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Stags' boss rues missed chances

17 December 2016

Stags’ boss Steve Evans was left to rue a number of missed opportunities during today's 2-0 defeat to Exeter City after seeing his side dominate much of the second half.

A goal in each half from the Grecians’ Ollie Watkins was enough to ensure the points stayed in Devon despite Stags having a number of second-half chances to turn the game on its head. 

And the boss was disappointed to leave St James Park empty-handed after witnessing a second half performance which he feels merited a victory. 

“I think the second half is an injustice that we’ve lost here. I think we’ve absolutely dominated from the first minute of the second half to the last minute and you can’t miss the chances that we miss – we missed open goals and we missed simple headers," the manager said.

“I think it (Stags' second-half performance) deserved to win the game, not just equalise. I don’t think they’ve got out their half many times in the second half and you can see what it meant to them and we wish Paul [Tisdale] well. 

“Paul Tisdale said to me at ‘time-up’: no-one’s played like that here. We’ve absolutely dominated so you’ve seen the worst of us and perhaps the best of us.  

“His words are always honest as mine are with his and he knew my disappointment but he reiterated to us, no-one’s dominated; they’ve lost games here but no-one’s battered them like that.”

Despite believing his side did enough to win the game in the latter 45 minutes, the former Rotherham United man says missing too many chances will always prove costly. 

“If you miss open goals and you miss simple chances and you don’t defend properly, you’ll never win a game. 

“I’ve just looked at it, Lee Collins misses a chance that my nine-year-old grandson would score, but that happens. That’s football, you miss chances and you score chances. 

“I was pleased with a lot of the second half; our dominance, our control of the game, our width, our energy, our pace, the whole thing that we didn’t have in the first half.”

After seeing a potential foul in the build-up to the second goal as well as left-back Mal Benning receiving a second yellow card for a foul in second half stoppage time, the manager feels as though both decisions should have gone in his side’s favour. 

“When your centre-back gets his heels clipped, I’ve just looked, he gets his heels clipped on the halfway line and he goes on to score a goal, but we lost the game 1-0 anyway, so it counts less but it still painful with the domination we had [in the] second half. 

“I thought the first one was a booking. I thought the second one, the boy’s played for it.”

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



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