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An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from January 2018

22nd January 2018 23:01

Gaffer delighted after tying down 'top striker'
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 18 January 2018

After coming to an agreement with Oxford United to keep striker Kane Hemmings on loan at One Call Stadium for the rest of the season, Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans wants to get the former Rangers man 100 percent fit to help Stags' promotion push.

The gaffer swooped to bring Hemmings to the club in the summer transfer window from Oxford United, however a clause was put in place whereby his parent club can recall the frontman in January if they wish.

However, after speaking to U's boss Pep Clotet, the gaffer came to an agreement for the former Dundee striker to stay at One Call Stadium until the end of the season, and the boss now wants to get Hemmings on the pitch as often as he can following his recovery from a hamstring strain.

"Kane is staying at Mansfield Town until the end of the season so we're continuing the loan through," the Stags' chief said.

"Kane's delighted, we are, Oxford are because they've got their own thoughts and plans so we go forward and nothing's changed.


"It's been a little stop-start for Kane, first and foremost we had to get him fit and then he's been subject to a niggly calf and a niggly hamstring but Kane Hemmings is a top striker and not only in League Two but, in my opinion, League One.

"Oxford are blessed with who they've just signed and who they've got so from our point of view, it's about us trying to make sure that we keep Kane in the best condition that we possibly can and get him on that pitch as often as we can but he's got to be on there at 100 percent, not 70 percent or 80 percent."

Stags play Cheltenham Town on Saturday (kick-off 3.00pm) and will be hoping to return to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two after the valiant performance in the Emirates FA Cup against Cardiff City.

Reflecting on Tuesday night's game, the gaffer revealed that he has received an apology from the EFL regarding the decision not to send off Junior Hoilett, who went on to score a second half brace for the Bluebirds, for the challenge on midfielder Alex MacDonald in the first half.

"Junior Hoilett is not the type of player to commit that type of challenge on a normal basis but every player is capable of a challenge in a one-off situation. I thought it was without a question a straight red. The video vindicates that.

"The head of refereeing at the [English] Football League David Allison has rung me this morning to apologise for the yellow card being issued when it's clear it should be a red card. He's also apologised that the referee's report indicated the player slipped and there was 'no intent'.

"David Allison informed me that the word 'intent' had been removed from the laws of the game back in the summer.

"I understand the player has tried to get the ball but the reality is he's out of control and it's dangerous and it should have been a red card.

"It doesn't mean we would have won the game but I would suggest that Cardiff down to 10 men under severe pressure at that time with the game finely tuned, we possibly might have had a different result."

The boss revealed that Kane Hemmings, who has been missing for a fortnight with a hamstring injur, could be in line to return to the team on Saturday and also gave an update on injured defender David Mirfin.

"Hopefully Kane will train today, we'll see how he looks in the two days of training. It'd be good to have Kane back available and it would give us everybody back bar David Mirfin.

"I'm due to get a full assessment of him [David Mirfin] tomorrow. They're going to run a series of tests on him but David's in a good place mentally."

Speaking about Saturday's opponents Cheltenham, the gaffer spoke is expecting a physical threat from the Robins.

"It's going to be tough for us, this is the team that in their last away game went to Colchester and won 4-1, when it could have been seven or eight and when Cheltenham play like that, they're formidable to play against.

"Cheltenham it's a real tough place to go and even on the road now they're starting get the type of performances and results that show the hard work Gary and his team have put in is coming to fruition. We've got a tough test on Saturday."

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's full news conference.


Oxford Mail, 18th January 2018
by David Pritchard @OxfordMailOUFC


As things stand, there is also no intention of recalling Kane Hemmings from Mansfield Town.

The Stags boss Steve Evans said this morning the striker would be staying for the rest of the season as planned and while Clotet was not as emphatic, only a crisis this month would change his mind.

The United manager said: "You never know in case of injuries or there’s a move, but I don’t expect it.

"I value what he’s doing there.

"He’s helping Mansfield a lot and everything that comes from Steve Evans is very positive about him, so I respect that."


