Stags’ boss Adam Murray says he is 'frustrated' with the injuries which his side picked up in the 2-0 defeat to Doncaster Rovers in tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy first round fixture.
Second half goals from wingers Alfie Beestin and Riccardo Calder secured the first win of the group stage for our fellow League Two opponents, after an opening hour which contained very few clear-cut chances.
And the manager was frustrated to see injuries suffered by midfielder Jamie McGuire and centre-half Kyle Howkins, which he says may force his hand on transfer deadline day, depending on the severity of the injuries.
“It’s alright for these ‘big’ clubs that are coming in but what people forget to think about that it’s people’s jobs on the line. It’s not just turn up and have a game for an under 23 team, this is people’s lives and we’ve got to go into the weekend now with knocks and bruises and whatnot," says Murray.
“And I’ll be honest with you, we got to 75 minutes and I’m telling people to stay out of tackles and to save their legs because when you have got a small squad, you can’t risk anything.
"Overall, we’ve got people minutes who we wanted to get minutes, I’d like to say we’ve come out of it without any bruises, but we haven’t."
After starting the Checkatrade Trophy group stage with a defeat, Murray drew positives from the tie and said he was impressed with a number of individuals’ performances but also wants his players to keep their standards high.
“I thought some of them played really well, I thought there were some good performances in there.
“The performance, at times, was really good without having any end product to it. We gave away two sloppy goals but like I say, I’ve pulled the reins on the lads a little bit because we’ve took two bangs to our team which will affect us, so we had to limit the damage.
“Some of them need to realise that this isn’t a comfort zone – it’s not just a ten-month 'jolly up' with the boys. You’re at 110 percent in this building or you’re not here very long.
“Some of them [I’m] really, really pleased with. [I’m] chuffed to bits with some of the performances, I thought some of the work-rate was really good.”
Looking ahead to Saturday’s visit of Cambridge United in Sky Bet League Two, Murray says preparations have already began for a side which he believes will be promotion challengers this season.
“Obviously they’ve probably not had the start that they would’ve desired but they’re a very strong outfit, [they] made some very good signings in the summer and I do believe they’ll be top seven at the end of the season.
“I think they’ve got good strength in depth there as well so it’ll be a tough game and they’re always tough games to go in to when teams haven’t picked up that vital win, so we’re going to have to be on our mettle.”
Supporters can view Adam Murray’s post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD.