Stags’ manager Adam Murray believes the hard-earned point away at Accrington Stanley this evening will improve his players’ confidence going in to Saturday’s visit to Crewe Alexandra.
Midfielder Chris Clements marked his return to the starting line-up with a stunning first half free-kick to the give the Stags the lead before Stanley striker Terry Gornell rescued a point for the hosts with a close-range finish in the second half.
And the boss, who turns 35 later this week, believes the credible point earned at the Wham Stadium this evening will give his side a lift going forward.
“I saw the endeavour back today, and it’s about building that confidence [because] for them to go that long without scoring a goal, it’s starting to dent that confidence so to come away to a tough place and get a point, hopefully that will give them a lift going in to Saturday,” Murray said.
“What you’ve got to understand now these boys, as a team, we haven’t scored for however many minutes it was – they’re human beings so that affects confidence.
“The lads were talking between themselves there as I was walking past and they’re saying they never felt threatened, they felt comfortable and to give away a goal like that, to let somebody free in our 18-yard box, again it’s that naivety we speak about.
“At the minute we’re not getting the rub of the green and we’re having to learn, or the players are having to learn on the job, which is tough to take.”
Murray praised the travelling Stags’ faithful of 136 this evening and thanked them for showing their appreciation for his players’ efforts.
“A lot of our home crowd don’t come away – we get our hardcore away [and] some of them have [had] days off work to come and watch us tonight and we appreciate that.
“I thought the fans tonight were fantastic and I think they appreciated the shift the boys put in – they stayed and gave the boys a round of applause, so that was nice to see because the boys needed that as well.”
With midfielder Clements returning to the starting XI following a spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury and striker Pat Hoban making his first competitive start for the club, the gaffer admitted his pleasure at seeing a number of good performances in Lancashire this evening.
“It was a tough one for Clem. We wanted to keep him on the park but I think he got to 75 minutes and he lost that little bit of a zip so we were having to tweak the formation to keep him on the pitch and save his legs a little bit, but the 90 minutes would have done him the world of good.
“I thought Pat [Hoban] coming in not having played a competitive game for a while did really, really well. There were some real good performances again; Jamma (Jamie McGuire) made a difference to us.
“[I’m] really chuffed with a point, it’s a tough place to come. The way these guys play it’s tough to play against. They really throw bodies at you and you have to be on your mettle and defend right and then take your opportunities when they come, so [it was] a good point.”
Supporters will be able to watch Adam Murray’s post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD later this evening.