Apology to Mansfield Town over Hoilett red card row
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 18 January 2018

Sometimes sorry isn’t enough - and Mansfield Town will gain nothing but syympathy today after referees chief David Allison apologised that a key decision went against the Stags in Tuesdays’ FA Cup exit to Cardiff City. Junior Hoilett was shown only a yellow card for a reckless first half challenge and went on to score a crucial brace.

Referees chief David Allison has apologised to Mansfield Town over the crucial decision not to send off Cardiff City's Junior Hoilett for a dangerous, two footed tackle in Tuesday night's FA Cup replay with Mansfield Town.

Match official Geoff Eltringham decided to only show Hoilett a yellow and he went on to score a crucial brace in the 4-1 win for the Welsh club.

Referee's national group manager Allison's apology today is scant consolation for the Stags, who were playing well at the stage, but went on to miss out on a money-spinning four round home tie with Manchester City.

“I have to be very clear - Junior Hoilett is not the type of player to commit that type of challenge on a normal basis,” said Stags boss Steve Evans.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/video-apology-to-mansfield-town-over-hoilett-red-card-row-1-8965918

“But every player is capable of a challenge in a one-off situation.

“I also looked at the positioning of the referee who was 'bob on it' in all fairness to him.

“It looked as if the player was totally out of control - double-footed and over the ball. The video vindicates that completely.

“The head of referees at the FA, David Ellison, has rung me this morning to apologise for the yellow card being issued when it was clearly shown it should have been a red.”

Evans pointed out that Eltringham had failed to implement a rule that was changed in the summer and had instead operated on a rule no longer in the laws of the game.

Evans said: “The referee's interpretation on the evening was that the player had slipped and had no intent. This goes back to referees doing their job.

“David Ellison informed me, as I knew, that the word intent had been removed from the laws of the game back in the summer. So come on referee, get to know the rules that you apply.

“If you don't know the laws of the game, you can't apply them. There is no such thing as no intent.

“A player may be trying to get the ball. But the reality is he is out of control and it's dangerous. Junior Hoilett was out of control and dangerous and it should have been a red card.

“Then he goes on and scored two goals - David Allison wasn't aware that Junior Hoilett had the impact he did in the second half. I think David said 'deary me' - I know what I felt like saying and it wouldn't have been 'deary me'.”

Evans admitted: “It doesn't mean we'd have gone on and won the game. But I suggest that Cardiff, down to 10 men and under severe pressure at that time, we possibly might have had a different result.

“The referee was shocking really. It was a poor decision on top of allowing their first goal when he was 'bob on' again and David Ellison confirmed there was a clear foul.

“But let's put Tuesday away now. We wish Neil Warnock and Cardiff City every success. They've done nothing wrong - they don't apply the laws of the game.

“Neil Warnock watched it back in my office after the game and let's say he had empathy.

“Some big decisions went against us, as at Cambridge last Saturday.”


Pep impressed by Stags’ FA Cup showing
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was very impressed with Mansfield Town in their midweek FA Cup exit to Cardiff City. It is a compliment Stags boss Steve Evans believes can lift his players for the final push for promotion. Guardiola was a guest of the club on Tuesday but had left before Evans had chance to catch up with him.

“I didn’t get to speak to Pep and I don’t think I’ll ever get the chance to speak to him again now,” he smiled.

“But I did speak to him at the end of my pro licence when he was head coach at Barcelona which was educational. I remember every word.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/pep-impressed-by-stags-fa-cup-showing-1-8967767

“I do know for a fact that one or two other managers from the Championship watched us on Tuesday and had a chat with Pep.

“They said how impressed he was and that for an hour or 70 minutes he couldn’t tell who the Championship side and the League Two side was.

“If Pep Guardiola is saying that from not knowing either, that’s a huge compliment from arguably one of the best coaches in world football.”


Oxford confirm loanee Hemmings can stay with Stags until the end of the season
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 18 January 2018

Striker Kane Hemmings has had his loan at Mansfield Town confirmed until the end of the season by parent club Oxford United. The U’s had an option to recall him in the current window but have finally told the Stags he can stay with them.

