Boss reflects on first home defeat of the 2014/15 campaign.Manager Paul Cox admits our team were left feeling bitterly frustrated after today’s narrow 2-1 home defeat to high-flying Burton Albion, but insists we must be ‘cuter’ going forward.
The Brewers, who have now assumed top spot in Sky Bet League Two, opened the scoring just before half-time when Alex MacDonald’s deflected shot just crept beyond the dive of debutant goalkeeper Dimitar Evtimov.
Callum McFadzean doubled the Brewers’ lead in the second half, but Matt Rhead quickly headed home to set up a grandstand finale.
However, it wasn’t to be for our team, as despite their brave performance, Burton, who had just 10 men in the dying exchanges after Robbie Weir was shown a straight red card, defended bravely to secure three points.
“The boys were a little bit puzzled in [the dressing room] and they’ve come in probably the most frustrated they’ve been all season,” said Cox, who was speaking in his post-match interview.
“It’s disappointing with the two goals that we conceded. We were in possession and gave the ball away in bad areas, but apart from that I can’t remember Dimi having a shot to save of any note.
“I just think in both boxes we’ve got to be a little bit better. The ball must have gone into their boxes, 20-25 times in the second half. We picked up some great positions, won the first ball, but we need that person who is going to attack the second ball in.
“So it’s disappointing – especially when you come up against a team that are in the top three. If (Burton Albion) are your benchmark, we’re not far away now in certain areas.
“But we need to kill teams in that last third when we get good possession and we create chances. It’s just a story of both boxes at the minute – putting our chances away in one box and being resolute in the other.”
Our boss also wants our players to gamble more when inside the opposition penalty area, in order to boost our attacking threat.
He continued: “What made us a good team, coming round the corner last year after Christmas, was when we did overload the box going forward, we went and gambled. Players went and got on the end of things and put the ball in the back of the net.
“It’s just getting that belief out of the players now to want to go and score goals – especially at home, when teams are going to come here and maybe sit back and invite you on a little bit.”
Cox concluded: “I’m just disappointed that we haven’t come away with anything from the game, because I thought the least we deserved was a point. Dare I say it, if we’d been a little bit ‘cuter’, we may have even come away with three [points].”
Paul Cox’s full post-match interview will be available on Stags Player later tonight. To subscribe, click here.