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24th April 2017 22:43


Gaffer focussed ahead of Stevenage clash
mansfieldtown.net, 20th April 2017

Boss Steve Evans has stressed the importance of keeping all of the Stags’ focus on themselves ahead of this Saturday’s big Sky Bet League Two clash with Stevenage.

Stags make the trip to The Lamex Stadium with the aim of closing their two-point gap to the play-off positions as the season nears its conclusion.

And the gaffer has insisted that at this stage of the season, it is important to not worry about the opposition, and instead focus on what his own side can affect.

“We’re solely focussed on ourselves, solely focussed on the group here [with] total positivity,” the gaffer said.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/gaffer-focussed-ahead-of-stevenage-clash-3684609.aspx#jYtYbYbF5w3tjtCV.99

“We believe we can go there and get a positive result but at the same time, I have real respect for the opposition players - there’s a good squad assembled there.

“With three games to go, you have to look after yourselves and you have to look after your results.

“I just want to look at us and I want to make sure our sole focus is getting enough from individuals and the team collectively to get a positive result down at Stevenage.

“Our sole focus is inside; we’re not looking at officials, we’re not looking at Stevenage, we’re not looking up the table, down the table, and the only important thing will be result and the league table at five o’clock.”

After playing two games in the space of four days over the Easter weekend, the gaffer has said the players have recovered properly and are fresh ahead of Saturday’s fixture.

“We’ve made sure the training loads this week have allowed the players to turn up at three o’clock on Saturday and have lots of energy.

“They’re a fit group anyway, we’ve got lots of energy. It often doesn’t look like that when you’re protecting a lead and you’re playing the better teams.

“The boys have come in and the spirit’s good. I just spoke to the skipper there and he said the dressing room is buzzing, it’s bouncing. These boys never thought they were going to be involved with three games to go, fighting for promotion.

“We have to focus on ourselves and we’ll put players and a team out there and maybe freshen it up in two or three positions, but other than that, the boys are all champing at the bit to play.”

The former Leeds United boss hopes to see a large Stags’ following in Hertfordshire on Saturday as his side fight for a play-off spot.

“The message to the fans is: Stevenage isn’t that far away. It's a couple of hours down the road and I know now, we’ll take a good support.

“I want to give them another day like we gave them down at Wycombe, another day like we gave them up at Morecambe, where we can go there and work ever so hard.

“We need their support and let’s go and get a positive result and then get seven or eight thousand here for Portsmouth.”

Supporters can login to Stags PlayerHD to view the manager’s full news conference.

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Promotion with Stags this season would be boss Evans’ biggest achievement
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 20 April 2017

With nine promotions already under his belt, Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans admitted taking Stags up this season would be his biggest achievement to date.

Ahead of the crucial trip to Stevenage, he said: “When I went into Rotherham I had a reasonable chance as I had a fresh piece of paper and four or five games in the summer to put my squad in place.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/promotion-with-stags-this-season-would-be-boss-evans-biggest-achievement-1-8503831

“We had to work really hard through that season as, what happens when you’ve signed a big group of players is a percentage don’t work out. But we got them over the line quite emphatically in the end.

“But I came to Mansfield Town in 18th in the league, nearer the bottom than the top, and not a squad built for promotion in my opinion.

“If I’d have been here last July we’d already be in flip flops. We weren’t and we have a lot of work to do.

“But let’s finish the season in a really positive way and if we fail to make the play-offs we’ve come a long way.

“It just means it’s a lesser length of journey next summer. But I’d rather be building for League One.” Evans expects a noisy army of Stags fans behind his players on Saturday.

“Stevenage isn’t that far away and I know now we’ll take a good support,” he said.

“I want to give them another day like we gave them at Wycombe or at Morecambe where we work ever so hard and together on and off the pitch we do it collectively. We need their support.

“This is the big stage of the season. The top three were the best three in the league, I think everyone would accept that. What we’ve got is a battle behind them.

“You’ve got people that have stolen a little march by four or five points, but that can be gone in a game or two. You have to look after yourselves.”

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Evans believes Stags are underdogs for big Stevenage clash
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 20 April 2017

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans believes the bookmakers are wrong and that his side are the underdogs in Saturday’s huge play-off showdown at rivals Stevenage.

