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CARLISLE PREVIEWS / EVANS EXPECTING
6th September 2017 0:34


Boss expects involvement in Deadline Day business
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 31 August 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans believes there could be Deadline Day movement both in and out of One Call Stadium before the transfer window slams shut at 11.00pm tonight.

Speaking to the local media this morning, the gaffer is hoping to finalise deals for both a central midfielder and striker before tonight's deadline, whilst 'two or three' players could leave One Call Stadium on loan.

And the manager believes 'half the battle is won' in regards to the midfielder, who favours a move to the club.

"We'd love to do one or two things but that's now the decision for the chairman (John Radford) and the CEO (Carolyn Radford). The central midfield player that we really like, he wants to come. His representatives want him to come," the Stags' chief explained.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2017/august/boss-expects-involvement-in-deadline-day-business/

"It's now a decision for my chairman and CEO. If they say 'no, we can't quite get there on this deal' then I am 100 percent compliant with that. They've been fantastic and they're great to work with every day.

"I think we have won half the battle. His representatives called - I spoke to him yesterday - but they've called me this morning and they've had two or three options on the table to them. The boy's single preferred choice, after having met two or three managers and met myself, would be to come here, but the deal has to be right."

The former Leeds United boss also believes that a deal for the young striker could be completed today, but he doesn't expect the youngster to immediately stake a claim for a first team place, should he make the move.

"That's another one where he's just waiting for us to say 'yes'. All the focus, quite rightfully, has gone on to the central midfield player. I think the young striker, we can get that done. It's never going to be a big money thing or anything like that.

"It's going to be someone who can come in and we're going to help develop over 12 months. He'll train with us every day and possibly make an appearance now and again if he does exceptionally well ahead of his time, then he would play a part. If he doesn't then he would join the likes of Coops (Richard Cooper) and Mike (Whitlow) at 21 level and develop nicely along the way."

The gaffer is also expecting players to leave One Call Stadium on loan to League Two clubs or below, but admits that could happen after the transfer window closes.

"I'd expect to see a couple go out on loan today - maybe two or three.

"I don't think they'll be season-long loans. The loan option's there to go until January or go for 90 days.

"We'll retain the rights to bring these lads back on recall clauses. Let's not forget, in terms of going down the levels, they can go after today. The Conference, or the National League as it's known these days, is not subject to strict rules that we are in terms of the transfer window."

After revealing that the club had received three offers for two players after the Checkatrade Trophy match against Lincoln City on Tuesday, the gaffer says the bids have been rejected by the club's owners.

"We've had a bit of interest in both the good news in terms of the main squad - what I would say ones that have been playing - the three written offers that came in for the two players have been rejected by our chairman and CEO.

"I expected they would be but we had a brief chat after the game the other night and to be fair, the question as always from our chairman was: 'do you want to sell them? Do you stand by your valuations? We support you, they're not going to have them.'"

Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's full news conference later this afternoon.

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Trio targeted as Stags race to beat 11pm transfer deadline
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 31 August 2017

Mansfield Town have three possible targets as the race to beat tonight’s 11pm transfer window deadline continues. Stags were already trying to bring in a quality attacking midfielder and a young striker, but this morning they were informed of the availability of a quality right-sided midfielder.

Boss Steve Evans said it would be a long shot to attract this talented youngster down to League Two level, but he is happy to try his best today.

Evans has completed his part with the other two deals and it is now down to chairman John Radford and CEO Carolyn Radford to rubber stamp or reject them. On the new possibility, Evans said: “We have found out someone is available this morning.

“I got the call from his agent and we’ve asked what the level of deal would be. “It would be a surprise if that one happened as I struggle to think for one minute that this kid is going to be playing in League Two when the window slams shut.

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/trio-targeted-as-stags-race-to-beat-11pm-transfer-deadline-1-8730669

“He plays on the right side where we have two or three good options - I thought Alfie Potter was outstanding for an hour the other night.

“But we are never against adding to the group if a really talented one becomes available. That’s always been the agreement between me and the chairman, especially if they are young with that hunger to go and get some football.”

Evans was unable to speak to the Radfords before training today so any deals would be later on now. “I need to speak to the chairman and chief executive,” he said.

