Mansfield Town chairman John Radford believes blame for the club’s failure to gain promotion last season ultimately lies with the players.
Stags were rocked when manager Steve Evans quit with 12 games to go and the club well placed and replacement David Flitcroft failed to get them over the line.
However, Radford told supporters at the club’s ‘Evening With the Radfords’ event: “If you change a leader mid-stream it’s always going to cause problems.
“They have to adopt a new style and a new way of being managed. “It could work out fantastic, but there could always be problems.
“David did what he could with the squad he had and, you don’t know, Evans could have been here and done a lot worse.
“You can’t say it’s the manager. Ultimately it’s the squad that go out there and play on that field. They were the same players.”
Club CEO Carolyn Radford added: “It’s very difficult when you’re used to a certain format and a certain person and then for someone else to take that over, it’s hard.
“But ultimately I think it was down to a combination of factors that you can’t really pinpoint.”
She added that the failure had hit everyone hard, but they were now raring to go again.
“You question if you have the strength and courage to get back up again and carry on again when you have put so much time into a project and you don’t get the result,” said Carolyn.
“It’s not just me and John. There are so many people relying on us to deliver and we fell short.
“It was very hard. But we’re now firing and ready to go again for next season.”