The Stags are two points behind the play-off zone, in which Stevenage sit after some great results since the turn of the year. But Evans is confident his side can keep their dream alive to the last two games at the weekend.

“I know the bookmakers make us slight favourites, but I think in reality if I was a neutral or a Sky TV pundit, as I’ve been many times, I’d say Stevenage are favourites,” he said.

“They are on a wonderful run of form, though they’ve had one or two wobbly results.

“If we are at our best we’ve got a right chance of getting a result. If we are below it we’ll get beat and Stevenage will go on towards the play-offs and we’ll go out.

“These boys have taken it to three to go. Let’s see if we can make it two to go. “We are the surprise package in this play-off fight - no one else.”

Mansfield were held 1-1 at home by Luton on Monday after Friday’s sparkling 1-0 win at Wycombe and Evans said: “I was disappointed we didn’t take six from six.

“Our performances and how we controlled both games for large period, it should have been six. But you have to respect two quality opposition teams.

“We are going to have to get a return of points from these last three games anyway - that was clear before we went to Wycombe.

“But I don’t really want to look at Stevenage or up and down the table. I just want to look at us and make sure our sole focus is getting enough from individuals in the team collectively to get a positive result there. “Obviously I’ve done my homework and I will continue to look at them.”

He added: “I spoke to the Stevenage chairman at the start of the season when I wasn’t in football. “He is a good man with a good knowledge of players in the game, and he felt this was their best chance of getting promotion in a few years. You have to respect that as he knows his players and he knows his football. But we know what we need to do.” Evans has tried to balance rest with training as the massive games come thick and fast. He said: “We are not tired. We are fresh. We’ve made sure the training loads this week have allowed the players to turn up at 3pm this Saturday with lots of energy. “They are a fit group with lots of energy anyway.

“We can go to Stevenage and affect the outcome of that game. We can play Portsmouth at home and affect that and then go down to Crawley.

“What I’ve always said is take it to the next game and make sure we’re still in the mix. Let’s come out of Stevenage and try, if anything, to close that gap to the play-off group with two games to go. “We’ve seen again over Easter the results in many games were all over the place.

“We have total positivity. We believe we can go down to Stevenage and get a positive result. But at the same time we have real respect for the opposition and players - they have a good squad assembled there.” Evans may tweak the formation and personnel at Broadhall Way.

“We have controlled games but I’d like to see us pass a bit slicker in the final third and take a chance with efforts in the box,” he said.

“We don’t score enough goals though we have some good balance in our defensive displays at the minute.

“We may change the shape a bit and go back to a rigid four with the strength that Stevenage have. We will look at it over the next couple of days.

“We might freshen it up in two or three positions in terms of personnel. The boys are all champing at the bit to play and that’s the great thing.”

He said the dressing room is full of enthusiasm and belief. “The skipper had just told me they are all buzzing. The dressing room is bouncing,” smiled Evans.

“They are looking forward to these three challenges. These boys never thought they were going to be involved with three to go and fighting for promotion.

“They thought these would be dead end games. But they are very much involved.”

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Play-off place meaningless without Mansfield Town promotion, says Steve Evans
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

If Mansfield Town finish in the top seven this season, Stags manager Steve Evans said it would mean nothing to him without promotion via the play-offs. But, ahead of Saturday’s huge six-pointer at Stevenage, he said getting into the play-offs was the hard part and he was very confident of success if they could do that. “It would mean nothing to get in the top seven as if you get in there you have to get promotion. But if we get in the top seven we will win promotion,” he said. “I am ever so confident home and away against any team we’ve played, maybe apart from Doncaster. “Getting into the top seven is the big task. When we are in there the rest will take care of itself. “The players are under no pressure. I’ve told them as long as they give me everything I will the flak that comes. Don’t blame my players - I picked the side. “So they have got a freedom to play as long as they give me 100 per cent passion or effort.”

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/play-off-place-meaningless-without-mansfield-town-promotion-says-steve-evans-1-8504134

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Midfielder wants large Stags' following at Stevenage
mansfieldtown.net, 20th April 2017

Midfielder Jamie McGuire has called on the club’s fans to make the trip to The Lamex Stadium on Saturday to support the Stags in their clash against Stevenage.

