“Mansfield are an ambitious club and they have spent a few quid,” he said.
“They are geared up to go up a division and fair play to them. I like the manager and I like the assistant manager.
“Their support today was fantastic and I hope they go up. They have spent wisely and got it right.
“We have to aspire to be like Mansfield were with and without the ball.”
But he was unhappy with his side’s showing and had a dressing room lock-in afterwards.
“I thought it was a poor performance,2 he said.
“Credit where credit’s due, Mansfield are a good side and you can see why they are where they are.
“But coming away from home we have to put up a better performance than that.
“If you are playing at your best and you lose the game you accept you were beaten by the better side.
“They are a better side than us. They have better players and in a better place.
“Today they looked like they had more know-how, more running, more aggression and more desire. That goes hand in hand where they are in the position they are in.
“But when you play one of the top sides away it’s an opportunity for you to test yourself and keep our little run going.”
He continued: “In the last 11 games we have we’ve taken more points than Mansfield so we are in decent form. But we didn’t show enough today. We rolled over and let them tickle our bellies.
“From minute one they were up and at it. The crowd were behind them and were magnificent. We didn’t manage it well or pass the ball well enough and we were lazy in our recovery runs.
“If it wasn’t for Barry Roche is could have been a lot more by half-time.”
Other results meant Morecambe are now safe but Bentley does not want his side to slacken off.
“We are now mathematically safe, which is the minimum requirement,” he said.
“But from my point of view we need to be a lot better than that as we want to get higher up the division.
“There are teams in and around us that we want to get above and finish strongly.
“I don’t want to accept we are mathematically safe. I don’t want any ‘already on the beach’ performances.”