“He knows I’d like to do one or two things but that’s now a decision for the chairman and the CEO and they are in meetings this morning.

“They are involved in multi-national big business and they have to do what is right on that side of it.”

Evans said there were several clubs chasing the central midfielder but Stags are his No.1 choice. “The central midfield player that we like, he really wants to come. His representatives want him to come. That’s half the battle,” said Evans.

“They have two or three options on the table to them. The boy’s single preferred choice, having met two or three managers, including myself, would be to come here.

“But, of course, the deal has to be right and our owners have to be happy with what we are entering into. “It is now a decision for my chairman and CEO. If they say no, we can’t quite get there on this deal then I am 100 per cent compliant with that.

“They have been fantastic and are great to work with every day. “If they want to do it I think it will happen today.”

On the young striker from one of his former clubs, he said: “That’s another one just waiting for us to say yes, but all the focus, quite rightly, is going onto the central midfield player. “The young striker deal is not a big one. It’s someone who’d come in and we’d help develop over 12 months.

“He would train with us every day and make an appearance every now and again. If he does exceptionally well ahead of his time he will play a part.

“If he doesn’t he will join the likes of Richard Cooper and Mike Whitlow at U21 level and develop nicely along the way.”

Evans is used to going close to the deadline to complete deals. “At Rotherham we signed Luciano Becchio from Norwich,” he said.

“The forms went through and I think we got the receipt with eight seconds to spare. It can take it to that level.”

Evans was delighted the club had turned down offers for two members of his first team squad. “In terms of the main squad, the good news is that the three written offers that came in for two of our players have been rejected by our chairman and CEO as I expected they would be,” he said.

“So the main group is going to be intact and we are just trying to sign one or two players who we think could help us.”

On fringe players, he added: “I would expect to see a couple go out on loan today, maybe two or three. “We’ve had a bit of interest from League Two and the National League.

“These are lads who we just don’t see getting a lot of game time, so the loan options are there to go until January or for 90 days. We will retain the right to bring these lads back on recall clauses.

“Going down the levels, let’s not forget they can go after today as the National League is not subject to the strict rules we are in terms of the transfer window.”

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Stags aim to heal Luton heartbreak with win at Carlisle
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 31 August 2017

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans believes his side are in the mood to put right the late heartbreak they suffered against rivals Luton last weekend when they travel to Carlisle United on Saturday.

Stags saw two late Luton goals square up a game they looked to have won and there was still time for Jimmy Spencer to miss a stoppage time penalty kick to rub salt in the wounds.

Now Evans believes his players are desperate to put things right at Brunton Park. “To draw against Luton in the circumstances - to be 2-0 up with five or six minutes to go and also get a penalty to win it, that takes a bit of coming back from,” said Evans.

“So I have to give credit to this group. They have been fantastic in training. “We have a lot of big characters and a lot of people who hurt when things like that happen.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-aim-to-heal-luton-heartbreak-with-win-at-carlisle-1-8731253

“You don’t need to go in and give verbal criticisms as everyone was hurting as badly.”

Carlisle were beaten play-off semi-finalists last time around after looking set for automatic promotion at one stage.

“It is a very difficult place to go. Keith Curle has done an outstanding job up there,” said Evans.

“At one stage last season when we were up there I said they would be promoted - and I firmly believed that.

“Of course they sold their striker (Charlie Wyke) to Bradford City and I said if they don’t have that boy it’s a problem - and it became a problem.

“But Keith resurged them and they had a magnificent right go in the play-offs. “So we know it will be a tough afternoon for us.”

Evans added: “They will be back to almost full strength, apart from the boy (Tom Parkes) who is suspended. “They will be smarting from a result that was never a 4-1 defeat at Lincoln. “At 2-1 they missed a couple of golden chances so, as often happens in football, they score a third that gives it a flattering scoreline with another late goal.

“They have some outstanding, talented players. They are a football club from a distance that is run properly and they give Keith every chance of being successful. We love going to try to beat clubs like that. “They have a boy (Richie Bennett) in from Barrow who cost a few quid - he is a big strong boy who gets a goal. He will be very competitive as will young (Hallam) Hope, who they got in from Bury.

“They have a really good squad. Nicky Adams is the best wide player in the division and, arguably, in the division above as well.

