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Murray - Stags must refine decision making

2 April 2016

Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray says the Stags need to improve their decision-making after seeing them concede two penalties against Hartlepool United this afternoon.

Stags dominated much of the game, both before and after the first-half dismissal of defender Krystian Pearce when he brought down Nicky Featherstone in the box. Pools’ captain Billy Paynter stepped up to give the home side the lead, despite goalkeeper Scott Shearer getting a good hand to it.

Substitute Colin Daniel got the Stags back on level terms 15 minutes from time when he slammed the ball home from close range after a long spell of pressure by the visitors, however Paynter converted his second spot kick of the afternoon after Mal Benning was adjudged to have brought down Carl Magnay to give Pools the three points. 

And boss Murray says his side need to hone their decision making after gifting the Monkey Hangers the victory at Victoria Park this afternoon. 

“Young players make these rash decisions. Take away the two ridiculous decisions [and] we probably haven’t had a performance better than that in a long, long time.

“There was eight minutes left - that is the learning curve for them, I can’t coach that. I can’t play the game for them but that’s what comes with young players.

“Decision making is absolutely killing us at the minute, I’m saying we have played really well again, but we have lost.

“Yet again we have beat ourselves, these are the decisions that are going against us at the minute, and unfortunately you can’t play the game for people.”

With Murray ruing the decisions made by his players during today’s encounter, he was left frustrated after watching his side dominate much of the match – with both 11 and 10 men. 

“With eleven men, with respect, we were battering them and it looked as if there was only going to be one winner.

“We gave ourselves a mountain to climb again, we went down to ten men and tweaked the tactics and still, we were the better team. Being respectful, we 'pummelled' them with ten men," Murray continued.

“I don’t know how many they have cleared off of the line and I don’t know how many chances we have had blocked in the six-yard box.

“I think saying we created a hatful is being a little 'ungenerous', we probably created more than we have done in the last five games - their ‘keeper has pulled off three ridiculous saves.”

The manager says ‘fine lines’ win or lose football matches and his players need to learn from their mistakes in order to improve. 

“My players need to grow up quickly because when the kid (Nicky Featherstone) goes through one-v-one with the ‘keeper, you have to take the chance that he is going to score.

“Ok, there was bad defending, but don’t get yourself sent off and for the second one, you can’t put yourself in a position where you are not 1000 percent sure you’re going to win the tackle, just stay out of it.

“We are so close but so far and that’s what I’ve got to sort out to push us onto the next level.”

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