Stags boss thanks fans for long Barrow trip

FOR the second successive week, Stags had to earn a point the hard way, coming from two behind at Barrow on Saturday after coming back from three down at home to Newport last weekend, reports John Lomas.

“You have to take the positives out of games and the big positives we showed today were a lot of guts and determination,” said relieved boss Duncan Russell.

“We were 2-0 down, yet we came back to 2-2 and could have gone on to win it.

“Last week we were 3-0 down and came back so it’s never easy with Mansfield Town. We do like a drama and that’s what it was today.

“For their first goal we must stop someone running in towards your 18 yard box and giving them a free shot.

“Someone must take responsibility and I will study the DVD to see who that should have been.

“For the second I think the keeper was a little unsighted and it’s gone in off Paul Connor’s head for an own goal.

“Once we had got a grip after the first 10 minutes I really thought we’d go on and score a lot of goals. We created so many chances and we look so close to being that complete team.”

Hero today was winger Adam Smith who came on as a sub to bag two superb finishes and Russell added: “Those are the type of goals that Adam Smith scores. They were great goals he created himself. He was marked tightly but created the space himself with his body movement and his quick feet.

“I want to thank the Mansfield fans who travelled all the way up here. It was great to see them clapping the players off at the end and I am glad we didn’t send them home without getting point in the bag.”

Two-goal hero Adam Smith was delighted with his afternoon and said: “We were losing 2-0 down so I was sent on to make an impact and it worked out nicely.

“Both times I got in the box and it was a bit crowded so I did what I do. I don’t think about it really. A few step-overs and I find half a yard, see the goal and strike it hard, thankfully they flew into the back of the net.

“We showed a lot of grit and heart to come back today. We showed a lot of fight out there.

“I was out with injury and since I got fit again, the lads who went in there have done well in my absence. Fair play to them. So I have had to wait for my chance.”

Debut keeper David Grof said: “I enjoyed every single minute of that.

“It has been a long time since I played a proper competitive game, I have not played one all season.

“I have been on the bench at Notts County but not got on.

“Now I just hope I can keep my place until the end of the season.

“I would have liked to have kept a clean sheet on my debut but I couldn’t do a deal with either of them.

“I am loving it at Mansfield. I didn’t know much about the club before I came but I get on well with the boys and enjoy training with them.”

Grof replaced Neil Collett who suffered a knee injury in training on Thursday and will now have a scan on the damage to see how long it may keep him sidelined.