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EVANS, MACDONALD, MARK ROBINS REACTION
16th November 2017 12:21




Gaffer thanks travelling fans after magnificent Coventry victory
mansfieldtown.net, 11 Nov 2017

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans dubbed the travelling Stags' faithful of 1,565 fans as 'tremendous' following their unequivocal support in our superb 1-0 win over Coventry City this afternoon.

Winger Alex MacDonald hit a 30-yard winner six minutes from time at the Ricoh Arena as Stags deservedly emerged as winners from an entertaining contest.

A season-high away following of 1,565 Stags' fans made the trip to Warwickshire and the gaffer was incredibly impressed by their fervent support.

"I didn't wait for him [the referee] at the end of the game, I went to the supporters because if that was the best away performance - or one of them - for the season so far, and we'll get better, that was by far the best Mansfield Town support I've ever seen," the Stags' chief said.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2017/november/evans-post-coventry/

"They had a really tremendous atmosphere created inside the Ricoh. That was thanks to the Coventry fans in the first ten minutes who set a tempo, and I think the biggest compliment we can give our supporters is after the first 10 or 15 minutes, we don't hear them (the Coventry fans).

"Our fans were tremendous; it's a great win for them and it's a great win for our chairman and the chief executive (John and Carolyn Radford).

"For 1,500 Stags' fans to be in voice like that, it's not very often when you're - I know I look 31 - but when you're 55 and you've had a lot of games as a manager, you don't often get surprised.

"I was surprised by the volume of the support today. Thank you to every man, woman, lass and little lad that was in full voice at the end.

"When we go back there [to the One Call Stadium], the one thing, if they can create that atmosphere today, and there'll be 4,000-5,000 people more, just create that atmosphere. That's the atmosphere that promotion teams get."

Stags had to weather an early Coventry storm at the Ricoh Arena as the home side started the match on the front foot, but the boss believes after the opening 18 minutes, his side dominated the game.

"I think from 17/18 minutes therein, there's one good team on the pitch, which is us.

"We've had some really good performances, but we're playing really well. For us to be in a run of six unbeaten, you know, I know and I think everyone who watches us knows we should win five of those.

"We've let ourselves down because we've not punished teams or we've not defended properly but today we were good in both boxes.

"It's a great strike by Macca (Alex MacDonald); I feel sorry for the goalkeeper because I've just watched it back and the ball moves twice in mid-air.

"The biggest compliment we can give ourselves is do they make a chance? Do they make a real chance in 98 minutes or 99 minutes? I don't think Coventry make a real chance today, unless I look at it back and see that they did. That tells me it's a good performance."

Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's post-match interview later this evening.

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Evans praises huge Stags following for Coventry win
chad.co.uk, Saturday 11 November 2017

Steve Evans was full of praise for Mansfield Town’s noisy army of supporters in today’s 1-0 victory at Coventry City.

A huge following of 1,565 saw their side snatch a late 1-0 win through Alex MacDonald to make it seven games unbeaten and manager Evans said he was genuinely surprised by the number who turned out and the atmosphere they created at the Ricoh Arena.

“If that was our best away performance and win today then that was by far the best Mansfield Town support I’ve ever seen,” he said.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-praises-huge-stags-following-for-coventry-win-1-8852764

"They created a really tremendous atmosphere inside the Ricoh. After the first 15 minutes you couldn’t hear the home fans. “If the fans can create that atmosphere from today at home next weekend, that’s the atmosphere that promotion teams get. “The win today was their reward. I have been saying for weeks they’ve been tremendous. “I’d said how good they were at Shaw Lane last weekend. “When you are 55 as a manager you don’t often get surprised, but I was surprised with the volume of support today and thank you to every one of them who were in full voice at the end to the players.” On the game, he said: “It is a great win. I think we started second best for the first 15 minutes. “But after that there was one good team on the pitch and that was us, We were unfortunate not to be in front. “Some decisions went against us, we felt, and we hit the post. “We were still adventurous and tried to play our football when we got into the last third, and the goal was a wonderful piece of football. “Then we had to see the game out which is never easy against a Coventry City side. “To see the referee not give a penalty to Kane Hemmings near the end was quite distasteful. It really does make you wonder about decisions. “Then the goalkeeper has made a good save from a free kick in the last seconds.” Evans said Stags would not get carried away by what was an important win. “It is still only three points,” he said. “You don’t get any more for beating Coventry than you do any other team in our league. But it’s a tough place to come. “We have had some really good performances and we are playing well. In that run of six unbeaten I think anyone who watches us will know we should have won five of them. “We have let ourselves down as we have not punished teams or defended poorly. But today we were good in both boxes. “A point here would have been a good result. They are a quality side, but we did need to win some games. We won’t get carried away. “It was a great strike from Macca. I felt sorry for their goalkeeper. I have just watched it back and the ball moved twice in mid-air. Thankfully for us it went in. “The biggest compliment I can give us is did they make a chance? I don’t think they made a real chance in the whole 98/99 minutes. That tells me it was a good performance.” Danny Rose had hit a post in the first half as he rode a challenge and Evans said: “At the time we thought it was a penalty. “But Danny tried to stay on his feet and it was a wonderful effort off the inside of the post. It shows the integrity at this club when he told me in the tunnel it wasn’t a penalty.” However, Rose was shown his fifth yellow card of the season during the game and will now be suspended next weekend. Evans said it was simply an opportunity for someone else. “We have got other good strikers,” he said. “We have got good options. We are a good team as we have a good squad. It’s never about one player.

