EVANS: WE'RE IN TERRIFIC FORM
Stags hitting form at right time
mansfieldtown.net, 27th March 2017
Stags’ boss Steve Evans believes his side are going into the final part of the season in ‘terrific form’ as the race for the play-offs continues to gain momentum.
Saturday’s 3-1 win over Morecambe saw Stags record back-to-back league wins for the first time in six weeks, despite displaying exceptional performances during that period.
And with just seven games remaining of the Sky Bet League Two season, the manager believes his side are hitting form just at the right time with all four play-off spots still up for grabs.
“We’re going into this stage of the season in terrific form. Our results could have been better in the last few weeks, but our performances are good as we’ve played since we walked in,” the Stags’ chief said.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/stags-hitting-form-at-right-time-3645350.aspx#uLgfpkfYkMGF6L3l.99
“I’ve said near and I’ve said far for the best part of six weeks now, some of our play has been outstanding and we’ve not had the rewards but the players got the rewards on Saturday and they’re a fantastic group, so they deserve that win.
“We want to be in a position on Saturday night when our supporters go home and we’re in the mix in the play-offs.
“The games are getting less and less and we know for us to get in there, we have to take on the best and, on the majority of occasions, beat the best.
“We’re not going to win all of these games and it’ll be how we react when we lose a game but every time we win a game, it gives us a better opportunity of getting in there.”
After defender Krystian Pearce and captain Lee Collins travelled to Morecambe on Saturday but didn’t feature in the matchday squad, the gaffer provided an update on their respective injuries at this morning’s news conference.
“We should look at Krystian being back in the fold by Saturday. Lee Collins, we should have him on the grass tomorrow and then we’ll see how he shapes up on Thursday and Friday.
“We’re together in the dressing room; we’re together on the pitch and off the pitch. There was nobody more pleased with the balls going in the back of the net.
“I looked behind me and I saw Lee Collins and Krystian Pearce both celebrating, in the dressing room they’re hugging the players and there is that togetherness.
“The boys have accepted that it doesn’t matter who wears the shirt, who goes out there and plays, they have to give all for the cause and on and off the pitch we win.”
Moving focus away from his own squad, the former Leeds United boss congratulated our under 18s for their excellent 2-1 win over Oldham Athletic on Saturday, which saw academy manager John Dempster’s side move to the top of the EFL Youth Alliance.
“I messaged John Dempster as soon as Mark Stevenson told me the result on Saturday. I was buzzing for them. Not just for John but for the players; they’re the boys that have to go out and do it, and Mike Whitlow and Coops (Richard Cooper) and people like that.
“They work so hard with the youth structure and you want them to do really well. If it’s got a Mansfield Town crest on it, whether it’s under 9s, under 15s, ladies, whatever it is, we want them to win if they wear our badge.
“When we’ve not got [an under] 23s or reserve game, we have our players playing against the best of the youth structure and we get an opportunity to look at them at first hand.
“It’s why the young boy [Lewis] Collins is training with us on a daily basis because he was outstanding on a couple of occasions with us. From that point of view, we have to be ‘all over it’ because we want some of those boys into the first team.”
Supporters can login to Stags PlayerHD to view the manager’s full news conference.
Injured Stags pair to return for big six-pointer?
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town are hoping defenders Krystian Pearce and Lee Collins will both be fit for this weekend’s massive home clash with play-off rivals Exeter City. Both missed Saturday’s win at Morecambe, Pearce with an ankle strain and Collins with a hamstring tweak. But both are on the mend and could provide Evans with a full squad for the big six-pointer.
Boss Steve Evans today said: “I think for sure Krystian will be fit. “It was a tough decision for last weekend. He is a very experienced lad and he’s been great for me since I walked in.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/injured-stags-pair-to-return-for-big-six-pointer-1-8461225
“I watched him train on Thursday and on Thursday night I thought he would play. But on Friday I watched him be a bit tentative. “Sometimes that’s a mixture of a player of experience just getting through or a player who is just protecting a little bit. “Facing a Jim Bentley side you can never be tentative or anything other than 100 per cent.” Kyle Howkins stepped in to deputise for Pearce and Evans said: “Apart from one mistake a little wobble for five or six minutes afterwards I thought Kyle was terrific. But we should look at Krystian being back in the fold by Saturday. “We should have Lee Collins on the grass tomorrow and we’ll see how he shapes up Thursday/Friday.” Pearce and Collins celebrated the Mansfield win together in the stand at Morecambe and Evans added: “We’ve said we are together on the pitch and off the pitch. “It doesn’t matter who wears the shirt, they have to go out there and give their all for the cause.”
Stags take no risks over two-goal Rose
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans said he played it safe taking two-goal hero Danny Rose off at Morecambe on Saturday, despite the striker desperately trying to complete the club’s first hat-trick since promotion back into the Football League. Rose, just back from a hamstring injury, was in superb form in the 3-1 win at the Globe Arena but was withdrawn on 77 minutes.
