Gaffer has options at his disposal for Coventry test
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 09 November 2017
Stags' boss Steve Evans says some players have 'put themselves in the frame' for a start against Coventry City on Saturday after impressing in the reserves' 5-0 win over York City earlier this week.
A strong Stags' side defeated the Minstermen 5-0 thanks to a goal from Hayden White and a brace apiece from midfielder Calum Butcher and striker Jimmy Spencer.
The Central League fixture provided 10 first team players with 90 minutes of competitive action, whilst midfielder Jack Thomas completed all-but the final eight minutes of the encounter.
And impressive individual performances at Bootham Crescent have provided the gaffer with a number of options as Stags return to Sky Bet League Two action after a two-week break on Saturday.
"We pride ourselves in saying that performances put you in the team. You don't get in my team by coming in my office and talking and having a cup of coffee," the Stags' chief said.
"That's nice and it's always part of the job but it never puts you in the team. We say train properly, play properly, prove your point on the playing surface and that gives you a chance.
"I think there's every chance we see one or two of them, maybe more [from Tuesday]. I think the opportunity to go and play and stake a claim is always what we strive for here.
"We strive to have many options available to us so when we sit down this afternoon, myself and Paul [Raynor], and have a real open dialogue about picking the team for Saturday, some of those lads have put themselves in the frame.
"We'll pick it as best we can to do a good job against what is an outstanding Coventry side."
Stags are now six games unbeaten in all competitions but the gaffer recognises that his side need to turn some draws into wins to break into the top group in Sky Bet League Two.
"We're in good form; we're six unbeaten. If we're 16 unbeaten, we'll be in the shake-up at the top end. We understand in that 16 unbeaten there needs to be some wins.
"It's a big test for us on Saturday at Coventry. This is a side that will be there at the end of it and we have to make sure that we're ready to face a real stern challenge.
"I think you have to take every game in isolation. If you got to the Ricoh and you draw, it's a good result, whatever way you look at it. Is it a result you come away really pleased with? No, because we need to win some football matches."
The former Leeds United manager will be without striker Lee Angol, who is out with a knee injury, for Saturday's trip to Warwickshrie, whilst defender David Mirfin has suffered a small set-back in his recuperation from a hamstring strain.
"Mirf's had a little setback, so he won't be there. He's probably a week away now from being a day or two away.
"When they go to that final explosive pace on two or three consecutive days, that's when [you find out] if there's any little niggles in there. We rescanned David yesterday; it's just not quite completely cleared up. I think the medical staff said he's about another seven days away from being back in the group.
"We can live with that, because it is what it is. Lee Angol won't be there on Saturday."
Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's full news conference later today.
SATURDAY PREVIEW | Coventry City v Mansfield Town
10th November 2017
Mansfield Town return to Sky Bet League Two action after a fortnight of cup exploits with their first ever trip to the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.
It will be the first time the Stags have faced Coventry City in over forty years after the West Midlands side were relegated into the fourth tier of English football in May.
The Sky Blues, now managed by Mark Robins, took a while to acclimatise to their new surroundings but five wins out of seven games in September saw them storm up the table before a disappointing October that saw them pick up just five points from the fifteen on offer has left them sixth.
Mansfield, meanwhile, go into the match on a six-game unbeaten run in all competitions including victories in the Checkatrade Trophy and the Emirates FA Cup but their last three league games have all ended 1-1.
That has seen the Stags slip to fourteenth, five points off the play-off zone and nine away from the top three.
Centre-back David Mirfin will miss the game for Steve Evans' side after a setback in his return following a hamstring problem whilst striker Lee Angol is also unavailable due to injury.
The Mansfield manager will also be without defender Krystian Pearce and midfielder Jacob Mellis as they have one match suspensions for picking up their fifth yellow cards of the season in last Saturday's FA Cup win at Shaw Lane.
Coventry will be without Duckens Nazon as the on-loan striker from Wolverhampton Wanderers is away on international duty whilst midfielder Tony Andreu has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury.