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Wingman pushes praise onto team-mates after impressive win
mansfieldtown.net, 11 Nov 2017

Match-winner Alex MacDonald refused to take any individual plaudits despite scoring the match-winner with a 30-yard thunderbolt, instead praising Mansfield Town's 'team performance' as they magnificently beat Coventry City 1-0 at the Ricoh Arena this afternoon.

The Stags survived a strong start by their hosts to go on and deservedly win the game with MacDonald finding the net from range in the 84th minute with a blistering effort that swerved away from Coventry 'keeper Lee Burge.

Speaking after the game, winger MacDonald down-played his goal and instead moved attention to the team display.

"I think there was a long ball went up and I just got onto the seconds and you know sometimes it just opens up for you and you just hit it. Luckily enough I caught it sweet and it went in the back of the net," said MacDonald.

"But it's not about me, it's not about individuals today. It's a team performance and what a team performance it was to come away with three points from a very, very good team.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2017/november/macdonald-post-coventry/

"It was a hardworking performance. It was a real difficult first half. For the first 10 to 15 minutes I thought it took us a while to get to grips with the game but we got there in the end.

"[In the] second half I thought we were the only team who were going to go on and win the game.

"It was something that we mentioned when we were out on the pitch prior to the game, that they'd only conceded eight goals in 16 games, which is commendable.

"But you know that just shows the strength that they've got. They're a fantastic team and they've got great individual players and like I said before, to put on a performance the way we did and to come away with three points is very pleasing and it just shows where we've come in the last couple of weeks."

The win extends the Stags' unbeaten run to seven games in all competitions and MacDonald claims he feels like he, and his team-mates, are now hitting top form.

"I said in the press prior to the game we're really happy with where we're at in terms of performances.

"We continued that today and I thought especially second half, we looked really, really good at times. To come to a place like this and come away with three points, it's a testament to all of us.

"I think I said that prior to this game, I'm really starting to feel fit, I'm really starting to feel sharper and I said the only thing that's really missing from me is probably more assists and more goals.

"I've been unlucky with a few assists and a few efforts that I should have scored but I was delighted to see it hit the back of the net today.

"But like I said before, I'm not interested in individual accolades. It's about the team and this group, we're really starting to hit top gear now."

MacDonald scored his goal at the end where 1,565 Mansfield fans were located and the Stags' faithful were in tremendous voice all afternoon, something the winger was delighted to reward.

"It was nice to score at the end the Stags' fans were. I think we all wanted to join in the celebrations.

"For them to turn up in their numbers, like they did today, to be as vocal as what they were today, it was great just to reward them with a big three points and the great celebrations at the end there when the goal went in."

Supporters will be able to view Alex MacDonald's post-match interview on iFollow Stags later this evening.

