Despite the worst display under his year-long tenure as manager in midweek, Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray said he was always confident in his side’s ability to bounce back in today’s 3-1 win at Barnet to go back into the top seven.
Stags had been well beaten 2-0 at home by Exeter on Tuesday but roared back to form in the wind at The Hive this afternoon “That was satisfying,” he smiled. “Even though we lost on Tuesday I came into this game with confidence.
“People won’t want to hear my reasons – when you’ve lost a game reasons become excuses. I was angry after Tuesday. But when I dug deeper and looked into it there were a lot of reasons why we got the performance we did on Tuesday.
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“It happens in football. But I knew that before that against Hartlepool we were superb. In this last period we’ve had the FA Cup games against higher opposition, we’ve gone down to nine men, we’ve played a Wycombe team we realistically should have scored six against.
“People look at the outside and go – it’s a bit shaky. We look on the inside and go we’ve not been bad at all, so we came into it with confidence.
“We had a game plan and we knew that once we got out game going and our process right, we’d cause them problems today – and we did.”
Mansfield had the advantage of the wind at their backs in the first half at Barnet.
“We knew that would be the case, so it was important we had he luck of the draw and won the toss at the start of the game as we knew we wanted the wind first half,” he said.
“We got that and we dictated play first half with our passing and possession, created chances and should have probably had another two or three goals.
“We didn’t and we knew going into the second half that may cause us a few problems, but then we showed the gritty side to us and defended well.
“Then we caught them on the break and scored two good goals.
“When you’ve got players like Jamie McGuire and Chris Beardsley you can reply upon to come on. I think Chris broke his nose after a minute and Jamie got a cut on his eye, when you’ve soldiers like that you can put on in the heat of battle, what a difference that makes.”
After fans began to doubt his ability to score on a regular basis this season, Matt Green took his tally to seven this afternoon and Murray said: “That was probably the wobbly head brigade speaking again as I think if you look at the second top scorer in our division, they’ve got about nine before today. It’s nothing Greeny can’t catch.
“He’s not played for two years and his instincts as a goalscorer take time.”
As Stags went back into the play-off spots, Murray admitted managing expectation was still a tough job.
He said: “I am not surprised as it happens with me, the staff and the players. The more you have the more you want.
“I keep saying what we have to have this season is perspective. I will get the football club to where it can go.”