Mansfield Town midfield ace Jacob Mellis believes his side took their foot off the gas when Shrewsbury Town had a man sent off on Saturday and paid the price with a 2-0 FA Cup exit.
Stags had been in the game until Ollie Norburn was dismissed for kicking the ball at the face of the fallen Mellis, but it all went downhill from then as they failed to press their advantage and were knocked out by two late strikes.
“It’s disappointing – I think we played better when it was 11 versus 11, but ultimately it's another defeat” said Mellis.
“When they went down to 10 men we probably took our foot off the gas.
“We didn’t move the ball quick enough, which is what you need to do to break down 10 men, then they’ve caught us on the counter.
“Sometimes teams with 10 men have better awareness. They’re more switched on and I think today they started playing better when they had 10 men.
“But that’s down to us because we had a man advantage and we needed to make it count.”
He added: “I caught him (Norburn) with one on the edge of their box and the referee hasn’t seen it, so I think he was a bit frustrated.
“From that he’s lashed out and got the red card. I’m not sure if it was a red because I was on the floor and I don’t know if he meant to do it, but the ref obviously saw it as a red card.”
Stags play away at Port Vale in the second round of the Leasing.com Trophy tomorrow night but Mellis knows the most important thing is to pick things up and beat Cheltenham in League Two action on Saturday.
“We need to stop talking, to be honest, we need to get back into league action and start picking up wins,” he said.
“The last couple of weeks have been encouraging, we played the league leaders Swindon last week so we came into this one with confidence.”