MANSFIELD Town boss Paul Cox had to try to lift his players after more precious play-off points slipped away in the 1-1 draw with York at Field Mill this afternoon.
Once again the Stags squandered a lead to draw an 11th game of the league season and, despite a decent display that matched promotion hopefuls York, the gap opened wider to seven points, leaving Cox a depressed dressing room at the end.
He said: “The players have come off there feeling quite down and negative when there is no need to to. I have had to try to lift them and get them positive and buoyant again.
“Once again we scored the first goal and had two good chances to win it. But we didn’t and we were punished.
“It’s the story of our season so far. It’s a fine line between winning, drawing and losing.”
He added: “Credit to York, they are a very good side. There were two teams going for each other’s throats and, for a neutral, it was quite a good game to watch.
“It wasn’t the result we needed. That’s 11 draws now and it’s 11 too many. But it’s not the end of the world and we don’t need to beat ourselves up over it.
“We are not in the bottom four. We still have a chance of promotion. There are a lot of points to play for still and I don’t think we are a bad side.
“We have just got to start killing teams off when we go ahead and putting three points on the board.
“The players are working extremely hard and I want to bring in some new faces in January to help.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day and, while we want success this season, it was always unlikely we would have instant success.
“We have a lot of young players here learning their trade and I don’t think there is a massive difference between us and Fleetwood or York. We are building the right way.”
York boss Gary Mills said:“I was delighted with our second half as we showed a lot of heat to come back today after giving away another goal early on, which we must stop doing.
“But I thought in the second half we were on the front foot a lot more than the first half and showed a bit more what we are about.
“A bit more belief and composure and I think we could have won it.
“We know what can happen at Mansfield when you go a goal down – it happened to York last year.
“My squad of players showed they don’t know when to stop or give in and we have come away with a very good point.
“I went with three at the back at the start but changed that at half-time to four at the back which worked better.
“Mansfield are a very direct side. They get it forward early and do it well. You have to be very disciplined to play again them. They had the wind behind them in the second half but we squeezed them a lot higher.”