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Stags' dominance wasn't rewarded in U's draw - gaffer

13 January 2018

Stags' boss Steve Evans believes more quality in the final third would have earned his side a deserved three points against Cambridge United this afternoon, following a dominant second half display at the Abbey Stadium.

After an even first half, Stags upped the ante in the second period and penned the U's into their own half for long spells in Cambridgeshire.

However, after ultimately being unable to convert their dominance into clear-cut chances, the gaffer was left frustrated with his side's end product against the U's.

"I think for a period of 25-30 minutes in the second half, we laid siege to their final third, but if there's a criticism it's that our balls in the final third and our end product wasn't good enough today," the Stags' chief said.

"We never did enough in the final third. I keep going back to that but we had good opportunities on the right, we had good opportunities on the left, we had good opportunities centrally but we'll come back and fight another day.

"We work all week at getting shots away from around the box and we're trying to 'walk it in' at one or two stages in the second half today and we're saying to the players afterwards 'why don't we strike it?' and they're saying people are coming in front of them.

"If we pick people out, we probably score three or four simple finishes today in the second half when we're totally rampant, they couldn't get out of their half for long spells."

Steve Evans, manager

"They have to make that judgement call of course but it looks as though we could have got a few more shots away today.

"It was from the wide areas, penetrating the goal area that our quality was lacking today. If we pick people out, we probably score three or four simple finishes today in the second half when we're totally rampant, they couldn't get out of their half for long spells."

Stags twice had the ball in the net this afternoon through top scorer Danny Rose, but both efforts were chalked off by the match officials.

And Rose's second effort provided cause for debate as it was controversially ruled out for offside, which the former Leeds United manager insists was the wrong call.

"At the time, I couldn't tell and our analyst says it's close but when you look at it, it's clearly onside. They're the big decisions that we've not been getting and don't tend to get. We're disappointed that it comes down to that because at that period we were so dominant it was quite staggering.

"On the replay, he's onside. Danny's not even level with the defender, he's come from behind the defender. When the ball goes into the net, you see the shock on the defender – the shock is because he didn't know where Danny Rose was.

"It's a goal; the linesman's called it wrong, he's made a mistake, we all make mistakes but it could be a costly one as we leave two points here.

"Players are players and they all wanted to see the Danny Rose incident after we'd spoken, so we all took an opportunity to sit quietly and watch it.

"Everyone knows then it's onside and it should be a goal. They get it wrong in the Premier League so if we had a VAR (video assistant referee), the goal would have stood."

Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's full post-match interview later tonight.


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