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Mansfield Town matchwinner MacDonald praises teammates and fans
chad.co.uk

Mansfield Town matchwinner Alex MacDonald hammered in the goal that secured his side’s first League Two win in six matches and then insisted the praise for the terrific 1-0 at Coventry City should go to the whole team - and more than 1,500 travelling fans. The winger’s 30-yard strike six minutes from time settled a fine match full of goalmouth incident at both ends as the Stags stretched their unbeaten run in all competitions to seven matches. But he stressed after the match: “It’s not about me. It’s not about individuals. It’s a team performance - and what a team performance it was to come away with three points from a very, very good team. “I’m not interested in individual accolades. It’s about the team and this group, we’re really starting to hit top gear now. “It was a hardworking performance. It was a real difficult first half. For the first 10 to 15 minutes I thought it took us a while to get to grips with the game but we got there in the end. “[In the] second half I thought we were the only team who were going to go on and win the game. “They’re a fantastic team and they’ve got great individual players. To put on a performance the way we did and to come away with three points is very pleasing and it just shows where we’ve come in the last couple of weeks.” “We looked really, really good at times. To come to a place like this and come away with three points, it’s a testament to all of us.” MacDonald admitted he probably needed to contribute more assists and goals to the Stags. “I’ve been unlucky with a few assists and a few efforts that I should have scored but I was delighted to see it (the late winner) hit the back of the net,” he said. MacDonald scored in front of 1,565 vocal Mansfield fans. He said: “It was nice to score at the end the Stags’ fans were. I think we all wanted to join in the celebrations. “For them to turn up in their numbers, like they did today, to be as vocal as what they were today, it was great just to reward them with a big three points and the great celebrations at the end there when the goal went in.”

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town-matchwinner-macdonald-praises-teammates-and-fans-1-8852918

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INTERVIEW: Mark Robins reflects on defeat at the Ricoh
ccfc.co.uk

Mark Robins says that his side "did not deserve" to fall to their third defeat this season at the Ricoh after a 1-0 defeat to Mansfield.

Alex MacDonald's late strike was the difference between the two sides after he managed to beat Lee Burge from long range.

"We had plenty of chances,," said Robins.

https://www.ccfc.co.uk/news/2017/november/interview-mark-robins-reflects-on-defeat-at-the-ricoh/

"Their goalkeeper has made some good saves. We have moved the ball okay but we are not building the pressure enough.

"We need that extra pass. We need to be a little bit more creative and a little bit more careful in the final third. We tossed a few of the balls away when we did not need to.

"Having said that we have creating some really good chances. Some really good chances.

"We dealt with Danny Rose well in the air. He won a couple of headers in the first half but we dealt with him well on the whole.

"They would have been happy with a draw but they are leaving with all three points and that is a massive dissapointment, but we have to take it on the chin and be stronger for it.

"We knew what we were up againt today and we tried to make the most of it. I thought it was a very difficult game for the referee."

Jordan Ponticelli came close on two occassions for Mark Robins' side, twice forcing strong saves from Mansfield 'keeper Conrad Logan either side of the break.

"We have to be more ruthless. We have a very young forward [Ponticelli] in this side so I am not going to be overly critical of our attack.

"It is easy for me to look at his chances afterwards. One, his first touch is taking him across the defender but then he hit it, when if he would have gone across him more then it would have been either a penalty or an open-goal, but he is finding this space in the box which is fantastic."

He added: "I still believe that we are the best side in the division. We just have to work out the best way of finishing moves off. It is a dissappointment because we should be three points better off today."

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'Below the belt' Coventry City's Mark Robins blasts Mansfield Town's Steve Evans
By Andy Turner, 11 NOV 2017

Coventry City boss Mark Robins accused Mansfield Town of ‘below the belt’ behaviour on the pitch and his opposite number Steve Evans of ‘unbelievable’ behaviour off it.

The Sky Blues manager was angry at what he called Stags’ star striker Danny Rose’s ‘diving antics’ as the visitors took all three points at the Ricoh Arena.

Coventry’s own striker, Marc McNulty was denied a penalty while Town made a couple of appeals themselves to no avail.

“It was a real shout for a penalty for us,” said Robins, reflecting on the 1-0 home defeat.

“You look at them and their diving antics and falling all over the place. I thought it was a very difficult one for the referee at times but we knew what was happening. He (Rose) just throws his body in, feels the contact and goes down and then wins a free-kick.

“If you are winning that from the referee then fine, but then he goes down in the box and the referee obviously books him for a dive, so there’s a lot of things that were below the belt in the game but that’s what we’re up against.

http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/sport/football/football-news/below-belt-coventry-citys-mark-13890473

“We knew that and we had to deal with it.”

Asked if Town boss Evans’s histrionics in the technical area bothered him - the visiting manager contesting almost every decision and continually complaining to the fourth official, Robins said: “It doesn’t bother me at all.

“That’s him, he has to live with what he does on the touchline.

