Stags will continue to improve, says boss
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 21 September 2017
Despite Stags sitting just three points off the Sky Bet League Two automatic promotion spots, manager Steve Evans believes his side will be 'significantly better' in the second half of the campaign.
Stags have won 13 points from their first eight matches and currently occupy fifth spot in League Two following just one defeat - to a 93rd minute goal away to Accrington Stanley - since the opening day of the season.
But the gaffer, who has previously won nine promotions in his career, admits he is still frustrated with the Stags' start and believes his side will improve further after the turn of the year.
"Always remember, this is a marathon - I keep saying it," the Stags' chief said.
"I said it back in the summer; this is a marathon and we will be significantly better in the second half of the season for me. I found it at Crawley, I found it at Rotherham and I found it at Leeds in spells.
"We've got two benchmarks for me. The first is the 12-15 game mark, which we'll not be too far away from in a few weeks time, then we have the middle of January and that tells everyone what you have to do in the second half of the season."
Stags welcome Cambridge United to One Call Stadium on Saturday (23 September, 3.00pm kick-off) and former Leeds United boss could make changes to the side which defeated Lincoln City last week after an impressive Stags' side ran out 4-0 winners over Burton Albion in the Central League Cup match on Tuesday.
"Danny's (Rose) always knocking on the door. He's been knocking on the door and he's started some games as well. I must admit, I thought Jacob Mellis was the best player on the park by some distance.
"From our point of view, it's not just about those two. Rhys Bennett was back getting minutes, Jimmy Spencer was back getting minutes and you only had to look at the quality of that team on show to demonstrate we've got a decent squad of players here.
"We might change it. We like to get Jacob Mellis in if we think we're going to try and command more of the ball and Jacob Mellis immediately comes to our thoughts.
"By the same token, you just check yourself a little bit and say well, it wasn't just about the goal we scored at Lincoln, it was about how hard the team worked."
Stags will still be without midfielder Joel Byrom for Saturday's match as he continues his rehabilitation from the foot injury picked up against Wycombe Wanderers, whilst the gaffer revealed that there are a further 'one or two' knocks within his squad.
"Joel Byrom's out and we'll miss Joel, but hopefully everyone else is in contention and fighting for a place. There's always one or two knocks - we've got one or two again this week but like we did before Lincoln, we'll keep these within the camp."
Supporters will be able to view the manager's news conference on iFollow Stags later today.
Stags pair hoping on recall to face Cambridge
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 21 September 2017
Jacob Mellis and Danny Rose have staked big claims for a Mansfield Town recall when Cambridge United visit on Saturday.
Both shone in the reserves’ 4-0 midweek win over a young Burton Albion side at St George’s Park, Mellis running the show and Rose netting twice.
Boss Steve Evans admitted: “Danny is always knocking on the door. He’s been knocking on the door and he’s started some games as well.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-pair-hoping-on-recall-to-face-cambridge-1-8765896
“I thought Jacob Mellis was the best player on the park by some distance. “But it’s not just about those two. Rhys Bennett and Jimmy Spencer were back getting minutes and you only had to look at the quality of that team on show to know we’ve got a decent squad of players here.
“We might change it on Saturday. We’d like to get Jacob Mellis in. “If we think we’d like to command a bit more of the ball then Jacob immediately comes into our thoughts.
“By the same token you just check yourself a little bit and say, well, it wasn’t just about the goal at Lincoln, it was about how hard the team worked.
“I have always said if our team can work as hard as the opposition it gives us a chance.” “When you talk about hard-working teams, we’ve got one coming here on Saturday.”
On the Burton game overall, he added: “It was just about minutes on the pitch. As expected, Nigel Clough fielded a young side as they were going to Old Trafford last night.
“It was a comfortable day for the boys, but they got minutes on the pitch and a lot of good things out of it.
“You sometimes have to work harder when you have as much of the ball as we had. I don’t think Bobby (Olejnik) had a save to make in the entire match and we could have scored double or treble the amount of goals, given the amount of possession and chances we had.
“The surface was nice and the opposition, albeit a young side, played in the right way.”
