Jordan Bowery lambasted his own performance as 'shocking' but admitted delight at bagging the winning goal as Stags beat Barrow 1-0 in Cumbria.
The forward-cum-wing-back nodded home five minutes into the second half to secure maximum points for Nigel Clough's men.
The win becomes Mansfield's fourth successive league victory on the road in a remarkable transformation of results away from home.
And speaking after the match, a brutally honest Bowery said: "The performance [was] shocking, the result excellent.
"We weren't at our best but all that matters is that we're going back home on the bus with the three points. It wasn't great to watch but we did the job.
"I was shocking. I wasn't very good. The gaffer came up to me after the games and goes 'you were rubbish, but good goal'. Hopefully in the next game if I'm playing I can put on a better performance. But I got the goal so I'm happy with that."
A dour first half saw chances at a premium for both sides before Stags turned on the jets in the second period, and Bowery said: "We couldn't string many passes together in the first half.
"It was uphill and against the wind and we couldn't really create a goal threat.
"They didn't cause us many problems but in the second half we came out a bit better and nicked that goal.
"Pymmy [Christy Pym] made a great save. Other than that I feel like it was a well-deserved three points.
"If we sat back and let them pump balls into our box like they can do then we could have come back on the bus with zero points. We had to take it to them."
Reflecting on his first goal of the season, Bowery said: "It was a good ball in. Hawks [Oli Hawkins] has leapt up and does what he does best Their 'keeper has made a great save and it fell to me. I thought it was going to hit the post but luckily it hit the back of the net."