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Manager wants Stags to be more clinical

10 September 2016

Club News

Manager wants Stags to be more clinical

10 September 2016

Stags’ boss Adam Murray says his side need to be more ruthless in the final third after they slipped to only their second league defeat of the season against Barnet this afternoon.

A closely-fought contest was eventually decided by Bees’ frontman John Akinde in the 57th minute when he slotted the ball past Scott Shearer from close range. 

And Murray says his side need to start converting their chances after creating a number of goalscoring opportunities against Martin Allen’s side. 

“It’s obviously disappointing losing a home game, I felt we created enough chances, or opportunities, to get more from the game,” Murray said in his post-match interview. 

“I think we had something like 14 shots, but [we’re] not clinical enough. When you do have that amount of efforts at goal, especially [in the] first half, I felt we got in some good positions where we had to punish them and we didn’t. 

“We’ve had goalscoring opportunities today and we didn’t take them. I felt there was a little bit of a lack of focus in that final third today, there wasn’t that ruthlessness there.”

The 34-year-old was dealt a blow when defender George Taft was forced off with a hamstring injury after just 21 minutes and he says his players showed signs of inexperience at certain moments in the game. 

“This is the bit that we’re trying to explain to the lads that, at times, we can be very naïve. We played a square pass on the edge of their box I think it is and they’ve ended up scoring. So we’re missing that little bit of nous at the minute. 

“Obviously when you’ve got to make changes so early on in the game, it doesn’t help. It wasn’t an ideal situation for us but again, I felt parts of our play was really good. We’ve got to get the balance of ‘why’ we’re playing because at times we pass for the sake of passing, but the boys have got to understand, it’s their responsibility – they’re the ones on the pitch. 

“I felt at times today we were a little bit naïve; there was opportunities to ‘go for the jugular’ and we didn’t but for some of them, it’s a harsh learning curve.”

The manager believes there’s still much more to come from his players and has no doubts in regard to how good his squad can be. 

“I said in my programme notes, we’re only at 60 percent and something needs to click because it’s still not where it should be. 

“We’ve got high standards; we expect a lot. We’ve seen when we’re on it, the kind of performances we can put in," Murray continued. 

“I felt today, if we had have upped the gear, just a single gear, we would’ve put them to bed but we didn’t manage to do it. It was kind of getting there, then we took our foot off the gas again, then it’s that little bit of urgency that we need to get it over the line. 

“It’s frustrating because we know it’s in there, but this is where we’ve got to turn around to the players and ask them to come forward and stand up because we know it’s in there, there’s some very good players in there.”

Supporters can view Adam Murray’s post-match interview, in full, on Stags PlayerHD.

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