A tired and emotional Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray tonight said he couldn’t wait for the season to end as Stags inched nearer to League survival with a hard-earned 2-1 home win over AFC Wimbledon.
After Lee Beevers had given them the lead, it looked like Stags had thrown two points away when they gifted the Dons an equaliser from the penalty spot with 21 minutes to go.
But three changes to his tiring team in as many minutes did the trick for Murray as sub Rakish Bingham bagged an 87th minute winner.
To read a match report click HERE
“I am emotionally exhausted,” admitted Murray. “We make it very hard for ourselves. But at the end we dug in and the team spirit was fantastic.
“From the first minute we set about playing at a high tempo. But when you play like that in a 4-4-2 it takes a lot out of you and when we got to the 70-minute mark we hit a brick wall.
“It affected us mentally as well and we had a couple of defensive lapses which could have killed us.
I want to get the job finished so we can go again and build an outfit we can all be proud of
“We needed to freshen things up and I did it all at once and it had the impact we wanted.
“I just want the season over with now as I want time with my team to be able to prepare them and get them to play in a way everyone knows their roles.
“There are six weeks and two days left – yes, I am counting – and I just want to get us over the line.
“I want to get the job finished so we can go again and build an outfit we can all be proud of.
“As the game went on the pitch was digging up and caused us a few problems. It caught Tafazolli off guard and I think he had about eight hands on the ball. There was no arguments over the penalty.
“All credit to the boys tonight. But let’s not get carried away. It is only three points and it’s back to work tomorrow as we focus on staying in the Football League.”
On matchwinner Bingham, he added: “I am over the moon for him.
“I have a good relationship with him and I know he will have a really bright career.
“The period we sent him out on loan served him well and the more experience he gets the better he will be.”
Man of the match for Mansfield was midfield terrier Jamie McGuire, who had a real battle with Dons’ giant striker Adebayo ‘The Beast’ Akinfenwa.
McGuire smiled: “I was told to get in front of Akinfenwa and upset him a bit. I can be a little pest can’t I?
“I think I won more headers than him. But he is a big boy to be honest. He is a nice lad to talk to off the field.
“That was a massive three points for us tonight and everyone is buzzing.
“I felt sorry for Taff as the ball bounced up against his arm for the penalty. But we showed good character to come back and the subs made a difference.
“It was a massive response by all the players after Saturday’s defeat and now roll on Saturday.”
Stags will now prepare for a trip to bottom club Hartlepool United on Saturday.