NOTTS COUNTY CHECKATRADE TROPHY PREVIEWS
Stags to ring changes for Trophy tie
mansfieldtown.net, Monday 23 October 2017
Stags' boss Steve Evans says he will make 'significant changes' for tomorrow's Checkatrade Trophy Group G tie against Notts County and will challenge the players involve to stake their claim for a place in the starting line-up against Exeter City on Saturday.
Stags face the Magpies at Meadow Lane tomorrow (Tuesday 24 October, 7.45pm kick-off) in the second of three Checkatrade Trophy group stage matches.
We were defeated 3-1 by Lincoln City in our opening match as the gaffer used the tie to rotate his squad ahead of a busy September period.
And the boss will again use the competition - which the club won in 1987 when it was known as the Freight Rover Trophy - to make changes to his side and provide players with an opportunity to win a shirt for Saturday's Sky Bet Legaue Two clash with the Grecians.
"We want to go there and represent our football club with some pride, but at the same time, I'm just honest with our supporters," the Stags' chief said.
"I watch managers around this Checkatrade [Trophy] and they blag it that they're going to be at full strength and then make nine changes, and suchlike. We will make significant changes tomorrow night.
"We'll go there and people will see how committed we are, as we always are as a management team, from the first ball to the last ball.
"By the same token, we've got four games in the space of 14 days now; Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday-Tuesday, and they're big games. The Exeter and Shaw Lane games are big games.
"We're going to give players an opportunity to step up and be in the team on Saturday. Go and be a real top performer against Notts County and you'll probably start against Exeter.
"We've got three or four that are desperate to play, that want to get in the starting line-up on a regular basis and they've got a fantastic platform at Notts County tomorrow night.
"It's more important to have a freshness about our team against Exeter than [getting] anything against Notts County."
Midfielder Joel Byrom, who has been missing with a foot injury since the 0-0 draw at home to Wycombe Wanderers last month, will participate in full training today and could be included in tomorrow's squad.
The manager said: "Joel will be in full training today, we hope, unless he's fallen off another kerb on the way down here!
"Joel's had three or four days with the medical department on the grass doing harder work than we would do at this stage of the season last week, and if he comes through a session today, maybe there'll be a place in the 18 for him.
"I don't sit here with a plan of playing Joel Byrom, but we'll see how he looks today. It might be an opportunity to get him just a few minutes as he works his way back to being in the team."
Centre-half David Mirfin, however, will be sidelined for tomorrow's match with a hamstring injury picked up in last week's draw with Barnet, however the gaffer hopes to have the former Scunthorpe United man available for Saturday's visit of the Grecians.
"David had a minute hamstring strain, so he'll certainly not be there tomorrow night. I expect him to be in front of his fire with his kids watching the television.
"We would think that David might have a chance for Exeter. If he's not right for Exeter, chances are we'll leave him beyond Shaw Lane, but hopefully he'll be out there against Exeter."
Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's full news conference later today.
Stags to make wholesale changes for Notts County Checkatrade tie
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 23 October 2017
Mansfield Town will make wholesale changes for tomorrow’s Checkatrade Trophy group game at neighbours Notts County with boss Steve Evans stressing the competition is not a priority. But Evans said he would be picking a side that can win the game which will give fringe players a great chance to stake a claim for Saturday’s visit of Exeter City.
Stags are currently in the midst of a strength-sapping six games in 18 days.
“It is our next game and there will be first team players involved,” said Evans. “We want to go there and represent our football club with some pride.
“But, as the same time, I want to be honest with supporters. “We will make significant changes to the team tomorrow.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-to-make-wholesale-changes-for-notts-county-checkatrade-tie-1-8819589
“I have no interest in what Kevin Nolan does. They’re doing very well and having a good season. But we’ll just look after ourselves.”
After four games without victory, Evans would love to get back to winning ways at Meadow Lane, but admitted: “It’s more important I have a freshness about our team against Exeter.
“Don’t get me wrong. We want to do well in that game and every player who plays in it has an opportunity to be in the team against Exeter.
“We want to win the game but we’d rather win the right games. “But we’ll go there and people will say how committed we are as we always are as a management team from the first ball to the last. “By the same token we have four games in the space of 14 days and Exeter and Shaw Lane are the big games. “The injuries we have been carrying make the Checkatrade Trophy games even less relevant. We need to look after what is important to us. “The Checkatrade is important as it’s our next game and we have to go there and do our best, but I will be making changes and our supporters will determine whether they go or not.” Evans said some managers at other clubs had sent out mixed messages to their fans about how strong their teams would be. He said: “I have watched other managers in the Checkatrade blag it and say they’re going to be at full strength then there are nine changes! “We made 10 changes against Lincoln. So why would I say against Lincoln that it’s not a priority tournament and then suddenly go to Notts County and make it a priority?” Evans said the game was the perfect platform for his fringe players. “Go and be real top performer against Notts County and you’ll probably start against Exeter,” he said. “That’s how we work. We’re not a management team that has favourites. We pick the lads that deserve to play. “We have three or four that are desperate to play, they want to get in the starting line-up on a regular basis and they are going to get a wonderful platform at Notts County tomorrow night.” Evans is not a big fan of the competition’s rules, despite them having been relaxed a little on which players League clubs can field this season. “Managers have different views when you talk about the fairness of the competition,” he said. “But we could have an U23 team turn up that is a proper U23 team from the Premier League who could give you enormous problems. They could have too much quality for you. “At the same time if the U23s are not selected and the manager wants to see some 17 and 18-year-olds blooded against a League club they could turn up with U18s. “There’s nothing to stop them turning up with U18s one week and U21s the next - there’s nothing to stop them doing that whereas we have. “Thankfully the rules have been relaxed a little bit so we can involve everyone who’s been around the first team.”
