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Archived News from December 2016

14th December 2016 18:26

Raynor calls on squad to up intensity
mansfieldtown.net, 8th December 2016

New assistant manager Paul Raynor says the Stags’ squad need to continue to work hard on their fitness with the management team keen to implement a high-intensity game plan in Sky Bet League Two.

Stags secured passage to the third round of the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday evening with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Carlisle United thanks to forward Danny Rose’s late wonder-strike.

And after seeing Rose climb off the bench to score the incredible winner against the Cumbrians on Tuesday night, Raynor says he, and the rest of the squad, need to continue working hard on their fitness in order to perform the high-intensity game plan which the management team are trying to put in place.

“We had a behind-closed-doors game against Sheffield United last week and he (Danny Rose) had a little bit of cramp towards the end of the game there and that probably tells you that he probably needs to work a little bit more on his fitness, but that goes for everybody in the squad.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/raynor-calls-on-squad-to-up-the-ante-3458192.aspx#hcXBwOsyHQclS7yc.99

“We want to play a pressing game, a high pressure game, and to do that you need to be incredibly fit and we’ve been working on that in the last couple of weeks and people are seeing the benefits of that now.”

Raynor revealed that manager Steve Evans is beginning to put a comprehensive scouting network in place as we approach the January transfer window and there is now a chief scout, whose identity is to be revealed early next week, who is actively watching players across the country.

“We’ve just added somebody to the scouting network we’ve got, which is good. It means we’re moving forward in that direction as well so we’re covering all the games and we’re getting all the info as well.

“We’re out there actively looking, our scouting network is out there looking at players, identifying targets [but] let’s hope we don’t need too many. Let’s hope these boys that are here already step up to the fore and stop us having to spend so much of the chairman’s money!

“We’re trying to change the infrastructure and make things better and more professional. That’s just a part of what we’ve been used to at other clubs and we were doing it pretty much off a video before and the analysis guy was doing all the scouting for us via video.

“We’ve got somebody out there actively looking now who’s got a lot of contacts around the country and that can only help us.”

The assistant boss says the Stags have had received a welcome injury boost ahead of this Saturday’s game against Colchester United, with a number of players returning to training.

“Mitch Rose has trained this morning and Darius Henderson’s trained this morning. It’s the first full session they’ve had though so we’ll have a look and see how they are in the morning ready for the weekend but with any injury, we need to make sure there’s no reaction to that. Paddy Hoban’s done a little bit this morning as well with us so he’s progressing well.”

Supporters can view Paul Raynor’s news conference, in full, on Stags PlayerHD.


Big crowd and thriller expected as Stags host first Colchester visit for years
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 08 December 2016

Mansfield Town host a League visit from Colchester United for the first time in over 14 years on Saturday with Stags hoping two successive home wins and a special ticket offer will boost the home crowd.

And assistant Stags boss Paul Raynor believes, with Colchester’s attacking football, fans who do turn out will be in for a thriller.

With attendances traditionally dropping at this time of year due to Christmas shopping, chairman John Radford has put on an ‘Evans’ 11’ ticket admitting an adult and a junior for £11.

Just as important is the prospect of a third successive home victory under new boss Steve Evans after seeing off Crawley Town and Blackpool in his first two games in charge of a side that had struggled at the One Call Stadium for so long.

Since their relegation last season, Colchester have struggled to find their feet in League Two.

But a 3-0 win at Cheltenham and a 4-0 home win against Crewe in their last two games shows what they are capable of and they now sit 15th, one place and two points behind the Stags.

“It will be a tough game as they are on the back of a fine victory against Crewe,” said Raynor.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/big-crowd-and-thriller-expected-as-stags-host-first-colchester-visit-for-years-1-8281165

“We have been watching the game and obviously having a look at how they play.

“They are very a very expansive team who play with real freedom. They like to play a very open game and a very attacking game.

“So it looks like it is going to be an entertaining game, that’s for sure. Colchester don’t hold back, they don’t sit in or try to hit on the break. They come out and try to play and are very adventurous.

“They have got a new manager in there since the summer, John McGreal, did a great job with their academy and their U21 side.

“They came up to Leeds last year and I could see what he was trying to do. It seems to be just starting to come together for them.”

