Stags’ boss Adam Murray praised his side’s 'utterly professional' performance during their last-gasp 2-1 victory over Leyton Orient at the Matchroom Stadium this afternoon.
Striker Matt Green made amends for his first half penalty miss with an 89th-minute winner against the O’s after Orient skipper Liam Kelly had cancelled out midfielder Mitch Rose’s emphatic opener.
And after seeing his side continue to press for a winner deep into the second half in East London, Murray said his players’ performance was the thing which he was ‘most pleased’ with.
“I though the performance was utterly professional. We keep speaking to the boys about the process and making sure the process is right; the results will ultimately follow if the process is correct and we knew we were going to have to be disciplined today,” the Stags’ manager said after today’s game.
“We knew, at times, we'd have to sacrifice possession and after last week's away performance we felt it was a little bit loose in our shape but I thought today, every credit goes to the boys, I thought they were outstanding.”
The 34-year-old said that the manner of the victory showed the character of his side after their 89th-minute winner saw them secure their third win from their opening five games.
“[Those] games when they’re tight and especially when you do have a little bit of bad luck and miss a penalty, you do think ‘is it going to be our day?’ and then when we go 1-0 ahead away from home at a place like this, you want to ‘shut up shop’.
“So to let them back in was a little bit disappointing but again we showed our character to come back and nick it and to do it in the period of time that we did it in, it shows our endurance [and] it shows our durability to keep going so [it was] a big three points.”
After more than a week of speculation over the future of today’s match-winner Matt Green, Murray commended the frontman’s attitude and performance against the O's.
“Matt Green scores goals. The big thing that I was ‘over the moon’ with today was the performance again from Matt – he worked his ‘so-and-sos’ off.
“I thought him and Hendo (Darius Henderson), at times, were a real threat and when we brought CJ (Hamilton) on, it’s a different element to our team.
“But I think you saw when he scored what the club means to him and what the goal meant to him and more importantly what the lads meant to him. He walked in the changing room at the end and said ‘that was for the boys’. We’re a tight-knit group; we were last year, we’re even tighter this year and I think you saw at the end there what it meant to Matt and what it meant to the rest of us.”
The manager was also keen to praise the influence of Stags’ chairman John Radford and directors Paul and Tina Broughton for the planning which allowed the squad to travel to the capital yesterday in preparation for today’s game.
“Again we, the lads and myself, thank Paul and Tina and the chairman for letting us come down early and prepare right and I think it shows the difference it does make.
“We thank West Ham for letting us train there yesterday as well and the fans were outstanding today. I asked them to stay positive with us today and get behind us and they did just that. To give them the three points to travel home with, it’s worth the sore throat.”
Supporters will be able to view Adam Murray’s post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD later this evening.