Gaffer contemplating changes for Wycombe test
mansfieldtown.net, 13 Sep 2017
Stags' boss Steve Evans may freshen his side for tomorrow night's visit of Wycombe Wanderers in Sky Bet League Two.
We take on the Chairboys at One Call Stadium tomorrow evening (7.45pm kick-off) in our second home match in four days after Saturday's convincing 4-1 victory over Grimsby Town.
And although no decisions have yet been finalised, the boss hinted that he could alter his line-up for the game against Gareth Ainsworth's side.
"It's not a case of rotating it, it's a case of picking the best team to deal with Wycombe Wanderers," the Stags' chief said.
"As we sit here today, and I've not really discussed it with Paul [Raynor] - we're just about to go into that meeting - I've certainly got it in my mind to be changing it around a little bit from where we were on Saturday. We've got some good players.
"We made some big decisions on Saturday; for Mal [Benning] to come out because his form had dipped a little bit, Paul Anderson hadn't dipped and neither [had] Will Atkinson, but they've played in almost every minute of every game and they've worked so hard for the team that they had to have a little break.
"The integrity of this management team has been there for years and we pick the team that we believe can win the game.
"The nice thing is that now our dressing room, after the team selection on Saturday and leading up to it, saw that integrity.
"If they perform well in training and they have that belief and want to keep trying to improve, when others drop their standards a little bit, they go in [to the team]."
The Chairboys have won 11 points from their opening five games and the boss is expecting another tough test for his side against a club who he believes will be fighting at the top end of Sky Bet League Two at the end of the season.
"He's a good friend of mine, the manager Gareth Ainsworth. He's a man I have enormous respect for; I really like him as a person and I read his words very carefully in pre-season when he said after he made a couple of very astute signings, that he expects his team to challenge at the end of the season and I see in the early season no reason why that won't be the case.
"When he says challenge, that will mean the top three for Gareth and the chairman (Trevor Stroud), who I know very well as well down at Wycombe.
"Players give you promotion challenges and Gareth's put a good squad together and he's the leader of that orchestra."
The former Leeds United manager should have a full squad to choose from for tomorrow's contest and hopes that the virus which he suffered with last week doesn't affect the squad.
"We're in good shape. We're obviously worried about a virus in the camp, which has seen me off for a day or two and Paul Raynor was ill at the back end of last week and our goalie coach (Ian Pledger) has been down and one or two of our players have been wheezing a little bit.
"Hopefully, in the main, we keep that away and we have everyone to choose from. It's a wonderful position to be in."
Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags to view the gaffer's full news conference later today.
Gareth looking to build on Newport draw at Mansfield
Wycombe manager reflects on Newport draw, and looks ahead to Mansfield.
wycombewanderers.co.uk, 13 Sep 2017
Gareth Ainsworth felt there were positives to build on from the 0-0 draw at Newport County, as the Chairboys prepare to face Mansfield Town and Luton Town this week.
Wanderers remained unbeaten on the road since February with the draw with the Exiles, and were perhaps unfortunate not to leave Rodney Parade with all three points after a strong second-half display.
With a point added to the tally and a first clean sheet of the season in the bag, the manager was left pleased when speaking after the game on Saturday.
"It is a good point and could have easily been all three," Ainsworth said.
"Chances wise, I think we have edged the game; Scott (Brown) has had to make a good save in the first half and a fantastic save in the second half, but their keeper was the busier one today.
"If there was anyone that should have scored it was us, Craig (Mackail-Smith) will be disappointed he hasn't scored, Josh (Umerah) created a couple of chances in a fantastic full-debut for him.
"I'm really pleased with the defensive side of things as it was scrap here, but my boys stood up and I 'll put my name to that performance."
Wycombe don’t have much rest time and are back in action on Tuesday night at pre-season promotion favourites Mansfield Town.
In a week where the Chairboys also come up against big-hitters Luton Town at Adams Park this weekend, Gareth is relishing the opportunity to test his side’s credentials against strong opposition.
"They'll be some tired legs but we are going to Mansfield full of confidence and it is always a good game up there.
"With Mansfield and Luton this week we are coming up against two teams that have set out their ambition to get promoted this season, and it is a tough league to get out of.
"They are both big clubs with big finances so it will be tough, and we go to Mansfield as underdogs, but I've always said that my best 11 can beat anyone in this league.
"I might be able to to extended that now to my best 14 or 15 which I have never been able to do before and I'm really pleased with a point today, it is something to build on ahead of a tough week but I am looking forward to it."