“But we will go there planned, meticulous, and we’ll try to add to our points tally.”

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Steve Evans says he was right to ring the changes against Lincoln City
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Despite criticism from some supporters for not believing victory in Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy group game with Lincoln was important, Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans said he wouldn’t change a thing if he did it all again tomorrow. Evans made 10 changes and tried to keep those players out there as long as possible to get vital minutes into their legs for the League Two games. While doing that, Stags saw an early 1-0 lead turn into a 3-1 defeat thanks to two late Lincoln goals and a section of fans chose to boo the players off. Evans was baffled and said: “I spoke to a manager from League One who was at the game and he said for 35 minutes there was one team on the pitch. One team playing the football and dominant. “We made it more of a battle second half with our intensity and willingness to move the ball quickly. “When we conceded the second goal I think it was a foul on Alex MacDonald and the third goal that Matt scored - I thought he had missed it - we’d sent Bobby (keeper, Olejnik) up (for a corner). “But if I was making the decision tomorrow to do it again on Saturday, making the changes and giving people an opportunity to put themselves in the hat, I would do the same again. “You have be strong as a manager and believe that what you are doing is right. Not do what you think others would do. “If you are a supporter I understand - I support Glasgow Celtic - you’d wish to turn up and watch your team win. For half-an-hour you don’t see that will be a problem happening. “But we didn’t want to introduce anyone from the bench. Then one or two got a little bit tired or we wouldn’t have introduced anyone from the bench.” He continued: “Lincoln brought on their big stars, their big earners, to try to win a Checkatrade game. “That’s their decision and good luck to them. The one thing we’ve got is a lot of respect for Lincoln City. “We will put it behind us and worry about that competition the day before it comes round again.” Having made 10 changes, Evans said the midweek game allowed him to rest up players who gave so much against Luton and a chance for others to prove their worth. “It had zero effect on our preparations for this Saturday other than maybe put one or two people into contention,” he said. “There were also one or two people who we thought probably might not be able to go out and deliver the performances to be in it, which were rubber-stamped. “We wanted to have a week where the bulk of the group starting at Carlisle would be fresh after last Saturday’s outstanding performance against Luton. “We are going to be judged over what happens over a league season, not what happens in the Checkatrade; though I still think we will qualify.”

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/steve-evans-says-he-was-right-to-ring-the-changes-against-lincoln-city-1-8731692

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Mansfield Town boss looking forward to family support
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Glaswegian Steve Evans expects family and friends to head south and help cheer Mansfield Town on to victory at Carlisle United on Saturday. The Stags manager said: “They will be sneaking over the border! “My brother doesn’t get out of Scotland many times so I think he’s looking for the border security as he drives down towards Carlisle! “There will be a couple of cars coming down from Glasgow - and I think Zander Diamond has some people coming down as well. “It’s always great to go to northern parts and get to see some family and friends you only probably get to see annually in the summertime.”

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-boss-looking-forward-to-family-support-1-8731679

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Boss Steve Evans warns no-one is guaranteed place in Mansfield Town starting eleven
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

No one in the Mansfield Town squad is guaranteed a place on the team sheet warned boss Steve Evans ahead of the trip to Carlisle United. “It’s only naive managers or managers that go on the merry-go-round that get sacked everywhere who pick their favourites,” he said. “When you sign a group of players you can’t let you eyes tell you lies. “Ronnie Moore is a good friend of mine, the ex-Rotherham manager, and he used an expression in the dressing room once to his players that his eyes were not pickled onions. “I think a few supporters sometimes think my eyes are pickled onions” “But you have to be truthful and I think across the levels now there is a real integrity to get in the team.”

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/boss-steve-evans-warns-no-one-is-guaranteed-place-in-mansfield-town-starting-eleven-1-8731710

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Zander Diamond could miss Carlisle United game
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town skipper Zander Diamond may miss out on the game at Carlisle United. The club said last week that he has ‘a strain’ and manager Steve Evans said: “Zander trained yesterday with the medical people and is back with us today. “Our injured players are in seven days a week now. When I arrived it was a holiday camp. “Now they are in every day and the medical staff work them quite hard. “Does one or two days training allow you to be fit to be competitive in League Two? We will see how he is. If he trains exceptionally well Thursday and Friday he will travel. “If not it will probably make him back available in the group on Monday, but it wouldn’t surprise me.” He added: “The big man is a top professional. He is a top lad and we didn’t make him captain overnight for no reason. “He had an outstanding season last season and understands he has probably not quite been there this season, but is getting nearer. “It was the same with David Mirfin. A few weeks ago he wasn’t there but against Luton it was just a stunning performance.”

