EVANS PRESS CONF 7 MARCH: BIGGEST GAME OF SEASON
Boss calls on fans ahead of ‘biggest game of season’
mansfieldtown.net, 7th March 2017
Stags' boss Steve Evans wants the biggest crowd of the season for Saturday’s big home game against high-flying Plymouth Argyle (3pm).
The Stags are in eighth position in Sky Bet League Two - just two points off of the play-offs - after a remarkable turnaround since the appointment of Steve Evans as manager in mid-November.
His men face second placed Plymouth on Saturday and fans who purchase a ticket for the match will receive a FREE match ticket for the Stags’ following home game against Carlisle United (Saturday 18 March), with both fixtures kicking-off at 3pm.
"Can we have the best crowd of the season? This is the biggest game of the season so far," said the manager, speaking at this morning's news conference at One Call Stadium.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/boss-calls-on-fans-ahead-of-biggest-game-of-season-3613012.aspx#qyOXi0Dl7yipsicE.99
"The biggest games for me start with the opening day fixture or the first game at home and then the season [then] has certain pivotal points. The first one for me was when we played Crawley.
"The next most important game was not the likes of Doncaster but this one coming on Saturday. We are at the stage where we need to be putting some wins on the board to make sure we can compete with that top group. It doesn't come any tougher than Plymouth Argyle, so we need our best crowd of the season. Can the Mansfield fans produce? I’m asking them the question. The players need you.”
After an unbeaten week for the Stags, gaining five points from the last three games, the manager said the Stags' performances warranted more.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt from anyone’s point of view, it should have been nine points [from nine]. When you concede four at home to Accrington and go to Grimsby and lose three goals, the first thing you have to do is get back on the training ground and get in good habits and make sure you don’t concede. That only comes with hard work.
“To do this you have to sacrifice some of your attacking prowess to start with and then work a pattern to get back to normal.
“Looking back at the videos of the games, we had five good chances at Yeovil and three at Cheltenham and if we win both of those games 1-0, everybody says ‘what fantastic performances away from home.’ So I’m pleased with the quality of the football at Yeovil and pleased with the battling spirit we showed at Cheltenham.
“It’s a three-game-spell when we’ve gone unbeaten but we’re disappointed we haven’t got nine points.”
Plymouth visit the One Call Stadium next before travelling to Colchester United on Tuesday and welcoming Carlisle to the One Call Stadium the following Saturday.
“March is a big month but it’s not squeaky bum time, which is April. You have to earn the right to turn up at the ground and get them squeaky bum feelings.”
The manager also revealed potential timescales of returns for four players currently sidelined: goalkeeper Jake Kean, strikers Matt Green and Danny Rose, as well as defender George Taft.
“Jake Kean is still 10-14 days away. He’s back at Sheffield Wednesday where they can give him round-the-clock care and spend time with him one-on-one.
“Matt Green and Danny Rose have been training now for the last couple of days. They’ll train today and both will hopefully play in a behind-closed-doors game we have this afternoon and George Taft is back in training so we’ll see how quickly he can get back up to speed.”
In his news conference, the gaffer also spoke about the proposed new training facility at Woburn Lane after the artwork was released by the club yesterday.
“I’ve been involved [in the project] with the chairman, chief executive and Steve Hymas and the plans are quite exciting for the new venture. It’s not just going to be a great training ground for the Stags, but for the kids it’ll be a fantastic facility as well.
“Of course there’s going to be other sports there, including the likes of ladies football that we endorse anyway, which is great.
“We want to make sure we give enough back to the community as a 'thank you' to them because they’re fantastic to the football club.
“It allows Mansfield Town’s integration into the community and it will give so much back.”
Stags PlayerHD subscribers can watch the manager's interview in full on Stags PlayerHD
Evans: ‘We have to earn the right to get squeaky bum feelings’
chad.co.uk, by MATT BROOKS, Tuesday 07 March 2017
Steve Evans is under no illusions as to how important March is to Mansfield Town’s chances of achieving a top-seven spot this season - but has said: ‘It’s not squeaky bum time, yet’.
The Stags face a tough seven days against three teams all vying for promotion from League Two, with second-placed Plymouth Argyle first up at the One Call Stadium this Saturday (March 11).
A midweek trip to fellow play-off chasers Colchester United on Tuesday is next up for Evans’ troops before another home match against Carlisle United, currently in the automatic spots.
And the Mansfield Town manager believes his side need to show they can remain in the shake-up this month before the run-in, after two back-to-back goalless draws with Yeovil Town and Cheltenham Town.
