Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans remained positive after a fourth game without a win or a goal in tonight’s 2-0 defeat at Colchester United saw them slide further away from the top seven.
Once again Stags totally dominated the game but their goal drought is now 375 minutes and proving costly.
“We’re five points off the play-offs so we’re not dead and dusted by any stretch,” he said.
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“If we win on Saturday we could be back to three or four points as a maximum from it so we need to look after ourselves. But we need to score a goal. We’re never going to win a game unless we score a goal.
“The players are down now but it’s my job to lift them and get them ready for Saturday.
“You’re five points away and it can all change. When I was at Rotherham and we went up in second we won the last six games of the season to go straight up.
“Now we’re probably not going to be capable of going up in second place, but if we win a high percentage of the games that are left we go into the play-offs guaranteed.”
Only their lack of goals is holding Mansfield back and Evans said: “It’s gone on for too long now and we’ve been totally dominant in these games.
“Colchester have taken their two chances tonight and we wish them every success in their fight for the play-offs as well as our own.
“But they have been absolutely bossed all over the pitch tonight and we’ve had chance after chance after chance.
“They never got out their half second half. Scott Shearer has only touched the ball from pass backs – that’s a fact. They didn’t have one attack on our goal.
“But it counts for nothing when you leave here with zero goals for and two against. It’s painful.
“I’d like to think sometime between now and the end of the season someone will take a hiding.
“We are dominating the best teams in the league and the worst teams in the league but we’re not scoring a goal.”
Evans once again underlined the need for some proven scorers to join the club in the summer.
“I have always said you’re never going to recruit a quality striker in the January window unless you’ve got bundles – and we don’t have bundles,” he said.
“That’s why they say strikers are gold dust as they cost gold wages. We need to address that when we get that opportunity.
“You need to do your business predominantly in the summer months and unfortunately we never signed what you’d call a recognised goalscorer. That’s always going to be a problem.
“If you have any experience as a manager you know the problems come if you’re not making chances and you’re not playing well. That tells you you’re probably going to head on to the dole queue.
“But when you’re creating lots of chances and playing well you need a goalscorer – and at this minute in time we’ve not got anyone in the squad who is capable of putting the ball in the net.
“If we did we’d have won here 5-2 tonight and if it’s like that we’d have won 7-2 on Saturday.
“We’re not helping ourselves, we’re making it doubly difficult.”
He added: “I commend all the players for how hard they are working. No one means to miss a chance.
“We made a couple of cardinal errors for their goals tonight too.
“That makes it a bit more difficult. And we have carved out two simple, simple chances in the first 20 minutes.
“The players need to look at themselves and if we end up not involved in the play-offs I don’t think too many of their phones will be ringing.”