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/zander-diamond-could-miss-carlisle-united-game-1-8731706

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Steve Evans wont get carried away if Mansfield Town beat Carlisle
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Steve Evans won’t be getting too excited if Mansfield Town can pull off a first away win of the campaign at Carlisle United. With a visit by Grimsby Town ahead next week, Evans stressed: “It is a tough run of games. “But I said if after the first 10-12 games we could be in that top group we would get promoted - and I still believe that. “But we’ll treat them in isolation. “There will be no celebrations if we get a positive result and come back with three points from Carlisle. It’s a long season and about consistency over 46 games.”

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/steve-evans-wont-get-carried-away-if-mansfield-town-beat-carlisle-1-8731684

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Mansfield Town won’t be fully firing until New Year, boss says
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Steve Evans has told supporters that they won’t see his new-look Mansfield Town side firing on all cylinders until the New Year. They are working hard to learn all about each other and gel as a team and Evans said: “That will be happening to January or February. “We did a very similar thing at Rotherham United. “I can remember losing consecutively at home to the likes of Bristol Rovers and Barnet - poor results - and people said that was the promotion season over. “But we just saw partnerships continue to form on the training ground and people continue to work hard. “With the odd tweak to the squad we went up in second very comfortably.” He added: “This group will be much better in the second half of the season than in the first half. “That’s why I think if we are in the top group after 10 or 12 games then we’ll go up as I know in the second half of the season we will have so much more to bring to the party.”

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-won-t-be-fully-firing-until-new-year-boss-says-1-8731696

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Mirfin wants Stags to make statement at Carlisle
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 31 August 2017

Defender David Mirfin wants Stags to 'lay down a marker' in Saturday's Sky Bet League Two clash against Carlisle United.

The 32-year-old joined the Stags from Scunthorpe United in the summer and has made three competitive appearances since the start of the campaign.

And the former Huddersfield Town man hopes Stags will make a statement to the rest of Sky Bet League Two against the Cumbrians this Saturday.

"We want to lay down a marker and show other teams what we're about," Mirfin said. "Going to these places are the places, you want to go and lay that marker down and it makes the other teams look up and notice that we're serious and it's not all talk and we want to do well this season.

"It's going to be a really tough place to go to but we've prepared and we're going to prepare right and proper and make sure we go there and get a result.

"I think the home crowd make it a tough place to go; obviously it's quite open, a big pitch, but we go there as prepared as we are for any other game."

Stags will embark on the journey to the North East on Friday afternoon in preparation for Saturday's clash and Mirfin has been impressed by the club's professionalism in the build-up to games.

"When I spoke to the gaffer when I first came, he was very particular on doing things right and preparing right, especially for away games.

"I think if you take the worry out of an early start with the traffic on a Saturday morning, if you're a player in the hotel and you're relaxing, it's all concentrated towards the game the day after.

"The food's right and all the preparation is spot on and it's probably as 'high up' as I've ever been involved in.

"As a player, we're being looked after and there can be no complaints for us. It's up to us now as players, especially for away games when we've stayed over, that we start putting in the right performances.

"Every player who signed this summer has enjoyed their time up to now and can't wait to kick on with the season."

The two-time promotion-winner has praised the club's fans for their travelling support so far this season and he now wants to reward them with points on the road.

"When I walked out at Crewe on the first day of the season, I was surprised and shocked at how many Mansfield fans had come. It's such a good feeling to go away from home and have such good support and they've been brilliant away from home.

"You want to reward them with wins and points and it's up to us as players now to put that right on the pitch."

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view David Mirfin's full news conference.

