Mansfield Town striker Matt Green believes the supporters were crucial to the team’s performance at Meadow Lane on Friday night, with the forward thanking the fans for their terrific efforts.
A magnificent 2,767 away fans watched Chris Clements and Ryan Tafazolli notch the goals to secure a 2-0 win over Notts County, and Green thought that the high emotions in the game were also a key factor in the win.
“It was end-to-end stuff but I thought we started very well, we had a game-plan and we stuck to it,” said Green.
“It was a derby game so that sort of raises your game a couple of notches, and we did whatever it took to win the match.
“The fans played a massive part by turning out in their numbers; they were louder than the Notts County fans, I thought, which was great for us as we knew we’d need their help tonight.
“However it’s also a derby game and a great occasion, it hasn’t happened for eight years so all the stats come with it. We are just happy as a team to get the three points more than anything else.”
The former Birmingham City frontman played a pivotal part in the visitor’s opening goal, sliding in Clements before the midfielder coolly slotted past veteran ‘keeper Roy Carroll.
Despite not getting on the scoresheet himself, Green was ecstatic for his team-mates after the match, citing the importance of the team being successful over individuals.
He continued: “A derby game isn’t really the time to be selfish, and although I came off disappointed with myself that I didn’t get a goal, in general I’m very positive that the team can gain a lot of confidence from taking three points today.
“I’m a striker, I know I can score goals but in occasions like this it isn’t about having a selfish attitude towards it, the three points is all we came here for.
Although Green was unfortunate not to grab himself a goal, Ryan Tafazolli made it two in two for himself in front of goal following on from Tuesday’s header away at Sheffield Wednesday. Green was full of praise for the central defender, who he believes has come on leaps and bounds in the first few games of the season.
“We’ve been unfortunate losing Collo (Lee Collins), but Ryan has taking his opportunity and today he was the best defender on the park,” said Green.
“He was absolutely solid and he was a huge threat from set-pieces and he really played his part tonight. He was really sensible too as he got booked early on so he did well to keep his head for the rest of the game which shows he’s growing as a player.”
With the Meadow Lane victory marking the first win of the season for the Stags, Green had a final message to sign off with regarding the team’s imminent future.
Green shared: “Once the team gains confidence with more points on the table there is no doubt I’ll get my goals, and we’ll be a fantastic team to watch.”