Phil Brown said his team were just short in the final third but said he couldn’t have asked for more from his players in terms of energy after they drew 0-0 with Mansfield Town at the Energy Check County Ground.
Will Atkinson saw red for the Stags who defended for long periods in the second half but limited to Town to only a handful of chances.
Brown was frustrated with the fact that his side couldn’t break down the visitors’ ten men.
“I am disappointed, first and foremost. When a side goes down to 10 men as early as that, you always expect to go on and win the game, but you have got no divine right to win a game just because you are 10 against 11, as we have proved on a number of occasions this season.
“Mansfield were organised, they were well-drilled, and in the second half in the first 10 or 15 minutes, they showed what they were about – they were trying to nick the game on a set-piece. At the same time, when it is one-way traffic for the last 10 to 15 minutes, you are just hoping something is going to drop to you in the penalty box and we put it away.
“We have done enough in terms of energy and certainly with where the changes were made, I thought they were positive.
“We huffed and puffed in the final third and the chances that came along fell to the players that you’d want them to. Kaiyne Woolery had a half-chance, Marc Richards had a header, Keshi Anderson had a one-on-one in the first half where the keeper made a good save.
“We didn’t quite do enough, but I can’t ask the players for any more effort, I just need probably a bit more guile and a little bit more thought process in the final third.”
One positive note was the return of Michael Doughty who managed a full 90 minutes after a longer-than-expected spell on the sidelines, but whether he will be able to do again on Tuesday is something to ponder for Brown.
“The downside to it is that he worked so hard today that we have got a game on Tuesday and I have got to study that one hard. Will he affect the game from the bench, will he affect the game from the start?
“A lot of supporters will be thinking ‘just let him play’. I get that part but just letting him play and him breaking down again is something that I have got to try to second guess. Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday, can he do that? I don’t know yet.
“Let’s see what Michael brings to the party on Monday and then we will make a decision on Tuesday morning.”