Stags’ boss David Flitcroft says he is expecting a ‘big improvement’ from his players in next week’s match away to Exeter, following this afternoon’s inept display against Crewe.
Skipper Krystian Pearce’s late goal proved to be just a consolation against the Railwaymen at One Call Stadium, following two strikes from Callum Ainley in the second-half.
The manager says that he will work closely with his players this week on generating a response for our upcoming clash with the Grecians.
“We’ll reflect on it [game] and get back to work on Monday,” he said. “I’ve told them what the week is going to look like.
“That spirit and that galvanised strength that we’ve had this season, that was missing today. We’ll get them in training next week, backing each other up and making tackles.
“We’ll make sure that they’re fully supporting each other on the football pitch. We need that energy that we used against the league leaders [Lincoln].
“You have to make it a tough day for them [Crewe], but too many times they wriggled out of areas to impact us.
“We’ve had a week where they [players] knew what the game meant to the supporters, but they’ve let themselves down today.
“They’ve not ran for each other on and off the ball. The appetite that was there for large spells of the season was missing today.
“[I’m looking for] a big improvement. And we’ll get those gains as the week progresses. I want to see who wants to travel with that purpose down to Exeter.
“[I have] big decisions [to make] next week on the team and what it looks like. But one thing I will commit to is picking committed players who want to run and fight for Mansfield Town.
"[I’m looking for] a big improvement. And we’ll get those gains as the week progresses. I want to see who wants to travel with that purpose down to Exeter."
“That’s not been the case today. It’s not happened a lot, but certainly it’s [fight] not been evident today.”
David Flitcroft added that his side did not ‘cause enough problems’ to Crewe throughout the match.
“It was a flat start and there wasn’t enough energy on the pitch. You have to make your intent known in the first part of the game.
“Today there wasn’t that energy or willingness to run for each other. The back-three [in the] first-half looked really good and we didn’t look in trouble at all.
“But we didn’t cause enough problems or sustain the attacks. Against any team that has come here we’ve been able to sustain attacks.
“It was missing that verve and intent. That’s what I feel wasn’t there today.
“Bish [Neal Bishop] has given everything again and given a good account of himself. The back-three have been brilliant all season, but the two goals are disappointing to concede.
“I thought it came back too easy from the top end of the pitch. The two centre-halves have had an easy-ish day.
“It wasn’t a team performance today. That’s one thing that I pride myself on, if someone’s having an off game, back them up. We didn’t do that today.”
The Mansfield boss added that the Stags’ crossing lacked quality.
“I felt that Nicky [Ajose] might have had an influence. I knew that by getting Macca [Alex MacDonald] on the right-hand side, we’d start getting more crosses in.
“The one cross that Tyler has put in for Nicky, he’s in a good position to score. But the quality of work up top, there wasn’t really an intent.
“We didn’t miss the first man out often enough. We got in good crossing positions and wide positions, but we didn’t impact on the goalkeeper.
“It was tame up front, and there were two really poor goals [to concede] from the centre of the pitch, where we’ve been brilliant this season.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch the manager’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.