Caretaker manager Richard Cooper has expressed his pride for the Mansfield players after their tireless performance against Walsall this afternoon.
The game ended one-apiece at One Call Stadium after Nicky Maynard’s first-half effort was cancelled out by Elijah Adebayo on 49 minutes.
Cooper, who took charge of his first game as stand-in boss this afternoon, says there was plenty on show from the Stags in today’s display.
“I was proud of every single one of them,” he told iFollow Stags. “There was a lot of courage, commitment and we were full of desire and running. That’s exactly what I asked of them.
“I was disappointed that we didn’t get the win, but more importantly for the lads, we can play.
“We let them get on the ball and let them make their own decisions at times. There was a lot of honesty about the performance and we played some decent stuff.
“For us, we just wanted to make sure that those lads gave an absolute performance and I thought they did that.
“I thanked them [the players] for their efforts, it’s not about me. It was all about them today and I thank them for their efforts.”
Cooper discussed the game’s two goals, and praised the Stags for not letting their heads drop after Walsall’s equaliser.
“It was probably a shot that’s ended up in Nicky Maynard’s path. He showed those predator instincts when he’s in front of the sticks and he’s put the ball in the back of the net.
“We asked him to play a little bit deeper at times today, and I thought he connected us brilliantly.
“Nicky (below) put an absolute shift in for the team, which was brilliant.
“The goal we conceded, we were in their end one minute, and we’re struggling to get back in.
“A cross has come in and they’ve put it in the back of the net – credit to the players, because they kept going and didn’t bury their heads.”
There was also recognition for frontman Jordan Bowery, who made an impressive cameo from the bench as a 75th-minute substitute.
“There’s been loads of positivity with Jordan – I had a good chat with him yesterday away from the pitch.
“He was absolutely great and he went on – we thought he’d hopefully score us the winner, but he’s headed one away in our own 18-yard box, which shows he’s a team player.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Richard Cooper’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.