Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray’s half-time team talk acted as the catalyst in today’s 3-2 win over Dagenham & Redbridge.
The Stags came from behind in a thrilling comeback when second half goals from Matty Blair, Adi Yussuf and Matt Green cancelled out a first half strike from Oliver Hawkins and a late consolation from substitute Jamie Cureton.
Speaking post-match, both Matt Green and Matty Blair praised the manager’s half-time team talk and Murray told mansfieldtown.net his thinking behind the change of formation at the interval.
“We wanted to try and get a bit of width into the game and still keep the two centre-forwards and the midfield overload.
“We knew they would come with the same shape, but the two shapes cancelled each other out [in the] first half.
“We were both playing the same thing and it obviously didn’t go to plan so we had to do something at half-time and it wasn’t personnel, it was a change to the shape to give us a bit more width. We could get ‘2v1s’ against them and it proved to work,” Murray said.
The gaffer said his side were ‘more energetic’ in the second half and with the Stags sitting in fifth position in Sky Bet League 2, he wants his players to ‘enjoy it’.
“I want these players to enjoy this – I think we’ve gone to fifth now – enjoy it! I’ve just said to them in there: ‘I sat [in] pre-season over the summer and thought people are writing me off as a manager and we’re odds-on to go down and that gave me a fire. I wouldn’t let that happen.’
“Now I’m saying to them, let’s go and prove every Tom, Dick and Harry wrong. People said we weren’t good enough, people said I wasn’t good enough, people [wrote] you off at the start of the season – we’re in the mix for a reason because we’re a very good team – don’t throw it away now.
“We’ve got a great team spirit and what we need to do now for the remainder of the season is to show that for ninety minutes because we’re right in the mix now.
“And as much as I say we’re over-achieving, as much as the chairman says we’re over-achieving, we’re in the mix now so I’m giving it up easy. So if you want to take this off us, we’ve got to make sure we’re ready for every fight that comes along.”
After seeing defender Krystian Pearce given his marching orders for bringing down Jamie Cureton to give the Daggers a second half penalty, which the veteran forward duly missed, the gaffer admits that he’ll have to watch the incident back before deciding whether or not to appeal the red card.
“It’s not a penalty, it’s a free-kick. I’ve had a look at it – it’s close, it’s a tough call in the heat of the moment to make, but it’s probably just on the edge of the box, a free-kick.
“Krystian’s actually saying: ‘I didn’t actually touch him; he’s just gone down.’ From the angle I’ve seen it, you can’t really see but we shouldn’t be putting ourselves in that position anyway.”
Supporters can view Murray’s post-match interview, in full, on Stags Player.