The game marks the start of a busy Festive period for Mansfield and Raynor said: “We’d like maximum points obviously, why not? Let’s aim high.

“We have had three wins out of four since we came in and want to continue that.

“We were disappointed with our performance away at Carlisle in the last League game, but we put that to bed, so to speak, in the cup tie in midweek.

“Now we want to get back to winning ways in terms of League form, and what better place to do it then here on Saturday?”

Centre halves Kyle Howkins, George Taft and Corbin Shires continue to recover from injury.

But otherwise Mansfield could have the rest of the squad fit to choose from with everyone else now back in full training.

“Mitch Rose and Darius Henderson have trained this morning, but it’s the first full session they have had, though,” said Raynor.

“So we’ll have a look and see how they are in the morning to make sure there is no reaction.

“Paddy Hoban has done a little bit with us this morning as well and he is progressing well as well.

“So things are starting to clear up, apart from the long term injuries.

“It’s all you can ask. People are knocking on the door, people are training well, people are performing well in the games and that’s nice to see.”

The new management team have warned the current squad that if they don’t shape up by January, replacements will be shipped in.

But Raynor believes the response to that has been excellent.

“Results will tell you that - three wins out of four will tell you that,” he said.

“There is a lot more work to come and a lot more quality needed, but the guys are responding very well.

“We are out there actively looking. Our scouting network is out there looking at players, identifying targets, and let’s hope we don’t need too many.

“Let’s hope these boys that are here already step up and stop us having to spend so much of the chairman’s money.”

Raynor called on supporters to turn out in numbers and take advantage of the club’s ticket offer, for which fans need to cut out a special coupon from this week’s copy of the Chad or download the coupon from the club web site.

“The response from fans, particularly the first game here against Crawley, was fantastic,” he said.

“They came again on a horrible Tuesday night and supported us. Forget the Christmas shopping. Let’s take the chairman up on his fantastic offer.

“Let’s get the kids down here and get them enjoying it and let’s hopefully see us get three points on the board and another home victory.”

Colchester last visited Mansfield in November 2004 in the FA Cup when they drew 1-1, Stags having Derek Asamoah sent off, to force a replay they won 4-1. In their last League clashes in 2002/03 Mansfield beat Colchester 4-2 but lost the return 1-0 at Layer Road.


Stags just happy to be at home in Checkatrade
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 08 December 2016

Mansfield Town assistant boss Paul Raynor said the club were just delighted to have been drawn at home this morning for the Checkatrade Trophy third round.

The Stags have been pitted against the winners of next week’s all-League One second round clash between Walsall and Oldham Athletic and Raynor said: “The first thing you always ask for is a home draw and, obviously, it’s in the lap of the gods who you get. So we are just pleased to be at home.

“It will be a tough game whether it’s Oldham or Walsall, but we’ll take it.

“We will get someone across to watch their game on Tuesday. We have just added someone to the scouting network we’ve got, which is good.

“It means we are moving forward in that direction as well. We are covering all the games and getting all the info.

“We are trying to change the infrastructure and make things better and more professional. That’s just a part of what we’ve been used to at other clubs.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-just-happy-to-be-at-home-in-checkatrade-1-8280982

“We were doing it pretty much off the video before, now we have someone out there actively looking who has a lot of contacts around the country and that can only help us.”

The Stags made it through round two in midweek with a late 3-2 win at Carlisle United when a spectacular late Danny Rose strike won the match after United had fought level from a 2-0 interval deficit.

“It was certainly entertaining in the first half, not quite as much in the second half,” said Raynor

“But we took our foot off the pedal, which can sometimes happen when you are cruising at 2-0, especially away from home.

“We let them into the game and defensively we were not happy with the manner of the two goals. They gave Carlisle a lifeline.

“But what a goal to win a cup tie - it was absolutely magnificent.”

Danny Rose will now be hoping his recent run of goals off the bench and efforts to improve his fitness will be enough to win him a place for Saturday’s League Two visit on Saturday. Raynor said: “We are absolutely delighted with Danny with the amount of effort he is putting in.

“He is certainly knocking on the door, and what better way to knock on the door and tell the manager he is ready than to pop up with a goal like that?

