Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has apologised for his side's first-half showing against Crewe Alexandra, and despite a spirited second-half performance, it wasn't enough to earn Stags points.
Stags found themselves 4-1 down at half-time, but second-half goals from Kane Hemmings and Miller were testament to an improved showing after the break.
Flitcroft apologised for the Stags' first-half performance following the loss at One Call Stadium, but praised the 'enthusiasm' shown by substitutes Ricky Miller, Danny Rose and Krystian Pearce, who contributed to what was nearly a dramatic comeback.
“I can only apologise for the first-half. It doesn’t represent anything that I said when I first came here,” said Flitcroft.
“Mansfield is a hard-working town and the supporters pay good money to come and watch football and in the first-half we let them down.
“There was no pride in the first-half performance. We injected some enthusiasm through Ricky Miller and Danny Rose and just through sheer desire they changed the course of the second-half.
“They tried to salvage something and all credit to the players in the second-half but it shouldn’t come to that.
“In the second-half we saw a completely different energy level. The fans turned up and backed us again today and we’ve let them down."
“Danny [Rose] wasn’t fit enough to start, but we knew we were going to be able to get him on the pitch. We altered the shape and put Ricky Miller on, who was a nuisance and caused Crewe all sorts of problems.
“The enthusiasm of Miller, Rose and Pearce made a difference. Pearce coming on allowed White to push higher and he defended like his life depended on it. That’s what I expect from any defender.”
Flitcroft also reflected on the polar opposite performances that the Stags produced in each half.
“It’s almost unexplainable. We capitulated in the first-half but absolutely dominated in the second-half. That’s what we saw today,” he added.
“In the second-half we saw a completely different energy level. The fans turned up and backed us again today and we’ve let them down.
“My work is now to understand why the players started the way they did. That’s where the game was lost.
“You don’t see it coming when you look at the work we do on the training ground. I can’t justify what I saw.
“In the first-half there was no belief, but in the second-half we saw it. The players were fighting for a cause, they were fighting for the pride of the town – that now has to be the case for 90 minutes.”
Stags make the trip down to Stevenage on Tuesday, and Flitcroft spoke of his plans to pick the players that best represent the supporters for the clash.
“Tomorrow we’ll make sure to get the players regrouped and define what the Stevenage game is going to look like.
“I’ll be picking the players who represent the supporters. By force, energy and desire in the second-half, we’ve seen a football team who have tried to do anything to win the game.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch David Flitcroft’s post-match interview in full, by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.