Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray hinted that star striker Matt Green may have to wait for his recall ahead of Saturday’s visit of Wycombe Wanderers.
After being dropped four games back, Green has played a super sub role in the last two, coming on to score winning goals, even netting twice in last weekend’s local derby win over Notts County.
But boss Murray admitted it was a tough decision with Pat Hoban and Danny Rose playing so well together earlier in the game.
“The last four games I have been over the moon with Matt, and he’s not been in the team,” said Murray.
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“His attitude and focus has been superb. Whichever way Matt is used when he is in that frame of mind, he is a vital part of the jigsaw.
“I was chuffed for him to get his goals on Saturday but more importantly I am over the moon for his attitude over the last few weeks.
“It’s up to them to keep the shirts. I felt on Saturday Pat and Rosey worked really hard and probably ground the centre halves down for the other two to come on and grab the headlines.
“Pat got man of the match and I was pleased for him, but Rosey does a lot of work that goes unseen. We have put another strong to his bow this season and asked him to do things that he hasn’t done before, but we feel he’s more than capable of doing.
“He is an intelligent player who brings something a little bit different to the team than what he is used to. But he’s bought into it and is enjoying it. His performance levels are really high.
“It’s on their toes really. It’s up to the boys when they’ve got chances to take them and if you’ve got the shirt then keep it.
“Darius (Henderson) deserved his goal. He’s worked very hard and the big thing for the group now and for individuals is don’t let your standards drop.”
Murray continued: “We said before the Port Vale game that we’d got the standards in a very high place – keep them there and push them on. Up to now the boys have done that.
“We don’t want to think that because we’ve won a game we’re champions of the world now because we’re not. We’ve done nothing.
“It is straight back down to earth with a very tough game on Saturday and we need to make sure everybody is focused and the hard work goes up another notch as there are a lot of games to play.”
Murray said with a week’s gap between games he would not accept an ‘After The Lord Mayor’s Show’ performance on Saturday.
“It’s a bit more tricky when you play Saturday/Tuesday,” he said. “Last year we played Friday/Tuesday when we played at their (Notts) place and it does have an effect, more emotionally than physically.
“But with a week’s gap there are no excuses. You are back in training on the Monday and you accept the plaudits, as you take criticism when it comes, for a few hours. Then the focus is straight on to the next one.
“If anyone wants to use that as an excuse in this camp, they won’t be in the team.”
On this week’s opposition, he added: “Wycombe are a strong team. The way they go about things is very efficient. They work hard and represent the manager very well.
“They have been a force in this league for the last few years, so we are expecting a tricky affair.
“We have planned for the game as we always do and we will pay them the respect we think they deserve as a team.
“At the same time we are on a fantastic period in our own season at the minute. We want to grow from that and try to put more points on the board.”