Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray paid credit to his players for the way they carried out his gameplan against Crawley Town this afternoon.
Stags emerged with a 1-0 win from the Checkatrade.com Stadium thanks to Chris Beardsley’s second-half header, despite Matt Green’s late red card for a second bookable offence.
The gaffer says that his players have worked hard to understand the respective gameplans which have been carried out against Morecambe on Tuesday night and Crawley this afternoon.
“It’s been a good week, credit to the boys – they’ve took new things on this week and for them to carry it out was top drawer, so all the credit goes to them.
“They’ve took all the information on, two different gameplans for two different games, and they’ve carried it out,” Murray continued.
“It should’ve been dead by half-time, but we had a gameplan today and it worked to a tee.”
After seeing his side create a number of chances in the first 45 minutes without breaking the deadlock, the manager says his half-time team talk was a case of making sure his players kept believing in their ability.
“At half-time, we should’ve gone in at a minimum of two, maybe even three [-nil up], so it was a case of making sure the boys kept their focus, stuck to the gameplan and didn’t get bored of the gameplan, because that can happen.
“We had to tweak a couple of things – nothing major – but it was about keeping the belief in how good they are.”
Various questions were asked of Murray and his side after last week’s defeat against Luton Town and the gaffer says that his players thrive on proving people wrong.
“We got questioned last weekend. You’ve noticed with my teams and as I am as a person, if you question us then we’ll come out fighting.
“We’re over-achieving for what we are but the boys are a strong-knit group and they like proving people wrong. We like going into games where we’re not expected to win. We probably weren’t expected to win today so it gave us that fire to prove people wrong.”
A particular highlight of this afternoon’s game was the return of left-back Malvind Benning after three months out with a knee injury and Murray revealed that he’s had to hold him back from returning before he was ready.
“What a machine he is! [He’s] not played for three months and he didn’t stop running! I was happy with him getting cramp and not pulling his hamstring so we got him off as quick as we could.
“Credit to him, the physios have had to hold him back. I found out that he was practising block tackles at home to make sure he was okay in his living room!”
The Stags had to play the final few minutes with ten men after Matt Green received a red card for a second bookable offence and the gaffer says it’s something that the striker will have to learn from.
“Matt’s distraught in there. For the time he was on the pitch, he was unbelievable. He could’ve had a few goals but his work-rate was top-drawer.
“He’ll feel like he’s let the team down because them decisions can cost you. As old as he is, he’s got to learn from that.”