Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray said tonight was ‘one for the supporters’ after his side beat local rivals Notts County 2-0 at Meadow Lane.
Goals from Chris Clements and Ryan Tafazolli secured Mansfield’s first win of the season in front of over 10,000 fans in Nottingham.
Murray, who made just one change from the team that drew with Carlisle on the opening day said: “It’s a great one for the supporters, we wanted to give them something tonight, give them the bragging rights for a couple of weeks and then more importantly put points on the board.”
The Gaffer said the support from the away fans was ‘awesome,’ adding: “To back your team like that tonight, after about ten minutes of the game I wanted to put my boots on with my suit and just go and get stuck in.
“You want to do it for these people, I've got an affinity with this club and it does the mean the world to me so to give them something like this tonight, it’s a little bit emotional for me.”
Stags were in control of the game from the first whistle, and Murray was pleased with how his side dealt with the occasion following the over-confidence from some in the Notts County camp in the build-up to this game.
“They were definitely beating us apparently. We heard a bit of noise coming out from one of their players that they were definitely going to beat us tonight. Sometimes, this game’s a funny game but we’re over the moon.”
The Mansfield manager was a gracious winner whilst speaking to the press, and had some kind words for Notts County: “They’re a very good team and they’ll be up there at the end of the season, they’re obviously favourites to go up for a reason and at times they showed that.
“I think we came here with a lot of endeavour, a lot of focus on how we’ve been setting up over pre-season and what we’re about as a team.
“It was a good overall team performance. It had work rate, it had work ethic, it had great periods of possession and creative play but at the end of it all, it’s three points. We’ll savour the occasion tonight.”
Although the boss was keen to emphasise how well the Stags did as a team, he couldn’t help but single out Nathan Thomas and Ryan Tafazolli for individual praise.
Thomas saw a good chance saved brilliantly by Notts’ ‘keeper Roy Carroll in the opening few minutes but Murray says he was ‘over the moon’ with his performance. “We put him in a different role today, he’s one of those players who can win games for you, ability-wise he’s superb and we wanted to get the best out of him.
“The last couple of games we had him out wide and he’s hasn’t got a lot of the ball. Playing him in that position freed him up a bit, he had a lot of energy and desire to go and do the off the ball stuff which shone through tonight.”
Defender Ryan Tafazolli scored his second goal in two games tonight, and the big central defender has pleased Murray with his determination to cement a place in the team.
Murray said: “I think during pre season he had [it] in his head that he might not be starting this season, but he's come in and he’s took his shirt and when he plays like that he should be playing at a lot higher level.
“If he can do that consistently for 40-odd games then Ryan’s future is big but he has to keep that focus, he has to keep that focus of doing the basics right and his ability always shines through.
“So for him to get two goals I think that’s the small-piece, but if you look at his performances over the last three games, they’ve been top notch.”