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Display merited more than a point - Stags' boss

10 December 2016

New Stags’ boss Steve Evans felt his side deserved to win today’s Sky Bet League Two match against Colchester United after dominating much of the game.

A resilient Colchester United side fought off the attacking intentions of the Stags in what turned out to be a frustrating afternoon for the home side. 

And the manager feels his side did enough to win the match but believes the Stags ‘lacked quality’ in the final third.

“We’ve dominated from start to finish. That’s (Colchester) an excellent side; they’ve scored seven goals in their last two league matches so we know what they’re about,” the Stags’ chief said. 

“But I felt we took the game to them but if I’m being honest, I think we lacked a little bit of quality in the final third and maybe the passing from central areas in midfield wasn’t where it should be today.

“I go away and my memory of the game is I think we’ve had all the ball, all the play [and] all the chances. We know how they’re going to play, they’re going to sit men behind the ball and to be fair we restricted them to the odd flurry up in attack.

“I said to the boys afterwards: ‘If there’s a boxing match, the towel might have come in on 75 minutes’. But we’re not in a boxing match - [to deliver] that knockout blow, you have to have that little bit of quality and that’s what was disappointing.”

Stags now sit four points off the Sky Bet League Two play-off places after today’s stalemate and the gaffer has reiterated the importance of staying within touching distance of the top seven as the opening of the January transfer window approaches. 

“We go away disappointed but as I said to the players, they’re a credit. They’ve given us absolutely everything and what we lacked for in a little bit of quality, we can address that when the window opens.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure whoever we bring in has the same application as that group in the dressing room because if we’d have won today, we would’ve gone eighth in the table. 

“That’s the fine margins it is but we sit four points off the play-offs and if we’re there in January, four points off the play-offs, Mansfield Town will have a big part to play in the second half of the season.

“There’s a lot of players who are improving quickly, there’s a lot of players who need minutes on the pitch quickly and we’re trying to do a lot of things in a short space of time. We need to make sure come January we’re in the picture when the window opens.”

Finally, the boss praised the One Call Stadium crowd of 3,398 as they roared their team on during today’s encounter. 

“The crowd numbers were up today. They were right behind us today. I thought the atmosphere in the second half when we had a little passage of play and [played] balls across the box, which were poor in the end, but the [atmosphere during the] lead-up play was excellent.”

Supporters can view boss Steve Evans’ post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD. 

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