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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3:24pm Saturday 20th September 2014
A WOMAN was followed into a Headington flat and raped this morning.
11:57am Saturday 20th September 2014
A TEENAGER was raped in central Oxford this morning by a man she met in a nightclub.
9:30am Saturday 20th September 2014
WITNEY MP David Cameron has congratulated the people of Burford for organising a mock “referendum” on the issue of Scottish independence – but has admitted he was more relieved to find out the result of the actual poll.
9:30am Saturday 20th September 2014
Jake Wright believes it will be key for Oxford United to avoid getting dragged into a physical contest if they are to build on a midweek win when Stevenage visit today.
9:00am Saturday 20th September 2014
A THREE-day festival set to take place on Oxford’s South Park next weekend has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales and rumours that one of its big name stars had pulled out.
Google wipes search results for 20 people's convictions after just one person's 'Right To Be Forgotten' request
8:40am Saturday 20th September 2014
THE convictions of 20 people have been wiped from Google search results because of a single complaint in the latest controversy caused by a controversial European privacy ruling.