Mansfield Town manager Paul Cox today said his patience was running out with some of his players after two soft second half goals saw Morecambe come from behind to inflict a sixth straight defeat on the Stags at One Call Stadium.
Ross Dyer’s 17th minute goal had Stags comfortably in front at the break only to let in two second half goals and see Sam Clucas miss a penalty.
Cox snapped: “I don’t think Morecambe won that, I think we lost it. We were 1-0 up and under no pressure whatsover.
“It is just basic errors that are costing us.
“I hear all that stuff about having bad luck when you are on a run like this but I am not buying into that. We have good players here but they have to start making better decisions.
“We should never have let them back into the game. They were basic, fundamental errors – schooboy errors – that cost us.
“We seem to have a bit of a soft underbelly at the minute and that needs rectifying. We are the softest I’ve seen us since I came here.
“There were some harsh words in there and the gloves are off.
“I don’t know what’s getting into players’ minds, if they are feeling the pressure and needing an extra touch.
“We have got to go back to basics and win games ugly. I am sure our supporters won’t mind if we are winning games.
“Look at our win at Chesterfield. That was ugly but effective.
“We are coming up to halfway now and no one will feel sorry for us. It is tough and it was tough on me today. I now need to see who is prepared to come with me and stand up and be counted.
“I now need to be ruthless with players. Some of them have been given a fair crack of the whip. If I need to make big decisions, I will make them – simple as that. We can’t carry on like this.
“I would have been very happy to just win 1-0 today. We need to get back to being disciplined, keep our shape and be mentally strong.”
Asked if Morecambe keeper Barry Roche should have been red-carded for the challenge that conceded the penalty, Cox said: “I am sick of talking about referee’s decisions. We should have put the penalty away and kept a clean sheet.
“I though the fans were excellent today and deserved more.”
The result left Stags without a win in 10 League games after defeat by a Morecambe side who had won just once in eight before this.
Delighted Shrimps boss Jim Bentley said: “I am made up with that. We had a fantastic start to the season, but we’ve just had a bit of a sticky spell which every club has.
“But I knew Mansfield were on probably an even worse spell than ourselves and we came here with a game plan.
“I didn’t rest anyone from the York game as I wanted to build on that and I thought, overall, we were the better side today,
“It went against us with that first goal and I thought it was the right thing to do to make the two changes at half-time, and they really affected the game, Jack Redmond scoring one and making one.
“Ellison put his head in where few other professionals would for the winner and paid the price. He has had to go to hospital with a facial injury.
“We now have two home games to come and I hope today will have given us our confidence back. We just have to go into every game believing and not look too far ahead.”