EVANS, MACDONALD AND DARREN SARLL REACTION
Stags' boss hails 'excellent' away performance
mansfieldtown.net, 22nd April 2017
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans credited his players' work ethic after a determined 1-0 win at play-off rivals Stevenage.
Striker Danny Rose rifled a shot home in the final minute of the first half to help push Steve Evans' men closer to the play-off pack.
Stags are now in 8th position in Sky Bet League Two, a point and a place behind Stevenage, who occupy the final play-off position.
The amber and blue have two games to play in an enthralling end of season race for a top seven finish.
Mansfield had to weather an early storm after Stevenage flew out of the start blocks. But the amber and blue grew in strength as the match progressed to seal a deserved win.
Speaking at the Lamex Stadium post-match, the manager said: "We knew they [Stevenage] would 'have a go' in the first 15 [minutes]. But I said to the players 'if we are 0-0 at 20 minutes we'll win the game, we just need to be ready to stand up to the battle'.
"It's another excellent away performance today. We take no gloating here; we've beaten a good side away from home, like we did at Wycombe and if these performances continue then we'll pop in there [to the play-offs] in the next two [games]."
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/stags-boss-hails-excellent-away-performance-3688126.aspx#6Q2RUkpoHgvUyC6g.99
The gaffer believed his side could have won by a greater margin, after creating a string of goalscoring opportunities..
"The pleasing thing is, in the second half for large periods we should have got a second goal, third goal or fourth goal because we've had one-on-ones. Danny Rose goes through, Macca [Alex MacDonald] goes through, Ben [Whiteman] has a good chance from the edge of the box.
"I think if it goes to two [goals] then the game is very comfortably seen through then but you always know that when you don't take those chances in any game in any league then the home team has good players and they will make you work hard, especially with seven minutes added [of additional time]."
Channelling praise to his charges for the performance, Steve said: "The players deserve enormous credit. It's a good win, it's a hard working win.
"I said to the players before the game 'give our supporters the opportunity to see a very busy One Call Stadium next Saturday [at home to Portsmouth]. and the people of Mansfield need to turn out now don't they? Our chairman encourages people to come through the doors as often as he can and so does the chief executive. They will see what the Town thinks of [us] putting together a promotion challenge.
"All we are trying to do is get in those play-offs. I've said many a time 'if we get in the play-offs, I think we'll win the play-offs' but you can't talk about winning them if you're not in them and we're not in them, we've not been in them for a long time.
"So we need to work hard next week and see if can pop in [the play-offs] next week. People will look after themselves and we will look after ourselves, that's the nature of football."
Briefly looking ahead to next Saturday's mammoth home clash against Pompey, the manager added: "We know Portsmouth are one of the best teams in the league, they've already been promoted but we've been playing all the top teams so we'll be mentally and physically ready for it."
Stags PlayerHD subscribers can view the manager's interview in full later this evening.
Squad 'overjoyed' with Stevenage win - MacDonald
mansfieldtown.net, 22nd April 2017
Stags' first team squad are heading back to Mansfield 'overjoyed' with a hard-fought 1-0 win at play-off rivals Stevenage, said midfielder Alex MacDonald.
Steve Evans' men are only a point and place behind their Hertfordshire counterparts in Sky Bet League Two, who occupy seventh position.
Danny Rose's first half netbuster helped push the Stags closer to the play-offs and set up a mouth-watering final two games, at home to Portsmouth next Saturday followed by a journey to Crawley.
MacDonald contributed to this afternoon's vital victory with a tireless display, and speaking post-match he said: "Coming to these places at this time of the season, it's never going to be pretty but at the end of the day we've got the three points which is the most important thing and we get back on the bus as a very happy camp.
"After 20-25 minutes we came into the game a lot more and started to put our stamp on the game. We had a lot of chances on the counter, didn't play particularly great football. We know we should be better in the final third, myself included.
"We got the goal after that. We knew it was then going to be scrappy but the most important thing was the three points.
"It was exactly what we needed to do at this time of the season; a typical League Two away performances."
Rose blasted home his ninth goal of the season and received praise from MacDonald post match.
"I was just behind him [when he struck the ball] and he gave it everything. He deserves it because he works tirelessly for the team," said MacDonald.
"Sometimes it's a really hard role which he has up there. Both him and Shaq [Coulthirst] were magnificent today and they've worked their socks off all game. When you do that you give yourself a massive platform to win games."
He added: "We worked so hard today and got our just rewards. We're overjoyed."
Stags PlayerHD subscribers can view Alex MacDonald's interview in full later this evening.
'We just needed bit of fortune' says Stevenage boss Darren Sarll after Mansfield Town defeat
Darren Sarll felt Stevenage did not show enough quality in attacking areas following his side's 1-0 loss at home to fellow Sky Bet League Two play-off chasers Mansfield.
Danny Rose's goal was enough to secure three points for the Stags, who are now just a point and a place behind Boro, who are clinging on to their place in the top seven.
But manager Sarll felt it was always going to be a difficult day to get something out of the game.
"Whenever you are playing these games where teams are tightly placed, it normally relies upon a set play, a mistake or a moment of real individual quality," he told Stevenage's official club website.
Read more at http://www.hertfordshiremercury.co.uk/we-just-needed-bit-of-fortune-says-stevenage-boss-darren-sarll-after-mansfield-town-defeat/story-30288245-detail/story.html#F08OpKVhtvicUURY.99
"I thought we had a couple of those. We had numerous opportunities to threaten from our set plays. We must have had 25 set plays in the final third - long throws, corners, free kicks etc.
"A lapse in concentration from us defensively means we concede what is really a sloppy goal."
"When teams come here and get 1-0 with something to hold on to, they just bank up, keep people behind the ball and then the two front men are always looking to break away on the counter from long balls.
"The players gave absolutely everything they could physically. I thought they spent themselves physically.
"We just needed that little bit of quality, little bit of fortune. A (Ben) Kennedy dribble, a (Tom) Pett dribble, a (Jobi) McAnuff dribble.
"We didn't really have that individual moment in us today."
But Sarll was pleased with the efforts of young forwards Mark McKee, who had his first start, and Jamie Gray, who came off the bench for his debut.
He said: "It is one of the best things about being manager of the football club, giving young players their opportunity.
"Mark has waited a long time for that and I thought he acquitted himself very well, especially early on.
"Jamie came on and gave us that enthusiasm, that little bit of hunger and that bit of devil, which I thought was maybe missing in the game, and I thought he acquitted himself very well."
Shaq Coulthirst @ShaqCoulthirst
Giant Win For Us, Getting Closer...#Stags
Ben Whiteman @BenWhiteman17
What a win! A Step closer...
George William Taft @t99fty
We go again! What a feeling
John Radford @JRadfordMTFC
What a victory!!! A hard-working, resolute display by our boys. Fully deserved 3 points.
Two massive games to play. Exciting times!!
Latest | April 2017