Adam Murray admitted some referees would have sent off Ryan Tafazolli on Saturday when his foul on Craig Mackail-Smith gifted Luton Town their 1-0 win from the penalty spot.
But Stags boss Murray also paid tribute to the quality of players like Mackail-Smith and Brian McCourt whose Championship experience helped Luton home.
Tafazolli could have been seen as the last man when he pulled down Mackail-Smith from McCourt’s sliderule through ball and Murray said: “Some referees would have sent him off.
“But I think if you look at the direction of the ball, the position of Krystian (Pearce) and how close Brian (Jensen) was to eating Mackail-Smith I think it was a fair decision.
“This happens when you sign people from Championships clubs. Paddy McCourt played in the Championship and played at Celtic – and what a player he is.
“He played two or three of those balls on Saturday that are X-Factor play. And sometimes you just have say it was good play.
“We have one of the best defensive records in the League and we pride ourselves on that. I want to be top of that league as I think if we get that organisation and that discipline, the rest will come.”
He added: “We will create chances and score goals, we showed that on Saturday without taking them.
“Some of our chances on Saturday – if you’ve got a mortgage you would have put it on Matt Green scoring first half, you’d have put in on Craig Westcarr scoring second half and if Adi (Yussuf) was a little bit sharper, he’d have scored. These things happen and you move on.”
Murray and his players could only stand and marvel as former Scottish international Mackail-Smith whipped a superb overhead kick into their net, ruled out for offside.
Murray said: “Let’s be honest. He’s come from Brighton and you pay for those kind of players don’t you? To do something like that out of nothing. We were controlling their threat really well, and something like that, you can’t cope with as a defender. Luckily it was offside.
“That’s the difference. You look at this League this year and we are lucky. We’ve got Matt Green. We’ve got Craig Westcarr, who at this level are X-Factors.
“They didn’t quite get the rub of the green on Saturday that they did the week before. If they had they would have got goals.
“It is going to be a ridiculously tight season and the team that can get that little bit of consistency, if you can get back-to-back wins, you are in there.
“It’s that simple. That’s our next step now. If we get a win we can’t quite get that next one.
“That’s our building block. When we get that we will move up the gears. I said from day one this team will get stronger and stronger as the season goes on.”