Saturday's game will be the ninth meeting between the two sides with the last taking place at Field Mill in October 1975 when the Stags beat Coventry, who were then a First Division team, 2-0 in a League Cup Third Round tie on a memorable night with goals from Ray Clarke and Terry Eccles.
Mansfield also won their last league encounter, a 3-2 home victory in Division Three in February 1964, but Coventry narrowly hold the advantage overall with the Stags winning three, drawing one and losing four games.
Danny Rose: Mansfield boss Steve Evans says striker rumours are 'nonsense'
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans says rumours that leading scorer Danny Rose is set to leave are "utter nonsense".
Rose, 23, scored twice - including an eye-catching scissors kick - as the Stags beat non-league Shaw Lane 3-1 in last week's FA Cup first-round tie.
He now has 10 goals in 17 games this season, but Evans denied that Coventry and Notts County are showing interest.
"I hear and read utter nonsense about clubs in League Two trying to take him," Evans told BBC Radio Nottingham.
"But it is just nonsense."
Rose joined Mansfield from Bury in July 2016 and has scored 20 goals in a total of 59 appearances, 21 of which have come as a substitute.
Stags need to get back to winning ways at Coventry admits boss
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 09 November 2017
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans said a draw away to Coventry City would be a good point this weekend, but after five League Two games without a win, he admitted the Stags were in need of a victory. Stags go into the game six games unbeaten, with three cup wins and three League Two draws.
“You have to take every game in isolation and if you go to the Ricoh and draw, it’s a good result whatever way you look at it,” he said.
Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/stags-need-to-get-back-to-winning-ways-at-coventry-admits-boss-1-8849503
“Is it the result that we’d coming away really pleased with? No, because we need to win some football matches.
“We are in good form, six unbeaten. It is a big test as this is a side that will be up there at the end of it.
“I watched Coventry first hand on Sunday and they were very comfortable in that 2-0 victory. It could have been a lot more.
“It’s a beautiful stadium and they are good people. I know Mark Robins (manager) very well and he’s done an excellent job. He took two or three players away from us back in the summer which shows you what they are about.
“It will be a tough afternoon but we’re looking forward to it. It’s a wonderful place to go and play.”
Problems behind the scenes and a spell playing at Northampton Town have seen City slide down to League Two and Evans said: “On Sunday their supporters were still singing about what’s going on behind the scenes and up above them. It’s a real shame.
“I was there first game when they came to the Ricoh from exile in Northampton and I think the crowd was around 28,000 - what an atmosphere. The stadium foundations were bouncing and that’s the capability that football club has.
“But you are where you are for a reason and you have to deal with it. To be fair, by putting Mark, it’s given them some real stability and their recruitment has been outstanding.
“Like Blackpool, it’s a big football club where some people are not happy. Ultimately there will still be a five-figure crowd there and we will be well supported. So there will be a good atmosphere for the lads to play in.
“I am not so sure the surface looks at its best, but it’s easy to judge that from high above and not be on it. We have to go there and deal with it.”
What pleased Evans more than anything from his scouting mission on Sunday was seeing City assistant boss Steve Taylor fit and back at work after ill health.
“For me, the most touching thing on Sunday was seeing their assistant manager Steve Taylor back in football,” he said.
“I’ve read since it’s the first time since he had a bleed on the brain. “Our thoughts and best wishes are with Steve going forwards. He is a good guy. He and Mark are a good team and it’s nice to see him back.”
Stags sold out of their initial 760 advance ticket allocation and by this morning had sold 1,060 with another 400 ordered. Fans can also pay on the day at £3 extra, so Mansfield expect a following of around 1,500.
Mansfield boss Steve Evans reveals Coventry City transfer tussle ahead of Ricoh showdown
By Andy Turner, 10 NOV 2017
Coventry City will be fielding a number of players who shunned Mansfield Town in the summer in favour of the Sky Blues when the two sides go head to head this weekend.
Stags’ boss Steve Evans have revealed that his opposite number in the dugout, Mark Robins, beat him to the signatures of ‘two or three’ during their respective recruitment drives, insisting the City manager did some ‘outstanding’ business in the transfer window.
“I know Mark Robins very well and he’s done an excellent job,” said Evans, whose 14th placed side make the short trip to the Ricoh Arena tomorrow, looking for their first League Two win in six games.
“He took two or three players away from us back in the summer which shows you what they are about. It will be nice to catch up with them again.”
Marc McNulty was one player who was linked with the Nottinghamshire club, while the likes Rod McDonald, Michael Doyle and Jack Grimmer will have attracted interested from other clubs.
“To be fair, by putting in Mark, it’s given them some real stability and their recruitment has been outstanding.”
Evans ponders changes after reserves’ five star show
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 09 November 2017
A five star showing from Mansfield Town’s reserves at York City in midweek has put several players in boss Steve Evans’ thoughts for Saturday’s trip to Coventry City. Braces from Jimmy Spencer and Calum Butcher plus a goal from Hayden White sealed the 5-0 success. The first team successfully negotiated their tricky FA Cup tie at minnows Shaw Lane last weekend, but Evans was not completely happy with the overall performance and admitted he may tweak his side for the Stags’ first ever trip to the Ricoh Area on Saturday.
“I have watched back some of the footage from York and there were some really good performances,” said Evans. “Jimmy scored a couple, Calum got a couple, Will Atkinson was terrific, Paul Digby was, Rhys Bennett was, Bobby Olejnik was - there were a lot of plusses.
Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/evans-ponders-changes-after-reserves-five-star-show-1-8849487
“Also Hayden was back to more like the Hayden White we know and love and we have some really good options for the weekend.”
Evans added: “We pride ourselves on saying performances push you in the team. You don’t get in my team by coming in my office and having a cup of coffee.
“The lads were very professional against a young York side and it could have been double the score. “I think there is every chance we’ll see one or two of them - maybe more - on Saturday.
“Some of those lads have put themselves in the frame and we’ll pick the best we can to do a good job against what is an outstanding Coventry side.
“I have an idea of my starting XI but I’ve never been an autocrat here, I am democratic. I take other people’s thoughts into consideration before I pick the team.
“Sometimes when you’re looking for answers, they come from other people.”
Setback for Stags defender Mirfin
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 09 November 2017
Mansfield Town defender David Mirfin has been ruled out of Saturday’s trip to Coventry City after fresh problems with his hamstring. Mirfin has been recovering well and, after being left our of the midweek reserves game at York, was expected to link back up with the first team today.
However, manager Steve Evans said: “Mirf has had a little setback so he won’t be there on Saturday.
Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/setback-for-stags-defender-mirfin-1-8849295
“He is probably a week away now. When you have a hamstring and you step it up to that final explosive pace on two or three consecutive days, that’s when, if there are any little niggles in there, they show up.
“We rescanned David yesterday and it’s just not completely cleared up. We can live with that. It is what it is.”
Stags are also without striker Lee Angol (knee injury) and he is also expected to be another week.
Evans laughs off exit talk
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans laughed off the latest speculation over him moving to other clubs. On Wednesday his name was linked with Dundee United and he admitted: “There was Bury as well this week. “I have not been in Dundee in 20 years. They are a good club. “I just have to deal with that constant speculation. The only one who has to deal with it more than me is my chairman. “I think we know enough of each other to say we just have to deal with it, move on, and keep the focus. “The chairman has been looking at reports like that since the day I walked in - and I’m still here!” Evans has been linked with moves to Swindon, Qatar and Gillingham since joining Stags less than a year ago.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-laughs-off-exit-talk-1-8850388
Stags set alarm for Checkatrade Trophy draw
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town will learn their Checkatrade Trophy round two opponents when the draw is made at 6.30pm tonight (Friday). Having finished runners-up in their round one group, the Stags are set to be away to one of the group-winning quartet of Fleetwood, Blackpool, Rochdale, or Port Vale, the game being played in the week commencing 4th December. Stags qualified on Tuesday night without kicking a ball as Lincoln’s win over Notts County ensured the Magpies could not over take Mansfield. “Paul Raynor phoned and woke me up to say we were through,” smiled manager Steve Evans. “I was in bed at the time. But we didn’t hide the fact we’d rather be through than not through. “It’s going to be an away tie against one of three or four group winners - whoever they are we’ll respect them. “We will still make loads of changes and we’ll still go there and try to progress, though it’s still not a priority until 7.45 that night when we play. “The nice thing for us is that when we make 10 or 11 changes we’ve still got some good players. “We did think when we beat Everton that it would be enough to go through and we did that. “We’ve had a big week in terms of cup ties. People were talking about how we were going to go out of the Checkatrade Trophy and we were going to go out the FA Cup and be a shock, but the players answered that.”
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-set-alarm-for-checkatrade-trophy-draw-1-8850521
Bustling winger starting to find top gear
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 09 November 2017
Stags' winger Alex MacDonald believes he is beginning to near his 'top stride' after a run of six consecutive starts in Sky Bet League Two.
The 26-year-old joined the Stags in the 2017 January transfer window and has become a fans' favourite with his whole-hearted performances on the flanks.
And after missing the beginning of the 2017/18 season with a knee injury, the former Oxford United man believes he is now beginning to display some of his best performances in a Stags' shirt.
"It took a while to get my fitness back but I feel like I'm there now," the Warrington-born winger said.
"I think I've played 90 minutes in the last few games so I'm starting to feel sharp and I'm just missing a few little bits and pieces of my game. I'm getting there near my top stride now.
"It's been a bit stop-start. I was finding my feet a little bit at the back end of last year and if anything I didn't want the season to end when it did.
"It did come to an end and I came back for pre-season and I felt sharp, I felt fit, I came back in and then unfortunately I took a knock on my knee which needed a minor operation.
"That was another couple of weeks out and then you have to try and get your fitness back but all that's behind me now. We've still got a lot to play for this year and I'm certainly excited for the rest of the season."
MacDonald insists that, collectively, Stags' performances have improved over the last few weeks and he believes the only thing missing is attaining three points on a regular basis.
"Certainly over the last couple of weeks, our performances have really improved and we've been really happy with our performances.
"There's just one thing that's been missing and that's coming away with three points.
"There's one thing that you can never get sick of and that's winning. You look at recent results; advancing in the Checkatrade and advancing in the FA Cup, you breed that winning mentality and that's something that we really want to get going here.
"There's nothing wrong with winning football matches, no matter where it is."
Stags play just one midweek match in November after a busy October and bustling winger MacDonald is looking forward to the schedule allowing Stags the opportunity to spend more time on the training ground.
"It's an important part of the season. We've had a lot of Tuesday games. It gives us time to get on the training ground and really work together and set-up plans for different teams and Saturday is no different.
"We're looking forward to getting out on the training ground [today] and really looking at Coventry and where we can hurt them."
Supporters will be able to view Alex MacDonald's news conference on iFollow Stags later today.
