Adam Murray was furious with his side’s defending as Mansfield Town let a 2-1 lead slip to a 3-2 home defeat in a thriller against Exeter City today.
Stags’ fate was sealed when Martin Riley’s dreadful backpass six minutes from time saw keeper Adam Smith end up conceding a penalty.
Stags are now just one point from the dreaded drop zone back to the Conference.
“That was rubbish,” said manager Murray. “We scored two goals at home but defended like an U16 team. For some reason we find it hard to defend set pieces. Today we brought everyone back so there were no excuses, but still couldn’t defend.
To read the match report click HERE
“I am fed up with people walking into the dressing room saying sorry. Sorry will get you relegated.
“The bottom line is we are in a relegation battle, we have 21 games left and we need to win a certain number.
“It has been a common theme over the season – we don’t know how to win.”
He added: “We got ourselves back in the game then made some absolutely horrendous decisions. You can’t allow for that. If people can’t do their jobs then they had better get a warm coat.
“In both boxes we need to be more ruthless. We have got to score more goals from the positions we get into.
“Then at the other end we can’t defend. It’s a flip of a coin what is going to happen when the ball goes into our box.”
On Riley’s suicidal mistake at the end, Murray said: “You want to defend individuals when you can. But people have to take responsibility.
“It’s not good enough. There were some good things today. But I would rather play crap and win.
“It has to turn for us. Nothing has changed. We are in a relegation battle and we have been for four months.
“Look at the goals we’ve conceded in the last seven games and a high percentage of them have been down to individual errors.
“People are not playing through us or tearing us apart. It’s just basic mistakes.
“People switch off and go away with the fairies. They ball-watch and wonder what’s going on.”
For Exeter it was an end to a three game losing streak and manager Paul Tisdale said: “It was an end to end game and it feels all the more sweet when you win it.
“But I wouldn’t like to think what Adam is thinking in the Mansfield dressing room because it is tough when you lose that type of game.
“Mansfield played really well. They put so many crosses into our box and our defence was given a real test. It was a very challenging afternoon for us.
“We had to clear off the line numerous times. We defended stoutly and we have come out on top.
“We are not the biggest, most physical side but we coped pretty well.
“We got the reward at the end for responding to being 2-1 down. That is what we have been good at this year, responding to conceding goals.
“It was just what we needed for the rest of our season.
“Today won’t have done us any harm. Our midfield had to be dynamic and tenacious. Ryan Harley movement across the pitch was excellent and Liam Sercombe had drive back in his game. David Noble won tackles in there and Arron Davies was bright and filled a number of positions for me.”