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Murray: The game where boys became men

14 April 2015

Gaffer hails players’ commitment after win all-but ensures survival.

Manager Adam Murray hailed his players after they stood up and were counted in tonight’s dramatic 1-0 victory over Tranmere Rovers, which all but secures our safety in the Football League.

Reggie Lambe scored the all-important winning goal on the stroke of half-time, but the game was packed with incident – not least during 13 minutes of injury-time at the end, which saw the goalscorer sent-off, but the Stags defend resolutely to hold out.

“We knew what it was going to be like. We knew it was going to be a battle. I think the tension from both teams was ridiculous and it always was going to be like that in such a big game,” said Murray.

“I saw certain people become men tonight and I’m proud of them.

“I’ve pushed these boys, pushed them and pushed them, knocked them down and built them back up and pushed them again, and for periods when we had our back to the wall, it showed what a team-spirit we’ve built here.”

Speaking about the game in more detail, our boss continued: “After the first 15 minutes I thought we got a little bit edgy with the football. The back four were sitting too deep, which wouldn’t allow us to go and get up the park and we couldn’t go and press, so the momentum in the game swung a little bit.

“We spoke about that at half-time and we said that there was going to be a point in the game where they threw the kitchen sink at us. We knew before the game that they’d said they were going for it, which at any period of the game you know is going to throw you. 

“So it was a difficult one, tactically, because you want to be an attacking threat, but you’ve got to be solid as well. We knew we’d have to be compact and keep our units nice and tight, and I think people saw at the end we had players on their last legs.”

He added: “I’m just over the moon for the boys. A lot of people don’t see what they go through behind-the-scenes. Some of those boys have hurt for the past few weeks and we wanted a win, a clean-sheet and three points and I might actually sleep tonight for the first time in four months.”

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