Stags’ boss John Dempster has delivered his post-match thoughts following this evening’s bitterly disappointing 3-2 defeat to Leyton Orient.
Mansfield were two goals to the good at half-time after Danny Rose scored two penalties in the opening period, but a second-half resurgence from the O’s saw them leave One Call Stadium with maximum points.
The manager says that the nature of tonight’s defeat – conceding three goals in the second period – was ‘scandalous.’
“All the good things we did on Saturday, we did poorly in the second-half. Leadership and game management was severely lacking,” he began.
“We spoke about the third goal at half-time and we had a couple of opportunities early in the second-half that we could have been a little more ruthless with.
“To concede three goals in the second-half and walk off the pitch without a point is scandalous.
“At half-time, the message was that it was a good performance but we could have done better. I thought we started okay in the second-half but then it just went. It was strange and it was weak.
“I expect us to walk in [the dressing room] with all three points at full-time and the fact that we walk in with no points is extremely disappointing.
“[We wanted] to get the third goal and kill them off. But if it wasn’t to be, to walk in with the clean sheet first and foremost.
“Leyton Orient threw the kitchen sink at us, which you’d expect being 2-0 down at half-time. But I expect the players to deal with any kind of pressure. The majority of the second-half just wasn’t good enough.
“Our bench looked young today but we had some experienced players in our starting XI and they know they can do better.
“I’ll look at myself, my staff will look at themselves and I expect the players to look at themselves.
“We’ll certainly look at the game back and we’ll sit down with the players this week to have a serious look at where we can do better.
“The players aren’t stupid – they know that wasn’t good enough. We should have been walking out of here tonight with all three points.”
John Dempster also called for consistency as he compared Saturday’s convincing 2-0 win away at Carlisle to this evening’s display.
“It was a masterclass at Carlisle in terms of the leadership qualities we saw, the game management and making sure people were in the right positions.
“All of that was there to be seen and it’s frustrating. But you can’t have that contrast from game to game.
“Standards need to be better consistently. We’ll have a serious look at that.
“I credited the 18 players involved at Carlisle and we’ve got to take responsibility that the 18 players weren’t good enough tonight.
“I’ve emphasised my disappointment [to my players]. It goes without saying that it wasn’t good enough tonight.”
The manager gave a brief injury update following the pre-match news that midfielder Neal Bishop has a swollen Achilles.
He also discussed Hayden White, who went off injured to be replaced by James Clarke late on this evening.
“He [Neal Bishop] is struggling with a swollen Achilles. When they swell up, they can be quite tricky, so we’ll have to look at him.
“Hayden White passed a fitness test before the game which was good to see, because at times he was excellent tonight.
“To see him come off at the end is concerning. We had a young bench tonight, and it’s great to see a pathway for our young players, but we might have to look at some reinforcements if we continue to pick up these little injuries.
“We do look a little bit light on numbers. That’s something I’ll have to discuss with my staff – the areas that we might look to strengthen. I’ll also have to speak to the CEO [Carolyn Radford] on that one.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s post-match interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later tonight.