EVANS AND PAUL COOK REACTION
Steve Evans with Charlie Slater on Radio Nottingham:
audio ---> http://stagsnet.net/interviews/Evans_postPortsmouthH_RadioNottm_Apr17.mp3
Steve Evans: Mansfield Town boss wants assurances from John Radford
BBC Radio Nottingham
Manager Steve Evans has said he wants assurances from chairman John Radford that Mansfield Town will back his desire to win promotion from League Two next season.
Last weekend's loss to Portsmouth means even victory over Crawley on Saturday would bring only a very slim chance of reaching the play-offs this term.
Evans told BBC Radio Nottingham he was "not a League Two manager".
"I need to be sure I get supported to build a promotion squad," he added.
"The first meeting I have to have is to sit down with the chairman and chief executive and make sure their ambition levels are where mine are.
"They have never ever flinched with anything I have asked, but I need to understand their ambitions. If they are at my level then we go forward together, if they aren't then it's a separate conversation."
Mansfield, in 12th, must beat Crawley and would need results to go their way in four other matches to make the top six. But if two of the following results do not happen then the Stags will be playing League Two again next season.
Evans is already resigned to missing out on the play-offs this season.
"We will try to win the game and hope squeaky bum time makes it difficult for the other teams, but you would think it has gone for us now," he said.
But the former Leeds boss, who joined on a two-and-half year contract in November, said plans were already in place for next season and he is a "million per cent" committed to staying if the the club are able to challenge for promotion to the third tier.
"You can't suddenly wake up in the second week of May and think about recruitment," he added.
"The football club stayed in League Two this season because the recruitment last summer was pretty horrendous.
"We have the opportunity to keep everyone, so I will sit down with the staff and chairman but I will make the final decisions on who stays and who goes.
"I am not a League Two manager and I am not here to be in League Two."
Paul Cook video interview --->
Missed chances frustrate Stags' boss
mansfieldtown.net, 29th April 2017
Stags’ boss Steve Evans was left frustrated after seeing his side miss a number of good opportunities during this afternoon's 1-0 defeat Portsmouth.
The Stags created at least three clear-cut chances at One Call Stadium this afternoon, but saw them go begging as our hopes of a top seven finish began to slip away.
Pompey got what turned out to be the winner in the 57th minute when Carl Baker’s deflected effort found the back of the net from inside the box.
The main moment of controversy, however, arrived in the 48th minute when striker Danny Rose was hauled down by Matt Clarke on the edge of the Pompey box and, despite being the last defender, referee Lee Swabey decided to show a yellow card instead of a red.
And speaking post-match, the gaffer said the Stags’ missed chances makes the defeat hard to take.
“[The defeat] hinges on we miss good chances to win the game. It hinges on the fact that we dominated the second half against a good team," the Stags' manager said.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/boss-frustrated-with-pivotal-decision-3698266.aspx#Zl9dxOwSjDRP2pmK.99
"I think we all knew if we had a goalscorer when we walked in to the football club, we’d be automatic, not fighting for the play-offs or out the play-offs.
“You always look at reactions and I look at the centre-half (Clarke) throw his arms on his head [after the foul on Rose].
“Myself and Cookie (Paul Cook, Portsmouth boss) are very passionate and very honest with each other - I love him to bits - and when he says at the end of the game ‘that’s the worst decision I’ve seen in my career’, I think I join him.
“It’s hard to take but I’m proud of the players, I’m proud of the supporters - what a fantastic atmosphere they’ve created today. They’ve done their bit. I think my players have done their bit, [it was] a fantastic performance and we don’t take chances.”
Despite ultimately slipping to a defeat which makes the chances of a top seven finish now look more challenging, the former Leeds United boss commended his players for the way they limited ‘a great team’ to only a couple of chances.
“They’ve had two chances today; one they score from, it gets a little deflection, and we’re unlucky on that front.
“They have another chance late on when we go something like six up front. Other than that, they’ve not made a chance, they’re not in the game, they’ve been totally outplayed and I think their manager will be the first to say that.
“I think I invented the saying 'you’ve got to find a way to win a football match'. Portsmouth Football Club have found a way. They’re a great team [with] a great manager. I cannot pay them enough plaudits.”