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David Mirfin calls on Mansfield Town to lay down a marker
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 31 August 2017

Mansfield Town defender David Mirfin wants Stags to throw down a marker - by beating promotion rivals Carlisle United on Saturday. Stags sit 14th in the early League Two table and go into the game on the back of two disappointing results. But Mirfin knows they can put the sluggish start to the season behind them with a win over Keith Curle’s men.

“It will be a tough game but we are prepared right,” he said. “This is an important game, even at this stage of the season.

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/david-mirfin-calls-on-mansfield-town-to-lay-down-a-marker-1-8730610

“We want to lay down a marker and show other teams what we can do. We are going there to get a result.

“These are the places you want to go and lay the markers down. It makes other teams look up and notice and see we are serious and not all talk.

“It is a tough place to go, the home crowd make it a tough place to go, but we will go there as prepared as we are for any other game.

“Carlisle will be piushing for promotion, they went on a long unbeaten run last year and have the experience this year to stay there at the end.”

The former Huddersfield defender also knows three points will go a long way to healing the scars of the 2-2 draw with Luton Town.

“We were disappointed to let the two goal lead slip and to drop two points in that way,” he added. “Hopefully we can learn from it so that it does not happen again.

“We want to go to Carlisle and get the three points. We have not got the points we deserve from the last two games.

“A point at Accrington would not have been bad had we backed it up with a win over Luton. “The signs are there and there are positives we can take.

“There is good competition for places and the boss has a lot of options for his best starting eleven. No-one is guaranteed to start, you have to work hard in training and matches. We will need this to be successful.”

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MANAGER: Mansfield are similar to us in how they can set up
Keith Curle on the weekend visit of Mansfield Town
carlisleunited.co.uk

United boss Keith Curle spoke to us about the Saturday visit of Mansfield Town at his Friday afternoon press conference.

“Mansfield have put together a squad with a lot of players,” he said. “A lot of them are players I spoke to in the summer and had also showed an interest in. That probably goes for every other club in League Two and a few clubs from League One as well.

“They were able to financially outbid clubs from this division and the division above, so they have got a good array of talent. “They’ve also got a manager with a proven record of getting success when he’s had funds available to spend.

“If you look at their team there are probably five players you would expect to start and then it’s a case of which formations and systems Steve [Evans] is going to put out which he thinks will bring him success. He’s got good options, good choices and some good players.”

“I like going shopping as much as any manager and I’m sure Steve enjoys it when he’s able to outbid others, but it all brings a different type of pressure,” he added. “I think Steve has a very good relationship with the chairman and the owners at Mansfield and that’s been shown in the money they’ve given him to spend and the belief they’ve got in him.

“They’re still settling their new group down but it isn’t all about how you start a season, it’s how you end it. Look at Exeter, they were bottom when we beat them here last season and they ended up finishing above us. Once Mansfield get going I’m sure they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”

On the excitement we can expect to see from the technical area, he told us: “I’m sure the Paddock will give him plenty but I know he enjoys it.

“I worked with Neil Warnock, people said he was like marmite, he used to walk out into stadiums and he would get all sorts of abuse. They would be slaughtering him and he would turn around and ask me if I could hear them all singing his name. He wasn’t fazed by it and it didn’t irritate him - I think he was quite happy that all those people knew his name.

“Steve Evans will wind our supporters up tomorrow and our supporters will wind him up. He’ll give as good as he gets and I think he’ll probably be looking forward to it. When you actually meet him, before or after a game, as a bloke he’s alright.

“He becomes a different character on the side of the pitch for the 90 minutes. I’ve had a few bust ups with him but I’ve then gone into his office and his response has always been, ‘it’s just a game Keith’. I show all managers the same respect after a game and it won’t be any different tomorrow.”

“We’ll be very competitive tomorrow,” he commented. “We’ve got a style of football which we want to try and play and we’re gaining an understanding of how to win games. We’ve got a good understanding individually and collectively of what we’re trying to build and what we’re trying to create.

“Team selection wise I’m trying my hardest to keep 5,200 people happy! They’ve all got an opinion and they’ve all got an ideal team. I’ve got to pick the team I think is going to get me the result.

“I can guarantee I’ll upset a few people and I’ll also pleasantly surprise a few people. Ultimately, I’m going to pick the team that I think is going to get me the result tomorrow. I’m here to be judged on that.”