“To be honest he is not the type of guy who is going to bash the gaffer’s door down and tell him he should be playing. He’s done it well.

“He’s come off the bench and scored three in three now. Danny is working incredibly hard in training as well and he is getting his rewards.

“He had a little bit of cramp towards the end of a behind-closed-doors game against Sheffield United last week which tells you he probably needs to work a little more on his fitness. “But that goes for everybody in the squad.” He added: “We want to play with a tempo. We want to play a high-pressure pressing game. “To do that you need to be incredibly fit. We’ve been working on that over the last couple of weeks and people are seeing the benefits of that now. “Hopefully the fans will see that on Saturday with the fitness levels even higher.”


Frontman wants Town to come out in force
mansfieldtown.net, 8th December 2016

Stags’ striker Matt Green has called on the people of Mansfield to take advantage of the fantastic family ticket offer for this Saturday’s match against Colchester United.

Chairman John Radford announced earlier this week that one adult and one child can purchase a family ticket for Saturday’s match for just £11 in our family block in the Ian Greaves Lower Tier.

And Green, who has scored nine goals in all competitions this season, says the backing of a large One Call Stadium crowd gives the players an extra boost on a matchday.

“Hopefully it will be a ‘full house’. Obviously an adult and a child are £11 on Saturday and it helps us so much if we can get this place full or near-on [full],” Green said.

“As a player, it’s so much better when there’s some atmosphere and it just really puts something [extra] on the game.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/frontman-wants-town-to-come-out-in-force-3458560.aspx#dc9RBKKF4wLZYvhu.99

“We really need these three points going in to the Christmas period so get out and buy the tickets because we need all the support we can.”

The Bath-born frontman went seven games without a goal before Tuesday’s strike in the Checkatrade Trophy win over Carlisle United and he now hopes that goal will act as a springboard to go on a goal-scoring run.

“My stats are always going to be decent at the end of the season. I’ve just got to grin and bear the times where you go through little goal droughts.

“Strikers, they all go through it (goal droughts). I’ve been getting a few assists but it’s always the best feeling in the world to get a goal and I was really happy with that but the main thing was to get the win and hopefully that can start a run for us and for myself.

“To get one at Port Vale [in the Checkatrade Trophy in October], it got me on a run again so if that can get me going again, that’d be perfect.”

The former Birmingham City frontman is now working under his third Stags’ boss in Steve Evans and Green says there is ‘more energy’ in the side since the manager's arrival.

“You can see there’s a lot more energy about us right now and he wants to win and if he can install that in to us then it’s a recipe for success.

“He’s come in and installed a siege mentality and what we’ve got to do now is impress him. We’re all still under the eyes of Steve Evans that’s worked at the top level and worked with some great players.

“His reputation and his stats speak for themselves so we’ve just got to follow suit and continue to work hard.

“We’ve jumped on board, I don’t think there’s anybody that hasn’t, and the last few results have proved it but there’s still a lot of hard work to do.”

Supporters can view Matt Green’s news conference, in full, on Stags PlayerHD.


Stags star Green on Murray departure and new boss Evans
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 08 December 2016

Mansfield Town striker Matt Green has spoken for the first time of his disappointment after manager and good friend Adam Murray left the club last month.

But the Stags’ leading goalscorer is now determined to prove his worth to new boss Steve Evans and was delighted to notch his first goal for his new employer in the midweek Checkatrade Trophy win at Carlisle United.

With only one League win in 11, Murray’s tenure in the hot seat ended just short of two years after taking over and Green admitted: “I took it hard.

“Muzz was a good friend to me and I have been with him for a long time.

“There have been a lot of things he has helped me with in my game and my career, it’s been priceless. I have so much to thank him for.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-star-green-on-murray-departure-and-new-boss-evans-1-8281248

“But in the world of football you’ve got to move on fast. The new manager has come in - he is my boss now. I am just listening and doing everything I can to make him a happy manager.”

Murray has often described Green as his best friend, the two playing alongside each other in the Conference-title winning side and Green said he had been in touch with him since his departure to offer his wish him all the best.

“I have spoken to him,” said Green.

