Neil Cox admitted strong words were directed at his players at half time as the Iron fell to a record eighth consecutive defeat with a 2-1 reverse to Mansfield Town in the EFL Trophy.

First half goals from Ryan Sweeney and Jamie Reid secured the Stags the prize money and the Iron boss was left fuming at the manner in which the goals were conceded, singling out of Bournemouth loanee Tyler Cordner as a player who must improve.

Cox told BBC Radio Humberside: “Yet again, it’s frustrating because we conceded from a set-play again and then went 2-0 down with bad defending once more, after the opening 30 minutes where I felt we did alright.

“We’ve kept them at bay and then one lad doesn’t want to defend, doesn’t want to help the team out and it cost us the goal and cost us the game.

“Tyler (Cordner) has got to do better. He is 6ft 3”, he’s come from a big club and he’s not going to play any higher if he doesn’t want to defend in League Two.

“I let him have it. He needs to be told. It’s not the first time. He took it really well because I really did lay into him, but his second half performance was miles better. We cant afford to concede rubbish goals and concede like that.”

One positive on another dismal night at the Sands Venue Stadium was Olofela Olomola’s consolation strike late into the second half.

It marked a positive cameo from the former Southampton youngster, who flashed a fierce thirty yard effort past Aidan Stone in the Stags’ goal on just his eight appearance since joining the club in May 2018.

Cox said: “It’s good for us to score a goal. He’s another player I expect more of. Earlier in the season he kept knocking on my door. Now he has got an opportunity he needs to prove it.

“‘Fela needs to play up front with a big man. I want him to run in behind and put people under pressure but he wants to come short and play in the hole. I’ve said listen ‘you either play up the top or run in behind or you sit on the bench or not get in the side’.

“He questioned it, but I said ‘I’m the manager and I will do what I wan’t. I’m sick of you doing what you want, you’re going to do what I want’.

“I told them that at half time that half the time they do what they want.

“I’ve been calm and relaxed but I’m letting people have it at the moment. Sometimes you’ve got to let them have it. At half time we needed to let a few people have it, because they deserved to have it, and thats what I did.”