EVANS PREVIEWS BLACKPOOL, CRAWLEY AND CARDIFF
Gaffer set for battle between promotion kings
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 05 December 2017
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans is looking forward to battling with his 'good friend Neil Warnock' in the third round of the Emirates FA Cup after Stags were paired with Championship side Cardiff City in last night's draw.
After reaching the third round for the first time in five years with a 3-0 win over National League side Guiseley on Sunday, Stags were drawn away to the Cardiff in Monday night's third round draw, which will take place on the weekend of 06 January 2018.
And with a combined 16 promotions between the pair, the gaffer believes Neil Warnock's high-flying Bluebirds will provide his charges with a 'formidable task'.
"I wouldn't have minded Neil Warnock bringing his troops here but we're going to a club that's second in the Championship against a man that is a personal friend, who I have a fantastic relationship with," the Stags' chief said.
"Neil Warnock is, in my opinion, a fantastic manager. Everywhere he's been, he's been hugely successful and he will be at Cardiff. I said back in [the summer] on national television that he would take Cardiff to the Premier League at the end of this season and I still believe that.
"He's a fantastic manager, he's a real good man and how do you judge that? When you have down days, and we all have down days, Neil Warnock's been there for me as a friend and that's when it's important.
"It's a formidable task but I have a lot of respect for Cardiff City, the people behind-the-scenes and none more so than the manager himself and all his staff. We look forward to seeing them and doing battle on the day.
"We look forward to it, but we'll worry about it when we drive out of this stadium after we play Carlisle on the first."
Stags take on Blackpool in the Checkatrade Trophy in the first of back-to-back away matches tomorrow night and although the manager has admitted to planning wholesale changes for the fixture, he wants the players involved to prove why they should be in the starting XI for Saturday's Sky Bet League Two clash with Crawley Town.
"We'll make changes. It's nothing other than we're in a series where there's a lot of football and a lot of football to come. When you've got really good players not getting in, there comes weeks and opportunities where they can play.
"What an opportunity it's going to be for some of them - because what I will say is we might make 10 or 11 changes, but three or four of them will start on Saturday, that's the nature of the game here. If you play well, you keep the shirt."
Frontman Lee Angol will travel to Lancashire with the squad after recovering from his knee injury, whilst fellow striker Kane Hemmings could make the trip to the coast depending on his performance in training this afternoon.
"Lee Angol will be with us. Certainly Jacob Mellis is fit now, he wasn't quite there on Sunday, which is the real reason why I didn't put him on the pitch.
"The people that's in there (the treatment room) would be Joel Byrom, who possibly might be [fit] for Saturday, but if not, hopefully for Saturday-week.
"Kane will be there for Saturday, I don't have any doubts about that. Will he be on the coach tomorrow night? I suppose he's desperately waiting for me to tell him whether he's going in the cold weather up to Blackpool [or not]. If Kane trains properly today, he'll be on the coach. If Kane is 100 percent, Kane will be on the team-sheet at Blackpool."
Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's full news conference later today.
Stags boss Evans relishing taking on good friend Warnock in FA Cup tie N
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 05 December 2017
Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans is relishing taking on Championship high-flyers Cardiff City and good friend Neil Warnock who Evans said had helped him through some dark times. The sides were paired at the Cardiff Stadium next month in Monday’s FA Cup third round draw after Stags easily disposed of National League Guiseley 3-0 the day before.
