Adam Murray intends to use the footballing lesson given to his Mansfield Town side at Plymouth last weekend as a positive.
The Stags boss has analysed the DVD of the 2-0 defeat by Argyle and believes in the long term, it might prove to be a wake-up call for his players of where they are at and where they need to be.
“Every defeat is horrible to take, but some defeats you learn a lot from and watching it back numerous times over the weekend there is a lot that I’ve taken from the game,” he said.
“It’s disappointing to lose but sometimes you’ve got to give the opposition credit. For the first hour I thought they tore us another so-and-so.
“When you’ve got players like (Graham) Carey on the pitch, being honest we couldn’t handle him. The two goals in such a short time killed the game for us.
“They had two chances and were ruthless with them. Again the goals from our point of view were very sloppy.
“I felt we came out second half a different team and caused all the problems and posed all the questions.
“But first half I was disappointed, most in our defensive play.”
He added: “I thought we just whacked it – I don’t know why. I don’t know what the thinking was behind that because it wasn’t in the game plan. It wasn’t in the build-up we’ve had for eight weeks.
“We were playing a game of get it-give it away, and when you play against good teams you can’t do that.
“I took loads of negatives out of the game that I’ve turned into positives.
“It just shows that with the top teams in this league, when they do fire they are of a very good standard.”
However, Murray hoped seeing how good Plymouth were in that first half-hour can inspire his own squad to reach those heights.
“We are nowhere near where this group can be yet<” he said. “And sometimes you need that punch in the face to, one, wake you up, two, bring you back down the earth, and three, show you where you need to get to.
“For that half-hour Plymouth were better than us, I’m not going to hide away from that. Whether that was us being poor or them being extraordinarily good I’m not sure.
“But I think the double punch we took on the nose, you’ve go to take them and you’ve got to ride with them. If you learn from them it’s a positive. I think we will be stronger for that.”
Few fans would have bet on Stags winning on a ground that has proved a jink to the club – and to the manager as a player – for many years.
“It’s always been my worst place to go and, even though it’s a fantastic football club, I hate going there and I am glad it’s out the way,” admitted Murray.
“It says it all that the club have only ever won there once. They are a very, very good team and they were in the position they were in last year, when they only just missed out on League One, for a reason.
“They’ve lost a couple of players out of their side, but they’ve replaced them with just as good or better players. There are no excuses for Saturday. We were a shadow of what we can be about.”