Stags’ boss Adam Murray dubbed tonight’s 1-0 win over Yeovil Town as ‘one of the best nights’ he’s had as a manager.
Striker Matt Green’s second half penalty was enough to secure three points against the Glovers, even though frontman Danny Rose received a straight red card after only eight minutes had elapsed, meaning the
Stags were forced to play over 85 minutes with ten men.
And the manager said the quality of the performance with just ten men showed the 'character, spirit and fight' of his players.
“It was probably one of the best nights I’ve had as a manager, just through the sheer events of the game. I felt we were on top and - I’ll have to see it again properly – I’ve seen the decision quickly but them decisions change games don’t they, and I thought to a man, the boys were unbelievable,” Murray said.
“Even when we went in at half-time, we felt we should’ve had something out [of] the game, I thought we were tremendous. And then we came out [for the] second half and defended like lions and caused them all kinds of problems going forward.”
Last season’s top scorer Matt Green added to his goal against Newport County on the opening day with an emphatic penalty at One Call Stadium against Yeovil and the gaffer says the striker is getting back to the kind of player he was during his first spell at the club, after spending almost two years on the sidelines with a serious knee injury.
“He’s on fire and I said in pre-season that he’s the Matt Green that we saw a couple of years ago when he was here.
“He’s come back and he’s hungry, he’s as fit as a fiddle, he’s only 29 and he’s got a lot of football left in him. [He’s] driving us forward. He’s turned into a leader over the last few months, few weeks and he’s driving the group forward at the minute.”
After seeing striker Danny Rose receive his marching orders inside the first ten minutes of the match, Murray says he was forced to alter the formation slightly and the players showed numerous attributes to ensure they emerged with the three points.
“We obviously had to change formation a little bit but the tactics book got re-opened at page three. You plan for these things, you plan for going down to ten men and we’ve got a couple of systems that we use when that happens and we did that but it was always going to be a tricky game and it just turned out to be a little more tricky than we expected.
“The lads work their ‘so-and-sos’ off every day and this has been, we keep saying it, a real tough month and I thought, not just the energy and the enthusiasm and the work-rate, but the intelligence we showed, at times, the shape was outstanding and that’s a credit to them for taking on the work that we’ve done over pre-season and the last few weeks.”
Finally, the 34-year-old praised the One Call Stadium crowd for their support against the Glovers and highlighted the influence they have over the players.
“I think we’ve got to give a special mention to the supporters tonight though – I haven’t seen this place like that for a long, long time.
“At one period in the game I actually had goosebumps, [I was] a little bit emotional and to be a player in that environment, that gives you that extra five percent to keep going and I saw players out there get lifted by it and get driven by it and we gave them the three points at the end of it so a massive, massive thank you to them.”
Supporters can view Adam Murray’s post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD.