DESPITE a 5-0 home live televised thrashing of Newport County to got third in the table, Stags boss Paul Cox was inevitably playing it cool after the whistle.
“The lads worked really hard, scored five good goals and we got the crowd on their feet, so it’s been a good day,” he said after Stags managed a fourth win without conceding for the first time since 1977.
“I don’t want to sound miserable but I now need to keep the lads’ feet on the ground.
“I know people look at the goalscorers who get all the glamour, but our work ethic in possession and out of possession today was frightening. The desire levels to get the ball back when we hadn’t got it were immense.
“The lads have taken on board what I’ve asked for. They knew this week that this game could have turned into ‘After the Lord Mayor’s Show’ and went out there with the right mindset and were ruthless. The whole team deserves a pat on the back.
“I thought Louis Briscoe’s volley was the pick of the goals with excellent technique. And I was pleased to see Ross Dyer score as Matt Green keeps getting all the headlines, but Ross has been an unsung hero alongside him and they look a good pairing.
“But I don’t want to pick out individuals as this was a good team performance. If we carry on like this we are starting to look like a good team. And I thought the crowd were immense today.”
Midfield dynamo Anthony Howell had another storming game and said: “The crowd were fantastic today.
“The noise sent shivers down my spine. They were singing all the way through and clapping every tackle.
“It became a big event – which it was – and they really showed their appreciation.
“We understand we have got to earn the right to play, once we’ve done that we know the goals will come.
“You have to go out, get close and tight on players, unsettle your opponents and put a foot in.
“I love breaking up play and playing it easy. I get as much of a buzz out of that as Matt Green does scoring a goal.”
He added: “The manager will keep us grounded now. We can’t just walk around in the next game and put no effort in.
“The manager is experienced and makes sure we keep grinding these results out.
“We are now up to third which shows everyone Mansfield are no pushover and we are very hard to break down.”
Dejected Exiles boss Anthony Hudson said: “In recent games I have defended my players, but today I have to say I am massively disappointed.
“We are on a bad run now for whatever reason and today we were nowhere near good enough. We made far too many individual errors and dug ourselves into a big hole. It is going to be difficult now to lift ourselves out of it.
“We now need to get back to basics. I have no doubt in their ability and I believe in them as a group and myself as a manager. But confidence is massively low right now.
“Mansfield today were a great example of what this league is all about. They showed what you have to do which is grind it out and they did today what we should have done. We made it easy for them.
“I believe I and the players have what it takes and when we turn the corner, which I hope we will do soon, hopefully we can go on a run of our own.
“All I can do is focus on my job and believe in myself. But I know we have got a lot of work to do.”