Nigel Clough admitted he is frustrated by Mansfield’s defending after his side’s 1-0 defeat at Bradford.
Returning Danny Rowe secured the points for on-song Bradford, who extended their fine run to five wins in a row.
Mansfield’s Ollie Clarke was sent off deep in stoppage time for an apparent stray elbow on Connor Wood but it was the sloppy goal that left Clough seething and he is desperate to see his defence tighten up and keep more clean sheets.
The stuttering Stags have lost four out of their last five after an impressive run of form.
Clough said: “Performance-wise I didn’t think we did too much wrong, but we gave away a poor goal.
“It was similar to Harrogate really. We played better than we did at Harrogate, but it was another poor goal.
“I thought we were on top and controlled the game and we end up losing the game.
“The difference between there and Saturday is that we didn’t give something like that away on Saturday and it’s fine margins.
“It’s frustrating. Teams are having two or three shots and we’re controlling games.
“But it doesn’t matter how much control you have if you keep giving those sorts of goals away.
“We haven’t kept enough clean sheets and that’s the bottom line really.”
Clough also revealed that the club is set to appeal Clarke’s red card.
“I haven’t seen it back on replay but I presume it was for a raised arm,” Clough added.
“If that’s the case then it was totally accidental.
“After talking to Ollie we will certainly be appealing it in the morning.”
On the flip side, Bradford joint-manager Mark Trueman is delighted with his defensive unit after a third clean sheet in four.
He said: “We set those foundations defending as a team and we’ve done that.
“We’d like to win with more control, but we’re on a good run. There are a lot of games, physical and mental fatigue and we’ll take wins like that.
“It’s about grinding the wins out. I thought at times they looked like they had good control.
“They’re a good team and they made us work hard for it. We had to really grind it out, stay focused and stay concentrated.
“They have got great understanding as a unit defensively. These relationships help limit chances on goal.
“As a unit we’re delighted with what they’re doing at the moment. I thought both teams kind of nullified each other.
“I thought we created the better chances and we took that chance.
“We had that scare early on but that was about it really. We defended well as a team and a back four.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe