Stags’ boss Steve Evans was left frustrated this evening after seeing his side dominate a fourth game in a row yet still come away empty-handed following a 2-0 defeat away to Colchester United.
First half goals from winger Brennan Dickenson and forward Sammie Szmodics ultimately won the game for the U’s, but Stags created a number of good opportunities to take something from the encounter, particularly in the second half when the home side rarely got out of their own half.
And the manager was clearly disappointed at full-time, after another creative performance should have seen the Stags return to north Nottinghamshire with something for their efforts.
“I don’t think I’ve ever personally been involved with a team that for four or five games now, we don’t take a chance, we don’t look like taking a chance and we’re making golden chances. If we’re being honest tonight, we should be two up [with] two sitters,” the Stags’ chief said.
“We go in at half-time, we change things around a little bit, Colchester don’t get out their half in the second half. We have to take it on the chin and go again on Saturday and change it to try to find somebody that will score a goal.
“We’ve come here tonight and dominated for huge spells and missed chances and got beat. Unless you’re putting the ball in the net, you’re never going to win a game.
“We always break it down to hard facts; they have two chances and take two, we have eight, score none.
“We break it down to Plymouth – they have one-and-a-half chances – the free-kick isn’t a particular chance but the boy sticks it in the net. We have eight. And they’re good chances, we’re not counting half-chances or strikes or general knockdowns; we’re talking about passages of play where we’ve opened teams up.
“[We had] four at Cheltenham and six at Yeovil so it doesn’t need a mathematician to tell me that’s 24- chances in four games and we struggle to score a goal.”
Tonight’s defeat means the gap between Stags and the play-off positions is now five points but the manager remains fully focussed on fighting for a place in the top seven with nine games to go.
“We said we couldn’t allow the gap to be more than three before we go into single figure games.
“We’re five points off the play-offs now, I understand, but we’re not dead and dusted by any stretch. We win on Saturday and we could be back to within three or four points as a maximum from it so we need to look after ourselves.
“When I was at Rotherham and we went up in second, we won the last six games to go straight up. We’re not going to probably be capable of getting in to second place but if we win a high percentage of the games that’s left, we go in to the play-offs, guaranteed.”
Supporters will be able to login to Stags PlayerHD to view Steve Evans’ post-match interview on Wednesday morning.