post match thoughts of the John Ward
Manager John Ward was pleased with the way his side gained a deserved point at Mansfield this afternoon.
Rovers dominated proceedings against the home side, but still had to come from behind to earn a point.
The goal came from a deflected Alefe Santos shot seven minutes from time and was no more that Ward’s side deserved after their best 90 minute display this season.
“I’m extremely pleased and I’m never less than proud of my players because they work exceptionally hard even on days when they lose.
“I have never queried their commitment and approach to games or the way they go about their job.
“I thought we fully deserved to take something from the game today and I’m really pleased with how we went about our job.
“Our dressing room was right next to the Mansfield one and I can tell you that they were very disappointed with the way they played whereas I’m pleased with how we went about the game.”
There were a number of aspects that pleased the manager.
“Our passing and movement was excellent on a terrific surface even though there are times we are accused of not doing that. We started the game in a really good frame of mind and we improved the quality of our play in the opening ten minutes and sustained it.
“Apart from the goal and one save he made in the second half our goalkeeper was seldom troubled and that was against a side that started the season on fire, so fair play to my team.”
Until Mansfield scored Rovers had been on top and the manager realised it would then be a test of character for his side and it was one they passed with flying colours.
“We had it all to do, because we had been on top until the point at which they scored.
“However we dealt with it extremely well and stayed very positive and played some very good football.”
Although it might well go down as an own goal, Santos was initially credited with the equaliser.
‘Of course it’s Alefe’s goal. He has got that in him, but it’s a case of managing him at the moment. He does have the ability to change a game in the last twenty minutes or so and fair play to him and to Pat Keary
who have been waiting for opportunities like this.”
With defender Lee Brown leaving the pitch with a suspected hamstring injury, the manager confirmed that Andy Bond will return to Colchester following his loan spell and that he will now be searching to bring another player in on loan to help cover the defensive positions.
“Andy has worked hard for the team, but the wage cap means I have to look to cover another position.”
Pat Keary, who made his debut when replacing Brown, impressed on his first senior outing.
“He’s just getting a hug from his team mates in the dressing room and he was part of what was probably the youngest back four Rovers have fielded in a while.”