Opposition view: 'It was rugby, not football' - Stags boss Coughlan 'didn't enjoy' win and attacks Northampton's 'awful' style
But despite a rare win for his struggling side, Coughlan felt he 'couldn't enjoy' the victory because of how the game unfolded and the type of football they came up against, though he did hail his 'magnificent players'.
"I didn't think that was football today to be honest, it was rugby and I didn't enjoy it," said Coughlan.
"It's not what the game is about and it wasn't a spectacle but our players were absolutely magnificent. They wore heart on sleeves and they headed everything
"I don't think there was a Northampton player under six foot and they just got bigger and bigger off the bench.
"They loaded up the box, they play for set-pieces, corners, throw-ins but our lads were immense and that was a true Mansfield Town performance with real grit and determination."
Asked how he prepared to face Northampton, Coughlan added: "I emphasise the word rugby because that was awful to watch, awful, terrible. I wouldn't like to be looking at that week in, week out.
"How do you prepare for something like that? You would have had blood all over the training ground if we tried to replicate what was coming.
"The lads knew what was coming and we've played Northampton twice now under me and we were by far the better team on both occasions.
"I think that was a textbook way to play against Northampton, let alone 10 men. I know they might use the excuse of having 10 men but I didn't think it really mattered if they had 9, 10, 11 or even 12 men on the pitch.
"They play that way and we just had to stand up to it and we were absolutely brilliant today."