Manager Paul Cox has expressed his disappointment following Mansfield Town’s 3-1 defeat at home to Torquay United this afternoon in Sky Bet League Two.
Although the Stags started well, the visitors emerged as comfortable winners in the final match of the season at One Call Stadium, but their victory still wasn't enough to prevent them being relegated to the Conference Premier.
Cox may have felt disheartened with today’s performance and defeat, but he was extremely pleased with debutant Liam Marsden, who was awarded the sponsors' Man of the Match award for his efforts.
“I think disappointing is an understatement,” said Cox. “Where we've come from since Christmas time, really the last two performances have been unacceptable and I’m very disappointed with today.
“We were just sloppy from start to finish. The only bright spark was our young kid that made his debut, Liam Marsden.
“I thought he was excellent, but got hung out to dry and I thought we needed a bit more mindset around him to help him out on his debut.
“I’m going to be totally honest and ruthless, but I felt for the kid. I heard he got man of the match and rightly so, because he was outstanding despite how the game went.”
Meanwhile, although upset with recent results, Cox believes his team have had a good first campaign back in the Football League.
He said: “Thinking with my head now, I would say we've had a good season. If anyone had said we would finish around the mid-table mark, we would have bitten their hands off.
“However, I’m about the here and now and there’s part of me that the last two games have materialised as they have, as it's as clear as your nose as your face what needs doing.
“You always deserve to finish where you finish. I think we've had a good season back in the Football League. When you look at the size of the clubs and teams battling at the bottom of the league we have had an excellent season.
“I’ll be looking back at the season now looking at mistakes I’ve made and what players have made. I’ll be looking at whose good enough, who isn’t good enough and look at who can take us to another place improving us.
“I don’t want the last two games to dampen what has ultimately been a fantastic season. When you look at the teams down there, including Portsmouth who have just come out of a relegation battle, it goes to show what a tough league this is.”