Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray will tonight study Newport County’s winning goal in today’s 1-0 defeat to see if it was offside.
But he admitted it was an afternoon to quickly forget on an horrendous sandy surface and urged his side to quickly bounce back and not to let their play-off push die.
“We have been on a great run, we can’t take that away from the lads. It’s about bouncing back now,” said Murray.
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“Every time we’ve taken a punch on the nose this season we’ve bounced back. So I am expecting a reaction last week.”
The defeat saw Stags slide to ninth – a point off the play-off places - with teams around them having games in hand and Murray said: “This was always going to be the case.
“We had to win our games just to be in there. The sides with game in hand on us could all win their games and we could finish mid-table. “Unfortunately that’s the nature of the beast. All we can do is what’s put in front of us. We know for our first season we’ve had a good season so far and we don’t want it to die out.
“If teams have to win to keep overtaking us then so be it. If we get the maximum points we can and we don’t make it we can’t do any more than that.”
On Newport’s winner, he said: “It was offside – whether it has taken a deflection off one of our players I don’t know.
“I will have a look back at it again, but if we have been done by a poor decision then that’s gut-wrenching. If not, it’s one of those things. We have had the rub of the green lately so it’s always going to swing back.
“Otherwise I thought it was a scrappy game which must have been an horrendous spectacle and one I am glad is out the way. We’re not going to dwell on that one.
“Things were not going our way today. Over the last few weeks we’ve had the rub of the green, the bounce and the little bit of luck you need.
“I thought today if we’d got away with the offside decision, you come away with the point. It would have been a decent point.
“It’s a horrible place to come. The pitch was horrendous and didn’t allow for any kind of rhythm. Even if you are a direct team you couldn’t kick it properly.”
Murray added: “I thought both teams were very average so a point would probably have been fair. These are the games you have to grind out and try to come away with a point.
“You can’t use the pitch as an excuse – both teams had it, hence why there wasn’t much football played.
“It turned into a terrible game and the pitch was part of that. I’ve been speaking to the people here and they say they’ve never seen it so bad. You step on it you sink on it, then you end up in a sandcastle.
“It doesn’t matter what style you want to play.
“Having said that, we still didn’t have that zest or energy about us today. I don’t know why. We have to be better than that.
“We are coming to the end of the season now and we can’t afford to waste games.”