Mansfield Town look to end miserable home run against Cambridge United
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town will be hoping to end a miserable run of 379 minutes without a home goal against Cambridge United on Saturday in a fixture that has only seen one goal in four clashes at the One Call Stadium. Both sides go into the game with excellent defensive records this season and Stags boss Steve Evans said of the lack of goals in the fixture: “I think it’s probably because both camps in recent times have been very well disciplined and very well organised. “Also both teams have good players and that sometimes cancels you out. “But we are at home. We’re in good form, though we want to do more with the ball than we have been doing in recent times. “The boys are working hard and, whether we win or lose, we will keep it on a level keel and let’s get to the 15-game stage and see where we are. “I want us to start properly and start on the front foot, though that’s always difficult as there are two teams trying to do the same thing.” Evans said first and foremost his players had to match Cambridge’s hard work. “I watched the second half of their game with Coventry on Saturday,” he said. “Coventry had a lot of the ball, but what really shone out like a beacon light in a dark ocean for me was how hard Cambridge worked and how organised they were. “As a team they were superb and that comes from the training ground and the manager.” Stags are now five League games unbeaten, but Evans said: “I don’t care about unbeaten runs. I just want to get a bag of coal or three bags of coal every time we turn up. If we can do that it helps. “But I keep saying this is a marathon and we will be significantly better in the second half of the season. “Anything we can attain between now and the January period is a blessing.” As a Peterborough resident Evans is a big admirer of local rivals Cambridge and admits some of his family will be there rooting for United on Saturday. “They are a good side with good players all over the pitch - a good squad and good people behind the scenes,” he said. “I’ve know Jez George for a lot of years and he doesn’t get enough credit for saving that football club. “Although I’m from their local rivals - I live in the city of Peterborough - I have a lot of family related on the wife’s side who will be travelling here as Cambridge United supporters on Saturday. They watch them home and away. “Shaun Derry is the man in charge now. He went in there when they were struggling and they had a great run at one point last season before it slipped away a little bit. “But it’s no surprise to me they’re on a solid run as we speak.” Evans is hoping he will only be without midfielder Joel Byrom (foot injury) on Saturday. “Joel is out and we’ll miss him, but hopefully everybody else is in contention and fighting for a place,” he said. “There are always one or two knocks. We have one or two again this week, but like before Lincoln we will keep these within the camp.”
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-look-to-end-miserable-home-run-against-cambridge-united-1-8767224
Patient Evans remaining positive despite ‘frustrating’ start
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Steve Evans is happy to play the waiting game as League Two takes shape this season. With eight games gone Stags sit fifth, nine points adrift of leaders Exeter. Evans said: “You would rather be where Exeter are and have the points, but I think it all balances out when you get halfway through the season and everyone has played each other. “At the minutes we can all look at teams and wonder if they have played the strongest teams in the league? Possibly not. “I did say in the summer - and one or two people ridiculed me - that Exeter’s recruitment was special. “What I meant was they’d kept that squad of players, all bar one or two they sold for big money, and it was a squad that, if they’d started the season properly, would have been automatically promoted to League One. “I have been impressed with the work down there. “But I’ve been impressed with a lot of the sides. This is a league that people have invested in.” He added: “We were down at Lincoln last week and, despite what people want to say, they’ve spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on players. “We look at Luton, we look at the recruitment Mark Robins has done at Coventry - it is probably the best League Two in a little while.” However, Evans is more than happy with his own squad. “They are a fantastic group of players,” he smiled. “They are young men that if they came back with your daughter, most of them you’d welcome and give them a cup of tea. “They are good lads - though one or two you’d hunt round the corner for sure! “There is a good atmosphere in the dressing room and the senior players, like I requested, keep it on an even keel as there will be good days and bad days. “We have to stay positive all the time and have a plan that we are working to. “We are still frustrated by our start to the season. We won at Lincoln - but I’d expect to win at Lincoln. I think those frustrations will be there until January.”
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/patient-evans-remaining-positive-despite-frustrating-start-1-8767137
Mansfield boss Steve Evans reveals why members of his family will be supporting the U's
Steve Evans was full of praise for Cambridge United ahead of their match in Sky Bet League Two this weekend.
The Mansfield Town boss and his side will welcome the U’s to the One Call Stadium with both teams on 13 points in the league, with Mansfield just piping the U’s into sixth on goal-difference alone.
The Stags beat Lincoln City 1-0 in the early kick-off last weekend allowing Evans to catch the second-half of Cambridge United’s fixture against Coventry City and he admitted he was impressed with what he saw.
“When you talk about hard-working team, we’ve got one coming here on Saturday,” Evans said.
“I watched the second-half of their game with Coventry on Saturday. Coventry had a lot of the ball but what really shone out like a beacon light in a dark ocean for me was how hard Cambridge worked and how organised the were.
“As a team they were superb and that comes from the training ground and the manager.”
He added: “Shaun Derry is the man in charge. He went in there when they were struggling and they had a great run at one point last season before it slipped away a little bit
“But it’s no surprise to me they’re on a solid run as we speak.”
