Adam Murray will spend this week desperately trying to bring in a new striker as Stags drew a blank for a third successive game in today’s 1-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers.
With Craig Westcarr out on loan and Adi Yussuf suspended for five games for urinating in public at Plymouth, Murray has few options up front and has already seen three players turn him down this week to go on loan elsewhere.
“They scored and we didn’t – that’s the bottom line of it today,” he said.
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“They are a team with momentum and consistency. They are right up there in the play-offs and they’ve got that momentum from three years. And they have goalscorers – that’s the difference.
“They have better players than us and will limit how many chances you get. We haven’t got enough in that area for me to say I expected us to create 10 chances today as I we don’t have those ingredients in the building at the moment.
“We have one striker and one striker that has injections and doesn’t train for parts of the week. So if I am expected to win games like that it’s a tough order.
“We have tried for the last three days to bring a striker in but they’ve chosen other places. We have nine weeks left and we’ll try to get someone in during the next seven days.
“That is the area we need to improve and looking forward to next season, an area in which we have to be better.
“It’s not just tools, it’s the type of tools we are lacking. We need different options. At the minute if Plan A doesn’t work we struggle for a Plan B.”
On Rovers’ winner, Murray was unhappy with his side’s static defending.
“The players have to take ownership as that was a goal we concede a lot of,” he said.
“We knew they have good centre forwards who score a lot of goals, so when you defend in your box you have to have your man by his throat. We had four mannequins in there. If you defend like that you will get punished.
“It started on the halfway line. I know Mal Benning has just come back from a bad injury and is a little bit wary of his tackles, but we can’t pull out of tackles or win our 50-50s. If that tackle was made on the halfway line the ball doesn’t end up on that side of the pitch.”
Stags have now slipped to five points off the play-off spots in 11th.
But Murray said: “We don’t want this season to fizzle out. We’ve come a long way in a short amount of time. It’s important now they understand we need to finish on a high.
“It was always going to be a tough challenge. It was always going to be a miracle if we got in there, as much as we believe we are one of the better teams in this league when we are at it.
“The consistent teams that are up there in this league do it week in week out. Our group are still learning.
“Those Rovers players today know each other inside out. A lot of the time they don’t think, they just play.
“It will come to us with time and a tweak or two.
“We knew going into this tough run of games that if we weren’t right it was going to be extra hard.
“I just want to see a spirit and a fight that we end the season on a high as I believe in this team and that we have very good players. They have to believe in that too.”