THE miserable looks on the faces of Mansfield Town’s players and supporters alike after last night’s 1-1 home draw with AFC Telford told manager Paul Cox the club is moving in the right direction.
“We are eight unbeaten and have only lost one in 10 and, yet we have drawn a game at home and look at the disappointment,” he said after a late equaliser denied Stags the top spot they were about to take
“In a way that’s a fantastic feeling as in means the mentality we are starting to breed here is spot-on. We want to win every game we play in. And we should have won it tonight.
“In the first half we were poor by our recent standards, though I must give credit to Telford too as they were probably the better side in the first half. They worked hard and grafted as teams coming here will do.
“But I got the response from the lads that I wanted in the second half and we had enough chances to have it won it by a few more. Their keeper, who is one of the better ones at this level, made some good saves.
“If we had held on another four minutes then it would have been a different story. It feels like a defeat, even though we drew. But it certainly isn’t a crisis.
“You don’t pick up any Championship medals in September and we are still nicely placed in fifth. I’d have taken that at this stage if you’d told me we’d be here before the season started.
“I know we were never going to win all 46 games or I would be England manager. So I won’t be changing my philosophy even though I am annoyed we haven’t won and the players are as disappointed as me.”
A mistake by Anthony Howell gave the ball away for Sharp’s late equaliser and Cox said: “Individuals, by the law of averages, will have a bad day at the office now and again as will I. But no fingers are being pointed. We win together as a team and we lose together. It is a very tight dressing room
“We were unchanged again, but I don’t think it was down to tiredness. They are very fit young men who don’t want to lose their shirt.
“I don’t expect tiredness to come into until Christmas or New Year. If I had changed the team and we’d have lost then I would have been hung! You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
“I will have a good look at them over the rest of the week after they’ve had a day off tomorrow. I am now looking for a response on Saturday against Kidderminster.”