Adam Murray insisted his relationship with the Mansfield Town fans was as strong as ever and that those upset with his post-match comments on Monday had the wrong end of the stick.
Following the 1-0 home defeat by Shrewsbury, the Stags boss hit out in another emotional post-match interview after some fans booed a substitution while he also felt some fans had put more effort into clapping former Stag Liam Lawrence on his return than getting behind their own side.
The fans will always ask me to be better and I will ask them to be better
However, Murray said today that he would always be urging the fans on to be better and he expected them to do the same of him.
“I had one or two messages this week saying I was blaming the fans,” he said.
“But they’ve taken it the wrong way. I am a bit disappointed anyone would think I’d blame the fans as I am not that stupid. I have nothing to blame them for.
“The fans will always ask me to be better and I will ask them to be better – that’s how my relationship with them has always been. That’s the way we work.
“I am never going to sit here and say I thought we were brilliant or I thought the fans were brilliant if they weren’t.
“In my time here at the football club I have never let them down. I played a massive part in promotion in 2002, in 2004 you sold me to Carlisle.
“In 2010 I led you to Wembley and then took you into the play-offs and promotion. Last season I played a massive part in keeping the club in the Football League.
“The fans have ripped me off a few times saying my legs had gone and I wasn’t good enough. But I always came back fighting.
“We always drive each other. This is my life here and it has been for a long time.”
He added: “You could have someone sitting here just for the job and the money. This is about the football club and what I believe is best for it.
“I am in a really privileged position. The chairman and board are very demanding but they stand by me 100 per cent.
“I am 33 and a baby as a manager, but in life I have been to the depths where not many people have gone. I have fought bigger things.
“People will have their opinions on certain players and team selection and that’s fine. But for the 90 minutes keep it to yourself and get behind the team. If you have grievances, tell your mates down the pub or your cat when you get home.”
Billy Kee has returned to parent club Scunthorpe after his loan came to an end to this week with Kee not playing as regularly as either party would have hoped.
But Murray said it was purely a question of Kee’s fitness and the predicament Mansfield had found themselves in.
“It was a tough one,” said Murray. “I believe at this level Billy is a really good player. But he took a bit longer than anticipated to get up to match speed.
“The situation we were in, I couldn’t give him the regularity he needed.”
Murray has already said he would love to have Kee back next season and get him a full pre-season under his belt, depending on Scunthorpe’s plan for the striker.