Boss reflects on disappointing night at the Globe Arena.
Manager Adam Murray wants players to take responsibility and give every drop of effort in our remaining 17 games of the campaign, after defensive errors once again contributed to a defeat – this time a 2-1 reverse at Morecambe last night.
The Stags found themselves 2-0 down inside 25 minutes at the Globe Arena, courtesy of Paul Mullin’s early strike from a well-worked set-piece, and a simple finish by veteran striker Kevin Ellison, before Simon Heslop halved the deficit with a powerful free-kick.
However, Heslop’s strike wasn’t enough as we were consigned to another defeat on the road and drop down a place to 21st position in Sky Bet League Two.
“Frustration is the overwhelming feeling again,” said Murray. “It’s gone past anger and it’s gone past disappointment. Sometimes you’ve got to turn around and look at people and put responsibility on them.
“Preparation-wise, we can’t physically do any more. We’re actually putting it in black and white what is going to happen in these set-piece situations. If you ask any of the players they will tell you that they were made aware of five of six set-plays that might happen in this game.
“But we switched off [for the first goal] and found ourselves 1-0 down.”
With centre-back Michael Raynes likely to be sidelined for some time because of a hamstring injury he sustained in last night’s game, Murray may look to get fellow defender John Dempster back in the team over the coming weeks.
Dempster travelled to the North-West, but wasn’t named amongst the substitutes.
“John is on his way back to fitness. He’s been in and around the group over the past couple of weeks and his voice is a big help,” continued our boss.
“At the moment though, it’s not just the defensive side of the team that’s causing problems. We’ve got to defend all over the pitch and as we saw, we conceded from a run from the halfway line and a set-piece.
“So people have got to be accounted for and nothing changes as far as I’m concerned. It’s going to be a bumpy ride for the next 17 games and we’ve got to work as hard as we can.”
Murray added: “We’ve got to stick together. The games are going to come thick and fast now and we haven’t got time to sulk. We’ve got to get back on the training ground as soon as we can, put the work in, and we’ll see where we go.
“I think we’re down to 20 bodies now, three of those being babies, so it’s backs against the wall time, but in my mind nothing has changed.
“Since the day I took the job, I’ve seen this as going down to the wire. We’ve got to dig in and come out the other side.”