John Dempster slams 'inept' Mansfield Town performance at Exeter City

John Dempster dishes out instructions at Exeter on Saturday.
John Dempster dishes out instructions at Exeter on Saturday.

Mansfield Town boss John Dempster says his side fell well short of expectations as they lost 1-0 at league leaders Exeter City on Saturday.

Ryan Bowman's early goal was the difference between the two sides but despite the narrow deficit, Dempster felt the hosts showed far more quality than his own side and that Stags deserved nothing from the game.

And he says plenty of work now needs to be done to put things right.

He said: "We didn't deserve anything from the game.

"If you come here, go toe-to-toe and the footballing gods aren't with you then that's acceptable, but today we weren't at it and were poor on all levels.

"We got caught out at the re-start from a throw in early on which brought the goal but there were mistakes all over. Exeter's back three were immaculate, ours were all over the place.

"In the second-half we huffed and puffed and made some changes but overall we weren't good enough."

Dempster added that the preparation for the game should have given his players a good grounding to turn up and perform, leading to him being all the more disappointed that they failed to do so.

He said: "The preparation the club put on was spot on, from the coach we travelled down on to the hotel we stayed in. It gave the players a platform on which to perform and they didn't do that.

"They were well off the standard expected and I'm very disappointed. It was an inept performance for which I take the responsibility and so do the players.

"We had a couple of efforts fly just wide in the second half but overall the service to the front players was poor.

"You have to respect Exeter but if we'd been at our best we'd not be far off their standard. However, we can't keep saying that. There are no excuses for the players."

Dempster added the club will look again at the red card handed to defender Ryan Sweeney for an off the ball incident late in the game.

He said: "Ryan is adamant there was nothing in it so we'll look at it again. If he's right then we'll decide what to do, if he's wrong then there will be repercussions."