We sit two points outside the top seven and face fellow promotion-chasers Stevenage in a hugely important Sky Bet League Two clash as the race for the play-offs hots up.

And McGuire, 33, says there is ‘nothing better’ than being roared on by a large away contingent of Stags’ fans.

“If we can do, can we fill that back stand out? Because there’s nothing better, to bring the fans down,” McGuire said.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/midfielder-wants-large-away-following-at-stevenage-3684873.aspx#beqois1MBt07SwJ1.99

“I’ve been here four years now and when this place is rocking, it’s behind us. We could do with a 12th man on Saturday. [We want to] get as many people down there as we can so we can kick on.

“It’d be brilliant to get the fans down. I keep pushing on about it but let's get as many fans down there as possible on Saturday and be our 12th man and get us over the line.

“We always do [have a great following] but to get those extra bodies in there, fill that back stand, it would be even better for us. There’s nothing better than when you see 300/400 Stags’ fans behind you screaming and getting behind your team, there’s nothing better.”

The former Fleetwood Town man also echoed the thoughts of manager Steve Evans, who told the local media this morning that it is important to focus on ourselves, rather than the opposition.

“It is tight but I think we’ve just got to concentrate on ourselves. Onto Saturday, we’ll get a good training session today, a good training session tomorrow and we’re all looking forward to Saturday.

“All we can do is concentrate on ourselves, that’s all we can do. The desire in the dressing room at the moment is just to concentrate on ourselves, nothing else, nothing more.

“They’ve (Stevenage) surprised a few people this season and they’re up there for a reason but to be honest with you, I’d rather just concentrate on us, all that matters is us.

“There’s a great desire at the moment between the players and the management to get over the line and that’s what we’ve got to do.”

The Birkenhead-born tough-tackling midfielder hasn’t appeared for the Stags since our 0-0 draw with Cheltenham Town in early March, but insists that the most important thing is to achieve success as a club.

“When the gaffer ever needs me, he needs me. I think everyone knows that I step in, I do a job. It’s not about me; it’s about the whole team, it’s about the management, it’s about the club, it’s about the town trying to get together for Saturday and trying to get these three points.

“When you’re not involved, you can’t just spit your dummy out because I’m not in the squad. It’s for this club, we all want to achieve one thing and that’s to get in those play-offs. If we can get in those play-offs, not many teams will want to play us.”

To view Jamie McGuire’s news conference in its entirety, log in to Stags PlayerHD.

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McGuire calls on Mansfield Town fans to be team’s 12th man at Stevenage
chad.co.uk

Jamie McGuire wants the travelling Mansfield Town fans to be Stags’ 12th man on Saturday. Stags face a crunch clash at Stevenage which could make or break their play-off dreams.

And the battling midfielder knows the Mansfield faitfhful can have a massive impact on the outcome. “There’s nothing better than to bring the fans down,” he said.

“I have been here four years and I know that when they get behind us it makes a big difference and we need a 12th man on Saturday.

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/mcguire-calls-on-mansfield-town-fans-to-be-team-s-12th-man-at-stevenage-1-8503283

“I like Stevenage, its a tight ground and a tight pitch and I hope we can pack our stand out.

“We need as many people down there to help us kick on. it would be brilliant to bring the fans down in numbers.

“The fans have been brilliant all season. we always get a great away support no matter what.

“There’s nothing better than when you see the Stags fans behind the goal getting behind the team.” Mansfield are currently in 12th spot but are just two points off seventh-placed Blackpool as the play-off race reaches a thrilling climax. But Mcguire is keen for Stags to retain their focus and not pay attention to the teams around them.

“It is great to still be in the mix and all the lads are raring to go,” he added.

“It’s really tight, but we have to concentrate on ourselves, we are all looking forward to the game.

“All we can do is concentrate on ourselves and see what happens with the other results.

“The desire in the dressing room is just to concentrate on ourselves. Stevenage have got it all to play for, they have surprised people and are up there for a reason.

“All that matters is us, there is a great desire amongst management and players to get over the line.”

Stags go into the fixture on the back of a productive Easter weekend, which saw them bag four points against Wycome and Luton.

“It was a great win at Wycombe, the formation set out was positive and the tactics were spot on.

“Luton are are tough team and for the first half we were the better team. In the last 15 mins there was only one team wjho wanted the winner and that was us.