And Evans - who lives in Peterborough - revealed that his is full of admiration for those at boardroom level at the club, particularly chief executive Jez George, and that family on his wife’s side follow the U’s home and away.
“They are good side with good players all over the pitch - a good squad and good people behind the scenes,” he said.
“I’ve known Jez George for a lot of years and he doesn’t get enough credit for saving that football club.
“Although I’m from their local rivals - I live in the city of Peterborough - but I have a lot of family related on the wife’s side who will be travelling here as Cambridge United supporters on Saturday.
“They watch them home and away.”
Good home form vital for success - Digby
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 21 September 2017
After an unbeaten start in their first four Sky Bet League Two home matches, midfielder Paul Digby wants Stags to make One Call Stadium a fortress this season.
Home victories against Forest Green Rovers and Grimsby Town in addition to draws with Luton Town and Wycombe Wanderers have helped propel Stags to fifth in the table in the early stages of the 2017/18 campaign.
And Digby, 22, believes good home form is essential if any team wants to achieve success over the course of a season.
"I think if you're looking to move up the table and to be near the top at the end of the season, your home form's vital. We need to try and make it (One Call Stadium) a fortress," Digby said.
"We just need to keep fighting and all the teams that come here who are around us, we just need to take their points off them and keep moving up the table.
"It's really good to be high up the table and in the play-offs and now we're there, we just want to stay there."
The former Ipswich Town man is determined to give his all every time he plays and is focussed on racking up as many points as possible.
"We want to win and if we can't win, we want to at least get that point and keep racking up those points because those draws, they can come in handy at the end of the season.
"We want to keep racking up the points but Saturday's gone now and we just need to get ready and keep looking forward.
"I just take it day-by-day. I've got training today and I'll give 100 percent in training today and then tomorrow comes and I'll give 100 percent in training then and if I play on Saturday, I'll give 100 percent then. It's just my mentality."
The Barnsley-born midfielder made his return to the side in last Saturday's win over Lincoln and he believes all of the Stags' players are working hard to be selected in the starting XI.
"I was just delighted to be back in the team and back with the boys. I was just really happy to be playing again.
"We've got a great squad, full of great players and we're all hungry to wear the shirt on a Saturday or Tuesday night. I'm just grateful that I was back in the team and I could help the team out.
"As a new team with a lot of new players coming in, it's going to take time to gel and to understand how each other play. I think we're gelling really well and we can only improve."
Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view Paul Digby's news conference.
Shaun Derry won’t be drawn into clashes with Steve Evans when Cambridge visit Mansfield
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Cambridge United boss Shaun Derry won’t be drawn into any clashes with the vastly experienced Steve Evans when his side visit the One Call Stadium on Saturday.
Evans is a past master at upsetting and unsettling opposition benches.
But Derry smiled: “He’s a wily character, he really is. Steve has been around the game for a lot of years at different levels and he knows how to influence and that’s part of his management skills and I’m absolutely happy with that.
“I’ve got no bad words to say about that but for me I just concentrate on me, concentrate on my game plan and concentrate on the game and I try not to get involved on anything that happens on the sidelines.”
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/shaun-derry-won-t-be-drawn-into-clashes-with-steve-evans-when-cambridge-visit-mansfield-1-8767080
Derry is impressed with the squad Evans has built. “Steve’s recruited strongly over the summer,” he said.
“He’s had a budget up there that allows him to get the best, not just of League Two players but he’s recruited at a higher level as well.
“Mansfield have been very well documented that they’ve got new money that’s come into the group and they’ve spent it with Steve at the helm.
“They’re on a good run of form themselves at this moment in time, sharing points with us and I think with a manager like Steve, with a record like he’s got, you’re always going to be in a game against them.
“When they came down to our stadium last year it was a difficult afternoon for us and we ended up losing the game.
“We know what to expect, we know when it comes up against a Steve Evans team it will be a real battle and I think we’re prepared for that.
“I think anyone who talks about us would say the same and I think it’s going to be a tight game this weekend.”
He added: “I think Steve’s referenced us in his presser this week to say we’re a good team and I think we are ourselves. But I think Mansfield are a good team as well.
“They’re one of the favourites to get promoted and if we’re going to keep this run going we’re going to have to keep on top of our game on Saturday.
“We have to be at our very best. I thought we were up against a really good Coventry team on Saturday and that should give us a lot of confidence going into this weekend.
“Recognising that we can beat one of the top teams in League Two, can we take it away from home and make a show of it this weekend?”
Latest | September 2017