Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough highlighted the importance of the home supporters as the Stags were edged out 3-2 by Championship side Middlesbrough in a riveting cup tie at One Call Stadium.
The narrow loss means Mansfield have bowed out of the competition, despite a gutsy second-half fightback.
Speaking to iFollow Stags after the game, the manager saluted the supporters inside One Call Stadium.
“We’ve never managed or played at too many places where they stay and give you such an ovation,” he said.
“For the effort and the quality of the performance, not always the result [the fans applaud].
“We saw it here against Port Vale when we drew a good couple of months back and today was the same thing.
“We lost the cup tie, a little bit unlucky but they stay and show their appreciation.
“I think that [appreciation] is good for the players to hear.”
A 95th minute own goal from Elliott Hewitt saw the Stags’ promising FA Cup run come to an unfortunate end.
“We’ve had three cracking games and should have made it through to the fourth round today,” the gaffer said.
“From 25-30 minutes [onwards] in the game [it was] absolutely brilliant stuff.
“We had more than enough chances, to get more than the two goals [we scored].
“I think we’ve been playing well for a few weeks. We still have to do it against Swindon and Walsall and so on in the next four months of the season.
“[We take] A lot of encouragement from it [the performance against Middlesbrough]. I just hope we learn not to lose the game [late on].
“I thought it was a cracking cup tie for anybody watching it here in the stadium but we’re here to win.”
Despite playing against tough opposition, the manager was pleased with the performance from the amber and blue.
“The main thing we wanted to do today was have a good go at them,” he said.
“To make it as uncomfortable as we did for them is an accomplishment.
“To get back [into the contest] I think [we then] got so close to winning the game today.”
The gaffer also provided an update on the ongoing contact situation of defender John-Joe O’Toole.
“I think it will be sorted out one way or another before Tuesday,” said the boss.
Watch the manager's interview in full at: mansfieldtown.net/ifollow.