Mansfield Town may have made it back-to-back wins in five days to go eighth in League Two and held off a superb second half fightback from Carlisle United to win 3-2, but still some fans chose to boo instead of back manager Paul Cox and his players.
Stags were 3-0 up and sitting pretty by the break, but bottom-placed United, with former Stags manger Keith Curle at the helm for the first time, hit back superbly after the break to score twice and make a real game of it.
Stags were also hit by losing midfielder Chris Clements with a hamstring injury just after the break.
But the boos began when Cox withdrew tiring striker Rakish Bingham, who had earlier bagged a brace, and as the home crowd became more anxious under the intense pressure, there were more boos for striker Matt Rhead after he failed to hold the ball up a couple of times.
However, Cox said: “To say anything about our second half would be disrespectful to a very big club who were in League One last year.
“Our first half performance was good but could have been better, though we scored three very good goals.
“But I told them at half-time that the 3-0 lead could be a false sense of security and the first 15 minutes would be important.
“Carlisle showed a great resolve and desire to get back into in the match. Sometimes you have to congratulate another team on their performance rather than pick holes in your own team.
“We have just won a football match and moved just outside the play-offs, yet it all feels like doom and gloom.
“Sometimes this club doesn’t seem to enjoy winning. We have just won two home games on the bounce this week. We are Mansfield Town, not Manchester United. Sometimes you just have to remember where we are and who we are.
“These lads are working extremely hard for this football club and we are enjoying it. If other people don’t want to enjoy it that’s up to them.
“Take a look below us at the bigger clubs with bigger resources.
“The boys’ work ethic and desire is tremendous and when we were under the cosh late on they were throwing themselves in front of crosses and shots. I am very proud of them all and this football club should be proud of them.”
New Carlisle boss Keith Curle saw enough in that second half to underline his belief that he can turn the club’s fortunes around.
“I will work with them morning, noon and night, double training sessions,” he said. “The second half showed there is potential there.
“If I can get these players going and the supporters onside, we can be a force to be reckoned with.
“I want to give the players confidence. I will give them a remit to go out there and express themselves.
“My teams play with no fear. They will make mistakes, but they will be honest mistakes.
“At 3-0 down at half-time I told them all I wanted from them was to see if they could come off at the end, look me in the eye and tell me they’d had a go. Fair play to them, to a man they did that.
“In the first half we looked intimidated, shy, and as if we didn’t want to make any mistakes.
“But in the second half the lads gave everything and our supporters making the long journey home will take heart from that second half.”
To read the match report click HERE