Stags defender Sutton relieved to not be the villain

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Stags defender Ritchie Sutton was a relieved man to see Wycombe sub Matt McClure fail to put away a late chance to win last Saturday’s game after Sutton had let him get clear.

The goal would have been a travesty and against the run of play in the 0-0 draw, and, ahead of tomorrow’s big game at Carlisle, Sutton said: “The less said about that the better. It was a slight lapse in concentration.

“At the time I thought he was closer than he was. I think he still had quite a bit to do. He did fluff it thankfully as, with 95 minutes gone, I wouldn’t have been the most popular person in the changing room.

“Maybe it’s a turning point for us? Maybe things are starting to go our way? With the amount of chances we’ve had cleared off the line or great saves made, it’s ridiculous.

“Getting a clean sheet was massive for us and hopefully we can now build on that. We have been defending well in stages for many games then made silly errors that are costing us points.

“It was disappointing not win against Wycombe as we deserved the three points. But it wasn’t to be.”

Sutton has had to be careful of nosebleeds in recent games after getting much further up the pitch than usual under boss Adam Murray’s new attacking system. And Sutton admitted he was enjoying adding new strings to his bow.

“I have popped up up there and had a few chances,” he said. “I hope I can get a goal this season.

“As a full back I am now being encouraged to get forward whereas in the past I barely got past the halfway line.

“So I am now looking forward to learning something and improving my game. New challenges are coming up.

“It’s something new for me and I am practising crosses in training. It’s something I’ve never done in the past and it’s exciting.”

He added: “We now have a totally different set of lads from the time I’ve been here. It’s a different style of player. We have good wingers.

“I have always found it difficult playing against Matty Blair so it’s good to have him on the same team as me.

“We are playing good football, so if we can start putting chances away and cut out the mistakes at the back, we will be fine.

“We have a lot of quality in the squad now. The style we are playing really suits the players. Now we need to put some wins on the board so we don’t end the season in a relegation scrap.

“It’s been a massive transition but it is starting to come together now and we are playing some good stuff.”

Sutton can remember Stags almost letting Carlisle off the hook earlier in the season at home when they had to cling on to win 3-2.

“We were 3-0 up at half-time then let them back in it again as we took our foot off the gas and they came at us,” he said. “We have to be more professional in that situation.

“One or two games we’ve been one or two-nil up and not seen it out. Now, if we do go ahead, we have the experience at the back and should be able to see it out. We have got to start doing the business.”