Stags ‘very, very close’ to hitting top gear again Mansfield Town manager
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 23 October 2017
Steve Evans knows if his side had seen off Swindon Town in their last home game, the two subsequent away draws would have looked far better results. But he believes the Stags are ‘very, very close’ to hitting top gear again.
Mansfield were held again on Saturday in a 1-1 draw at sixth-placed Newport County and boss Steve Evans said: “If we had dealt with the Saturday fixture here and you get a point on the road from Barnet and another at Newport, you’d be saying it’s been a really good week.
“We only ended up with two points from the six we said we’d wanted to keep up a two point average.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-very-very-close-to-hitting-top-gear-again-1-8819737
“Winning brings momentum and confidence. If we’d done better on the Saturday we’d have gone to Barnet and Newport with more confidence. “But we have a terrific group. They proved their point to me at Barnet and again at Newport with how hard they worked. It’s a dressing room that knows we’re not on top of our game but it’s a dressing room that knows we are very, very close.” Evans admitted he would have taken a point before the game against a Newport side who have started the season well. “You would have taken a draw before kick-off,” he said. “But when you go 1-0 in front and having the best spell of the match, hitting the post and one or two other good breaks, you sometimes come away reflective of being disappointed. “But on the balance of the whole game no one would dispute a draw was fair. “Credit to the Newport supporters, I thought they were brilliant. I got plenty of stick and they were willing their side on. “I thought they were the most direct team I’ve seen for a long time. They have come upon a formula to win football matches. It works for them and credit to them.” Stags remain in touch with the pack in 13th, just four points off the play-offs. “It’s all very tight,” said Evans. “You only had to look at Saturday’s results to realise how tight this league is. “Bottom can beat top and top can destroy anyone. It’s a really tough league. “We don’t look at positions, we look at points differentials and we are still very much in the mix.”
Notts County manager Kevin Nolan not taking Checkatrade Trophy for granted as he targets win over the old enemy
nottinghampost.com, Leigh Curtis, 23 OCT 2017
Notts County manager Kevin Nolan (left) will be hoping to seal passage into the next round of the Checkatrade Trophy.
With their heads bowed, and looking as though they carried the weight of the world on their shoulders, the images of derby day for Notts County remain fresh in the memory.
It is less than month since the black and white juggernaut was grounded to a halt by a Mansfield team who undoubtedly took great joy in inflicting considerable pain on their old enemy.
But in this game you don’t have to wait long for a chance of some redemption and on Tuesday night the pair lock horns once more in the much-maligned Checkatrade Trophy.
While victory will not only severely damage Mansfield’s hopes of progress in the competition, it will also help restore some of the pride lost so disappointingly at the One Call Stadium.
There is also an unbeaten home record to protect so you could understand why the manager Kevin Nolan is treating this fixture with the utmost respect.
“We want to win the game and get through to the next round,” said Nolan, whose side are second in the group table behind leaders Lincoln on goal difference.
“We want to have a good run and keep the momentum going. We are at home and we have that mentality in which we feel we can beat anyone.
“And we should have that feeling, but it’s going to be a tough game because it’s a derby and they will throw everything at us.
“They will raise their game as they did last month when we were top of the league so my lads should not be expecting anything less.
“But since they have beaten us they haven’t won since and there’s no better way to take the pressure off by winning a derby.
“It’s a chance for them to get back to winning ways and I am sure Steve Evans will be looking at that.
“We want to use our proud home record to our advantage. Every win means something and hopefully it can start a bit of momentum.”
Had this fixture been played in the league, it would have attracted a five-figure crowd, but such is the continued indifference shown to this competition by the fans, a gate of around 2,000 is expected.
Both teams are also expected to make changes although in accordance with the competition’s rules, four of the players starting the game must come from the first team.
With Notts’ boasting an extremely strong squad, whatever side Nolan puts out is going to be blessed with a fair degree of experience in it.
And he says it is a chance for those players to show why they should be pushing for a place in his starting 11 when league duties resume at home to Newport on Saturday.
“It’s a great game for the players who haven’t had the exposure of minutes they perhaps would have wanted,” said the former Newcastle and West Ham midfielder.
“It’s a chance for them to show me that they are ready and waiting so if we do get an injury, they are raring to go.
“We have a squad capable of handling the cup competitions as well as the league.
“So there’s no pressure on the players because they are part of this squad for a reason.
“They are pushing the 11 to new heights and maximum levels, but what they’ve got to do is now prove why we either retained them or signed them.
“They’ve got to enjoy it because it’s in a good competition, a great pitch, a great stadium and a great dressing room.
“Enjoy that fact, take the bull by the horns and express yourself.”
Latest | October 2017