Adam Murray admitted tonight that he must be patient for his vision of the way he wants Mansfield Town to play becomes a reality.
But, after a second late equaliser in as many matches saw Cheltenham leave One Call Stadium with a point this afternoon, he also warned his new charges to adapt quickly or move on.
Stags had looked to be heading for victory, thanks to Vadaine Oliver’s superb 55th minute 30-yard dipping strike.
But the visitors plugged away and were rewarded by Zack Kotwica’s excellent 88th minute equaliser to ruin Murray’s first full home game in the hot seat.
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“I am disappointed,” said Murray. “At the minute we don’t know how to win a football match. We are probably lacking a bit of leadership and a bit of character at times in games. “When we are going through the rough periods, people have to step forwards.
“I have said in the dressing room that everyone has a clean slate and an opportunity – it’s up to them. We have prepared them thoroughly, but at some time they have to take responsibility as a footballer.
“People who know me as a player know I am not someone who will take second best and I definitely won’t take any passengers. Players have to get on board and do what I ask them to. Come to the party or go and find another party.
“At the minute the boys are continuing to give me everything. But if people can’t hit the standard they can go elsewhere.
“They won’t hear any rubbish from me, only honesty. It is black and white. What I say I will do and what they ask of me I will try to do.”
He added: “It is disappointing that for the second week we have conceded late from a restart. It was a free kick last week and a throw-in today and it’s not good enough.
“It was a great strike, but the kid had three yards of space on the edge of the box.
“We kept the ball well at times but were not effective enough with it. We were not dynamic and didn’t put them on the back foot enough.
“I know have have to have patience. That’s the big test I am finding out as I want the end product in my head to happen overnight on the pitch.
“Little things are costing us. But for a lack of concentration for 30 seconds last week we could have been through to the next round of the cup. But for a lack of concentration for 30 seconds today we could have had three points on the board. We have let them off the hook.
“The lads will be in tomorrow for recovery and preparation for the cup game on Tuesday.
“I know I have to be patient. People must understand we are coming off a nine-game run without a win and turning things round slowly. These boys have to learn to win and at the minute they don’t know how.”
This afternoon was a battle of two new managers with Paul Buckle recently appointed boss of Cheltenham.
He rightly felt they went away with a point they deserved on the day.
“I would have been devastated for the players if we had lost that, given the way we played,” he smiled.
“In the first half we were very resilient and I don’t think our keeper had to make save, while we had a few chances just before half-time. That’s the third game since I came where it has been 0-0 at half-time. That’s a huge success from the goals we were letting in prior to me coming in.
“In the second half I was so disappointed to fall behind. I think Carson was caught by surprise. We had done so well and our shape was excellent, which we had worked so hard on in training. To get beaten when they didn’t get goalside of us was disappointing.
“But I always had a feeling we would get back into it. I had a plan B with the boys who came on. It goes to show the importance of the whole squad. I did say I wanted everybody at the club to be able to come on and play.
“That should give everyone belief. They haven’t had a lot of minutes those who came on, but they helped to change the game.”
He added: “It was a cracking goal. I don’t even know his surname, I have only just learned his first name.
“I flew off the bench, I was in mid-air celebrating. I had a feeling one of the substitutes might score. I said to them when they went on to just do for me what they have been doing in training.
“There is some real belief starting to show in the squad. That’s two league games now undefeated.
“If there had been a little bit longer on the clock we might have won it, we were looking dangerous.”