“I was delighted for Danny Rose,” he said. “We worked really hard to get him fit, then he had a little hamstring issue for a couple of weeks and that affected us a little bit as we’d just got him near where we wanted him to be.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-take-no-risks-over-two-goal-rose-1-8460910
“I said to Danny we have got bigger pictures. The game was already won as a contest unless something stupid happened in the last few minutes. “And we are still working hard on his fitness coming back from his hamstring injury. “So there is always a danger if you leave him on that you take that heartfelt feeling you want him to get a hat-trick versus a real risk of he could get injured. It was an easy decision.” Otherwise Evans was delighted to see his side get their just desserts after occasionally being short-changed in results recently, despite some excellent displays. “We carried on the very good performance from Carlisle the week before and it has to be said in spells it was ever better,” smiled Evans. “Some of the quality in attacking play was exceptional to watch. “But I have said for the last four to six weeks some of our play has been outstanding and we’ve not had the rewards. The players got the rewards on Saturday and they are a fantastic group and deserve it.” The win was achieved on another poor League Two surface. “I don’t think it’s as bad as the one down in Cheltenham, though it’s not good,” he said. “But we said before the game, as we did at Cheltenham, there can be no excuses about the pitch. It is what it is. “But when you see the likes of Luton, Portsmouth, Grimsby and Cambridge all going to Morecambe and getting beaten, it just shows you that manager Jim Bentley has a dressing room full of players that, when the team are challenged by teams from the top end coming into town, they raise their game. There can be no doubt about that - statistics tell you that. “Thankfully we produced a really good performance and could have won a lot more comfortably than we did. “But we’d have taken the three points in any fashion, especially at this time of the season.”
Evans urges Stags to play with their hearts against rivals
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Manager Steve Evans has told his players to ignore the cliches and play with their hearts in Saturday’s massive six-pointer home clash with play-off rivals Exeter City. Exeter occupy the seventh and final play-off spot just two places and one point above Mansfield and Evans is relishing the prospect of bursting into the top seven with just six games to go on Saturday night.
“It is squeaky bum time. Some will lose the plot, some will keep their senses and keep calm,” he said.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-urges-stags-to-play-with-their-hearts-against-rivals-1-8463451
“Keeping calm doesn’t mean you’re not going to appeal for decisions or don’t want to be emotional. You can do that but in your head you can still have a calmness to affect it. “On the pitch, I’ve said to the players, they always have to play with their hearts. I hear people say don’t play with your heart, play with your head. “Play with your heart but your head kicks in over that and makes sure you make sensible decisions. “We are the one club no one counted on at the turn of the year. No one thought we were going to come in with a run. But we did. I believe in the group. “We have seven games left and they are all massive - but one at a time. “This is fantastic to be involved in. We’re looking forward to Exeter, then we have the short visit over to Doncaster. They are wonderful games to be involved in. “We need a big turn out and the Stags fans in full voice. “I’ve done it many times and I am very fortunate. Experience does play a part as you go in there. “I my play-off campaign at Rotherham I didn’t have play-off experience but I believed that my promotion experience would kick in - and it did. “I can remember being very clam 2-0 down at Wembley when people all around me were losing the plot, including the players. But we calmed them down just by being calm in a certain situation and turned it around. “This dressing room I think has got a lot to achieve yet and they will surprise a lot of people. They won’t surprise me if they achieve it.” Evans has promised his side will go for the jugular from the off on Saturday, saying: “We won’t be cagey. We will be right in their faces. “Exeter were fantastic down there in the first half against us. We should have been dead and buried at half-time. We know the final score was 2-0, but they scored in injury time and we should have beat them over the 90. “Second half, in Paul Tisdale’s words, we were the best team to go down there this season. “I have a lot of respect for this manager. He will turn up the best dressed manager the supporters have ever seen and he’s one of the nicest men you’ll ever come across. “Whenever I sit down and have a beer and a chat with him, he’s a good guy. But when we go out there on Saturday. It’s another 90 minute battle and we want to make sure that at the end of it we are victorious.”
Evans hoping to reap the dividends as Stags youth team shine again
chad.co.uk, by John Lomas
Mansfield Town’s youth team have a second successive league title in their sights - and first team boss Steve Evans is hoping to reap the dividends of a new crop of talented youngsters coming through. The reigning champions strengthened their hopes of retaining the Youth Alliance crown last weekend with a vital win over leaders and biggest rivals Oldham Athletic to take over at the top. Oldham had begun the day at the top, level on points with the Stags, but with a superior goal difference. But, despite going behind, two goals from Jason Law saw Stags home to a 2-1 win to go three points clear with five games to go.
“I messaged John Dempster as soon as I knew the result on Saturday,” said Evans.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-hoping-to-reap-the-dividends-as-stags-youth-team-shine-again-1-8464396
“I was buzzing for them, not just for John but for the players as they are the boys that have to go out and do it. Then you’ve got the likes of Mike Whitlow and Richard Cooper - they work so hard with the new structure. You want them to do really well. “If it’s got a Mansfield Town crest on it, whether it’s U9, U15, ladies or whoever, we want them to win if they wear our badge. “When we haven’t got a reserve game we have our players play against the best in the youth structure and we get an opportunity to look at them first hand. “It’s why the young boy Lewis Collins is training with us on a daily basis as he was quite outstanding. “We have to be all over it as we want some of those boys into the first team.”
Latest | March 2017