Mansfield Town first team coach Micky Moore was keen to highlight the positive start and high intensity of the Stags’ side in today’s 2-1 win over Stevenage.
Goals from midfielder Chris Clements and new signing James Baxendale secured three points for the Stags, despite Arman Gnanduillet’s late consolation.
After conceding the first goal in three of the last four games, Moore was pleased to see the Stags start the match ‘on the front foot’ and press Teddy Sheringham’s Stevenage side with a high intensity.
“I think our intensity was very good today. I think we started a lot better than we have done over the previous weeks.
“Our intensity to close down off the ball was good, with the ball, we passed it and moved it a lot better and created a fair few chances – you look at Mitch Rose’s header at the back post and Matt Green’s header and we had other opportunities,” said Moore.
“Craig Westcarr’s had a chance and the ‘keeper’s pulled off a good save, so we created good opportunities today. We felt we passed it a lot better and got on the front foot [more] than we have done in previous games.
“Over the last couple of weeks, we think our performances have been okay but we just haven’t managed to get that win. We’ve only lost one [out of] the last six so we knew if we maintained our performances, a result would come and it’s a good result.”
With the signing of Walsall man James Baxendale announced before kick-off, Moore was pleased with how he fit in to the Stags’ side and interlinked with his fellow attacking players.
“We signed James Baxendale and we knew that if we could get him into the ‘pockets’, he would add something to us.
“With Clem (Chris Clements) and Chappy (Adam Chapman) in there as well, holding the midfield, and with Westy (Craig Westcarr), Jack Thomas and Greeny (Matt Green), we thought we’d cause them a few problems with their movement.”
Moore continued: “He’s (Baxendale) a League One footballer – he’s played over 100 games in League One and he’s at a club who are flying high in League One and he’s found his minutes on the pitch quite limited at the moment and we feel we’ve captured a good loan signing who will add that little bit of quality in the final third and help us.”
With Moore emerging for the post-match interview in place of manager Adam Murray, the coach admitted that it’s been a ‘long week for everyone’.
“The gaffer is so intense in everything that he does. Every little bit helps and everything contributes to us getting a win – he’s emotionally drained at the moment!
“Everyone knows what he feels for this football club and what he stands for and, this week especially, it’s been a big week for us.”
The Birmingham-born man was pleased to see captain Nicky Hunt back in the starting lineup and says that the Stags will only add to their squad in the next month if they feel they need to.
“It’s good to get your captain back, it gives us that balance. Whether it’s Lee Collins or Mitch Rose who’ve filled in there, they’ve done adequately well but you want a square peg in a square hole, not a square peg in a round hole, which is what we’ve had over the last three or four weeks.
“We will take stock as we go along this month as to whether we need to add any more players. We don’t want to add players for the sake of adding players – we want to add quality to this squad – we think we’ve got a very good squad in terms of both numbers and quality.”
You can view Micky Moore’s interview in full on Stags Player