Mansfield Town manager John Dempster is calling on his players to stop seeing red and think before they dive into challenges.
Hayden White’s dismissal at Grimsby last weekend saw Stags end a game with 10 men for the fifth time already this season and tomorrow against Oldham White begins a three game ban while Matt Preston completes a four-game ban, following his three game ban earlier in the campaign.
“At Grimsby at half-time we spoke about making sure that we matched them physically and competed with them as they had a very physical side,” said Dempster.
“They had a lot of height in their team and I felt they were winning too many aerial duels and landing on too many second balls.
“I do want players being committed and winning tackles, but at times this season we have over-stepped the mark with tackles.
“We are now in the modern day and the modern game, so it’s important to stay on your feet.
“You can only go to ground if it’s a last ditch tackle and at times when we’ve had players sent off this season there has been so need.”
Dempster initially felt the White red card was harsh until he saw it back after the game, but admitted it did perk his side up for what was a much-needed win against the odds.
“I didn’t feel we were brilliant up to the point where Hayden got sent off. The effort was there but the quality was lacking,” he said.
“But when Hayden got sent of the boys reacted brilliantly and we didn’t ever feel in danger.
“The tackle looked worse on video. In real time, and I had a reasonable view of it, Hayden got the ball. But, on reflection, the follow through – you can’t really do that any more.
“The referee had a difficult afternoon and probably lost control of the game at ties.
“But, on reflection, he probably got that one right.”