“Kane is staying at Mansfield Town until the end of the season, so we will continue the loan through,” smiled manager Steve Evans.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/oxford-confirm-loanee-hemmings-can-stay-with-stags-until-the-end-of-the-season-1-8966447

“Kane is delighted, we are, and Oxford are as they have their own thoughts and plans. They’ve done some good business in the window and are pleased with how Kane has done for us, so it’s three parties happy and good news for Stags fans. “Kane has been outstanding when he’s been in the team - he is a natural goalscorer.” It hasn’t been smooth going for Hemmings, who failed to score in his first eight games but now has seven goals to his credit. “It’s been a bit stop-start,” said Evans. “First we had to get him fit, then he’s had a little niggly calf, then a little niggly hamstring. “But Kane Hemmings is a top striker in not only League Two but, in my opinion, League One. Oxford are blessed with who they’ve just signed and who they’ve got. “So from our point of view, it’s about us trying to make sure we keep Kane in the best condition we can and get him out on that pitch as often as we can. But he has to be 100 per cent.” Hemmings has missed the last two games with a minor hamstring problem but has a good chance of facing Cheltenham on Saturday. “We will see how looks in training. It would be good to have him back available,” said Evans. “He just didn’t feel he was ready for it on Tuesday. “Players are never really tested until they’re put back in the group. “If he trains and he’s still not quite right and shown the sharpness we expect then it will be over and out until next week. But there is a strong chance for Saturday.” That will leave only centre half David Mirfin on the treatment table. “David is back in the football club now and I am due to get a full assessment on him tomorrow. They are going to run a series of tests on him,” said Evans. “David is in a good place mentally. He’s had this little niggle for a while now. He’s now had his op and and we’ll see where it goes. He will still be a little while.”


Stags closing in on one transfer target
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 18 January 2018

Mansfield Town have an outside chance of landing one of their January transfer targets before the weekend, but if successful, the player is unlikely to be pitched in against visiting Cheltenham Town.

Stags boss Steve Evans is playing a waiting game with the window past its midway point and no new faces as yet.

Club CEO Carolyn Radford is hard at work chasing Evans’ prime targets and he said: “Carolyn has a list of players that we like. I got an update after Tuesday’s game that she is working really hard on it.

Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/stags-closing-in-on-one-transfer-target-1-8966527

“We’ve not moved off that list yet - and I don’t really want to move off it as every one of the players on that list would improve what we’ve got or add to it. We are being very selective. “We are really close to one - we’re not so close to many others.”?As to whether one would be done before the weekend, he said: “You can never say never, there is one we’re getting close on. “I like them to be training a couple of days with the group. That doesn’t mean they won’t arrive. But whether they arrive in time to be involved on Saturday we’ll have to see.” He added: “We are only looking for two or three maybe. I think the chairman is maybe thinking I’m going to have four. “I’d be delighted with two or three who improve what we’ve got. “We have already got a fantastic dressing room with really good players who can easily play the top end of this division.”


in today's video interview on iFollow, Steve Evans says Alex MacDonald won't be leaving. He says John Radford has said to him he doesn't need the money but does want promotion.


