Murray dilemma as goal drought goes on for Stags

Mansfield Town Manager Adam Murray
Picture by Dan Westwell
Mansfield Town Manager Adam Murray Picture by Dan Westwell

Stags manager Adam Murray must spend the weekend working out how to end his side’s frustrating 451-minute goal drought ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Accrington Stanley.

Stags were beaten 1-0 by Grimsby Town today against the run of play by a 17th minute Omar Bogle penalty kick.

But, once again, Murray’s men had plenty of balls into the opposition box and the better chances but once again they drew a blank.

Click HERE to read match report.

“Something is just not clicking at the minute,” said Murray.

“I don’t know if the balance of the characters isn’t quite right, the XI going out there. It’s something we need to address.

“But it’s a fine line as when you haven’t scored for five games we have to be careful people’s confidence doesn’t start dropping. No one is pummelling us.

“It’s all our own doing at the minute and we need to address it as quick as we can.

“They had three shots, one on target, a penalty they scored. We had 13, six on target and didn’t score.

“At the minute when we are on top of games we are not ruthless enough. They had one opportunity and took it.

“At the minute we are getting into fantastic positions at times and letting teams off the hook. This league is ruthless and if you do that you get punished.”

With over 1,500 Grimsby fans making the journey over for the lunchtime kick-off, the game was played a superb atmosphere and Murray said: “It is a very disappointing day today.

“I know how much these games mean to people and I am sorry we couldn’t put the points on the board. It turns my insides out, days like this.

“Scott Shearer has not had a save to make today. But we can’t keep saying that. We are not scoring goals and it’s obviously becoming an issue.

“We need to put that right. It’s a very fine line at the minute from us from us taking games by the scruff of the neck and dominating to coming away feeling like this.”

Murray had no doubts over the penalty when keeper Scott Shearer lost the race to the ball with Bogle.

“It was a stone cold penalty and it’s come from our goal kick which is frustrating,” he said.

“It was a poor goal to concede and one of those when they caught us when we were at a moment of strength. We were on the front foot.

“We are putting a lot of good balls into decent areas at the minute and nothing is happening.

“They had 10 men behind the ball in the second half. They had nine men in the box most of the time, so we have to anticipate the amount of balls that fall in the box, we are half a yard off it.

“In general play I never felt we looked uncomfortable.

“We’ve played a lot of good football this season. Today we went forward a bit quicker to make them defend and you have to take opportunities when they arise.”

He continued: “I think we’ve had 10 corners, 16 dead balls going into the box and we’ve nothing to show for it. You can repeat this interview from the last home game we had.

“That needs to change now, whether it’s personnel or a different thought process in the final third. At times we were playing with four up there today.

“It’s not as if we weren’t getting into the positions. If we weren’t then I really would be worried. We just seem half-asleep at the minute.”

Stags now head to Accrington on Tuesday and Murray said: “I am just over the moon that we have got a game on Tuesday.

“I am going to sit and cry tonight, probably punch a few walls, and head butt the laptop. I am distraught at this moment in time.

“If they had dominated us and run the game, you hold your hands up to the better team. But we’re just letting teams off the hook at the minute.”

He concluded: “The first half was probably one of the best we’ve played all season in terms of territorial play. We pinned them in and had enough opportunities to make the goalkeeper work at least. Then we get sucker punched again.

“We did have the battle mentality I asked for, but you’ve got to play with intelligence as well. We had a lot of huff and puff but didn’t have that intelligence to slit their throats, so to speak. We were very powderpuff at times.”