Adam Murray tonight heaped praise on star striker Matt Green, whose brace of goals after coming on as substitute today turned the home local derby against Notts County in Mansfield Town’s favour.
Murray has been criticised by some fans for leaving Green on the bench for the past four games.
But Green netted a winner three minutes after coming on as sub in midweek, and today he netted within seconds of coming on with his very first touch to open the scoring.
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After Notts had levelled on 82 minutes Green then showed ice coolness to bag a 91st minute penalty before Darius Henderson sealed the win three minutes later.
“It’s what I expect of Matt Green,” said Murray.
“I know when he needs a kick up the backside and he will be the first to admit that for a run of games he wasn’t good enough to be in the team.
“So he’s been out, Pat Hoban’s come in and been fantastic. But Greeny’s attitude has been superb and he has that hunger in his eyes at the minute.
“I am over the moon for him and proud of what he does.
“With all due respect to everybody I know Matt Green better than anyone in the stands, anyone in the directors’ box, anybody in that dressing room. I have been his best mate for the last 13 years, so I know how he ticks. I know how he works.
“His attitude has been brilliant since he’s not been in the team and he’s just got to carry that on. He was fantastic again today.”
Murray continued: “It’s nice to have three out of three derbies under my belt.
“I said after my first season as a manager last season, every moment this year I was going to embrace and feel it. And that’s what I am doing. “It’s moments like today that you want to enjoy and be part of.
“It was always going to be a war. There wasn’t much football played. There wasn’t much quality on show.
“The first half was awful, very cagey, very anxious. That’s what these occasions are about. If your players are not focused on the nitty grity side of it, you get your backside felt.”
Stags might have had a penalty seconds before the one that was given as Henderson went down in the box and Murray said: “If there was such thing as one trillion per cent, it was one trillion per cent.
“It was a blatant penalty, so we were obviously relieved to get the second one.
“I thought second half we put them under a little bit more pressure, we played on the front foot and the forward boys were very good.
“It was another solid performance from Pat and when we have that platform to build on it gives the rest of the team chance to get up the pitch.
“I think the tweak in formation helped us at half-time and gave us a bit more balance. We managed to get it wide and feed the front lads.
“Give them credit they put us under some pressure for periods of the game. We had to defend like men.”
On Henderson bagging his first goal for the club, he added: “Fair play to Hendo. He said to me he felt like he was going to cry when it hit the back of the net. He had worked his socks off to get into position.
“The shape he is in, when he took his top off, everyone was ‘wow, what a human being that is.2 He is a man mountain, not just physically. “Mentally he is such a great guy and great to have in the changing room.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game. We always knew at some stage we might have to tweak our shape. We changed things and put them on the back foot.
“I sensed before the game we might have to do something a little bit different today, as soon as I felt we had that edge in the second half it was time to go for the jugular and fair play to the subs they did just that.”