Stags stand their ground over bids for quartet
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Six-figures offers continue to come in for Mansfield Town’s Alex MacDonald as well as bids for three other unnamed players. But, despite clubs coming back with improved offers, Stags boss Steve Evans has no intention of selling unless those offers become too big to turn down. “We’ve now had eight or nine offers for four of our players,” he said. “We’ve had some more offers. One or two have come back and tried to increase those offers. “I’ve been very fortunate to be able to say no. “Obviously everyone in football has a value, even Ronaldo, and if anyone got to a level where the chairman and chief executive had to be involved I would refer it to them. “But, under their guidance, we are trying to strengthen not weaken.” Shrewsbury and Doncaster are rumoured to be two of the clubs chasing MacDonald. Evans said: “I can’t say who offers have come from as it would be unprofessional. “But we had a six-figure offer for Alex two months after I’d signed him. And we signed for nothing. That’s testament only to Alex. “When he came in, we changed him from being a ‘wee fat boy’ to a real good professional! Alex is now as fit as anyone at this football club. “His body fats are just over seven per cent and his weight is bang on. He now lives and breathes his football like he did when I first saw him. “When you played against him you always knew you’d have a problem. I think anyone playing against Mansfield now has a problem if they see him on the team sheet.” Evans added: “He is not the only one. He is one of four. But there is no one going. The interest is good for the football club. “It would be good if John and Carolyn Radford needed some money. But as the chairman told me - the last thing he needs is more money. “He needs promotion and success and winning football matches. That’s what gives them something back for the huge investment they made here long before my time. “At the end of the season, when the chairman comes out and speaks finance, I think people will be surprised how well we’ve done our business as opposed to speculation.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-stand-their-ground-over-bids-for-quartet-1-8967856


Evans faces wait over injury to midfield ace Joel Byrom
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town are hoping midfield ace Joel Byrom will have recovered from his return from injury in midweek in time for Saturday’s visit of Cheltenham Town. Byrom played for 74 minutes against Championship Cardiff City in the FA Cup and Evans will now monitor him for any reactions. “I thought he was terrific, though whether he’s going to be fresh enough to go out there again on Saturday, I am not so sure,” said Evans. “Tuesday will have taken a lot out of the kid. He’s worked incredibly hard away from the team to get himself in unbelievable physical condition which is credit to him and the medical staff. “We’ll see how he trains today and tomorrow and see if he’s ready to step up again.” Evans added: “We’re working hard to bring another Joel Byrom type in - one that can play if Joel is not available to us and, secondly, who can play with Joel as we showed the other night. Good players can play with good players.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-faces-wait-over-injury-to-midfield-ace-1-8967717


Fit again Byrom aiming for extended spell in Stags' side
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 18 January 2018

Classy midfielder Joel Byrom is ready to fight for his place in a competitive Stags' midfield following his return from a two-month injury lay-off in the mid-week Emirates FA Cup third round replay against Cardiff City.

The former Northampton Town midfielder made his first appearance since the derby day draw with Chesterfield in mid-week after picking up a groin injury against the Spireites in November.

But Byrom is now fighting fit and ready to compete for his place among Stags' other central midfielders, who the 31-year-old has been impressed by during his absence.

"I felt good on Tuesday. I felt like I could carry on but it was probably more the gaffer didn't want to rush me back into 90 minutes with a lot of games coming up," Byrom said.

"I thought the lads have been doing brilliantly; especially going down to Cambridge and getting a result there. I was pleased to get myself back in there but it wasn't really expected.


"I was always [fighting] for my place before I got injured and the likes of Alex MacDonald's come into a central midfield role and he's been fantastic. He looks comfortable in there, probably a little bit more than he does out wide, which is brilliant for him.

"Jacob Mellis has been doing really well and there are quite a few more lads who can obviously play in that position who are fighting with me for the spot."

The former Accrington Stanley midfielder has admitted to feeling frustrated during his spell on the sidelines, but is looking ahead and hoping to help Stags attain a high position in Sky Bet League Two come the end of the season.

"It's frustrating more than anything. You're not out on the pitch with the lads and you feel like you're missing out. You're always over at the gym when they go out to train and then you come back and you're staying [at the club] in the afternoons when everyone's going home.

"It's just a frustrating time. Especially matchdays as well because you want to be out there, not sat in the stand watching and you can't really do anything about it.

"I don't really look [at targets] until the end of the campaign. I think it's hard because you don't know what's around the corner.

"I'm just looking to Cheltenham at the weekend and I think it's a massive game for us. We've just got to start cementing that place where we are in the league and pushing forwards."

Byrom, who has three career promotions on his CV, is expecting a tough encounter against Cheltenham Town, who visit One Call Stadium on Saturday.