With just one match of the Sky Bet League Two season remaining, the boss says Stags will continue to work in a professional manner in order to attain the highest league finish possible.
“We’ll apply ourselves properly and we’ll travel early [to Crawley next week] and do it all right and we’ll be professional until the end of the day. I’d rather finish eighth than ninth. I’d rather finish ninth than tenth, that’s the way I am.
“I said to the players: it’s no good losing to Portsmouth at home and being unlucky, it’s silly points we gave away at Yeovil and Cheltenham and stuff like that.”
Supporters can login to Stags PlayerHD to view the gaffer’s post match interview in full.
Evans proud of Stags but blasts ‘atrocious refereeing’ and missed chances
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 29 April 2017
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans said he was proud of his players and fans as the Stags were pipped 1-0 by title-chasing Portsmouth today to all but end their play-off dream. But Evans was left furious by a decision by referee Lee Swabey not to send off Pompey’s Matt Clarke on 48 minutes when, as last man, he hauled down Danny Rose when he was away on goal.
In front of Mansfield’s biggest home crowd since returning to the League - 6,819 - Carl Baker netted the only goal of a very tight match on 57 minutes as Stags slipped to 12th place, two points off the top seven with one game to go but in a queue of sides hoping for Blackpool or Carlisle to slip up.
“There were two outstanding teams out there for me today,” said Evans.
“We were the better team on the day but we lost.
Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/evans-proud-of-stags-but-blasts-atrocious-refereeing-and-missed-chances-1-8519332
“I have to be careful what I say but that was an atrocious refereeing performance today.
“You always look at reactions and I look at their centre half throwing his hands on his head - he thought he was away and so did their bench.
“The Portsmouth staff are feeling for us. We all know what would have happened if that had been us at Fratton Park and it had happened in reverse. I don’t think the referee would have been allowed to leave Portsmouth.
“Paul Cook said to me at the end that was the worst decision he’d seen in his career and I think I join him.
“But they will give him another game next week. This is a referee I was concerned about as he gave an atrocious decision with a penalty at Exeter last week. It’s laughable.
“There should have been a red card for a challenge on Danny Rose too. It was a whole-hearted challenge, he missed the ball and caught Danny Rose’s nose. Between them the officials missed that as well.
“It’s hard to take. But I am proud of the players and the supporters.”
Stags did waste opportunities to level the game, none more so than when Matt Green went clean through and lobbed over the bar 10 minutes from time - a golden opportunity.
“We didn’t take our chances. But I think we all know if we’d had a goalscorer when we walked into the football club we’d be up automatic, not worrying about the play-offs,” said Evans.
“They’ve had two chances today - one they score from off a deflection and then another when we’ve gone six up front.
“Other than that they’re not in the game and they’ve been totally out-played. I think their manager will be the first to say that.
“My players have given everything and they are in there bemused. It’s not often you see a full dressing room just struggling to accept what’s happened today.”
Looking at the table, Evans admitted: “I think the play-offs are beyond us now. If Blackpool turn up and beat Leyton Orient they will be partying down the promenade.
“Blackpool have to win - simple as that. If they slip up there will be people waiting to take their place and we’ll be one of them
“Looking at the table it’s very difficult.
“We will apply ourselves properly and do everything right. We will be professional to the end. I’d rather finish eighth than ninth or ninth than 10th. That’s the way I am.
“There will always be the knockers around to say we didn’t deal with the big game, but we did deal with the big game but big decisions went against us. But let’s take nothing away from Portsmouth.”
He added: “Let’s look in house and what we see is missed chances at key stages. Rhys Bennett after three minutes it look easier to score and Matt Green? Well it’s all right being a goalscorer in the Conference, there is a big difference between that and the Football League, that’s the reality.”
COOK: A GREAT POSITION
portsmouthfc.co.uk, 29th April 2017, by Neil Weld
Title race still alive after win at Mansfield
When Pompey dropped to fifth after a home defeat to Crewe in March, not even a place in the play-offs seemed guaranteed.
But automatic promotion was secured with three games to spare following an Easter Monday victory at Notts County.
