Raynor delighted with Stags’ showing against top class opposition

Mansfield Town's Paul Raynor - Pic Chris Holloway

Mansfield Town assistant boss Paul Raynor described tonight’s 2-2 home friendly draw with Championship Middlesbrough as a ‘an excellent work-out against a fantastic side’.

Stags roared into an early 2-0 lead before Garry Monk’s Boro showed their quality to square the game before the break.

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The draw followed a 4-0 win at Stocksbridge PS for the other half of the Mansfield squad last night and Raynor said: “That was a fantastic work-out on the back of last night’s performance.

“It was a performance against a team that was in the Premier League last season - and I don’t think, bar a couple of centre halves, they could be any stronger.

“I was pleased with the quality of our play, particularly in the first half, and we nullified their threat in the second half. We were worthy of at least a draw.

“The second half was more controlled. We huffed and puffed a little bit as they did too. They tried to control possession but we dealt with it very well.”

He added: “To go 2-0 up against a team of that quality was exceptional.

“Then we switched off a little bit. People always say you’re susceptible just after you’ve scored and we have to learn those lessons.

“These games are about learning about each other and nullifying the mistakes.

“We’ve learned we need to defend better from set pieces. I think George (Taft) lost his man a couple of times, had a couple of warning, but lost him again and got punished for the equaliser.

“And I think Mal (Benning) switched off for a straight ball just after we scored the second.

“But we will learn from that and it was an excellent work-out against a fantastic side.”

Most players got their first full 90 minutes under their belts and Raynor said: “That was the plan. We tried to split it between last night and tonight and I think everyone had come through pretty much unscathed apart from a few tired legs.

“They will recover well and we’ll be ready for the weekend.

“There were some good performances and the fitness levels are where we want to be as is how we are gelling as a team.”

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