“Obviously I couldn’t hide my disappointment. I just wanted to thank him for helping my game.

“I did come back after being injured for two years. He stuck with me and was very patient. He also added a lot of attributes to my football as well.

“I think he has great potential to have a great career as a manager.

“He’s still got a lot of time on his side. I think all the players learned a lot from Adam Murray so I’d like to wish him all the very best and his staff as well.”

Green and the players are now be experiencing a very different type of management as the no-nonsense duo of Steve Evans and Paul Raynor bring in an ‘old school’ style that has won them eight promotions to date.

“The new manager has come in and stamped his authority straight away and we’ve jumped on board,” said Green.

“I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t - the last few results have proved it. But there is still a lot of hard work to do.

“Between Steve Evans, Rayns (assistant Paul Raynor) and LT (Lee Taylor, fitness coach), they’ve come in and stamped their authority and I don’t think anyone would argue with them.

“He takes no prisoners. You jump on it or he will get rid of you. But that’s football anyway. He has come in and installed a siege mentality. What we have got to do now is impress him.

“We are all under the eyes of Steve Evans, who has worked at the top level and worked with some great players. So no one can out-speak him. His reputation and his stats speak for themselves. “You can see there is lot more energy about us right now. He wants to win and if he can install that into all us lot you have a recipe for success.”

Green was delighted and relieved to end a run of seven goalless games in midweek. “Strikers, we all go through it,” he said.

“I’ve had a few assists but it’s the best feeling in the world to get a goal. It’s my

“I was really happy with that but the main thing was to get the win which will hopefully start off a run for us and for myself. “When I scored at Port Vale it got me on a run again, so if this one gets me going again it will be perfect.

“My stats are always going to be decent at the end of a season. You just have to grin and bear the times you go through little goal droughts.”

Green is now preparing to face visiting Colchester United on Saturday and admitted: “I don’t know much about them. But just going on form, they are doing okay. When you think of Colchester you think of a League One team really.

“Hopefully it’s a full house here with adult and child for £11. It helps us so much if we can get this place full or near full. It is so much better as a player with atmosphere.” Assistant manager Paul Raynor agreed that the goal at Carlisle would do Green good.

“He has needed that,” he said.

“He has been working incredibly hard, but strikers need goals. They thrive on taking chances.

“So that was great for Greenie. He’s been very unselfish in terms of his work rate for the team and, obviously, created opportunities for other people.

“It was nice for him to get a little tap-in from half a yard from a great ball from Lee Collins. It was a nice poacher’s goal for him.”


Buy your family ticket for just £11 for this Saturday's game!

Exceptional family ticket offer, dubbed 'Evans £11s', now available for this Saturday's match!

Mansfield Town chairman John Radford has announced a special ticket offer for families ahead of Christmas as the One Call Stadium chief aims to boost this Saturday’s attendance when the Stags take on Colchester United at home (3pm).

One adult and one child (under 18) can enjoy the weekend’s Sky Bet League Two fixture for just £11, when presenting this downloadable flyer at the Stags’ ticket office between now and kick-off on Saturday.

The incredible offer sees a saving of £7 on the regular family ticket offer.

And Mr Radford said that now was an ideal time for the Town to back the club in great numbers as the Stags enter a new era under first team manager Steve Evans.

“There is a palpable buzz around the club right now,” said Mr Radford.

“The board, staff, players and supporters are in high-spirits following Steve’s appointment and we’re all really excited about our prospects under a manager who has a track record of winning consistently at every club he has managed

“I know that Steve’s appointment has stimulated a lot of interest in the football club around the Town and we want to give people, families especially, a chance to be a part of this exciting new era.”

Speaking about Saturday’s ticket offer for families, Mr Radford said: “I appreciate that money can be scarce for families as we head towards Christmas, so I’m doing everything I can, where possible, to attract football fans to the club during this period.

“You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better offer for families in the English Football League this weekend.”

Stags’ fans who use the offer will be seated in the club’s family section in the Ian Greaves Lower Tier. Children will receive a FREE confectionery item at half-time, which is handed out by a member of the club’s staff. A fantastic ‘meal deal’ (Sammy's Meal Deal) offer for children is also available to purchase in the food kiosk for just £3, which includes: a hot product (either chicken nuggets or fish bites), a small packet of crisps, carrot sticks or apple slices and a drink. Also, a free packet of crayons are included, suitable to fill in the wordsearch of the match programme.

