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STAGS SET FOR HUGE DOUBLE HEADER
16th April 2017 21:01


Stags set for huge double header
mansfieldtown.net, 12th April 2017

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans wants a 'resolute' display on Good Friday at Wycombe as Stags prepare for a potentially season-defining double header over Easter.

We currently sit in 13th position in Sky Bet League Two, four points off the play-offs, with five games remaining. Wycombe, our next opponents, are two places and one point above us in the division.

Good Friday's match at Adams Park precedes the visit of Luton Town at One Call Stadium on Easter Monday.

Earlier in the week, manager Steve Evans revealed a minimum target of four points to ensure Stags remain in the play-off hunt.

And today the boss intimated that his team would be aiming to start Friday's contest on the front foot in our bid for maximum points.

“We’ve let ourselves down in recent weeks just by either missing a chance or by not doing something properly defensively," said the gaffer. "In both boxes it’s probably not been at the top end of the scale.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/stags-set-for-huge-double-header-3671564.aspx#b8qXDokVqVw8v1jf.99

“Box to box we have been the best team in most of the games we’ve played, probably with the exception of Doncaster who are the best team in the league.

“What do we need to do? We need to go there [to Wycombe] and have a real resolution about our performance and take our chances when they come and do our job all over the pitch. If we do that we’ll be in the game.

“We want to go there and play at our best. We will go and entertain and 'have a go'. There’s no point in us going there and trying deliberately to sit behind the ball.

“At times, Wycombe will have possession. I can tell our travelling fans, and there’ll be hundreds of them, that there’ll be times in the game when we’ll have to dig deep and get our defensive game right, but that’s no different from any other week of the season."

Summing up the next two fixtures, he said: “It’s a fantastic game to be involved in, followed by Luton Town coming here on Monday. It’s a fantastic weekend of football and a huge weekend."

In team news, striker Pat Hoban has returned to training after a knee injury whilst right-back Hayden White could also be in contention for a return to the squad after a groin problem.

Speaking about White, the manager said: “His biggest test will come tomorrow when we ask him to go to maximum level. If he goes to maximum level then he could be available. If he can’t quite get there I'm hopeful that it’ll be Monday [when he returns]."

Stags PlayerHD subscribers can watch the manager's interview in full.

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Stags will take the fight to rivals Wycombe in Good Friday showdown
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Wednesday 12 April 2017

Mansfield Town will head to Wycombe Wanderers with all guns blazing on Good Friday as they begin a do-or-die Easter weekend against play-off rivals.

Stags probably need to win four of their last five games to make the play-offs, so boss Steve Evans said the onus was on his side to be on the front foot at Wycombe and again at home to Luton Town two days later.

“We want to go there and play our best on Friday,” he said.

“It should be a good game of football. We are going to go and entertain and have a go. There’s no point in us going there and trying deliberately to sit behind the ball.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-will-take-the-fight-to-rivals-wycombe-in-good-friday-showdown-1-8489871

“But, at times, Wycombe are going to have possession.

“I can tell our travelling fans, and there are going to be hundreds of them, that there will be times in the game when we’ll have to dig deep and get our defensive game right.

“But there is no point is us going there with a game plan that we sit 10 behind the ball and maybe hope to nick a goal, though there are times you’d think of doing that.”

He continued: “It’s a huge weekend and we have to come out with some points.

“If we don’t it will make the last two or three games of this season pretty much about next season really in respect of putting one or two people in that perhaps might not play if the squeeze is on to deal with getting points.

“They are two fantastic games. They are a good crowd down at Wycombe who always get behind their team and a passionate manager on the side next to me.

“They have a good set of players like big Ake (Ade Akifenwa) and (Garry) Thompson and people like that, who are wonderful players that have done Gareth (Ainsworth) a great service in the last year or two.”

On Chairboys boss Ainsworth, Evans said: “Gareth is a good manager who has done some good things at Wycombe.

“He took over when they were in real dire straits, probably around when I picked up here, 19th or 20th and not going anyway, and he’s given then a point of direction.

“But I think he’s in his third or fourth season at Wycombe, so every season that now goes by that they don’t make those play-offs or promotion, it becomes a little question mark.

“But I think he is good enough to do that, though I hope it’s not this season as it means they have to beat us on Good Friday.”

Although he is a veteran of nine promotions, Evans said all he can do is organise players and advise them and then it’s up to them once they cross the white line.

“The first thing we should never forget is what gets you promoted is footballers,” he said.

“We have let ourselves down in recent weeks in both boxes just by missing a chance or not doing something properly defensively.

“Box to box we’ve been the best team in most of the games we’ve played - probably with the exception of Doncaster, who are the best team in the league. We are not at that level yet and for me they are on their own.

“We need to go to Wycombe and have a real resolution about our performance, take chances when they come and do a job all over the pitch. If we do that we’ll be in the game.

“It’s a great game to be involved in, followed of course by Luton Town coming here on Monday - it’s a fantastic Easter weekend of football.”

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Play-off pressure biting hard in League Two
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Wednesday 12 April 2017

League Two is already starting to throw up some unexpected results and Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans is convinced there will be plenty more as the play-off race hots up this weekend.

“I think some will creak,” he said ahead of Friday’s big game at Wycombe Wanderers. “I think we saw that last week.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/play-off-pressure-biting-hard-in-league-two-1-8489889

“We went to Doncaster last Saturday and knew it was going to be tough. “But we came in to our amazement to see the three or four above us had all lost. That just comes with pressure.

“There will be teams this weekend that will be expected to get a comfortable victory that won’t be able to deal with it.

“It’s players that deal with it. Managers and coaches become irrelevant when the referee starts the game.”

Evans knows his experience will come to the fore if Stags are still in the hunt by Monday night after the home clash with Luton Town.

“We need to deal with the weekend, then it will become massively important,” he said.

“Everyone has a part to play. We (the coaching staff) play a big part Monday to Saturday, with the exception of midweek games, and you ask your players to carry out diligently what you put in their heads and what you put out on the training ground.

“I would love to be in the position where we’ve got three games to go and a points differential of three or less. That would be fantastic.”

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