Striker Andy Cook believes only a goal was missing from a ‘dominant’ Mansfield Town display against Tranmere Rovers on Saturday afternoon.
The Stags were relentless in large spells of their Sky Bet League Two curtain-raiser but were unable to break the deadlock throughout.
Striking the woodwork in the early exchanges and substitute Tyrese Sinclair almost netting late on bookended a convincing performance for the amber and blue at One Call Stadium.
Cook, however, referred to the frustration of being unable to find a winner despite keeping a clean sheet at the first time of asking.
“I thought we were dominant but all we needed was that goal. I think the three points would have been fair for us,” the 29-year-old declared to iFollow Stags.
“We kept a clean sheet, so that’s a start. We pressed from the start, all over the park, just need to take the chances that come our way.
“I think everyone’s worked hard, we’ve had a hard pre-season and showed the fitness levels there.
“The only thing is that we didn’t win the game but it’s also a positive that we didn’t get beaten – it’s a start and a point on the table.”
The No.11 – who was on loan at Tranmere last season – then offered his thoughts regarding Mansfield’s 2020/21 squad and their style of play.
“That’s how the gaffer [Graham Coughlan] wants us to play: [pressing from the front] to force mistakes.
“They [Tranmere] made it hard for us. They put their bodies on the line every time they were blocking the chances we had. To be fair, they had [James] Vaughan up top who also made it hard for us.
“We’ve been working on it every day in pre-season. It’s a good dressing room, everyone gets on with everyone and I think that’s what you need.
“Hopefully we all stick together and push on next week. When we start scoring goals I’d back us to win plenty of games.”
The ex-Walsall frontman also explained his new-found fitness levels after returning to action from a nationwide lockdown.
“In lockdown I got myself out doing stuff,” he detailed. “Last season was a frustrating year for myself. I went on loan to Tranmere and I just wanted to come back and play for Mansfield.
“I’m contracted for Mansfield so that’s all I wanted to do, score goals and do well.
“I feel good. Last year I think I only started 10 league games and that was frustrating but now I’d back myself not to blow up and I think I’ve proved that out their today.”
iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Andy Cook's interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.