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Blair backs team-mates' determination

6 February 2016

Goalscorer Matty Blair praised the character of his team-mates after they collected a third straight win against Morecambe at One Call Stadium this afternoon.

The winger scored his first ever goal for the club to draw Adam Murray’s side level in the game, before Krystian Pearce netted a fine header to give Mansfield the advantage.

And the hosts held out in admirable style, showing their solidity to get the vital win and the former York City man lauded the ability of the team to battle for the victory.

“[The] character from the lads, superb; effort, superb – our quality at times could’ve been better but it was a game today for the conditions. We’ve dug in and we deserved the three points.

“You can’t prepare [for the conditions], you just turn up and deal with it on the day – we had it for 45 minutes, they had it for 45 minutes. In the first half I thought we were a little bit sloppy with the wind when we should’ve been using it to our advantage more.

“That’s three games on the bounce, three wins, three difficult games that have been League Two-style games and we’ve dug deep and had to pull out a performance. The character is starting to shine, let’s keep going.”

Speaking post-match, Blair was eager to make sure everyone knew who Mansfield’s first goal was scored by with much discussion over whether the deflection took it away from the Stags' man.

“It came out to the edge of the box, the strike was unbelievable! It’s bobbled, come off one of the lads’ head, and flicked it on. It was on target so I’m claiming it!

“If I’d connected with it properly like Chris Clements did it would’ve flew. It doesn’t matter, it went in.”

The 28-year-old also feels the three points is partly down to the ground staff, who worked hard to ensure the match was not only playable, but that a decent quality of football could be gained from it too. 

“The wind really picked up second half, the rain had stopped. Credit again to Mez, (Michael Merriman) the groundsman who had done a fantastic job with the pitch. It was in perfect nick near enough with the amount of rain we had. It was hard to play in.”

Finally, Blair reflected briefly on his time so far as a Mansfield player and his relief at finally getting on the scoresheet, whilst he looked ahead to the upcoming two fixtures, both away from home.

“It wasn’t a great start for me, getting injured. To grab it today is something special. I’ve just got to keep going, keep working as hard as I can and hopefully the gaffer keeps picking me. 

“I think we’ve been the better team this season away from home than at home. We’ve got great characters in the squad, we’ve got great men and I think we can go there and cause problems on both teams.”

You can view Blair’s post-match interview, in full, on Stags Player.


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