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We have to be better in both boxes - defender

4 January 2020


We have to be better in both boxes - defender

4 January 2020

Defender Matt Preston believes Mansfield Town must improve in ‘both boxes’ after a 1-0 defeat against Grimsby Town at One Call Stadium.

Ian Holloway’s side claimed victory with a 66th-minute own goal that was inadvertently turned home by Mal Benning.

And despite the Mariners being reduced to 10 men early on, their counter-attack proved enough to earn all three points.

Subsequently, Preston reflected upon the situations in either penalty area on Saturday afternoon as an area to improve heading forward.

“We need to be clinical in both boxes, myself included,” the centre-half began. 

“We’re not defending our box well enough and we’re not scoring enough goals in the opposition’s box, so it’s something we need to fix up.

“I’m not even sure if they’ve had a shot on target but they’ve managed to come away with a win. It’s frustrating, we’ve had a few chances where we should be scoring but we haven’t.


“They’re down to 10 men and they’ll always look to hit on the counter. They’ve managed to do it once so it’s massively frustrating.”

The 24-year-old did remain positive, however, knowing manager Graham Coughlan is now set to undertake his first full week of training with the group.

“I can tell the gaffer has been frustrated, so far, that he hasn’t been able to get a full weeks training.

“Having a full week where he [Graham Coughlan, below] can drill in what he wants to us will be massively beneficial. 


“We were hoping to bring the same mentality [from Cambridge] here today. [The mood] is deflated because of the circumstances, them being down to 10 men and then coming away with a 1-0 win.

“We’ve got to take it to the training ground with the gaffer and bounce back.”

The former Swindon man was also left frustrated after another opportunity for a clean sheet slipped away.

“In comparison to what we were like last season – you shouldn’t compare years – but you’re always going to when we’ve got the same personnel,” he continued to iFollow Stags.

“We’re not doing what we were last year and we’re all frustrated. I have no idea what [the issue is]. We are getting unfortunate but that’s no excuse for it.

“It’s tough to even say – it’s not to do with wanting because nobody wants to concede goals but there has to be something.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Matt's interview in full by logging into later today.

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