Evans said: “March is big but it is not squeaky bum time, which is April. You have to earn the right to be in the shake up to get squeaky bum feelings. You get those when you turn up to the stadium and everyone is focused on winning the game.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-we-have-to-earn-the-right-to-get-squeaky-bum-feelings-1-8425774
“But of course everyone around the One Call Stadium will be checking their mobiles and their tablets - probably taking tablets - they’ll be checking results all around the country. We’re not in squeaky bum time and we have to make sure when April comes we are involved in the mix.
“At Rotherham United we had to win the last five or six games in a League Two season to be in the shake-up and it took us up automatically because others around us couldn’t take the pressure. So, we have to earn the right to be involved in Mansfield.
“Belief is important. We’re going to lose games between now and then. We’re going to play almost all of the top teams. We’re not going to beat all of them but we have to win more than we lose and, because we’re winning more than we’re losing and others are losing, it gives us an opportunity.
“We believed we could achieve as a group (at Rotherham). We didn’t get too low, we didn’t get too high. We knocked them down. The fundamental part of this is that we need to get a real opportunity in the next four or five games to be involved in the business end of the season.
Evans added: “I’ve said to the players ‘don’t be watching the play-offs at the end of the season - be part of it’.”
Stags haven’t found the back of the net in their previous two outings but crucially have kept two clean sheets, after four against Accrington Stanley and three to Grimsby Town of late.
“The first thing you have to do is get back on to the training ground and get back in to good habits, making sure you don’t concede,” said Evans. “That only comes through hard work. A lot of people think you can just switch that on and off but you can’t. There’s a lot of hard work gone in on the training ground and we’ve got that right.
“Do you forsake some of the attacking prowess? Well, to start with you do. Then you work a pattern and get back to normal. There’s five good chances against Yeovil and there’s three against Cheltenham. If we win both games 1-0 everyone says what fantastic performances away from home. “I’m pleased with the performance at Yeovil in the second half, pleased with the quality of football, and I was pleased with the battling spirit at Cheltenham. I know they were down to ten but we still dominated the ball and sometimes; like a boxing match, you go to the last round or the last few minutes to break and make that chance.
“We did that. Unfortunately, on this occasion, we didn’t take them. It’s a three-game spell (Newport County, Yeovil, Cheltenham) where we’ve gone unbeaten but we didn’t pick up maximum points.”
Shearer praised as Evans offers injury-update on quartet
chad.co.uk, by MATT BROOKS, Tuesday 07 March 2017
Goalkeeper Scott Shearer has received praise from Stags boss Steve Evans for the way he has stepped in to the number one spot after injury to Jake Kean.
Shearer has gone 230 minutes without conceding since he was introduced at Newport County, following that up with clean sheets in the last two matches against Yeovil Town and Cheltenham Town.
Kean, who began his Stags career with a string of clean sheets as well, is back at parent club Sheffield Wednesday receiving treatment on his injured knee.
Evans said: “Jake Kean is probably ten days to two weeks. He’s back at Sheffield Wednesday because they have the resources to make sure he gets round the clock, one-on-one care at times, I’ve spoken to the lad on a few occasions. He’s desperately keen to come back but you have to give credit to Scott Shearer.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/shearer-praised-as-evans-offers-injury-update-on-quartet-1-8426298
“He came on to the pitch against Newport. I remember sitting with the great Kenny Dalglish and talking about goalkeepers and what you want from a great goalkeeper. I was going in to all the acts of he can catch it, he can kick it, ball distributions, handling. I asked ‘what do you want Kenny?’ and he said ‘I just want someone to keep the ball out of the net’.
“Scott Shearer came on against Newport and didn’t concede, we went to Yeovil and we didn’t concede and Cheltenham and didn’t concede, so that’s good. But Jake is desperate to be back and we want that competition between those two to be fierce.”
While there could be more positive news regarding Danny Rose, Matt Green and George Taft as the trio look to make their way back from respective injuries.
“They’ve been training now for two or three days and they’ll train again today,” said Evans on Rose and Green.
“Both will hopefully play in a little behind closed doors game we’ve got this afternoon (Tuesday).
“George Taft is back in training, we’ll see how quickly we can get him up to speed like we did with big Kyle Howkins, who we allowed to play 45 minutes for West Bromwich Albion. It’s quickly coming together.”
ASK EVANS: Mansfield Town manager answers your Chad Stags Facebook questions
chad.co.uk, by MATT BROOKS, Tuesday 07 March 2017
Stags boss Steve Evans doesn’t have a points tally in mind as he looks to claim a top-seven spot in League Two this season and has revealed who has been the best side he has come up against in the division, since taking the One Call Stadium hot seat.
