Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray was furious with his players’ efforts for the first hour of today’s 1-1 home draw with Wycombe.
He even threatened his players with banning mobile phones from the club in an effort to make them communicate with each other better.
Once again Stags were reliant on Matt Green coming off the bench to be the hero, bagging an 81st minute equaliser and Murray said: “I think it would have been criminal if we didn’t get anything out the game. But it was frustrating again.
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“I blame society. I have told them in the dressing room I am going to ban all kinds of social media, mobiles phones, the lot, from being in the club as no one talks any more. I think the world has gone.
“No one talks, no one communicates. Then we expect to go onto the football pitch and communication and leadership are going to be there and it doesn’t happen.
“For the first 60 minutes it was like we were stuck in sludge. No one spoke. There was no fire, no aggression, no will to run. The game was there for us today and if we’d wanted it for the last 60 like we did for the last 30 we win that game.
“I felt we missed Jamie McGuire massively today. We missed his leadership, we missed his voice, we missed his aggressiveness.”
Murray continued: “They are the games I want to be involved in. That’s me on that pitch today as I would have put people over the fence.
“It’s such a fine line at the minute between being a very good team and a very bad team.
“If we want to get promoted, it’s there for us. It is as easy or hard as they want it to be. But they’ve got to grasp it.”
Murray and counterpart Gareth Ainsworth were both angry with referee Brett Huxstable’s display and Murray said: “I thought the ref was poor. He had an ego and attitude, swearing at our players, it’s disappointing.
“The game didn’t get going did it? Every time there was a hustle and bustle he either blew the whistle or he let five or six fouls go and then gave one that wasn’t a foul just to make up for it.
“It was a poor game apart from the last 30 minutes when we actually looked like we’d got a bit of fire and went for it, players actually ran forward and tried to get in the box.
“You can’t have an hour like where it takes me to throw my weight around at half-time to liven people up.
“I need blokes in there, big characters that are going to do it themselves. I’m not their dad or teacher, in terms of getting the cane out. Do your jobs.”
Murray shook things up at the break by sending on Green and Jack Thomas, for his first outing of the season after injury. Darius Henderson also came on and almost snatched a stoppage time winner.
“The half-time subs made a difference and I think Hendo came on and made a difference too.
“When I was aged 18 to 27, I had hunger. Don’t get me wrong I was a wapper, a bit of a lunatic, but I wanted to win everything I did.
“We shouldn’t have to rely on people coming on to change the game.
“The subs came on, put themselves about, beat people up and got us in the game. Once we got a foothold we started to play a bit.
“I keep saying to the boys, take the ropes off and go and play, express yourselves and let yourself go.
“The game plan was really easy – get it forward, run, play with aggression, play with tempo and, the biggest thing, show you care.
“Credit to them in the last 30 minutes when we came alive, we looked like the team that we are.”
Murray continued: “The lads train hard. But I have seen so many training ground players over the years it’s incredible.
“It’s when you put them in an environment where you’ve got to get your gonads out and it’s man time, I need blokes out there. I am not babysitting. We showed it last week. We had 18/19/20 men last week. So it’s not as if it’s not there. But it’s got to be a consistent thing.
“It’s on their toes. I’ve said I am not carrying people this season. If we want this we’ve got it but we have to turn up week in week out and perform like we can do.
“You can’t do it one week and then think we might get through this game on a five or six and you can’t. This is League Two and it’s the toughest I’ve known it this year.
“If we do that we’ll just hover and I am not up for hovering. I’d rather leave to be honest.
“I am not interested in that. I have too much passion and desire to go through the motion.”