Energetic midfielder Alex MacDonald believes Stags had their Championship opponents Cardiff City 'on the ropes' as they secured a 0-0 draw in this afternoon's Emirates FA Cup third round tie.
There are 51 places between the two sides in the English football pyramid but Stags created the better chances against the Bluebirds, who are flying high in third place in the Championship.
The outcome will be widely-regarded as a good result for the Stags within the footballing world, but MacDonald admits he and his team-mates are 'gutted' not to have snatched a victory at the Cardiff City Stadium.
"We're in [the changing room] a little bit gutted," said the former Scotland under 21 international.
"We thought we had them 'on the ropes', especially in the second half for twenty minutes. We had a real good spell, we were opening them up and on another day we take one of our chances and we come away [with a win].
"[Cardiff] are where they are for a reason. Although they're on a bad patch at the minute they're still right up there and they've got a great manager and a great squad here.
"We thought we had them 'on the ropes', especially in the second half for twenty minutes."
"[The result] breeds confidence into our lads and our team that we've gone toe-to-toe with them today and probably on another day, should have nicked it.
"We really came here and wanted to express ourselves, play good football and I think we did that."
The former Oxford United man was full of praise for the Mansfield faithful, with over a 1,000 Stags' fans braving the cold January weather to travel to Wales and display non-wavering vocal support to their team all afternoon.
"[The fans were] magnificent. I've said it a few times now, Coventry away was one and the list goes on to how good their support's been.
"We heard them from start to finish and it was just unlucky we couldn't repay them with a winning goal."
The draw means Stags will be in the hat for the fourth round draw on Monday evening and MacDonald says he'll be watching in the hope that Stags can get a big name to help spur them on in the upcoming replay.
"It's the best cup in the world and [the draw] is something we'll all look forward to and you never know, if we pull a big name out of the hat it could give us that added extra [incentive].
"Obviously we've got a big game to take care of in the first place but Liverpool away for me has always been one I've been desperate to pull out of the hat."
Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view Alex MacDonald's post-match interview.