Frustrated Paul Cox says Mansfield Town must improve defensively

Stags 2012-2013''Paul Cox
Stags 2012-2013''Paul Cox

FRUSTRATED Mansfield Town boss Paul Cox says his side must learn to cut out the ‘sloppy errors’ if they are to progress as a team.

Cox was left angry by his side’s failure to beat Lincoln City in today’s FA Cup second round clash after they were taken to a replay despite scoring three times.

And he was left particularly annoyed by the Imps third goal, which saw the lively Alan Power score after Lincoln broke at speed from their own defensive third following a Mansfield throw-in.

Said Cox: “We have come away from home and scored three goals, but we have been sloppy defensively.

“Their third goal sums it up perfectly. They have scored from our throw in and we have to be better than that and mentally stronger.

“I’m over the moon that we are in the draw for the next round, but we need to improve defensively. The goals we conceded today were not good. You should not score three goals away from home and fail to win.

“We should have gone in to the break leading 1-0. When I talk about having a better mindset and being stronger it is moments like that where we need to show it.

“We just seemed to switch off and get sloppy and that is something we need to tighten up on. There are a lot of areas we can improve on.”

But despite being disappointed with his side’s defensive frailities, Cox praised his players for the determination which saw them level twice, including Matt Rhead’s last gasp equaliser to secure the gripping 3-3 draw.

“Don’t get me wrong, there were some good performances today,” he said. “The lads have worked very hard and shown a lot of desire, that aspect is something that is not in question.

“We showed a good desire to get back into the game. We were going for it at the end and pretty much had four players up front, before Matt Rhead did the job for us.

“Louis Briscoe was excellent today. He has been out in the cold earlier in the season, but has shown great charachter to get back into contention. He worked very hard today and deserves credit.

“Before the game we talked about making sure we were in the hat for the next round, even if it was because of a replay. I’m delighted that we have got that job done.”

Mansfield will now face Lincoln at One Call Stadium on Tuesday 11th December for a place in the FA Cup third round.