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Match-winner Tafazolli praises team performance in Exeter win

20 April 2016

Two-goal hero Ryan Tafazolli heaped praise on his team-mates for the way they battled to a fantastic 3-2 victory over Exeter City tonight.

The centre-half scored a goal either side of Mal Benning’s strike to secure the Stags’ third consecutive victory, despite the Grecians momentarily levelling the match through Ollie Watkins and Christian Ribeiro.

And although Tafazolli is humbled to receive the plaudits for his performance, he says a lot of credit must go to his team-mates, whose work sometimes goes unnoticed.

“I have played a lot of games and done reasonably well but there is a lot of players who have done extremely well this season, players who put a performance in week-in-week-out that go unnoticed,” Tafazolli said.

“The likes of Adam Chapman, I don’t think he gets the credit he deserves. He was outstanding tonight and does a brilliant job in front of the back four, a lot of what he does goes unseen.

“Matt Green has chipped in with a lot of goals now, Mal Benning has been a consistent performer, the whole team have done great, especially with such a small squad.”

The central defender’s second goal of the evening was a stunning right-footed volley and he says it’s a ‘one in a million goal’.

“I am probably never going to do it again in my career with my right foot. The goals were massively overdue; I should be on more goals than I am at the minute.

“I have had a lot of chances this season and I wanted to pay back the lads from tonight’s brilliant performance because they deserved the three points and I am happy to get the goals.

“The lads were 'out on their feet' after 75 minutes so we had to really dig in and grind out the win, our team spirit got us through it in the end and managing to get the three points is an amazing achievement.”

Despite grabbing the headlines for his goalscoring exploits this evening, Tafazolli says the Stags defended resolutely against a dangerous Exeter attacking force.

“It was probably the hardest game I have played all season. They are a very good side and they are in great form, they hadn’t lost in ten games before tonight.

“They had a bit of everything, they could play long if they had to, they were a good side and you could see why they have been in such great form.

“We were resolute and we limited them to only a few chances, but it was a bit of sloppy defending for the first goal, and obviously the second one was a wonder strike. 

“Sometimes you have to take your hat off to the lad (Christian Ribeiro), we have let him shoot from that far out and if he finds the top corner then fair enough.” 

Ryan Tafazolli’s post-match interview will be available to view on Stags Player HD shortly.

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