Mansfield Town boss John Dempster calls for Stags to improve home form after loss to Colchester United

Mansfield Town 2 v 3 Colchester
Mansfield Town 2 v 3 Colchester

Mansfield Town boss John Dempster admitted his side desperately need to improve their home form after today’s 3-2 home loss to in-form Colchester United.

“We’ve scored two goals at home and lost a football match and that’s happened too many times this season,” he said.

“When we correct our home form and maintain our away form we will be fine.

“Our away form is probably top five but our home form’s been poor. You can feel the frustration among the supporters.

“We need to be big enough and brave enough and show courage to keep getting on the ball and change our home form around.

“If we do that we will start climbing the table. We’ve had a brilliant October and I credited the players before the game. But we’ve parked that and we now want a good November.

“It hasn’t started the way we’d wanted but that doesn’t mean we can’t go on and have a good month.”

Colchester sealed a deserved win with two goals in nine minutes late in an entertaining end-to-end clash and Dempster said: “I think Colchester are one of the better teams we’ve seen this season and we didn’t deserve anything.

“We didn’t expect it to be that open – it was like a tennis match.

“It was end to end. They had a lot of chances and we had a lot of chances but they had the better ones.

“We had some good possession. But they had a game plan to sit in and counter and when they did that they looked very dangerous.

“They’ve got some good players and they had been well drilled, so credit to John (McGreal). He’s got a good side there and you have to give them credit. They are no mugs.”

Dempster said defending as a team continued to be Stags’ current problem.

“Defending is a team effort,” he said. “We’ve scored a lot of goals this season and we are up there in the goals for column. “But where we’ve let ourselves down is the goals against. If a team look open it’s not necessarily the keeper and back four who are to blame. It’s something we need to address.

“They scored an outstanding goal to start off with, but their second goal came from a break on our free kick we’d put into their box and the third was a breakaway as well.

“At times we looked too open. We want to be attacking and score goals – which we have again – but we’ve got to lock that defence up as that’s been the difference between where we are and where we want to be.”

He added: “Conrad (keeper Logan) got us out of trouble with a brilliant save from the penalty.

“He is in good form both with his shot-stopping and his distribution.

“The disappointing thing is your keeper has played well and we have still conceded three goals. He wasn’t at fault with any of them.”