Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray said there is plenty for his team to improve on after he was left feeling frustrated after a 1-1 draw at home to AFC Wimbledon today.
Chris Clements’ magnificent free-kick cancelled out Tom Elliott’s early opener for the Dons and the Stags had to settle for just a point after they couldn’t find a winner.
Murray said the perfect way to describe the stalemate was ‘frustration’ after seeing his side unable to play at the same standard as in previous weeks.
“It was a really frustrating game,” Murray said. “I never thought we were going to lose it, but at the same time I never thought we were going to win it.
“We just had a good discussion in the changing room there and I think frustration is the best way to put it.
“We didn’t show enough care with the ball, we didn’t show enough penetration with the ball and when we did penetrate, it was a bit long and hopeless and we’re a lot better than that.”
With the Stags still unbeaten at home, albeit without winning, Murray is pleased that his side are grinding out results, even when they aren’t at their best.
“The plus point for a team that’s not quite clicking at times is that we haven’t lost; we’re still just a point out [of] the play-offs.
“There’s a lot to work on and certain people have got a lot to do because we’re not where we could be and the frustrating thing about it all is that I know how good we could be.
“If they [the players] carry out instructions and listen to what we work on day-in, day-out then we’re going to have a successful season.”
Looking back on the opening goal, the gaffer was disappointed with how his defenders dealt with the physical presence of the Dons’ front line: “We took risks in the wrong areas and when you come up against centre-forwards like they’ve got, they’ve got four who are six-foot-plus and when they do ‘put it on you’ it’s difficult to deal with.
“That’s what you pay your boys at the back to do and they didn’t do that in the first six minutes and that’s what’s disappointing.”
Our boss was frustrated with the lack of attacking quality which the Stags showed in the final third during today’s game and says that’s an area which they need to improve on.
“Our work needs to continue, our building blocks need to continue and our game needs to be more penetrative in the middle and the final third to create more chances because at the moment, we aren’t creating anywhere near enough.”
One player who was the subject of praise from Murray in particular was goalscorer, Chris Clements: “I've said a couple of years ago that when he wants to be, he’ll be the best midfielder in the League.
“I thought for large periods he was the only one that looked like he could influence the game today and Chris has got this edge to his game now where he does the ugly side as well as being super on the ball.
“He deserved his man of the match award.”