Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough says he saw much promise from Stags’ opening day performance as his ten-men drew 2-2 away to Crewe.
Stags led 2-0 with a brace from Davis Keillor-Dunn but conceded before half-time and again straight after Calum Macdonald’s dismissal to be made to settle for a point.
When asked for his assessment on the clash at Mornflake Stadium post-match, the boss said: “[It was a] good point in the circumstances when you’re facing 35 minutes away from home with [ten men at] 2-2.
“Over the course of the whole game, without a doubt, we should’ve had the three points.
“We were trying to be positive and entertain.
“We’ve got the two goals. We should’ve had more.”
The gaffer highlighted specific ‘turning points’ in the game which led to Stags leaving Cheshire with one point instead of three.
“[There were] A couple of turning points,” he said.
“Davis Keillor-Dunn scored two brilliant goals but, he had a brilliant chance to make to make it 3-0 which would’ve probably sealed the game at that point.
“A few minutes later, they get a corner, and we don’t deal with it well enough.
“It was a needless corner first of all, Callum Johnson should be clearing the ball over the stand.
“At 2-1 in the second-half I thought we were pretty comfortable again.
“Keillor-Dunn hits the inside of the post and within minutes, all of a sudden, we’ve got a very harsh red card and they’ve equalised.
“There was no malice or anything, it was just a football challenge.”
On Macdonald’s red card, the manager added: “The sending off, we can’t do too much about.
“We can say ‘don’t put your foot in’ but he’s a defender at the end of the day.
“He’s doing what we ask him to do.”
Stags continued to push for a winner however, even with a man less.
“[After the red card] If anyone was going to score, I thought it was us.
“We set up to attack as much as we can.
“We’ve got Aden Flint staying up from set-plays. We’re trying to win games.”
Nigel gave a debut to Stags’ latest addition, Aden Flint, from the bench on 60 minutes.
“It’s [Flint’s signing] been rumbling for a few weeks and it sort of breaks the model of what we’ve been doing in the last two transfer windows.
“We’ve brought in mid-twenties (recently) - that sort of age.
“We’re trying to go young but when somebody of Aden Flint’s stature comes on the market then we have to be interested.
“The only reason we’ve got him is location. Everyone knows he lives in the area and that was a major plus point.
“He will have got offers for much more money from around the country but he’s 34 years old, he’s seen what we’ve been doing for the last couple of seasons and wants to be part of it.”