STAGS pair Louis Briscoe and Ben Hutchinson were on the receiving end of an angry blast by manager Paul Cox before being dropped for last night’s 2-0 friendly win at Hednesford.
The pair’s efforts failed to impress Cox last weekend and he said: “Both were dropped last night as I needed more from them than I got last weekend.
“I hope this is the kick up the backside that jolts them as both are excellent footballers.
“Standards have to be raised here and I won’t put up with people wanting to stroll through matches.
“If this means upsetting footballers then so be it.
“I have spat my dummy out a bit with them as it’s my job to get players into the best possible form.
“At Hednesford I thought both sets of forwards showed me what was needed and raised the bar.
“But the door is open for Ben and Louis. It’s up to them.”
Stags won 2-0 but it could have been many more as they squandered a succession of golden chances in a game in which Cox used two sets of 11 player, one in each half.
“I was very pleased with them all and, if they carry on like that, we will have some selection headaches ahead,” he said.
“We looked sharper and more cohesive than at Leamington and we created a lot of brilliant chances.
“We always looked a real threat and take nothing away from Hednesford, they were almost promoted to the Blue Square North last season and gave us a good, competitive game.
“With a bit more sharpness around the 18-yard box we would have a few more. But we did get another clean sheet too.
“I was really pleased with our work ethic and desire. But I know we can get better.
“I thought we lost our shape and a bit of discipline at the end of both halves. It is something we can improve on.”