“We have a great family section, which is becoming more popular with each game," said Mr Radford.

“I know that families will have a really enjoyable day with us on Saturday and I encourage them to come and enjoy local professional football at an affordable price whilst watching us play in a typically spirited and passionate fashion as we endeavour to break into the top seven positions of League Two.

"We are just at the beginning of a new journey in the club's history and want everyone in Mansfield and North Nottinghamshire to be a part of it," added Mr Radford.

The Stags' ticket office is located on Quarry Lane at One Call Stadium and is open from Tuesday to Friday between 10am to 5pm or on matchday between 10am until 3pm.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/buy-your-family-ticket-for-just-11-3453515.aspx#SQwlxqxB9Vk2obkC.99


Szmodics Returns To Action
Fri 09 Dec 2016, by Matt Hudson, cu-fc.com

Midfielder back in training.

Colchester United midfielder Sammie Szmodics is back in contention for this weekend's trip to Mansfield, after resuming training with the rest of the first team squad.

Sammie has been out of action with an ankle injury since the FA Cup game against Chesterfield at the start of November, but could now join the U's travelling party to Field Mill for the latest League Two game.

The match looks like it will come too soon for Chris Porter, who has been absent with a hamstring injury, but otherwise the U's are in good shape as they aim to make it three league wins on the spin on Saturday. Read more at http://www.cu-fc.com/news/article/2016-17/sammie-szmodics-colchester-mansfield-3459453.aspx#gHUUEuH8asOv8pPv.99

We'll have more squad news later on Friday.


Colchester United defender George Elokobi expecting a tough test at Steve Evans' Mansfield Town
by Jonathan Waldron, gazette-news.co.uk

George Elokobi says Colchester United can expect a “big challenge” from Steve Evans’ Mansfield Town side at Field Mill tomorrow.

But the powerful defender believes the U’s have the quality to maintain their winning form in League Two, this weekend.

Elokobi has had first-hand experience of playing against Evans’ teams, having faced the Scot’s Rotherham United side during his time at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The 30-year-old centre-back is expecting Mansfield to present a tough test - but is convinced a hard-working performance can help Colchester extend their winning run to three matches.

Elokobi said: “The Mansfield game is going to be a different one to the last two games and it’s a massive game for us.

“The last two results have been really positive for us as a club and as a squad.

“We’ll go into the Mansfield game like we have with the last two games and work even harder, because it’s a tough away game and we have to make sure that we’re as professional as we can be.

“It’ll be a big challenge because I’ve played against a Steve Evans team and I know what to expect - I’ll let the boys know that.

“It’s going to be one of those games where we have to head balls and defend our box but when the ball is on the floor, we have to try and play and make sure we dominate the possession and go from there.

“I know exactly what kind of gaffer he is and we also have Richard Brindley in the changing room who knows that first hand.

“He’ll give us as much information as possible and I will too, from my time against his teams.

“It’s not going to be easy - we know he (Steve Evans) will be animated on the touchline like he always is but that’s part and parcel of football.


“I think they’ll be quite direct and it’s up to us to defend our box and protect Sam Walker as much as we can.

“I’m visualising in my head that it will be one of those games where we have to defend balls into our box and we will need to put our bodies on the line.

“We may have to take one or two knocks on our cheekbones or our heads but that’s what this league is all about and you have to be man enough to take that.

“When we have the ball, I know we have the quality to beat any team in our league.”

Colchester head into the match two points below Mansfield in the table and fully refreshed, having not had a game last weekend.

“The break has given everyone a chance to regroup, especially with the experienced players that we had out,” added Elokobi, who has started Colchester’s last two matches having been out of favour earlier in the season.

“The gap between the play-off and relegation places isn’t that big.

“If we can put a run together as a team, we’re going to be looking more at the play-offs than relegation.

“We know that we have the quality in the training ground and we have goals in the team.

“Now it’s about making sure we don’t concede and everyone is doing their job all over the pitch like we have, over the last two games.”



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