Boss Adam Murray heaped praise on the ‘unbelievable attitude’ of his players after they secured a 5-0 victory over Notts County at One Call Stadium today.
The clinical display ensured the biggest ever win for the Stags over their local rivals, meaning the home contingent of the season-best crowd of 6,357 departed the ground delighted.
Manager Murray was pleased with his side’s second-half performance in particular, and believes it’s been a long time coming after many of their displays had gone unrewarded during the campaign.
“The endeavour to keep going, the fight to want more – our players today summed up what life should be about – never giving in, that unbelievable attitude to want to be the best. At three-nil and four-nil, I could see them not settling for that – they wanted more,” the gaffer said.
“They’ve had a tough time recently, I bored people with saying it, but our performances have been really good and it’s overlooked because you don’t get the results.
“I thought there was only one team in it [today]. We knew they’d come and try to play, after we scored [in the] first half, they pinned us back with the wind as well and we couldn’t get a lot of play. Credit to the players today, I thought they were absolutely unbelievable.”
The 34-year-old manager found it hard to pick his favourite goal of the five, and says the victory is down to his side reverting back to how they performed in the opening months of the season.
“The breakaway with Blairy (Matty Blair) and Reggie (Lambe); perfect counter-attack goal. I think the lot of them were top drawer today. That’s been coming for a while now, I just said to the boys that they deserved that."
While Murray wants his squad to revel in the occasion, he says they must quickly prepare for the trip to Exeter City on Tuesday night.
“Because of the state of play and the occasion, it’s obviously a massive win. This will probably go down as one of the best wins in the club’s recent history, so I’ve said to the boys: ‘enjoy the moment, make sure you take it in and feel the moment because they don’t come around very often… and you’re in at nine in the morning!’”
The manager replaced forward Emmanuel Dieseruvwe with midfielder Mitch Rose when the Stags were 1-0 up and Murray was keen to emphasise that the formation is irrelevant when it comes to their offensive play.
“It’s not about centre-forwards on the pitch, it’s about bodies in the box. Whether you’re playing [with] one centre-forward, two centre-forwards [or] no centre-forwards – it’s about creating opportunities and getting bodies in the box.
“When Mitch and Jack (Thomas) play as a two in midfield with security behind them, they’re probably the best two young midfielders in the league – their energy and drive; they both can play. They did it last week against Carlisle at times and teams can’t handle it.
“When we do go to that shape, we’re not playing with one striker in Matt Green, we’re playing with three – we play with two wide men that we keep higher up and it pinned them back more than the original shape. That was the thinking, and it worked!”
Finally, the gaffer lauded the backing of the supporters and he says they played a big contribution towards the three points.
“[The fans were] incredible – Notts had a couple of periods of possession but they stuck with us. When they do that, they push the boys and the boys kicked in again. [I’m] absolutely shattered, my head’s spinning, I think I’ve done my medial ligaments celebrating so I need to see the physio!”
You can view Adam Murray’s post-match interview on Stags Player HD.