DESPITE being unable to beat bottom side Nuneaton Town at Liberty Way last night, Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox is convinced he has seen enough in the last two games to suggest his side have what it takes this season.
Stags were unable to beat minnows Slough Town in Saturday’s FA Cup 0-0 draw, despite a one-way second half, and last night had to come from behind to take a 1-1 draw, dominating most of the game and twice hitting the bar.
“What we have done in the second half on Saturday and throughout the Nuneaton game is to raise the level of performance,” he said.
“We deserved criticism for the displays at Cambridge and Dartford. But in the second half on Saturday and over the 90 minutes at Nuneaton we were excellent both with and without the ball. I can’t fault them.
“We passed it well and our overall play was excellent. The boys are a bit down tonight as they know their performance warranted more. Maybe we needed a bad performance but a win? I think Nuneaton only had two shots and one flew in.
“But the players are not stupid and know that if they put in performances like that they will win a lot of football matches. They just need to finish all the good play off.
“There were some great individual performances at Nuneaton and, collectively, the team were excellent. I don’t know how we didn’t win by three or four. There were a lot of positives. We just needed that extra goal.
“The hunger we showed tonight was immense. Now it’s all about keeping that hunger and desire and that belief.”
The 180 Stags in the paltry 838 crowd on a freezing cold and windy Warwickshire night clapped their side off at the end. But, inevitably, after a 1-1 draw away to the BSBP’s bottom side, there were some fans who didn’t go to the game immediately calling for Cox to leave the club on the internet this morning.
However, Cox said: “Some people will always have a half-empty glass. I am only interested in those with a half-full glass who want to get behind us.
“The fans who were here tonight can go home happy, knowing we deserved to win and that every player gave 100 per cent.
“At the minute everything is hitting the bar and their keeper is making a world class save while the opposition have one shot and it’s flying in.”