“We have to settle for a point. four points over Easter and two points off the play-off, you couldn’t ask for more.

“A few of us were looking at the results afterwards, but all that matters now is Saturday.

“It’s been a strange season, but that is football and it happens. All the boys have just got on with it.

“If you had said to us after the first game of the season that we would be two points off the play-offs, I would have taken it.

“We have got two big training sessions before the game, that’s what we do, we work hard and make sure we are right.

“The spirit is great in the team and is carrying us through, it has been unbelievable.

“We have got winners in the dressing room, we have got lads who have been in the play-offs and won the league.

“All we can do is give 100 per cent and work hard for the fans and show the desire.”

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SARLL ISSUES RALLYING CRY AHEAD OF MANSFIELD GAME ON SATURDAY
stevenagefc.com, 20th April 2017, by Dan Branowsky

Darren Sarll has called for one last push from everybody at the club as we head into the final three games of the season with a play-off place at stake.

Saturday sees fellow challengers, Mansfield visit the Lamex and Sarll wants as much support as possible.

“What we need now from our fans is unequivocal support - regardless of performances - to encourage and stick with the players.

Read more at http://www.stevenagefc.com/news/article/2016-17/sarll-issues-rallying-cry-ahead-of-mansfield-game-on-saturday-3685301.aspx#jYXgvcXKw6A70emj.99

“I feel they deserve that because they have put in such an effort this season. We need support, we need help, we need encouragement, we need positivity."

“It was that type of support during the tougher times that allowed us to come out of that and propel us into a play-off challenge.”

Sarl is fully aware that Mansfield will be desperate to take all three points on Saturday as they try to unseat ourselves and those currently in prime position.

“Obviously when you are sitting fifth with three to go, the target is to make sure you have a fixture list in May.

“We need to continue to strive for better performances than of late. We always have to strive and try hit those performances like Wycombe, Portsmouth, Luton away. It isn’t always going to be like that though.

“What we have to make sure we are is very competitive against what will be a very determined side who have their own hopes and ambitions.

"I am looking forward to putting our team out there ready not to walk, but to sprint, jump, explode and accelerate through the last three games."

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Stevenage’s top scorer set to miss League Two promotion run-in
thecomet.net, 19 April 2017, by Damion Roberts

A broken toe is set to keep Matt Godden out of Stevenage’s promotion run-in.

Boro’s top scorer picked up the injury in Friday’s 1-0 home defeat to Morecambe with boss Darren Sarll confirming his striker is set for six weeks on the sidelines.

Speaking after Monday’s trip to Carlisle United, which saw Steven Schumacher’s 50th minute penalty cancelled out by Jabo Ibehre, Sarll told the club’s website: “He played pretty much 70 minutes with a broken big toe so Matthew will be out now for six weeks.

http://www.thecomet.net/stevenage-fc/stevenage-s-top-scorer-set-to-miss-league-two-promotion-run-in-1-4981536

“Obviously he is very disappointed but he should be very proud of his first season’s contribution.

“I hope he heals quickly. I hope he pats himself on the back for being a massive part of the reason why we are challenging where we are.

“If we can get him back sooner than that six week deadline, then great. If not, he can be so, so proud of his work this year.”

Boro are back in action this Saturday with the visit of Mansfield Town to the Lamex.

The Stags have a realistic chance of making the play-offs themselves despite sitting in 12th place.

Just six points separate Luton Town, who are fourth, with Wycombe Wanderers down in 13th place with Boro in the thick of the action in fifth place.

Stevenage’s results have dropped off over the past three games with Boro having picked up just the one point.

But they were deserving 2-1 winners the last time they played Mansfield at Field Mill back in October with goals from Charlie Lee and Harry McKirdy.

Speaking about the importance of a point at Carlisle, who are eighth in the table, Sarll added: “I thought [the players] were brilliant. I just said to them, that is a massive point for us to be taking away at Carlisle and to move us another place up the table.

“That is the momentum we want at this time of year but we also wanted to stop the negative momentum that we maybe picked up in the last couple of games.

“Psychologically a massive, massive performance and result for us. Because of what has happened in the last seven days, even more so.

“My lads ran themselves back into the race and the hunt [against Carlisle]. A win would have been more than credible for their efforts.”

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