Academy manager Richard Cooper has offered his thoughts on Tuesday afternoon’s 2-0 defeat to Grimsby reserves in the Central League.
In windy conditions at The RH Academy, Stags slipped to their first defeat of the Central League season following goals in either half from Harry Clifton and Brandon McPherson.
Cooper says that the defeat was down to the visitors capitalising on two Mansfield mistakes.
“I think to be fair to Grimsby, they had one opportunity in the first-half and one in the second-half and they took both of their chances,” he began.
“I think we probably could have defended them [goals] better, if I’m being perfectly honest. So the two errors we’ve made, Grimsby have jumped on them and scored two goals.
“We had some moments in the second-half where we thought we’d work the ‘keeper, but it just wasn’t to be today.
“Their ‘keeper did make a couple of decent saves and we got into some good wide areas. The ball went across the box but we probably needed some more numbers in there.
“Jimmy [Knowles] had a couple of headers but the ‘keeper has made the saves today.”
Three teenagers who made the bench for the recent league win over Northampton – Jimmy Knowles, Tyrese Sinclair and Maison Campbell – all started the game against Grimsby.
Cooper says that Mansfield’s young players will continue to be given opportunities if they impress in training.
“It [young players involved with first team] is pleasing. The young lads have to earn the right though.
“Some of the performances in the under-18s and the reserves have been very good, but it’s what they do on the training field day-in, day-out.
“That’s the only way they will get into that first team squad.”
The academy chief also spoke of Jordan Graham, who was replaced by midfielder Ethan Hill in the first-half due to injury.
“Not too sure yet [on Jordan Graham], but he was with the medical team after the game.
“Fingers crossed because he deserves a little bit of luck with the knee at the moment.
“We’re just hoping that it’s good news.”