MacDonald back firing on all cylinders for the Stags
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 09 November 2017
Mansfield Town winger Alex MacDonald believes he is now almost firing on all cylinders after a frustrating start to the season. Ahead of the tough trip to Coventry City on Saturday, fans’ favourite MacDonald said his early season fitness woes were now behind him and, while always giving everything when selected, he believes he is getting sharper by the game. “One thing I’ve always tried to implement in my game is give everything, no matter how I am with the ball or without the ball,” he said. “It’s something I pride myself on - making sure I give 110 per cent every game. READ STEVE EVANS’ THOUGHTS ON THE COVENTRY TRIP READ OUR BIG MATCH PREVIEW “It took a while to get my fitness back but I think I am there now. “I’ve played 90 minutes for the last few games and I am starting to feel sharp. I am just missing a few littler bits and pieces in my game, but I’m getting there.” He added: “It’s been a bit stop-start. I was finding my feet at the back end of last year and, if anything, I just didn’t want the season to end. “I came back pre-season and felt sharp and felt fit, then unfortunately I took a knock on my knee that needed a minor operation. Then you have to get your fitness back. “All that is behind me now and we still have a lot to play for this year. I am certainly excited for the rest of the season.” MacDonald said it was time to grab a first League Two win in six outings on Saturday, admitting: “It’s been frustrating. “We are getting ourselves into leads and not hanging onto them and we are as frustrated as anyone. We are really happy with our performances, which have been improving. The only thing missing is coming away with three points.” However, Stags have won three cup games recently and MacDonald said the cups were far from a distraction. “There is one thing you can never get sick of and that is winning,” he said. “You look at recent results - advancing in the Checkatrade and advancing in the FA Cup - you breed that winning mentality which is something we really want to get going here. There’s nothing wrong with winning football matches no matter where it is.” But, having played away at Coventry for Oxford United, MacDonald knows first hand how tough Stags’ first ever trip to the Ricoh Arena will be on Saturday. “It’s a lovely stadium. It’s a really enclosed ground and the pitch is always magnificent,” he said. “We’re facing a tough Coventry team who are certainly on the up at the minute. “They have a good squad like ourselves and hopefully we are going to go and implement ourselves on them and look to come away with something. I think it’s going to be a good game.” MacDonald was full of praise for man of the moment Danny Rose, whose spectacular brace took him to 10 goals for the season last weekend. He was also quick to remind Rose whose cross set up the BBC Goal of the Round for him! MacDonald smiled: “Rosey forgets sometimes who puts them on a plate for him! “It went into a good area for him and all credit to him, it’s a magnificent finish. It deserved goal of the round and he deserves all he gets. “It’s great for him. He is one of those guys you really want to do well because of how hard he works, and away from football he’s a lovely lad as well. “He deserves all the praise he’s getting for how he plays - he leaves everything on the pitch.”
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/macdonald-back-firing-on-all-cylinders-for-the-stags-1-8849702
Mark Robins discusses Coventry City's interest in Mansfield striker Danny Rose
coventrytelegraph.net, By Shane Ireland, 10 NOV 2017
Mark Robins has dismissed speculation linking Mansfield Town's Danny Rose with Coventry City as 'pub talk'.
The Sky Blues were said to be interested in signing the Stags' in-form striker ahead of the League Two meeting between the clubs at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.
Rose, 23, has scored ten goals in his 17 games so far this and is attracting attention from several sides.
But City boss Robins isn't convinced by the rumours.
"They have some good players," he said. "Danny Rose is one, but it is amazing where these rumours come from.
"I think it just comes from some talk down the pub after a few people have had too many."
"Mansfield are one of the fancied teams this season, and remain that," said Robins.
"They are midtable, but the league is like that. Everybody is fairly close in terms of points that they have picked up right down to 15th place.
"They have some good players without a doubt and he [Evans] has some missing for tomorrow but his squad is big enough for them to rotate and deal with."
The Sky Blues saw off West Bromwich Albion's under-21s in the Checkatrade Trophy midweek, although they didn't progress through to the next round of the competition because of Walsall’s win at table leaders Shrewsbury.
The Baggies' side included £15million summer signing Oliver Burke.
Robins is now eager to get back to league action.
"Tuesday was just about carrying on the winning sequence," said Robins.
"We managed to give a lot of the young lads game time, who needed and deserved the game time.
"Also, some players who did not play Saturday because we had to meet criteria.
"It was a win against some players who were Premier League opposition.
"We played some really good stuff at times and defensively we were strong again.
"We spoke about Oliver Burke. He has been worth £28m so far in his career and he is only a youngster himself, so they have played against some good players and came out on top."