“I think some of the things that happened on the touchline were just unbelievable but that’s down to him. It’s down to Steve and what they do on the pitch. It’s not my problem.

“You get ear-ache when you are on the touchline. It’s the first I have seen of it, first time I've come across him.”

Lee Burge was far from impressed by the diving of Rose.

He added: “The ref was right to caution him. He was diving a lot through the game and shouldn’t have been getting away with it for that amount of time.

"It was quite frustrating to watch how many times he easily fell over when people were heading the ball and unfortunately he conned the ref a couple of times. But on that occasion he didn’t.

“You just have to get on with it, play to the whistle and defend the free-kick they put in.”

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'You get ear-ache' The full Mark Robins transcript after Coventry City's defeat to Mansfield Town
coventrytelegraph.net

Coventry City's League Two promotion push stuttered with a 1-0 defeat to Mansfield Town at the Ricoh Arena.

http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/sport/football/football-news/you-ear-ache-full-mark-13890827

Here's what Sky Blues boss Mark Robins had to say:

ON THE RESULT

It was a tough result to take; I didn’t think we deserved that.

We started really well and were really good and I thought that was the case most of the game.

I think we’re the best side in the division but we have just got to work out the best way of finishing moves off. But again, we have got to be ruthless in the final third.

We are creating chances and those goals will come. It’s just disappointing again because we could certainly be three points better off today.

We had plenty of chances and haven’t taken them because either the goalkeeper has made a good save or we’ve not hit the target

The thing for me is we’ve done all right, moved the ball OK but we haven’t built the pressure enough.

We have got to try to have that extra pass, to be that little bit more creative or a bit more careful in the final third because we have tossed a few balls away where we have been in good positions.

Having said that we have created a number of chances, and really good chances and not conceded too many things. We dealt with Danny Rose in the air, eventually, after he won a few in the first half but we dealt with him pretty well in the second half.

But we’ve got an over-riding feeling of disappointment because we have to decide as a group that we have to be more ruthless. We have to be more ruthless.

ON JORDAN PONTICELLI

We have got a youngster in the team so I am not going to be critical, at all, because he is finding space in the box and does that really well.

The second chance is easy for me to look at it and say right, he should have taken another touch.

His first touch takes it across the defender and then he takes it and opens onto his right foot.

But if he’d have taken it across the keeper it’s either a penalty of side foot into an empty net because the keeper has committed himself.

I think the one in the first half as well, where he tried to hook it with his heel and the ball came back to him and he toe pokes it and the goalkeeper makes a decent save, so he’s finding decent space in the box, which is good.

Marc McNulty did well, got himself into decent positions and created the second chance for Ponticelli later in the second half.

ON TRYING TO MAKE THE BREAKTHROUGH

We tried to get Jodi Jones the game in it more in the second half without opening up.

They made a change where they took Anderson off, who was spent, and put another midfield player in because right from the outset they would have been happy with a draw and end up coming away with the three points.

That’s the disappointing point. We have to take it on the chin and make sure we are stronger for it. We have got to be better in the final third.

ON ALEX MACDONALD'S WINNING GOAL

It’s a worldy in their eyes but really disappointed from our point of view.

We had Jodi high up the pitch and were trying to get the ball to him. But when it’s like that you have to try to get back in. He’s not that high, sort of half and half so he can sprint back in.

We had the ball initially, a throw in on the other side, and I had to decide whether or not to send on Jordan Shipley to negate that.

But we were at home and wanted to go on and win the game, so you kick yourself after the game because Shipley would have been in that position to stop the goal.

But it’s swings and roundabouts and I wanted to try to get that win.

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ON MANSFIELD'S METHODS

It was a real shout for a penalty for us.

You look at them and their diving antics and falling all over the place. I thought it was a very difficult one for the referee at times but we knew what was happening. He (Rose) just throws his body in, feels the contact and goes down and then wins a free-kick.

If you are winning that from the referee then fine, but then he goes down in the box and the referee obviously books him for a dive, so there’s a lot of things that were below the belt in the game but that’s what we’re up against.

We knew that and we had to deal with it.

ON STAGS BOSS STEVE EVANS

It doesn’t bother me at all.

That’s him, he has to live with what he does on the touchline.

I think some of the things that happened on the touchline were just unbelievable but that’s down to him. It’s down to Steve and what they do on the pitch. It’s not my problem.

