Michael Appleton was hugely frustrated at the way his Oxford United side failed to heed the warnings about Mansfield Town’s game plan as they went down to a 2-1 defeat.
The below-par visitors looked like they had salvaged something when substitute Danny Hylton equalised from the penalty spot.
But with two minutes of normal time remaining, Adam Murray pounced on a weak clearing header and fired home the winner against his former club.
United struggled to find a rhythm all afternoon against a direct Stags side, which went about the game in exactly the way Appleton had briefed the squad.
The head coach said: “We knew what was coming, so it was nothing that surprised the players.
“Probably concentration is really the only thing that cost us.
“With the second goal we could’ve done better with the first ball, but we’d spoken to the players about dealing with the first and second balls.
“It let us down and we paid the price.”
Appleton limited his post-match comments in the changing room solely to praising the impact of substitutes Hylton, Josh Ruffels and debutant Alex Jakubiak.
The U’s boss’s irritation with the performance boiled over at one stage, lashing out to damage the plastic dugout.
He said: “I’m surprised what happened did happen, but I said I’d pay for it, so I’m sure they’ll be happy about that.
“Sometimes you wish some of the players would probably show just as much frustration and passion as I do at times, but these things happen.”
After drawing level, United had a decision to make in the closing stages.
While some felt the priority should have been on protecting a point, Appleton argued given the state of the game it was worth going for all three.
He said: “The game was there for the winning, so we’re not going to make those type of excuses.
“That’s an easy excuse to make and a couple of players mentioned it coming in, but for me at the end of the day they are beaten once we get that equaliser.
“We need to do better, we had a couple of half chances, but as I said to the players we’re two games in.”
United’s search for reinforcements goes on, but Appleton thought it was unlikely anything would happen before tomorrow night’s game at Morecambe.
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11:20am Monday 28th July 2014
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8:30am Friday 29th May 2015
A MULTI-million pound project to refurbish Oxford’s five tower blocks could be delayed by almost a year.
8:00am Friday 29th May 2015
THE first female vice-chancellor of Oxford University has been nominated by committee members and could take up her post next January.
4:16pm Friday 29th May 2015
ANDREW Main has been sectioned indefinitely under the Mental Health Act after admitting starting a number of fires in South Oxfordshire in January.
2:27pm Friday 29th May 2015
A businessman has been found guilty of arson with intent to endanger life after setting fire to a house in Blackbird Leys.
2:19pm Friday 29th May 2015
A Cowley woman missing for almost a week has been found safe and well.
11:17am Friday 29th May 2015
Strong winds are set to hit Oxfordshire today as a severe weather warnig was issued