Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox’s angry half-time team talk did the trick on Saturday as Stags came from behind to beat Grimsby 2-1 at Field Mill.
Luke O’Neill and Paul Connor netted inside six second half minutes to wipe out Michael Coulson’s first half opener and Cox said: “I was delighted by that second half but absolutely disgusted with the first half.
“I had to tell them a few home truths for the first time in a long time at half-time. There were a few bruised egos in there.
“But, all credit to the lads, they rammed it back down my throat in the second half which I didn’t mind as will do anything to get a reaction and a result.
“We have won. But it’s frightening we didn’t turn up for the first 45 minutes and expected to win as match at this level.
“With players returning to their old club, there was a bit of a derby atmosphere about the game and a lot of local pride. But we lacked urgency.”
The stop-start game was dominated by the whistle of referee Rob Merchant, who booked seven players and made many poor decisions.
“I don’t want to be too hard on referees but I don’t know what some of them see some of the time,” said Cox.
“We should have had a blatant penalty on Matt Green and he found five minutes from somewhere at the end. I tried to talk to him from the sideline but he wouldn’t speak to me.
“But, if we’d lost today, I wouldn’t have been blaming the referee, it would have been down to the players.”
Mariners’ joint boss Rob Scott said: “It’s the same old story, we win one, we lose one. We just can’t seem to get on a run.
“Our second half performance fell well short of the first.
“All we had to do was up the tempo for the second half. But we had a few too many players letting things happen instead of making things happen which is not acceptable.
“We have players in there saying ‘he did this and he did that’ but they should be concentrating on their own jobs first and foremost.
“They need to take things on board and quickly or they will be out the door.
“Mansfield just raised the tempo and got the ball into good areas. We couldn’t handle it. We gave away too many stupid free kicks and sloppy corners.”