Evans was replying to questions asked by Mansfield Town supporters on our Chad Stags Facebook page this week. Every week we offer you the chance to ask the manager a question and pick the best two to put to him at the club’s press briefings.
First up was Alan Wilson’s question: “Have you got a points total in mind for the remainder of the season?”
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/ask-evans-mansfield-town-manager-answers-your-chad-stags-facebook-questions-1-8425783
Evans answered: “A points total that gets me seventh is the minimum. “I think you’ve seen what’s happened this season we’ve lost once since Boxing Day and we still find ourselves a couple of pints away from the play-offs, it’s incredible. Probably in any other season we would be entrenched in that. We’ve seen how difficult it is for teams to get results.
“We were so disappointed coming off the pitch on Saturday then we get into the dressing room and we realise that all bar Stevenage most have dropped points; like Portsmouth losing at home to Crewe. I’ve not got a points tally in mind but also keeping aware we don’t want to be too far away from that seventh place.”
Fellow Stags fan Russ Clarkson wanted to know: “Who’s the best side we’ve played so far in L2 since you took over?”
“Doncaster Rovers were the best team and we should have beaten them,” replied Evans.
“I think they had a resilience and they tested us more in the second half than anyone. We’ve lost some games to the likes of Grimsby when we were poor on the day. But against Doncaster I thought we were terrific, but they had a good spell.
“I think when you look down at the individuals at the team, Doncaster and Plymouth look head and shoulders above the rest.”
Visit us on Facebook, like the page, follow the action and get your questions in for next week as the Stags play Plymouth Argyle, Colchester United and Carlisle United in the space of seven days.
Woburn Lane facility a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity, says Stags boss Evans
chad.co.uk, by MATT BROOKS, Tuesday 07 March 2017
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans has labelled the proposed sports facility at Woburn Lane as a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for the Stags and the wider community.
The club revealed artwork for the multi-purpose centre in Pleasley this week as work continues on preparing the site for development, which Evans believes will be of benefit to the town for generations to come.
Stags boss Steve Evans It will include a full 3G floodlit pitch, three full-sized grass pitches and a mini pitch, as well changing rooms and a main pavilion to include a function room, two classrooms, office space and a physio room.
“What Mansfield Town needs and what (chairman) John Radford’s wallet needs is five or six lads coming into the first team,” said Evans.
“How do you find them? You find them when you’re watching them once or twice a week. We want youngsters to come and play there.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/woburn-lane-facility-a-once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity-says-stags-boss-evans-1-8425667
“There’s eight dressing rooms at that facility because we want five or six games over the weekend, sometimes in the evenings under the lights, because we want to be watching kids develop to earmark them early, instead of watching them go to Forest, Sheffield Wednesday or to Derby County.
“The only way we can do that is to tell them what we’re all about. We’ve got fantastic community coaches and it’s great for them that this facility will be in place.”
Evans has been involved in the planning alongside chairman John Radford, chief executive Carolyn Radford and director Steve Hymas and is excited by what the future may hold for the facility.
He said: “It’s not just a training ground for the Stags of course but it will benefit Mansfield Town’s integration in the community. It’s fantastic news. There are going to be other sports around there and ladies football, which we endorse as well.
“To see all the kids in the community and for us to be part of it is pleasing. Mansfield is a big town but it’s also a town where everyone knows everyone and we want to make sure that we give enough back to the community, because they’re fantastic to the football club.”
The club have asked the community to pen a letter of endorsement in support of the proposed facility and Evans has urged people to take up the offer. “Ventures like this only come round once in our lifetimes,” he said.
“People can look at their kids and beyond that to their grandchildren and see where they’ll be taking their kids. It’s a facility which is not just going to be fantastic for football, it’s going to be fantastic for a variation of sports.
“You can’t do enough to be part of the community and I think that’s why you get people back, because you’re good to them. We want to make sure that facility gets recognition from all types of sports and people shouldn’t be frightened to say what they think; to back it, endorse it and be part of it.”
“Our director Steve Hymas, who is heading this up for the chairman, has asked people to get a meeting with him, tell him what we need and how we can improve it. A lot of minds are better than one or two.”
The club would like people to state in their own words reasons why such a facility would be of benefit to the community and can address the letter to Steve Hymas, Director of Youth, Mansfield Town Football Club, One Call Stadium, Quarry Lane, Mansfield, Notts, NG18 5DA.
Club officials have asked for all those wishing to write a letter include their name, home/business address and also expressed an interest in hearing from any potential groups or teams that may wish to use the facility.