“We wanted to be at home - I would not have minded Neil Warnock bringing his troops here,” said Evans. “If we couldn’t be at home, like every other club we’d have preferred a big club away in the Premier League.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-boss-evans-relishing-taking-on-good-friend-warnock-in-fa-cup-tie-1-8893828
“But we are going away to a club that’s second in the Championship against a man that is a personal friend of mine who I have a fantastic relationship with. “He is, in my opinion, a fantastic manager. Everywhere he’s been he’s been hugely successful and he will be at Cardiff. “It is a formidable task for us. I said on national television he will take Cardiff to the Premier League this season and I still believe that. “I have a lot of respect for Cardiff and the people behind the scenes. We’re looking forward to seeing them and doing battle on the day.” Evans and Warnock continue their race for the most promotions as a manager with Evans on nine and Warnock on eight. “I think he is one behind but he’ll probably make up for it this year unless we go up,” smiled Evans. “He is a really good man. How do you judge that? When you have down days - and we all have down days - Neil Warnock has been there for me as a friend and that’s when it’s important. “He has been there for me on some dark days and you never forget that. I wish him every success. “He is a wonderful man and a football purist. I have turned up at some very lowly non-League grounds and there has been me and Warnock sitting there with our big coats on. “I’ll never forget he told me the trait of working hard and working smart together - it’s no good thinking you’re smart if you don’t work hard.” Evans knows exactly what to expect from a Warnock side. He said: “They will be big, strong, and physical and he will demanding from the side. “It will be noisy in your left ear if he’s on the left of me - and he probably thinks it’s the same with me. “He knows we won’t give an inch, he certainly won’t. They are always well organised. Kevin Blackwell does a great job behind the scenes and deserves enormous credit. “He gets them meticulously organised and then the general, Mr Warnock himself, steps in and does the final bits that make them potentially a great side. “Andy Dibble is also there who, of course, worked for me.” With Cardiff challenging for the Premier League, Evans is under no illusions how far apart the two clubs are in all aspects. “The gulf is massive,” he said. “You have managers in League Two who’ve never been in the Championship and wouldn’t know how to describe it. You can only describe it when you’ve been somewhere. “If you have a bottom six or bottom seven side in the Championship then the gulf is not so big. But when you’re looking at the elite - they are top sides with top players. “We’re looking forward to it, but we’ll worry about it when we drive out this stadium after playing Carlisle on January 1st. There’s a lot of games to play before then.” With the FA Cup third round taking place over the weekend of 6th January, the home League Two clash with Lincoln City will need rearranging.
We have answered the doubters says Evans
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
As they head to Crawley Town seven games unbeaten in League Two, Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans felt his side have now answered their early season critics and doubters. A Stags side showing nine changes lost on penalties in the Checkatrade Trophy on penalties at Blackpool on Wednesday night, but will again ring the changes at Crawley tomorrow as they bid to keep the run going. “The boys have been tremendous,” said Evans. “They’ve had criticism from near and far all the way through since August saying they weren’t good enough and we all weren’t good enough. “I said to them we just have to do our talking on the pitch, ably led by what we do on the training ground. “The wonderful thing is we’ve got good players in the team and good players trying to get into the team and that’s always a recipe that works well for having a good team.” Evans believes the best if yet to come. “We are not there yet,” he said. “We are in good form in periods of games but we want to be in good form for all of the games. “Each department needs to be right. We’re getting there slowly but surely. But we are still making mistakes we shouldn’t be making and switching off our concentration levels. “But that comes with a new group. One thing they do have is a fantastic hunger to work hard. “There are a lot of good players who want to play football and they encourage each other and have a real togetherness and that’s fantastic.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/we-have-answered-the-doubters-says-evans-as-stags-head-for-crawley-1-8898651
Evans return tinged with sadness after Drummy death
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Steve Evans returns to his former club Crawley Town on Saturday with a tinge of sadness a week after the death of Dermott Drummy. There will be a minute’s silence before the game for the former Crawley boss and Stags manager Evans said: “I knew Dermott very well when he was at Chelsea. He was one of the first people to call me when I got the job here. “He was manager of Crawley in my first game at Mansfield and we had a few little Scotches after the game. “He is someone I’d speak to once or twice every two weeks all the way through and to get that news was a real shock. “I shed a tear with my daughters when I got the news on a text message. God only takes the good young.” Unpredictable Crawley have won one, lost one and drawn four of their last six League Two games. “They have picked up in the last few weeks,” said Evans. “They have been inconsistent but they do have good players. “They have a good guy for me in the manager’s seat in Harry Kewell who had an impeccable CV as a footballer. “Then he was at Watford as U23s coach, he knows what he’s doing.” Evans retains his affection for the club he took out of Non-League into League One. “I still look for their results as I do for Rotherham and Leeds,” he said. “They are on different divisions so I want them all to win every week. But the most important result is ours and we want to add to out points tally at Crawley. “If we get one it will be a decent result on the road. If we can get three I think that will put us in the top five on Saturday night. “The people behind the scenes there and the supporters were wonderful to me. I had four years there with some outstanding success - records in non-League that will never be broken.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-return-tinged-with-sadness-after-drummy-death-1-8897323
Skipper humbled by 'honour' of leading Stags
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 05 December 2017
After being nominated for the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month award, Stags' skipper Zander Diamond has paid tribute to his team-mates and spoken of 'the honour' of captaining the club.
