Adam Murray felt his new-look Mansfield Town side had taken another big step forward in this afternoon’s gutsy 0-0 home draw with table-topping Wycombe Wanderers.
Murray was upset with their defending in last week’s 3-2 home loss to Exeter, but they bounced back today with a fine display on a wet pitch to create a wealth of chances and were desperately unlucky not to win it.
It would have been criminal if Wycombe had won it at the death when Matt McClure put their only clear chance straight at Adam Smith.
“I am over the moon with our performance and over the moon with individual performances,” said manager Murray.
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“I saw a massive change in our game management, our organisation and the way we went about things.
“It was a big thing to get a clean sheet. I have drummed on about it all week it’s probably done their heads in.
“Near the end I was still shouting to stay switched on and we had just one lapse at the end. It was a bit squeaky bum time in that last minute.
“But this was a massive point for us. And people might say we should have won it. Their keeper has made two or three world class saves.
“We looked a lot more comfortable from set pieces against us today.
“The game was a bit scrappy as the pitch would not allow flowing football. We came in from the warm-up and the boys knew it might have to be a back to front game today.”
He added: “Wycombe are an efficient team whose work rate and endeavour is top drawer. Like all successful teams they make good decisions.
“But today we have gone toe to toe with top of the league and had them on the back foot for large parts of it. This is a real platform on which we can build.
“Performance levels have gone through the roof here in the last two months and I know the results will come. This whole process excites me.
“The biggest thing is belief. I can’t ask any more from the boys right now.
“I know people are anxious with results and the position we are in, but I am confident and everyone needs to keep believing.”
Wycombe Wanderers boss Gareth Ainsworth hailed keeper Matt Ingram for two vital first half injury time saves.
He said: “I know that’s what he is there for, but I rate him very, very highly. It’s fantastic to have him. A clean sheet was great, the back five have stepped up again.
“Okay, we had a bit of luck when they hit the post, but we defended stoutly and I was pleased to take a 0-0.
“This was a great point to keep the unbeaten run going. It is now one of the longest in the country and that is important to me.
“Mansfield are battling for their lives and some big teams will get turned over here.
“People would have expected us, being top of the league, to come to places like this and it be a walkover. That was far from the case.
“We needed a real gutsy performance to get something from the game.
“The pitch was awful and the game was bitty, but a point away from home in any division is good. We didn’t get the run of the ball going forward yet could have won it in the last minute.”