Mansfield manager John Dempster hopes the ruthless 6-1 Sky Bet League Two drubbing of nine-man Oldham will get supporters finally believing in him.
The rookie boss endured a poor start to the season but his first back-to-back wins saw his side get a deserved ovation as Oldham paid the price for a double sending-off after 37 minutes.
“It was a performance to be proud of and hopefully now we will start transforming the doubters into believers,” said Dempster.
“We can be a force this season. But if we are going to be a force it will be together – supporters, players, staff and the board.”
Nicky Maynard headed in the first goal of his hat-trick after 31 minutes from Kellan Gordon’s cross before turning home Otis Khan’s low ball three minutes later.
Oldham had Tomas Egert and Filipe Morais sent off after 37 minutes for two awful tackles in a row before they grabbed an unlikely lifeline after Tom Hamer hammered home when Conrad Logan pushed a cross towards him.
But Maynard rounded Gary Woods for the third before half-time and – after the break – Mal Benning saw his low cross deflect in off David Wheater before Maynard set up Dapo Afolayan on the break for the fifth.
There was still time for 17-year-old Jimmy Knowles to come on and bag his first league goal with a cool penalty after Hamer had felled Afolayan.
Dempster added: “I wasn’t pleased with the straight-red tackle and I think the second yellow was a second yellow.
“It was a bit of a bizarre situation and you don’t often see that. But I think the referee handled it well.
“It was an outstanding performance and we felt that had been coming on the last month or so.
“People will look at the result and see there were two sending-offs, but make no mistake we were outstanding when it was man v man and 11 v 11.
“We were on the front foot and on full throttle and I am pleased for everybody involved.”
Oldham boss Dino Maamria was furious with his side’s moment of madness.
“To have two players sent off so early is always going to lead to a heavy scoreline,” he said.
“We did well getting back to 2-1, but gave away a silly goal before half-time and that has changed things.
“The red cards were bemusing to say the least. Sometimes you get a wrong red-card decision, but to get two inside the same minute is bizarre.
“I hope the referee will look back on that and get questioned because it is a huge decision.
“The moment of madness has changed the game.”
Oldham currently sit 21st in the table, just four points above the relegation zone.
Maamria added: “We are not winning games, we are lacking in many areas. Our discipline is poor.
“This is a wake-up call for us, the positives we take from this is that is a wake-up call that we need.”