Paul Cox was delighted to see his Mansfield Town side bounce back from their midweek home nightmare against Bury to earn a decent point in a 0-0 draw at Dagenham & Redbridge today.
And the Stags boss admitted that, with better finishing in the first half, his side might have won the game.
“The boys had a point to prove. Without going overboard, we let ourselves down on Tuesday night,” he said.
“After everything that went wrong on Tuesday night, I thought the lads put in a right shift today.
“There were some tired legs out there today so I am glad we have a free week now to freshen the boys up physically and mentally. These boys have been running through a brick wall.
“I was pleased to see our supporters wait and clap and cheer the boys off today. That put a smile on my face. They stuck behind us for the whole 90 minutes which was a real positive to me.”
He added: “Over 90 minutes it was probably a fair result though it should probably have been all over by half-time. We just need to be more ruthless in the last third.
“We are kicking ourselves over some of the chances we had in the first half which we didn’t capitalise on.
“The header from Ritchie Sutton was only about seven yards out with the goal at his mercy. It’s those type of chances that we must put away as about nine times out of 10 in this league, the team that scored first goes on to win it.
“Saying that, Alan Marriott pulled off some good saves near the end.
“The game opened up in the second half and we threw caution to the wind and tried to win it which meant we left ourselves open at the back a few times.”
Sam Clucas missed several first half openings and Cox said: “Sam was the most frustrated player in there at half-time. With someone of Sam’s calibre you would expect him to put one of those chances away. He probably just needs one to go in off his knee to kickstart him again.
“The difference between winning a place in the play-offs and fighting a relegation battle is such a fine line in this league.
“Anyone from 10th down could be in the relegation battle realistically. Torquay lost and Northampton only took a point and the pressure is on those two as they are playing catch-up.”