Adam Murray admitted tonight’s 1-0 home win against Yeovil Town, despite playing 82 minutes with 10 men, was one of his best nights in football management.
The Mansfield Town boss also had high praise for the home fans, who cheered and lifted the players for the full 90 minutes and made a huge difference to their side.
Stags lost Danny Rose through a needless two-footed tackle after only eight minutes.
But the in-form Glovers were unable to capitalise as the Stags went on to serve up one of their best and most gutsy performances at One Call Stadium for a very long time.
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“That was probably one of the best nights I’ve had as a manager through the sheer events of the game,” smiled Murray.
“I felt we were on top and I will have to see the sending-off again, but those decisions change games.
“But, to a man, I thought the boys were unbelievable.
“It was a kick in the teeth but we showed our character and spirit and the fight we’ve got in the group.
“Even when we came in at half-time we felt we should have had something from the game as we were tremendous.
“We came back out second half, defended like lions and caused them all kinds of problems.”
He then added: “I have got to give a special mention to the supporters tonight. I haven’t seen this place like that for a long time and at one period of the game I actually had goosebumps.
“To be a player in that environment, that gives you that extra fight.”
Once Mitch Rose had won Stags an unlikely penalty kick on 64 minutes, there was little chance that a hungry Matt Green would miss the chance to find the net.
“Matt Green is on fire,” said Murray. “This is the Matt Green we saw here a couple of years ago.
“He is fit as anything, he’s only 29 and he’s got a lot of football left in him.
“He’s turned into a leader over the last few months and he’s driving everyone forward at the minute.
“I can’t single anyone out today though – they were all absolutely outstanding.”
Mitch Rose won the penalty to build on recent fine displays and two goals in the previous two games.
“He is a powerful animal and when people get his way I feel sorry for them,” said Murray.
“He won a couple of great tackles today and that sets the team off.
“I thought Clements and Chapman in there today were outstanding – to a man it was one of the best performances I’ve seen from us.”
Near the end Murray tweaked his side by sending on big target man striker Darius Henderson and centre half George Taft as Yeovil desperately looked for an equaliser.
Murray said: “We needed a bit of experience. They were putting everything they could into the box.
“Hendo is 6ft 2ins and Taft is 6ft 5ins, so it was common sense.”
Despite playing so long with 10 men, Stags were the better side over the 90 minutes with Brian Jensen not having to make any saves out of the routine.
“They are fit boys and they work their so-and-so’s off every day.
“This is a tough month and I thought it wasn’t just the energy, enthusiasm and work rate but it was the intelligence we showed and the shape was outstanding.
“We now have to come back to earth very quickly as we have two tough away games against teams that are expected to be up there.
“We are going to enjoy these next hours. I said to the players the three hours after the final whistle when you’ve won, there’s not a better feeling in the world.
“I told them to enjoy it as it’s back to reality tomorrow.
“I don’t want to sleep tonight I want to watch the game again four times!”