Boss Nigel Clough has challenged his side to be more clinical in the final third, following this evening’s 1-0 defeat to Harrogate Town.
The Stags found themselves in good areas throughout the contest, but saw their deliveries into the penalty area dealt with more often than not by the visitors.
The manager says the amber and blue must make more of their opportunities to create goalscoring chances.
“I think generally we could’ve had a point from the game. If we’d have got a goal, we might have gone and got the second,” he told iFollow Stags.
“But the biggest disappointment is not hitting the target tonight – I think we registered one shot on target tonight from quite a bit of play.
“We had more than enough situations tonight to create chances and get goals, and we failed to do that.
“Generally speaking, we dealt with what they had to throw at us. We defended well enough, but it was a poor goal to concede. Stephen [McLaughlin] loses a tussle and we fail to stop the cross.
“The biggest disappointment was in and around their penalty area. We have to do better and put better quality balls in.
“That’s one of the reasons why we are where we are. There were bags of effort, a lot of scrapping, tackling, heading, but when we get in that final third, we have to do more.”
The boss has urged his side to take more risks, especially from crossing positions.
“I thought we showed conviction and got bodies forward. We got Cooky [Andy Cook] on at the end, so we’ve got Cook, we’ve got [Jordan] Bowery and [Jamie] Reid on. So there was enough out there.
“We’ve just got to put better quality balls into the penalty area and do it more often.
“In the positions that we were in, don’t turn the opportunity down to cross the ball. Let’s put the ball into the box and see if something drops.
“We didn’t test them enough. There was some good play to get in and around the penalty area, but not enough from there.”
Following tonight’s defeat, attention now turns to Sunday’s Emirates FA Cup game against Dagenham & Redbridge. Nigel Clough added: “We’ll now get ready for Sunday as we want to get through in the FA Cup, to the third round.
“We have two big league games after that against Cambridge and Crawley, but we want to try and win on Sunday.
“There are a couple of lads carrying knocks, so we’ll put the strongest team out that we can, but we certainly won’t risk anybody.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Nigel Clough’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later this evening.