FRUSTRATED Stags boss Paul Cox says his side need to find a meaner streak in front of goal.
Cox was left counting the cost of his team’s inability to convert good possession and territory into goals as his side slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Cambridge United on Saturday.
Mansfield, though, can count themselves somewhat unlucky after bossing virtually all the second half and creating a number of decent chances to get something out of the match.
But once again Stags were unable to convert their chances and were hit by two breakaway goals in the space of five second-half minutes to send third-placed Cambridge home with all the points.
Cox said: “We gifted them all three points today and switched off for their goals. Their first goal was a bit lucky with O’Neill slipping at the crucial moment.
“We worked very hard today but did not take our chances.
“We camped in their half in the second, but we switched off and we were punished for it.
“We have done that to teams ourselves this season. That is football for you.”
Striker Matt Green returned from illness to fire Mansfield ahead after 55 minutes.
But the Stags switched off at the back allowing Harrison Dunk to score a brace on 57 minutes and 62 minutes to seal the smash-and-grab success for the on-form U’s.
Stags had a number of great chances throughout the 90 minutes with new wingman Nick Hegarty blazing over from close range when it was easier to find the back of the net with the score at 0-0.
Meikle, Dyer, Green and Howell all had opportunities to level the contest during a spell of sustained pressure as throughout the second half, but it was to no avail.
Cox added: “We need to be more clinical in front of goal. We were just missing some quality in the final third today.
“We had enough chances to win three games today. I thought we were solid at the back today. Apart from their two goals they did not create a lot of chances.”
Mansfield are now five points behind Southport in the last play-off spot with one game in hand.