Stags boss Cox down but not out after play-off blow at Accrington

Paul Cox was down but not out as a late Accrington Stanley equaliser saw Mansfield Town held 1-1 at the Storefirst Stadium and the Stags’ play-off hopes begin to dwindle.
Paul Cox  -Pic by:Richard ParkesPaul Cox  -Pic by:Richard Parkes
Paul Cox -Pic by:Richard Parkes

With other scores going against them today, they now sit 12th and seven points off the play-off zone with only three games to go.

Jake Speight had put them ahead 15 minutes from time, but Stanley levelled with a controversial penalty five minutes into added time.

However, the Stags boss refused to concede the dream is over, saying: “It does make it harder, but we will keep going until it is mathematically certain we can’t make it.

“It feels like we lost today, to be honest. Other results seem to have gone against us and. But there will be some massive twists and turns over the last three games still and all we can do is try to win the last three.

“We want to finish the season on a high.

“I feel gutted for the supporters today who turned out in force again.

“It was a strange end to the game. We tweaked it second half and I thought we came out of the blocks well and scored a good goal.”

He added: “The boys claimed their lad was three or four yards offside when the penalty was given, but I couldn’t see from where I was.

“It seemed like after we scored we panicked a bit and went deeper and deeper. We seemed to go to sleep for a bit. We knew from the last game how Accrington come at you all the way in injury time.

“We seemed to lose our focus and we lost our shape a bit.

“But it is hard when they are throwing the kitchen sink at you. We should have rode it out as we have been doing of late.

“There were some tired legs out there near the end.

“The surface was horrendous for both sides and there wasn’t much football played on it. It is a tough place to come.”

Stags now host a visit from Cheltenham Town on Easter Monday (3pm).