Mansfield Town goalscorer Matty Blair believes his display in today's 2-1 victory over Dagenham & Redbridge was his best performance in a Stags' shirt.
The 28-year-old midfielder drew the Stags level with a tremendous half-volley to cancel out Oliver Hawkins’ first half opener, before goals from Adi Yussuf and Matt Green secured the three points for the home side, despite Jamie Cureton’s late tap in.
And Blair, who scored his second goal of the season against the Daggers this afternoon, says the Stags are beginning to express themselves going forward, after building on solid defensive foundations.
“We’ve been better away from home because we are, defensively, a very solid team. Away from home, the home team has to come and attack whereas at home [in] some games, they’ve (the opposition) defended and we’ve found it hard to break [them] down.
“Now we’re improving on our attacking aspects as well as our defensive aspects and we’re finally getting that balance.
“I felt fit, I felt strong, I felt like ‘the old me’ and getting a goal and an assist today [is] pretty good.”
After a first half in which the Stags struggled to assert their authority on the game, Blair says things which were said at half-time inspired Adam Murray’s side to improve their game in the second period.
“In the first half I thought we were sloppy. We didn’t really have the ‘legs’ as what we did in the second half. [We] got a ‘roasting’ at half-time and a reaction from the lads as well at half-time.”
Blair continued: “We came out in the second half on the front foot all over the pitch and our decision making was a lot better as well, so we took the game to them.
“The biggest thing was we finally got into gear. It took 45 minutes and we were in a new shape to start with – I don’t know if that had any effect or not – but we finally got into gear and we kick-started in the second half.
Defender Krystian Pearce was sent off late in the second half for a foul on Jamie Cureton to hand the Daggers a penalty, but Blair believes that the foul actually took place outside the box.
“It is a foul but it was outside the box to start, so it was unfortunate to get a ‘pen’ and Pearcey (Krystian Pearce) was obviously sent off as well which is unfortunate for us because I thought he played much better [in the] second half.”
You can watch Matty Blair’s post-match interview on Stags Player.