Stags’ seven-game League Two unbeaten run came to an ignominious end with Evans also suggesting some of his side took the opposition’s threat too lightly, despite repeated warnings.
READ THE FULL MATCH REPORT“I have never lost coming back here and I don’t think I lost many when I was here either,” he said.
“But we only turned up for 15-20 minutes. We had a lot of the ball but didn’t really make the keeper work and that’s the disappointing thing.
“From there on in we were second best in everything we did so we were deservedly beaten.
“You have to have heart and desire to win a football match and you need more heart and desire when you play the lads who lack the ability to play in the top teams. We didn’t have enough heart and desire today to win our battles all over the pitch.”
Alex MacDonald did have a late reply chalked off by the officials and Evans said: “I don’t think their goalkeeper has made a save today.
“I think we scored in added time, only Gavin Ward (referee), who I think is a poor official anyway, could chalk that off.
“We don’t see any reason. But it would still have been a defeat. If we’d miraculously gone and saved it late on it would have been unjust on Crawley.”
Evans slammed the attitude of his side for not heeding his warnings, saying: “We didn’t train properly yesterday and if you take training onto the pitch on a Saturday you have to play as you train and vice versa.
“We didn’t train properly. We tried to address it verbally yesterday as it’s notorious when we go to the likes of Cheltenham and Colchester. But that’s the way we’ve trained.
“I’d be the first ever manager who was able to get into players’ heads and tell them you need to be careful here.
“We tried as a management team to reinforce it several times at our team meeting today. Some obviously didn’t listen.”
Mansfield had a golden early chance when CJ Hamilton rounded the keeper, but his finish lacked power and was cleared off the line.
Evans said: “CJ Hamilton should have scored – he was poor today. But he wasn’t alone. Most of them were poor. He went round the goalie and should put it in the net – simple as that.
“For 20 minutes there looked one winner, but we never really made the keeper work.”
Evans is now looking for a reaction and said all places are up for grabs this week.
“We’ll go back on the training ground now,” he said.
“We were 12 games unbeaten, so the answer from the boys is to start another run off next Saturday at home.
“People now need to train to be in the team next Saturday or the so-called people that are loved by supporters will just be left out.
“I’m not here to please supporters. I am here to win points for them in mass – and that’s what we’ll do.”