It was announced this morning that the 32-year-old is on the four-man shortlist for the monthly award alongside Forest Green Rovers' Christian Doidge, Luton Town's Dan Potts and Chesterfield striker Kristian Dennis.
And after helping Stags keep three clean sheets during November, in addition to scoring three goals, Diamond has described leading 'a great bunch of lads' as an honour.
"I said before, winning football games breeds confidence," said Diamond.
"It's a great month personally but these awards come along and highlight individuals, but the team's been fantastic collectively as well.
"We've worked tirelessly on the training ground to get the football club up the league standings. You put a string of results together and confidence grows. Everybody champing at the bit to play helps because there's pressure on you from behind.
"They're a great bunch of lads. That's not just on a matchday, it's in training and in and around the changing room.
"There's a lot of experience there. It's taken time to click - there's a lot of new bodies and new players coming in, trying to buy into the philosophy of what the gaffer and Rayns wants.
"It's coming together slowly but surely and it's an honour, not just to lead the team, but to lead Mansfield Town."
The former Northampton Town man has struck up a solid partnership with Rhys Bennett at the heart of the Stags' defence in recent weeks but Diamond insists it's vital to maintain high standards in order to remain in the side.
"Rhys is a good footballer, a good talker but not only Rhys, we've got the whole back four and if you count [Conrad] Logan, the back five chipping in with putting bodies on the line, and it bodes well.
"We know if we're not doing our jobs, there's players on the sidelines that can easily come in and take our positions. We've got to keep our standards high, in performance and in training.
"I always believe in my own ability. You look around the squad and the strength in depth is there, but you've got to believe that you can come in and do a job.
"Lucky enough, I've managed to do that and I've always prided myself on high standards. That's in training and that's on the field of play as well. Hopefully there's more to come. You never stop short of wanting to improve day-by-day and game-by game."
Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view the skipper's full news conference.
Diamond wants November form to continue into New Year
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town skipper Zander Diamond may have missed out on the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month award in the end, but said his nomination simply highlighted how well the team were doing Stags had an unbeaten November and head for Crawley tomorrow seven games unbeaten in League Two. “These nominations come along and highlight individuals, but the team has been fantastic collectively as well,” he said. “We’ve been working tirelessly on the training ground to get the club up the league standings and everyone is champing at the bit to play. We are all pulling in the same direction. “We now need to have a December and a January like that too. “It’s all coming together and it’s an honour to lead not just the team but Mansfield Town.” On his own nomination, he added: “I had a great November and winning football games breeds confidence. “Port Vale was a memorable night as I scored two goals, it’s not often that happens. “Then to score the late equaliser in the derby game. If you can’t win such a big game then don’t lose it, and we didn’t do that.” Diamond is happy with the club’s FA Cup draw at Cardiff, despite missing out on the possible Premier League opposition. “Just to be in the draw itself is good. It’s a good away draw - we’ll take it,” he said. “Obviously people wanted a Premier League team, but Cardiff are still a big team. “At this stage of the competition any draw away from home is going to be tough and they are flying high in the Championship at this present time. “But we will embrace it, go there and try to get through.”
Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/diamond-wants-november-form-to-continue-into-new-year-1-8898703