Despite his disappointment on the night, Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray now feels the 2-0 home defeat by Exeter City may prove to be a blessing in disguise as Stags return to the One Call Stadium to try to cement their place in the top seven against rivals Leyton Orient this Saturday.
“Sometimes you look at these things and, when the dust settles, that for me personally was a really good night in a weird way,” he said.
“After the way we lost against Exeter it probably made it a better feeling to win at Barnet. It was a really professional performance.
“With the wind, in one half the lads played some great football and in the other half they fought for their lives. It led us into the break in a good frame of mind.”
He added: “It’s a tough balance isn’t it? At the start of the season and in the summer people would have gone – we’ll take a higher finish than last year. Get us in and around mid-table and we’d be happy with that.
“As a group we set high targets from day one and managed to get off to a decent start. Then everybody else’s expectations go up.
“So when you have a little blip here and there it becomes a bigger issue than it is, which does get magnified at this place probably more than other places.
“You could say that makes this a tougher place to work.
“For me it does, but that makes it a better place to work as I’ve said all along as a player and as a manager now, it demands from you.
“Realistically, we have put in one bad performances this season, that was the Exeter game, and that was something people had become accustomed to last season. So I think it was a shock to everybody in the ground.
“The lads as a team didn’t expect it could go that bad. Me as a manager didn’t know it could go that bad.
“The big thing after that, looking at reasons why, different things that added up. It was bad but it inspired me a lot and I took a lot out of that loss, probably a lot more than I took out of the wins this season.”