Notts County boss Mark Cooper is demanding his players salvage some pride after their derby day battering at Mansfield.
County were trounced 5-0 at the One Call Stadium after collapsing during the second half and head to Barnet tonight looking to return to winning ways.
Cooper said: “It’s only good to have a game on a Tuesday if you get a result. Otherwise it makes it a worse week. We are going to be desperate to put things right.
“The players should also be desperate to salvage some pride after the weekend.I still feel exactly the same about the Mansfield game now as I did afterwards.
“It just highlighted what I already knew which is that we need to do some work in the summer.
“We watched the game, we conceded five goals and everyone was very, very, avoidable. Every goal was a mistake, and that two or three of them were definitely down due to desire.”
Cooper also called on his players to stick together and foster a team spirit that would help get results.
“That’s been the problem this season in that the teams at the top of the league have that really tough cameraderie and spirit to get results,” he said.
“Too many times, Notts County haven’t been. That only comes with bringing the right characters to the football club.
“You can’t coach it either. You can go three or four games at a time, and you can get a little run of results, but it will always rear its head again.
“I think I knew it was round the corner. When you watch the first half of the game, I think Mansfield got into our half about three or four times.
“The rest of the time we were in their half, but didn’t create one chance because we picked up the wrong positions.
“We made the wrong decision with the ball, people were selfish and there was a lack of concentration and quality.
“When Mansfield got their chances, they took them. We didn’t deal with it.”
But Cooper knows his Magpies will face a tough task in London.
He said: “You can only tell once the game comes. It’s going to be amazingly tough because Martin Allen’s teams are very difficult to play against.
“He did great to get them promoted on a real tight budget and to be where they are in the league, playing some really good football, he will be desperate to beat Notts County.
“They have Michael Gash and John Akinde who will be a real threat. If you look at the fourth goal, we have a corner, and then 10 seconds later it’s in the back of the net.
“You want to see a reaction from the players that says I really want to be at this football club next season. Good things are going to happen and it will be a successful team.
“That’s what I’ve been looking for. For four games we looked solid and we’ve got to get back to that. The team let down a really good away support and they need to go and put it right - simple as that.
“To get beat 5-0 in a local derby is unacceptable. The players don’t have to apologise to me, they have to apologise to themselves really because they let themselves down.”