Following today's 0-0 draw at Cheltenham, Stags’ boss Steve Evans appeared disappointed with the result but pleased with the performance against a resilient Robins’ side.
Despite playing against ten men for over 70 minutes after Robins’ midfielder Kyle Storer’s red card, Stags recorded their second stalemate in five days in difficult conditions at The LCI Rail Stadium.
And the gaffer says that after dominating the game in midfield, Stags’ missed chances were the difference between turning one point into three.
“It’s the most one-sided 0-0 ever. I know they’ve got ten men and you have to allow for that of course, but it’s the most one-sided 0-0 I’ve ever seen,” the Stags’ manager said.
“We put a team out that won that battle in the middle of the park and that’s why we controlled the game. From there, you rely on your players taking the chances when they come, but we didn’t do it.
“We go away disappointed and down. We’ve come away twice on the road on long trips and we’ve got a point. The performances say it should be three. We’ll play worse than we have today and win games.”
The boss believes the red card shown to Cheltenham midfielder Kyle Storer in the 18th minute was the correct decision by referee Charles Breakspear, however he says that Robins’ defender Liam Davis could also have been given his marching orders for a poor challenge on Ben Whiteman in the second half.
“It looks a shocking, horrendous challenge. I won’t get involved with that; these days that’s left to the referee and to the fourth official but I think the boy’s gone in high and late and he’s already well off the ground.
“It’s a red card but the referee already has [given] one red card and he’s probably hesitant to do two.
“I thought the officials were good today, there’s no complaints about the officials other than that one challenge. That’s a shocking challenge and that [could] break people’s legs. Maybe, in fairness to the Cheltenham player, the pitch might have played a part.”
After a week which has yielded five points from one home match and two away fixtures, the gaffer has commended his players’ work-rate which has contributed to a run of just one defeat in 12 league fixtures in 2017.
“We’re three points from the play-offs and we’re six points from the automatics. Let’s put this in to perspective – would we have taken that on the first of January? People wouldn’t have thought it was possible.
“We know if we get the other four points that we’ve left behind this week, we’d be sitting in a much healthier position and only a couple of points off third.
“I can’t ask the players to work any harder, we need to work smarter and if we work a little bit smarter and we take a chance, then our points will come.
“We have to believe we’re doing the right thing – we’re dominating games, we’re dominating the ball. Take that in contrast to when we first came in and we couldn’t dominate anything.”
Supporters can view Steve Evans’ post-match interview by logging in to Stags PlayerHD.