Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough has described this afternoon’s opening day loss away at Salford as ‘extremely poor’.
Goals from Callum Hendry and Brandon Thomas-Asante were enough for the Ammies to secure all three points over the Stags.
The gaffer’s side were left to rue missed chances as the club recorded a first opening day defeat since 2014.
Speaking to iFollow Stags after this afternoon’s encounter, the boss said: “The result [was] extremely poor.
“The performance [was] not too much better.
“The two goals we conceded were schoolboy goals I would call them.
“We’ve had opportunities to get back into the game and we didn’t manage to take at least one of them.
“We played more long balls in the first 20 minutes than we have done in three weeks [of pre-season].
“We didn’t get on the ball enough; we gave it away in silly areas.”
On the sloppy goals conceded in the first-half, Nigel said: “[It was] Just poor playing.
“George Maris thought he was fouled for the second one.
“I don’t know [if he was fouled but] he should’ve passed the ball long before the challenge came in.
“We did some very, very frustrating, and strange things today.
“I think our top goalscorer from last season, Rhys Oates, didn’t play very well today.
“He’s not alone in that.
“They [Salford] had two shots and scored two goals.”
The Stags had the second shortest pre-season out of the 24 Sky Bet League Two sides this summer though the boss refused to allow the Stags’ reduced pre-season schedule to be an excuse for today’s loss.
“I didn’t expect us to be sharp I just expect us to be better,” he said.
“It will take us a month or two to get up to speed because of the late finish last season [and] the shortened pre-season.
“I think we need the games which are coming thick and fast to really get us up to speed.”
New goalkeeper Christy Pym impressed on his Mansfield debut.
“I thought Christy [Pym was good]. We’ve been pleased with him from the second he walked through the door,” Nigel said.
“He’s calm, collected [and] had no chance with the goals.
“He made a very good save [towards the end of the match].
“His distribution was good and [we’re] delighted with him.”
Speaking about fellow debutants Riley Harbottle, Will Swan and Hiram Boateng, he said: “[It was a] Tough baptism for the two Forest lads today [Riley Harbottle and Will Swan].
“It’s proper league football.
“I think they found it tough against a good team.
“Salford are a good team. We’re not playing any dummies here.
“I thought Hiram [Boateng] wasn’t quite as good as he has been in pre-season.
“We didn’t get him on the ball in the areas we’d like.”
On the injury front, the gaffer said James Perch is unlikely to feature next Saturday at home to Tranmere.
“[On if James Perch will feature against Tranmere] I don’t think so.
“He’s doubtful. The only one back we’ll have back is Oli Hawkins.”
Midfielder Jason Law won’t feature in the Stags’ first home match of the 2022/23 season. The 23-year-old is expected to be out for three months.
“A couple of weeks ago he got a dead leg and he tried to give it a go in the Oldham game and got another whack on it.
“It’s turned into a nasty little muscle injury.
“I think it’ll be two to three months so that’s another one out the squad.”
Concluding the interview, the manager said: "First of all we analyse the game [next week].
"We pointed out a couple of things [to improve on] after the game which is always good.
"We'll sit down by watching the video and say 'the last three or four weeks we've done this, today we didn't do it. Why not?'"