Despite dropping two more play-off points, Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray tonight vowed his side would stay in the promotion battle to the end.
The Stags had lost three on the bounce ahead of today’s excellent 1-1 home draw with rivals Portsmouth.
They are now seven points short of the top seven in 13th after today, but Murray said: “We had to end the run of defeats, that was important, so to do that against a team and a club like that takes extra effort.
“That performance has put us back on track. People will look at the league and say you’ve dropped a couple of places or you’re this many points off.
“But this isn’t over. We’ve got 27 points to play for yet and trust me when I say there are going to be some swings and roundabouts still and we are going to be right in it.
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“It was a tough game against a very, very good side. But I thought we more than matched them.
“Of course at times they are going to put you under pressure and they have got excellent players.
“I thought the boys were superb today coming off the back of three defeats. It makes it harder to keep believing when you have had three defeats.
“But the lads could not have given any more today. Every ounce they had it them they gave.”
Stags saw keeper Scott Shearer save a penalty, after saving two in one game last month, before Matt Green put them in front.
However, they then conceded an own goal just before the break when the ball struck Ryan Tafazolli in front of goal from a Ben Davies corner.
“A point was about right,” said Murray. “They’ve had chances, we’ve had chances.
“We couldn’t do anything about the goal. It’s hit Taff on the so-and-so’s and gone in. He is devastated, but you have to take them on the chin.
“The fans were superb today. They kept pushing us on, even in the last minute, and at times I felt like a fan today.”
Murray was delighted with on-loan Chesterfield striker Mani Dieseruvwe’s debut, laying on the goal for Green.
“I thought he was excellent, considering he hasn’t had much first team game time recently,” said Murray.
“To go straight into the first team tempo is hard, and for him to put himself about like he did, he made a difference.
“When it went forward at times it stuck. He made some good decisions, he helped Matt Green out.
“He meant Greeny didn’t have to think. He’s an instinctive player that needs to play without a lot on his head.”
Murray added: “I thought Lee Collins was excellent in there again. He makes us solid in the middle and allows the players around him to be freer.
“Mitch Rose was also superb today.”