No excuses now says Mansfield Town boss as he targets promotion after second cup exit of the week

Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough post match interview. Photo credit : Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger
Mansfield Town manager Nigel Clough post match interview. Photo credit : Chris & Jeanette Holloway / The Bigger

Tuesday's 1-0 home loss to Port Vale in the Carabao Cup was their first in 20 games this season and that was followed tonight by a 2-1 home FA Cup first round loss to Wrexham.

But Stags had as many chances at the visitors and Clough knows they need to be more clinical.

“This was always the danger to have two such big cup games in four days. To go out of both – that's the way it goes sometimes,” he said.

“We will now totally focus on the league – no excuses now. Every single league game – full attention.

“We have given everything in the two games and just needed a break and better finishing.

READ MORE: Stags v Wrexham FA Cup match report

“I thought we had more opportunities and situations than they did. We just didn't hit the target enough and we didn't finish.

“They have put two great finishes away – one in the top corner and then Mullin has curled one in.

“There was an element of misfortune with the second one as a clearance hit our own man and rebounded straight into his path. I didn't see that sort of break occurring at the other end.

“I think it's fair to say we've not had a break in the last couple of games in the penalty area. But we have to be better.

“Don't forget we are missing our main centre forward as well.”

He contined: “We started the second half brilliantly.

“They played well in the first half and looked a bit fresher than us as they have had a nice clear week whereas we have had that big game against Port Vale here in which we put everything in.

“Tonight we asked the lads to go again and they gave absolutely everything. They are absolutely on their knees down there so I can't ask any more from them.

“I think if we had equalised before they got their second we would probably have gone on to win the game.

“We just needed a bit more thought and quality.”

Rhys Oates made a comeback from injury and scored Stags' reply and Clough said: “Rhys lasted a lot longer than we thought tonight and scored a wonderful goal. It's good to have him back.

“Christy Pym also made three or four magnificent saves to keep us in it. We didn't make their keeper work enough again.”

Stags lost Ollie Clarke with an injury before the break and Clough said: “Ollie felt his thigh after about 35 minutes and you can't take a chance with things like that. Normally if he got a kick you'd try to get through to half-time.

“But we will see how he is in the next few days.”