Proud Stags’ boss David Flitcroft was delighted with his side’s display in this afternoon’s 1-1 draw against League One outfit Charlton Athletic.
Wing-man CJ Hamilton put Mansfield ahead on the stroke of half-time with his pinpoint finish, before left-back Toby Stevenson equalised just shy of 15 minutes full-time of the Emirates FA Cup first round clash.
The manager believes that his side’s quality came as a surprise to the Addicks, who currently sit sixth in League One.
“In our first half performance, I’m not sure if Charlton were expecting a League Two smash and grab and to go and dominate us, because it didn’t happen,” he said.
“We thoroughly deserved the lead after the first half. We caused them endless problems. We went into half-time with our tails up. We moved them about well and represented what we are about.
“They got back into the game but we wrestled that momentum back. We caused them a lot of problems all game.
“I’m delighted with how we’ve represented the club today. When we knew it was on Remembrance Sunday, I told the players about the importance of this day. Our players have represented that whole movement today.
“It was a calculated game and we kept the ball well and made good decisions. We looked technically good today.
"We thoroughly deserved the lead after the first half and we caused them endless problems. We went into half-time with our tails up. We moved them about well and represented what we are about."
“I’m looking forward to going down to Charlton on a Tuesday night under the lights. It’s going to be good.”
After seeing the equalising goal once more after the match, the Stags’ boss insisted it was offside, but says they will not dwell on the decision in the lead-up to the replay on Tuesday 20 November.
“It [Charlton’s goal] is a million per cent offside. And it’s quite an easy one to give. It’s important that they get that right.
“We’re not victims. It’s happened now and we’ll get on with it. We’ll go down there [Charlton] to represent and do everything possible to get into that next round.
“I spoke to a few League One managers and they have them [Charlton] down as one of the best sides in the league. They were missing some key players today, but there are still good players in that team.
“We didn’t just go toe-to-toe with them. We were aggressive, calculated and precise with our work. I’m glad that the players have been able to represent against a League One side again.
“As a squad, the lads have backed each other up today. It’s another game unbeaten which is really important.”
The manager was also full of praise for wide-man Hamilton, whose strike opened the scoring just before half-time.
“CJ Hamilton today, how he’s not on the winning team [I don’t know]. He’s the quickest thing I’ve seen on the pitch!
“I’m gutted that CJ has not ended up on the winning team. We have seen more signs that he is getting better.
“Today he looked free, and he was very good.”
Next up for the Stags is a Checkatrade Trophy clash against Scunthorpe United at One Call Stadium on Tuesday, and the manager hinted at using a youthful lineup for the match.
“We’ll get the boys’ recovery strategies in [ahead of Tuesday]. We’ll gather that information and pick a team that can play.
“We have three boys on the bench today from the academy. You have to earn that in life. They deserve to be on the bench.
“I can elevate them on Tuesday night which is a really good game to do that. I am excited to see a few of our younger players perform.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.