play little square pass with one man back.
“I said at half-time we are going to score and when we do you’ve got to grab hold of the game.
“But that next five minutes after we scored you can’t give people chances like that. It was an horrendous naivety. We miss leaders at the minute. We miss people taking charge on the pitch.”
Murray was furious with his players, sending them back out early at half-time and then having a lengthy lock-in afterwards.
“I give my life and soul to this,” he said. “We have plan A, B and C and I look at it sometimes and go what have you done all week? Have any of you listened to me?
“I have given my life and soul physically and mentally to this club so I am not going to be personally abused for that.
“We have household names in my squad and they have to step up.”