Paul Cox admitted using reverse psychology at half-time and was also happy his switch to 4-4-2 paid off with three sterling substitutions, but the Stags boss still refused to take the credit for tonight’s memorable 4-2 win at in-form Hartlepool United.
In a sensational game Stags led 1-0, the home side levelled and missed a penalty before going 2-1 up soon after the break, only to see Cox’s changes revitalise the visitors and storm to what could be one of the most important wins in the club’s history.
“That was probably the most enjoyable result of the season when you looks at how far we have to travel tonight and Hartlepool’s recent home record, which could be said to be frightening,” said Cox.
“But I thought the boys were excellent tonight with the work ethic they put in.
“I gave them a round of you know whats at half-time which was a bit of reverse psychology from me as I didn’t think we were that bad.
“I just knew the game was quite an important one for us and even a draw would be a good result.
“I thought we had done well for the first 25 minutes but then took our foot off the pedal and let Hartlepool back into it.
“Let’s not forget Alan Marriott made a fine penalty save just before the break as things like that change the outlook of games.
“After half-time we tinkered with the shape and freshened things up a bit, and in the end it was one-way traffic and we could have scored a couple more.
“We conceded a sloppy goal just after half-time when we were about to go 4-4-2 anyway.
“We put on Sam Clucas, Lindon Meikle and Jake Speight and I thought all three affected the game.
“But the boys deserve all the credit, not the manager. They worked tremendously hard for 100 minutes with the time added on.”
He added: “I though James Jennings miskicked for the equaliser. But I will take them however they go in. I don’t care if they go in off someone’s backside which is what Ollie Palmer needs right now as he played so well again tonight.
“He and Matt Rhead are becoming a real handful together for any side in this league.
“I have said to the boys to enjoy it tonight as that’s what we are in this for. But we must then prepare properly for Saturday when we have another massive game. I want to get us past that 50 point mark and achieve our goal of staying in the League as soon as possible.
“I want us to win as many games as we can between now and the end of the season and show the same hunger and desire we did tonight.”
Cox concluded: “A big thank you to the supporters who came all the way up here on a wet and cold Tuesday night and got behind the team and helped us over the line.”