Despite a 1-0 home Johnstone’s Paints Trophy defeat to local rivals Chesterfield tonight, Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox was delighted with his side’s efforts.
He was also pleased to hear that defender Ritchie Sutton only looks to have suffered concussion after a worrying 12-minute spell when he lay on the pitch after being flattened in a collision with his own keeper, Alan Marriott, that led to the winning goal.
The gutsy display was a vast improvement on Saturday’s 4-1 home defeat by Hartlepool.
“We played some good football tonight and the performance was good,” said Cox.
“Sometimes you’ve got to eat a bit of humble pie and accept you’ve been beaten. I guess I feel how Paul Cook felt 10 days ago now.
“I don’t believe how we didn’t score with those one-on-ones and other chances.
“Let’s not forget we were playing a very good side tonight and I think whoever finishes above them will win the league.
“We played some good stuff tonight, both movement and passing and the lads tried to force the issue.
“I am gutted for our supporters and our players. We put a lot into it tonight but it just wasn’t to be.
“Passions ran high at times on the benches. Cooky is a passionate guy too and it’s spilled over now and again. But I’d rather wear my heart on my sleeve than look like I don’t give a monkeys about the result.”
Chesterfield manager Paul Cook was delighted to see his side gain some revenge for the League defeat 10 days earlier and bounce back from Saturday’s shock 4-3 defeat at Morecambe.
“That was a very professional performance and I am delighted,” he said.
“My players were immense and our supporters will be going home very happy Spireites tonight.
“We had a lot of comments made about us last weekend. We were criticised and rightly so. Probably because we produce teams with an identity of how they play, always quite solid at the back and looking to score on the counter-attack.
“We had a bad day on Saturday and we will have others. My players are not machines. They are human beings.
“But tonight we were back. We have gone away to Mansfield, which is as tough as it gets, and won and kept a clean sheet.
“I have ridiculous belief in my players – a ludicrous belief which they backed up tonight.
“They put their bodies on the line tonight for the club and the supporters.
“That win was for our travelling supporters.”