Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray saw his side end a three-game losing run in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Pompey and insisted: We more than matched them.
The Stags responded to three consecutive 1-0 defeats to Newport County, Yeovil Town and Bristol Rovers by stopping the rot against Paul Cook’s stuttering League Two promotion-chasers.
A battling display saw the hosts claim a deserved share of the spoils after Ryan Tafazolli’s own goal just before half-time cancelled out Matt Green’s opener.
Mansfield had goalkeeper Scott Shearer to thank for saving Marc McNulty’s first-half penalty, though, after he was upended by former Blues loanee Daniel Alfei.
Regardless, a point was the least their efforts merited, with Murray delighted with the work-rate of his players.
‘It was a very tough game against a very, very good side, but I thought we more than matched them,’ he said.
‘At times they’re going to put you under pressure, they’ve got excellent players, but I thought the boys were superb.
‘The biggest thing for me was the performance.
‘I think when you’ve had the defeats that we’ve had – and they’ve been hard to take – you’ve got to stop that sequence and to do it against a team and a club like that, it takes extra effort.
‘The next step for us is consistency and when we get that, we’ll be a very good side – we showed that on Saturday.
‘For the boys to play with that belief they did, I take my hat off to them, because after three defeats, it’s tough to go into a game and say: “Oh, I’m confident now” – it doesn’t work like that.’
Murray also praised goalkeeper Shearer’s third penalty save of the season and admitted that there are a number of factors which help him make such saves.
He added: ‘One – Scott being an excellent goalkeeper. Two – him having an excellent coach in Brian Jensen and somebody who’s pushing him, and three, us having an excellent analysis team.’