And a fine run of nine wins from the past 11 games now means that the title could be secured at Fratton Park on the final day.
That is because a 1-0 away triumph over Mansfield leaves third-placed Pompey just two points behind leaders Plymouth, with Doncaster sandwiched in between.
And Carl Baker’s second half strike at Field Mill left Paul Cook salivating about next Saturday’s clash with Cheltenham.
The Blues boss said: “It was a good day for us and we can go into that last game of the season at home with a chance to win the league.
“That’s fantastic and to be in this position is a great credit to all of our lads. The ground will be rocking.
Read more at http://www.portsmouthfc.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/paul-cook-on-pompeys-sky-bet-league-two-win-at-mansfield-town-3698175.aspx#xkiE7gvBUbl4wREq.99
“I’ve said it all along that after 46 games have been played you shake hands and get what you deserve.
“This is one of the best clubs in the country and our fans are delighted at the moment - that makes me so proud.
“There was another clean sheet for Fordey and our away record is so good. We’ve got some strong players here.
“It was always going to be a bit nervy at the end, although we probably should have scored on the break.”
It might have been different if last man Matt Clarke had been sent off early in the second half for a foul on Mansfield’s Danny Rose.
Cook said: “He’s got to go! You can sit on the fence all you want, but it was a poor decision by the referee.
“I’d love to know what he was thinking, but we’re obviously delighted that he only showed the yellow card.”
Portsmouth boss Paul Cook backs Mansfield Town to come back strong next season
chad.co.uk, by STEPHEN THIRKILL, Saturday 29 April 2017
Pompey boss Paul Cook is backing Mansfield Town to be in the promotion hunt next season. Stags’ play-off dream was ended for another season following Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Portsmouth. Mansfield were undone by a woeful decision which say blundering ref Lee Swabey amazingly only showed a yellow card to Matt Clarke despite him hacking down Danny Rose when he was last man. Pompey added further salt into the wounds when Carl Baker scored his ninth of the season to wrap up the points.
But the Portsmouth boss feels Mansfield Town will come back strongly and be a force next season.
“Mansfield were very good today,” he said.
“Matt Clarke had to go, the referee got the big decision wrong and it’s a tough one to get wrong for people in this stadium.
“You feel sick if it goes against you and if it goes for you then you feel that the game is going to go your way.
Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/portsmouth-boss-paul-cook-backs-mansfield-town-to-come-back-strong-next-season-1-8519470
“This is an intimidating place to come and my players have handled the pressure well.
“Steve is doing a great job here like he always does. Mansfield will be a threat to everyone next year so to have the performance we did it’s great credit to the players.
“It was a tough game and I thought the lads were excellent, I’m very proud of them.”
Rhys Bennett had a goal chalked off for offside before Matt Green blazed over with 10 minutes to go when he really should have scored. A win would have left Mansfield sixth in the League Two table
Cook: Pompey were fortunate at Stags
by NEIL ALLEN, Saturday 29 April 2017
Paul Cook admitted Pompey were fortunate at Mansfield as their title dream remained. Carl Baker’s 56th-minute goal separated the sides at Field Mill, yet an outstanding Blues rearguard display secured it. Matt Clarke should have been sent off for a foul on the Stags’ Danny Rose, while Rhys Bennett had a goal ruled out for offside.
Yet it was to be Cook’s men who hung on for a 12th away victory of the campaign. Following Doncaster’s third straight defeat, it means Pompey can still take the title on the final day against Cheltenham. Plymouth top the table, with third-placed Blues two points behind, as the League Two title race goes right to the wire.
Cook said: ‘Today we were a little bit fortunate to win the game and I am sure we will accept that. ‘For me as manager, we have very good players at this club, I am very proud of them and I’m proud of the club, so to get 12 away wins is an achievement by the players. ‘It’s a shame we haven’t got another away game! ‘We’ve been looking for Doncaster and Plymouth’s results for that long another week won’t make any difference.
‘Great credit to those teams above us - and we are delighted to be in with a chance of the title on the final day.’
Read more at: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk/sport/football/pompey/cook-pompey-were-fortunate-at-stags-1-7939717
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