Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray hailed loanee Dimitar Evtimov’s display as the best goalkeeping performance he has ever seen in this afternoon’s superb 1-0 away win at AFC Wimbledon for 10-men Stags.
After Rob Taylor’s 32nd minute red card, Stags stole a 47th minute lead through Vadaine Oliver and, with Evtimov unbeatable and some great defending in front of him, hung on to finally give Murray his first win as full-time manager at the fourth attempt.
“When we needed him he put his body on the line for us,” said Murray, who also said this was Stags’ best win of the season.
“100 per cent that was the best display I’ve seen from a keeper. On days like this you need characters and players to step forward and it made a massive difference for us.
“With everything that went with it, the occasion and situations we faced during the 90 minutes, that was our best win of the season.
“It was a brilliant win, though just a tiny step, a baby step, on our journey.
To read a report of the match click HERE
“I have lost my voice again so that’s a bit painful.
“I am just really proud of the boys. Over the last three weeks we have asked them for team spirit and unity and today we showed passion and character and what pride in wearing the Mansfield shirt means to these boys.
“We set up a bit differently today. We have come so far so soon, I thought things may be going a bit too quickly and today we took a step back and played a bit more direct as we felt the game and their formation warranted it. I thought it paid off and all credit to the lads.”
On Taylor’s red card for a two-footed lunge, he said: “That was the first tackle I’ve seen him make in six months!
“The referee said he’d gone over the ball but from the opposite side I couldn’t really see. Rob says he won the ball so we will have to have a look at that.
“They put us right up against the wall. But we came out fighting. Today I picked Jamie McGuire and Matt Rhead who sometimes are not the prettiest on the eye but when you need them they give you 110 per cent. You know what you are going to get from them.
“They gave us the voice and leadership we have lacked out there recently.
“I thought our decision-making today was good.”
Murray added: “No way were we going to sit back and let them come onto us for 45 minutes, feeling sorry for ourselves and defending our six yard box.
“We were going to have a go. Me being me, I wanted to chuck three up front, but Micky Moore and Richard Cooper have more sensible heads and wanted to be a bit more cautious.
“You are always going to be under pressure with 10 men away from home. I just told them at half-time to go out there and give me every ounce of energy and everything they’d got and we can come away with something.
“I am over the moon for the boys. They have given everything in recent games but not had the rub of the green.”
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