Mansfield Town manager David Flitcroft has not given up hope of making the play-offs, despite dropping two crucial points at home in today's 1-1 draw with Port Vale.
Tom Pope's late equaliser left Stags three points off the play-offs with only two games to go and the sides above them with a game in hand. Click HERE for the match report.
However, Flitcroft said: “Knowing football for a long time I think it will still go to the last game.
“But that was our chance today to really assert the mental pressure on the other teams and we've given them the advantage now.
“But there are twists and turns every season, that's what we see constantly, and that's what we will get ready for next week.
“We know what we've got to do now. We've got to take the six points and hope someone slips up.”
Stags wasted golden chances to finish off Vale today before Pope punished them at the end.
“We were not ruthless enough. It's criminal really what we've not done today,” said Flitcroft.
“We've created chance after chance and completely dominated them in one of the most one-sided games I've ever seen.
“But, unless you put a team to the sword you're still giving them hope. We gave them hope to carry on to the end when we should have been out of sight.
“Big players have got to step up to the plate in big moments and have that ruthless edge.”
He added: “The goal that they scored was just from a punt up the pitch and a moment's switching off. You can't switch off. It takes two or three seconds to score a goal.
“I think Conrad only had one other save to make, but we gave them hope by not finishing them off. It's cost us a very valuable two points.
“It's not easy. They are under intense pressure. But that's what we get paid to do to win football matches. You have to do your job in match-defining moments.
“Credit to the lads for really taking Port Vale on and going after them with a real intensity. The tempo to our passing and movement was good and we caused them problems all afternoon.
“The whole stadium is probably deflated. It was in our grasp, we had the three points and let it slip.”
Stags now prepare to travel to Yeovil next weekend.