Stags’ boss David Flitcroft has said that his staff and players produced ‘everything’ they could in this evening’s 0-0 draw with Oldham, but concedes his side lacked the finishing touch in a game they dominated.
Mansfield went close on several occasions during the contest, with midfielder Otis Khan hitting the crossbar, and wing-back Will Atkinson heading just wide from close range late on.
The manager was full of praise for the way his side performed, adding that he thought tonight’s display was superior to Saturday’s showing, a game in which Mansfield recorded a 4-0 win over Northampton.
“I think we were miles better than Saturday [4-0 win against Northampton],” he said. “When I look at the work that the players have done, that epitomises what we are trying to do.
“We moved it about [well] and completely dominated. They [Oldham] are very robust and have a real resolve. We moved them around the pitch just as well as we have moved anyone in my 20 odd games.
“To create the opportunities we have done without scoring a goal, it does defy logic. Everything I ask of my team and my staff, they’ve produced tonight. We just needed that end bit.
“I don’t know how we’ve not gone in the first half to go three, four or five up. The football was incredible. We are here to win and we all know that. Their ‘keeper pulled off save after save.
"To create the opportunities we have done without scoring a goal, it does defy logic. Everything I ask of my team and my staff, they’ve produced tonight. We just needed that end bit."
“The structure [of Mansfield] was superb, we never looked in danger. We dominated which we have done all season. We just couldn’t finish them off.”
The Stags’ boss went on to explain his disappointment for the supporters, who watched their side create chance after chance this evening.
“I’m gutted because I wanted back-to-back wins for the supporters who have turned out on Saturday and Tuesday,” he added. “Even though we’ve seen good football, I desperately wanted a win for our supporters.
“I like Tuesday nights here under the lights. The pitch is a bit greasy and you can move the ball. We’ve had some of our best performances [in night matches] since I’ve been here.”
“CJ [Hamilton]’s pass to Otis [Khan] was brilliant. You’re just waiting for Otis to nestle. With Atkinson in the second half, it’s an open goal. They are phenomenal chances.
“We put a lot of work on the training ground and the lads to commit to that. And we’ve seen that tonight. We just needed that end bit.
“We’ve played with a purpose and a real verve tonight. We’ve spoken about it and done sessions on it.
“Peter Clarke, who is an outstanding professional who I’ve worked with, coming off the pitch then he’s just said ‘wow, what a team.’ When he talks, you do listen. We’ve got to take that charge into Saturday’s game and really drive forward.
“We’ve got a lot right at home this season. It’s another point to the total and we’ll keep driving forward because the performance was good.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch David Flitcroft’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.