You get ear-ache when you are on the touchline. It’s the first I have seen of it, first time I've come across him.

ON BOUNCING BACK

We can be down and fed up but we have to get on with it.

We have got three games coming up in just over a week. We have got a week to prepare and one or two issues with Jack and we have to look at what we’re going to do with two away games.

We have got to go Lincoln and then Stevenage on the Tuesday night so we have a tough run of games coming up.

But we have to look forward to them and make sure we’re ruthless in front of goal because those chances won’t always keep coming.

You can’t think ‘Oh we’ll score the next one, or the next one,’ because they don’t always come.

Again with the youngsters and lads with experience I believe in them totally. It’s frustrating but they will get better as the season goes on that’s for sure.

ON JACK GRIMMER'S INJURY

He’s got concussion so he’s in the treatment room. He’s a bit groggy but it’s obviously not ideal.

I don’t know how long he’ll be out yet but I imagine it will probably be a couple of weeks.

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INTERVIEW: Lee Burge Reflects On Mansfield Result
ccfc.co.uk

Yesterday afternoon, the Sky Blues fell to a 1-0 defeat to Mansfield Town in Sky Bet League Two action at the Ricoh Arena.

The goal for the visitors came late on in the game, in what had been a hard fought contest, with City creating chances which could’ve seen them win the game.

A strike from range by the Stags was almost kept out by Lee Burge, but at full stretch, he just couldn’t get enough of a hand on the ball to keep it out.

The ‘keeper was frustrated after the game about the result, but is already focusing on putting things right in the next fixture against Lincoln City.

He said: “We’ve been on a bit of a run so it’s frustrating. We’ve created chances in the game and they’ve created chances and they’ve took one, so it’s frustrating really.

https://www.ccfc.co.uk/news/2017/november/interview-lee-burge-reflects-on-mansfield-result/

“We started off well, it’s probably the best we’ve started this season, it’s a shame that none of the chances went in.

“We always are solid at the back and it’s such a shame that they scored from where they did and how they did really, it was poor from us giving possession away and then they went and scored.

“It was a good strike it’s moving away from me and I’m on full stretch. I got fingers on to it but unfortunately I couldn’t get enough on it.

“I don’t think it will knock us back, we have got to just learn from today and go into the next game believing that we will get the three points.”

Despite the defeat, only one side in the top seven managed to pick up maximum points this weekend, meaning the league still remains tight.

City are still in the play-offs and are just six points off an automatic promotion place and Burge hopes next week him and his team mates will be able to climb up the table.

“It is frustrating; we’re working hard every day.

“In training the lads are finishing it, it’s just one of them, it’s not falling for us at the moment in the games.

“This season it is quite weird in the league, anyone can beat anyone.

“It’s a good, hard league to play in, but hopefully we will get back on the ball next week and get the three points.”

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TalkSport pundit Dean Ashton reaction:

Coventry City's "veins must have been popping" - pundit delivers his verdict
coventrytelegraph.net, By Mat Kendrick, 11 NOV 2017

Coventry City's "veins must have been popping" with frustration at the referee during the disappointing defeat to Mansfield Town.

That is the verdict of radio pundit Dean Ashton who was at the Ricoh Arena to witness the 1-0 loss.

But Ashton, who covered the League Two match for talkSPORT reckons Mansfield deserved to win despite some poor decisions from referee Nick Kinseley.

http://www.coventrytelegraph.net/sport/football/football-news/coventry-citys-veins-must-been-13890352

Alex MacDonald struck seven minutes from time to clinch all three points for Steve Evans' Stags.

Coventry fans were fuming when Hayden White escaped with a yellow card for his foul on Peter Vincenti and were further enraged when their penalty appeals were waved after away Zander Diamond brought down Marc McNulty.

"The amount of veins that must have been popping at Coventry City with this referee and the decisions that he's made," Ashton told talkSPORT.

"It's just been one of those days for Coventry. He's got many of the decisions wrong.

"Mansfield do deserve the win. I thought they were excellent.

"Yes, they were direct but Steve Evans' side were organised.

"I was impressed with the front two especially Danny Rose.

"I think he can certainly play higher. I think he's got the quality to.

"It's no surprise to see those 1,500 fans stay behind and clap their side who dug out an away victory which is what you have to do in this league."

Speaking after the match, Coventry boss Mark Robins revealed his frustration at the defeat.

On the subject of the match official he said: "I thought it was a very difficult game for the referee."

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