Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray rued his side’s lack of ruthlessness as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat to Yeovil Town at One Call Stadium this afternoon.
Ryan Dickson’s 90th-minute winner sealed an important victory for the Glovers, who entered the game six points off the relegation zone.
The Stags had dominated the contest as Reggie Lambe, Matt Green and Lee Collins all went close in particular, but the elusive goal couldn’t be found and they suffered their first home defeat since January in the quest for a return to the play-off positions.
Murray was ‘gutted’ following the result, and believes that it was the clinical touch in the attacking third that was the difference between the two sides.
“[I’m] utterly, utterly disappointed. I think that was a perfect smash and grab from Yeovil. Their captain’s just come off and apologised.
“We put ourselves in a position where if we’re not going to be ruthless in the final third and we’re not going to make better decisions, and not going to be clinical; you have to defend.
“We had more than enough opportunities. You’re always going to be liable to the sucker-punch and that was the case today. I think we had something like 12-13 efforts [on goal, which] have to be goals. You can’t make decisions for people, you can’t play the game for them.”
In addition, Murray also thinks that the expectation to beat Yeovil was wrong, and praised the Glovers in their fight for survival.
“That’s why teams are in the top five, top seven and we’re two points off it. People would’ve expected us to turn up and because of where they are in the league, beaten them. It doesn’t work like that – they’ve only lost two games in 11 or 12.
“Give them credit; they’re a good team. You can be as arrogant as you want and say ‘you should beat them’. Why should we beat them? We’re Mansfield Town, we’re not Portsmouth.”
Looking to the future, the 34-year-old manager knows what is needed from his team if they are to break into the top seven once again.
“There’s no way we should’ve lost the game. Moving forward, if we ultimately want to be a successful team, these are the tweaks that have to happen. We have to be ruthless, it’s cut-throat.
“You look at other teams at the minute, [there were] a lot of draws again today. We’re only going to get so many chances at this, we’ve said we need a certain amount of wins. We have to do our job.
“We look a little bit cagey at times; it comes across as if it’s a bit lethargic, it looks nervous. We’ve got to go and just play.”
Despite the loss, Murray reaffirmed his hopes that his side can dust themselves down and go again, but can’t depend on other results going in their favour similarly to this afternoon.
“It’s an opportunity missed which is heart-wrenching. We’re back in the play-offs if we win today; a few other results have gone our way but we can’t rely on other people. It’s make or break now. We’ve still got a chance. Win, lose or draw, we can’t dwell on it.
“Now we go into a run of fixtures against the top seven which is going to tough. [If we] beat them, we’re in the mix [for a play-off spot]. We’ve got to get over it quickly, we’ve got to stay positive and kick on again.”
Finally, Murray lauded the Stags’ support at One Call Stadium, and vows to continue in their efforts for a play-off position.
“We are in a very good position. We’ve got 11 games to go, we’re two points off the play-offs. I thought the fans were brilliant today; you’re going to get your moans and groans. [The] majority of the fans – I thank them today. We’re doing all we can for you; we’re fighting, we’re scrapping. We just need to be more ruthless.”
Supporters can view Murray’s post-match interview, in full, on Stags Player.