“Tom Parkes will serve his suspension tomorrow but he’ll be working hard over the next few days to make sure he can get back into the team when he’s available,” he added. “I’ve been very pleased with Tom, not just because of his performances but also his attitude towards the challenge that I set him at the beginning of the season. He’s taken that challenge on board and I think he’s improving and learning as well as enjoying his football.

“We’ve got good levels of competition within the squad. Within that there is always going to be disappointment, because there will always be players who end up not playing on a Saturday or Tuesday. Part of my job with that is to make sure everyone stays on board with it.”

And on what we can expect to see from the 90 minutes, he said: “I think Mansfield aren’t too dissimilar to ourselves, they can mix it up when they need to. They can play on the front foot, they can get the ball down and they can play various formations.

“They have square pegs they can put in square holes depending on how the game pans out. Their starting team could potentially have rotation in it so they can adopt different formations within that team. They have some good options but they’ll have one eye on what they think our team is going to be.”

“They were able to financially outbid clubs from this division and the division above, so they have got a good array of talent. “They’ve also got a manager with a proven record of getting success when he’s had funds available to spend.

“If you look at their team there are probably five players you would expect to start and then it’s a case of which formations and systems Steve [Evans] is going to put out which he thinks will bring him success. He’s got good options, good choices and some good players.”

“I like going shopping as much as any manager and I’m sure Steve enjoys it when he’s able to outbid others, but it all brings a different type of pressure,” he added. “I think Steve has a very good relationship with the chairman and the owners at Mansfield and that’s been shown in the money they’ve given him to spend and the belief they’ve got in him.

“They’re still settling their new group down but it isn’t all about how you start a season, it’s how you end it. Look at Exeter, they were bottom when we beat them here last season and they ended up finishing above us. Once Mansfield get going I’m sure they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.”

On the excitement we can expect to see from the technical area, he told us: “I’m sure the Paddock will give him plenty but I know he enjoys it.

“I worked with Neil Warnock, people said he was like marmite, he used to walk out into stadiums and he would get all sorts of abuse. They would be slaughtering him and he would turn around and ask me if I could hear them all singing his name. He wasn’t fazed by it and it didn’t irritate him - I think he was quite happy that all those people knew his name.

“Steve Evans will wind our supporters up tomorrow and our supporters will wind him up. He’ll give as good as he gets and I think he’ll probably be looking forward to it. When you actually meet him, before or after a game, as a bloke he’s alright.

“He becomes a different character on the side of the pitch for the 90 minutes. I’ve had a few bust ups with him but I’ve then gone into his office and his response has always been, ‘it’s just a game Keith’. I show all managers the same respect after a game and it won’t be any different tomorrow.”

“We’ll be very competitive tomorrow,” he commented. “We’ve got a style of football which we want to try and play and we’re gaining an understanding of how to win games. We’ve got a good understanding individually and collectively of what we’re trying to build and what we’re trying to create.

“Team selection wise I’m trying my hardest to keep 5,200 people happy! They’ve all got an opinion and they’ve all got an ideal team. I’ve got to pick the team I think is going to get me the result.

“I can guarantee I’ll upset a few people and I’ll also pleasantly surprise a few people. Ultimately, I’m going to pick the team that I think is going to get me the result tomorrow. I’m here to be judged on that.”

“Tom Parkes will serve his suspension tomorrow but he’ll be working hard over the next few days to make sure he can get back into the team when he’s available,” he added. “I’ve been very pleased with Tom, not just because of his performances but also his attitude towards the challenge that I set him at the beginning of the season. He’s taken that challenge on board and I think he’s improving and learning as well as enjoying his football.

“We’ve got good levels of competition within the squad. Within that there is always going to be disappointment, because there will always be players who end up not playing on a Saturday or Tuesday. Part of my job with that is to make sure everyone stays on board with it.”

And on what we can expect to see from the 90 minutes, he said: “I think Mansfield aren’t too dissimilar to ourselves, they can mix it up when they need to. They can play on the front foot, they can get the ball down and they can play various formations.

“They have square pegs they can put in square holes depending on how the game pans out. Their starting team could potentially have rotation in it so they can adopt different formations within that team. They have some good options but they’ll have one eye on what they think our team is going to be.”

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