EVANS AND GARY JOHNSON REACTION
Manager's mixed feelings after Cheltenham stalemate
mansfieldtown.net, 4th March 2017
Following today's 0-0 draw at Cheltenham, Stags’ boss Steve Evans appeared disappointed with the result but pleased with the performance against a resilient Robins’ side.
Despite playing against ten men for over 70 minutes after Robins’ midfielder Kyle Storer’s red card, Stags recorded their second stalemate in five days in difficult conditions at The LCI Rail Stadium.
And the gaffer says that after dominating the game in midfield, Stags’ missed chances were the difference between turning one point into three.
“It’s the most one-sided 0-0 ever. I know they’ve got ten men and you have to allow for that of course, but it’s the most one-sided 0-0 I’ve ever seen,” the Stags’ manager said.
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“We put a team out that won that battle in the middle of the park and that’s why we controlled the game. From there, you rely on your players taking the chances when they come, but we didn’t do it.
“We go away disappointed and down. We’ve come away twice on the road on long trips and we’ve got a point. The performances say it should be three. We’ll play worse than we have today and win games.”
The boss believes the red card shown to Cheltenham midfielder Kyle Storer in the 18th minute was the correct decision by referee Charles Breakspear, however he says that Robins’ defender Liam Davis could also have been given his marching orders for a poor challenge on Ben Whiteman in the second half.
“It looks a shocking, horrendous challenge. I won’t get involved with that; these days that’s left to the referee and to the fourth official but I think the boy’s gone in high and late and he’s already well off the ground.
“It’s a red card but the referee already has [given] one red card and he’s probably hesitant to do two.
“I thought the officials were good today, there’s no complaints about the officials other than that one challenge. That’s a shocking challenge and that [could] break people’s legs. Maybe, in fairness to the Cheltenham player, the pitch might have played a part.”
After a week which has yielded five points from one home match and two away fixtures, the gaffer has commended his players’ work-rate which has contributed to a run of just one defeat in 12 league fixtures in 2017.
“We’re three points from the play-offs and we’re six points from the automatics. Let’s put this in to perspective - would we have taken that on the first of January? People wouldn’t have thought it was possible.
“We know if we get the other four points that we’ve left behind this week, we’d be sitting in a much healthier position and only a couple of points off third.
“I can’t ask the players to work any harder, we need to work smarter and if we work a little bit smarter and we take a chance, then our points will come.
“We have to believe we’re doing the right thing - we’re dominating games, we’re dominating the ball. Take that in contrast to when we first came in and we couldn’t dominate anything.”
Supporters can view Steve Evans’ post-match interview by logging in to Stags PlayerHD.
That was a shocking, horrendous challenge
By Jon Palmer, gloucestershirelive.co.uk
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans felt Cheltenham Town should have had two red cards in the goalless draw at Whaddon Road.
Kyle Storer was sent off in the 18th minute for challenge on Jamie McGuire, with Robins boss Gary Johnson sent to the stand for his protests.
Evans also felt Liam Davis should have been dismissed for a 59th minute challenge on Ben Whiteman, for which he escaped with a yellow card.
"It looked a shocking, horrendous challenge (from Storer),"Evans said. "These days it is left to the referee and fourth official, but thought the boy was high and late. He was well off the ground but I'd need to look back at it.
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"Davis' was definitely a red card. The referee had already shown one and was probably hesitant to show a second. I thought the officials were good other than that one.
"He needs to look at that, it was a shocking challenge, it breaks people's legs that. In fairness to the Cheltenham player, maybe the pitch played a part."
Evans felt his side had dropped two points and should have won a "one-sided game."
"It was the most one-sided 0-0 I have ever seen," he said. "I know you have to allow for them having 10 men and we made a couple of big chances in the second half that we didn't take.
"That's why you saw mass celebrations at a 0-0. Their supporters were brilliant, they got behind their team but it was two points dropped.
"We missed enough chances to win by four or five at Yeovil and put out a team to win a battle in the middle of the park, which we did.
"From there, you rely on your players taking chances when they come but they didn't do that.
"We will play worse than that and win games. We got into the final third many, many times from the first minute to the last without that little bit of quality coming out of the bag.
"We cannot ask the players to work harder, maybe just a bit smarter. If we do that the points will come, we have to believe we are doing the right things."
If there's any sense, red card will be rescinded
By Jon Palmer, gloucestershirelive.co.uk
Cheltenham Town have confirmed they will appeal Kyle Storer's sending off 18 minutes into Saturday's 0-0 home draw with Mansfield Town.
Midfielder Storer was shown his second red card of the season for a challenge on Jamie McGuire, with boss Gary Johnson sent to the stand for his protests against the decision.
Johnson said he was disappointed with the way the officials handled the incident and that is there is any justice, Storer will avoid a four match ban which could ruin a season already heavily disrupted by two previous suspensions.
"It was right in front of us and I won't call them assistant referees today as he didn't assist in that situation," Johnson said.
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"I am going to call him a linesman as that's all he did, put his flag up and down on the line and he could easily have assisted there.
"I asked him nicely as it was a block tackle with no malice from his angle and he saw it and said 'don't worry, he (the referee) knows.'
"All of a sudden their lad (Jamie McGuire) stays down and the referee gets the red card out, but the minute he does the lad gets back up.
"Both lads are competitive and went in hard, but it was a block tackle and the linesman then decided I was overzealous with him.
"You then get a player and a manager sent off. The referee decided from whoever told him it was a sending off tackle and I promise you it wasn't.
"Of course we are hopeful the card will be rescinded. If the linesman says exactly what he saw, Kyle Storer will get off, but I feel let down and when that happens it's hard to keep your decorum."
Johnson did apologise for his conduct, which saw him asked to leave the touchline for only the second time in his long managerial career.
"I don't condone managers being sent off and I do apologise to the club for that," he said.
"But both times I have been sent off it's been for the 'right' reasons."
Johnson said he was proud of Cheltenham's efforts for more than 70 minutes with 10 men, but he also admitted he was disappointed not to win the game.
"After 20 minutes you'd have taken a draw, but the boys have put in a magnificent effort against 11 men on a surface like that," he said.
"We had enough corners and set plays to give ourselves a chance of winning the game. They only got in once and it went over the crossbar.
"It's two points lost, but it's good that we are saying that. It's another clean sheet, but it's bittersweet as they did fantastically well, but we had enough chances to win the game.
"If we are going to a force in the rest of this season and into next season, need to improve, particularly our set plays."
The point left Cheltenham seven points clear of the drop zone in 18th place, with 11 matches remaining.