Stags need to lose their naivity, says boss Murray after defeat

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

Adam Murray felt his Mansfield Town side should have come out of today’s home clash with Barnet with something, but believed naivety contributed to the 1-0 defeat.

Stags failed to take the chances they had and were sunk by a 57th minute sucker punch from John Akinde as he broke clear to punish Mansfield for losing the ball on the edge of the Barnet box.

“Obviously I am disappointed, losing a home game,” he said.

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“I felt we created enough chances or opportunities to get more from the game. I think we’ve had something like 14 shots but not been clinical enough.

“I thought we got in some good positions that we had to punish them and we didn’t.

“We were in control of the game, a poor pass and then you’re 1-0 down, It was a kick in the gonads.”
Keeper Scott Shearer didn’t haave a save to make and Murray said: “Again, this season he’s not had a lot to do at all. He’s had nothing to do apart from picking the ball out of the net.

“This is the bit we are trying to explain to the lads. At times we can be very naïve. We played a square box on the edge of their box and they’ve ended up scoring.

“We are missing that little bit of nous for me at the minute. We should have made more of the opportunities that we had. I don’t feel we should have come out of that game losing, so to lose it was tough to take.”

Akinde provided the game’s moment of magic as he skipped past Krystian Pearce before a cool finish past Shearer.

“I don’t think he did anything else, but that’s the difference,” said Murray.

“We have had goalscoring opportunities today but we were not ruthless enough. There was a lack of focus in that final third.

“It’s not as though we weren’t creating the opportunities. But if you don’t take them you leave yourself open to a sucker punch and that’s what happened today.

“I though parts of our play were really good. We just need to get the balance of why we are playing as at times we passed for the sake of passing.

“We had good opportunities to go for the jugular and we didn’t. For some of them it’s a harsh learning curve.”

There were the inevitable boos at the end from the stands, but Murray said: “It’s not like we’ve lost five out of six games. But because it’s at home and the manner in which we lost the game, it makes it a little bit worse. But we know when it clicks and we are on it we are a good team.

“To me we are only at 60 per cent and something needs to click. It’s still not where it should be. When it does I have no doubts how good a team we’ll be.

“If we had just upped a single gear today we would have put them to bed. But we just didn’t do it.”

Stags’ misery was compounded by yet another injury with George Taft limping off midway through the first half.

“When you have to make changes that early in a game it doesn’t help. It wasn’t ideal for us,” said Murray.

“It just sums up the period we are going through with injuries and it’s another kick in the so-and-so’s. It’s his hamstring.

“We are not having much joy. I know some people call them but we are missing Clemmo and Chappie (Chris Clements and Adam Chapman). You need at least one of them in there and I didn’t think we had the flow.

“Yes they give the ball away every now and then but they will try to open doors for you. They will try that 40/50 yards pass that might get someone in.

“I thought at times today we shifted it well but a little bit safe.”