Boss frustrated after FA Cup exit at hands of Cambridge United.Manager Adam Murray was bitterly frustrated that our team couldn’t find an equalising goal to force extra-time – and maybe even more – in tonight’s FA Cup second round replay with Cambridge United.
The Stags’ boss, who was speaking in his post-match interview, couldn’t fault our players work ethic, but rued missed chances and a poor first half showing from our side.
“I think for 45 minutes, we got application and hard work, but the first 40 minutes, because I thought we started well in the first five minutes, it wasn’t good enough and won’t be tolerated,” said Murray.
“There were some reality checks at half-time and we had a go in the second half, but we’re lacking a bit of quality. We can’t put that many balls into the box and enter the final third that many times and not score.
“I look at the first half and yes, we created chances, but you could have driven a bus through us at times. It’s not a 45 minutes that we’ll be accepting.
“From day one I’ve said that we want to play with an attacking style, but we have to have a disciplined structure.”
Murray also explained his reasons as to why we played a 3-4-3 formation.
He continued: “I think what the game needed was a few more attacking options up there. We wanted to get a little bit of pace down the sides and when we did start putting that pressure on and left one up front, so it was a case of sacrificing a defender and putting on another attacker.
“I don’t think I’ve seen us create that many chances in a long time, but the bottom line is we haven’t scored.”
One of game’s big incidents came on the stroke of added time when Luke Waterfall hooked the ball into the net, but the goal was chalked off due to a linesman’s flag.
Regarding the goal, Murray said: “As the game went on it just seemed like it was going to be one of those days where we weren’t going to stick it into the net.
“When it did go in, it was a disappointment that it didn’t count, but I think today proved that the challenge ahead is going to be a big one.”
It was also a big night for young striker Dan Fletcher, who made his debut as a second half substitute, replacing Lee Beevers.
On the 17-year-old 10-minute performance, our manager said: “I thought he was excellent when he came on. He looked a threat, he’s clever and he got on the shoulder [of the defender] a few times and possibly could have had himself a goal.
“So it was a great experience for him, but not the result overall that he wanted.”
Adam Murray’s post-match interview will be available on Stags Player later tonight. To subscribe, click here.