Mansfield Town’s first team coach Andy Garner says ‘we were excellent today’ as the Stags climbed back into the play-off positions in Sky Bet League Two with a professional 2-0 home win over Crawley Town.
Forwards Jamie Murphy and Lucas Akins bagged their first goals for the club following the pairs’ arrival in January.
Speaking to the local media post-match, the coach praised Mansfield’s dominant display against tough opposition.
“I thought we were excellent today against a good side,” said Andy.
“We had to be at our best and I think at times we played some fantastic football.
“[We scored] Two fantastic goals as well.”
Jamie Murphy netted his first in Stags’ colours with an expertly taken volley on 26 minutes.
“[It was] Very similar to the one at Carlisle but unfortunately that wasn’t given.
“[It was a] Fantastic move, a fantastic cross and he’s [Murphy] got a superb side foot on it into the net.”
Lucas Akins sealed the victory for Mansfield in the second-half. Andy was pleased to see the forward score his first since arriving in the January transfer window.
“[With] Lucas; we’re so relieved for him that he’s got a goal, it’s been playing on his mind for a long-time now,” the first team coach said.
“We keep trying to tell him to just relax, settle down [and] it will come.
“I’m so happy for him that he’s got a goal, and a good goal as well – a great header.
“We’ve known him a long time, he gives everything he’s got.”
Top scorer Rhys Oates returned to the Stags’ starting XI following a four-match absence with a thigh injury.
“We missed him [Oates]; you can’t deny that,” said Andy.
“He played really well again today.
“He’s obviously devasted that he hasn’t scored a goal but [he’s got] that sheer pace and he gets a shot off.
“[He’s] Very unlucky that he hasn’t scored.
“[It was] A fantastic performance and we’re delighted he’s back.”
Midfielder George Maris started the encounter at home to the Red Devils. The midfielder had recently found opportunities hard to come by in the starting XI.
“He’s come in [Maris] and proved a point really.
“Maybe he’s wondered why he hasn’t played as many games recently but that’s down to us [the coaches].
“We brought him in today and he’s put on a fantastic performance.
“We’re delighted with him.”
Mansfield were backed by over 5,000 supporters this afternoon at One Call Stadium. Andy praised the fans’ impact today and throughout the campaign.
“From day one, even when we went on the really bad run that we had, they’ve [the fans] always been behind us,” he said.
“They’ve always been our 12th man in getting us over the line [in games].
“[There were] A little bit of nerves in the first 20 minutes.
“As soon as you get that [first] goal that settles everybody down a little bit and then we can go on and play; that’s what the crowd want to see.”
To watch the first team coaches interview, click here.