EVANS: TOGETHERNESS IS CRUCIAL IN FINAL STRETCH
Togetherness is crucial in final stretch
mansfieldtown.net, 6th March 2017
Boss Steve Evans said he was 'delighted' with his squad amidst a run which has seen only one defeat in 13 games and re-emphasised the continuation of unity as we enter the season's final 11 matches.
And after a week that witnessed long trips to Yeovil and Cheltenham - 645 miles in total - the manager today has taken the opportunity to give his players a rare Monday off, wanting to ensure his squad is at its peak as they head into a key part of the season.
The Gaffer, speaking exclusively to http://www.mansfieldtown.net on Monday morning, said: "Last week was physically and mentally tough on the lads but they are as fit on both fronts as any team we have ever managed.
"We beat Newport County and have taken draws from Yeovil and Cheltenham; both matches without a doubt should have brought maximum points.
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"No game is a given in League Two. Cheltenham have beaten both Carlisle United and Luton Town recently. The good thing is that we are dominating the games and making chances, the rest over a longer period will take care of itself."
The Gaffer is delighted with the squad and spoke openly of his trust in them: "I trust all the players we have. That has been clear recently as I have selected different teams to start matches.
"The team spirit is fantastic and the desire to win matches is at the top end. You only had to be in our dressing room after both Yeovil and Cheltenham; everyone was down and it felt like we had been soundly beaten.
"When Paul Raynor (assistant manager) and myself arrived here we spoke of a promotion challenge and not many believed we could do that. Today we sit two points outside the play-offs and six outside the top three.
"We must all strive to improve in every training session and every match. Only by doing that will we be capable of delivering what most thought was impossible.
"We, like the rest of the teams in League Two, have eleven matches remaining and the majority are against the top teams. That is tough but one my dressing room will respond to. I trust them to have what it takes".
The gaffer also spoke of high praise for the Stags' faithful.
"The supporters have been nothing short of brilliant. I have said many times that we cannot achieve without them, home and away.
"We host Plymouth on Saturday. They are a quality team with a good manager so it's a mountain I know we are capable [of climbing]. We need to believe.
"As I said, not many thought we could get involved in the promotion race. I heard it all when I came here but I believed. I want us involved in the race in April and then let us see who can handle it all when squeaky bum time is in full flow.
"Every point takes us nearer where we want to be come May. There is a real togetherness here: players, staff, directors and supporters. Togetherness is key," added the manager.