Stags’ boss Adam Murray says his side need to believe how good they are after holding high-flying Plymouth Argyle to a draw at One Call Stadium this afternoon.
A hard-fought contest saw both sides take a point from their latest Sky Bet League Two fixture whilst also extending the Stags’ unbeaten home run to five games.
Murray was pleased with how the Stags grew into the game but says when his young side start to have faith in how good they are, they will begin to cause problems for any team in the league.
“My biggest frustration at the minute is that my team isn’t believing 100% how good it is. We’re a very good team,” Murray said.
“[In the] second half, like [at] Luton, we came out and there was a little bit more spark. Because we’ve got a lot of young kids, we need to get them believing how good they are as individuals and as a team and when we do that, we’ll cause every team in this league problems.
“It’s part of the building process, this new group coming together. When we get to where we need to be, however long that will take, we’re going to be an excellent team and we’ve come up against one of the best teams in this league this afternoon and we looked strong.”
Murray added: “The good thing for me, in a strange way, is the boys are sat in there [in the chaning room] like we’ve lost because we expect to win games week in, week out.”
Plymouth’s team selection came as somewhat of a surprise to Murray but he took that as a compliment and a recognition of the strength of his side.
“They’re an exceptional team and before the game they changed their shape, put different personnel in there and changed the way they play, which I took as a mark of respect to our team.
“We wanted a win today and we’ve always said that no matter what happens this season we don’t want to lose two on the bounce.
“[It’s a] good point but I felt we did enough [in the] second half to win it.”
After seeing his side have to defend well in the early stages of the game to nullify the Pilgrims’ threat, Murray made a change to the shape of his side and says that they grew into the game afterwards.
“They came and made it a ‘second-ball game’ and we couldn’t get Westy (Craig Westcarr) in the game. We were getting overrun in midfield so we went to the three [in] midfield and I felt that suited Jack (Thomas) a little bit better.
“We tried to get our wide players, especially [in the] second half, a little bit wider as I thought we were too central [in the] first half which wasn’t allowing Chappy (Adam Chapman) to have many options, everything was straight,” Murray continued.
“I felt second half that we got back into the game and we sensed blood. We put Adi (Yussuf) on and went ‘two up’ and we probably should’ve took a couple of our chances or make the ‘keeper work a little bit better.”
Murray’s final word was for the returning Matty Blair who came on as a substitute for first time since he suffered a knee injury in January.
“He’s worked hard to get himself where he is, he’s still a few weeks away from getting to play large parts of the game. He’s got probably 45 minutes in him at the minute so it’s just about building Matty’s fitness up and I think we showed today that he had opportunity to get the ball in the box and we nearly scored.”
Listen to Adam Murray's interview in full on Stags Player.