"I wasn't at the away game but the Cheltenham teams you're used to under Gary Johnson, they're hard-working teams who get the ball forward [quickly].

"They're quite direct and I'll be expecting more of the same. We've just got to match them physically and then hopefully stamp our mark on the game and start playing some football."

Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags to view Joel Byrom's full news conference later today.


Stags star Byrom surprised by FA Cup selection
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Midfield star Joel Byrom admitted he was surprised to be thrown straight back into a successful side in midweek. Byrom returned from injury to play for 74 minutes of the FA Cup replay with Cardiff City, pitched into a side that had only lost once in 20 games before kick-off. Boss Steve Evans had said having a side without Byrom in it had been like going to bed without a pillow and also described his return as “like having a new girlfriend!” Nevertheless, Byrom was still shocked to be on the team sheet on Tuesday. “I thought the lads were doing brilliantly, especially going down to Cambridge and getting a result down there,” he said. “So I was pleased to get back in there, it wasn’t really expected. The gaffer threw me back in and I thought I gave a good account of myself.” Byrom knows a starting place is never guaranteed. He said: “It’s been a fight in there all season. “The likes of Alex MacDonald have come into a central midfield role and he’s been fantastic and probably looks even more comfortable there than he does out wide.” Byrom is now hoping his stop-start season can end smoothly. “It’s never nice being out the side,” he said. “It’s been a frustrating time because the two injuries I’ve had have not been big injuries, but they’ve been injuries that have kept me out for quite a bit of time. “Hopefully it’s all behind me now and I can stay fit for the rest of the season. “It was good to get back on the pitch on Tuesday and get some minutes under my belt. “I felt good and felt like I could have carried on. They probably didn’t want to rush me straight back into 90 minutes with a lot of games coming up.” He added: “When you’re not out on the pitch with the lads, you feel like you’re missing out. You’re always over at the gym when they go into training. “Then you come back and stay in the afternoon when everyone is going home. “It’s a frustrating time - especially on matchdays when you’re sat in the stand watching and you want to be out there.” On the defeat by Cardiff, he said: “We can take a lot of positives from it. We more than matched them in the first half and we gave them a run for their money.” Byrom is now hoping to keep his place for Saturday’s visit of Cheltenham Town, saying: “It’s a massive game for us. “We need to start cementing out place in the league and pushing forwards. It’s crazy up there at the minute and everyone can beat everyone else. “I wasn’t at the away game, but under Gary Johnson, Cheltenham are usually hard-working teams who are quite physical and direct. “We have to match that and then on top of that we have to play the football we know we are capable of with the players we’ve got.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-star-byrom-surprised-by-fa-cup-selection-1-8967635


Gaffer: We must be ready for fired-up Stags
ctfc.com, Thursday 18 January 2018

Manager Gary Johnson has urged his Robins to be ready for a battle when they face a highly motivated Mansfield Town in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday afternoon (kick-off 3pm).

Cheltenham won the corresponding clash at the LCI Rail Stadium back in September as goals from Brian Graham, Joe Morrell and Danny Wright wrapped up a 3-0 victory.

Johnson admits it was one of the best performances from the Robins this campaign - but he knows Steve Evans will have the Stags fired up for revenge.

“The game at home was undoubtedly one of our best this season,” said Johnson. “We scored early on and we defended well when we had to.

“Just because we won 3-0 at home it doesn’t mean we can just go to Mansfield and win. They have done well and have an experienced team that work hard and we have got to match that.


“I like Steve Evans and he is a very competitive man,” added Johnson. “He’s a decent fella and when he puts on his manager’s head he gets very competitive.

“He will remind them of what happened here. I am sure that is how he will motivate them.

“They are a strong and uncompromising team that can play so we have got to be ready for that.

“I am confident we can go and put in a performance. But we can’t make the mistakes that put us behind last weekend and we must get the goals with our first opportunity.”

Johnson is aiming for an improved showing from his Robins - at both ends of the field - after the 2-0 loss to Accrington Stanley at home.

“The teams that are at the top are the consistent teams,” he added.

“Accrington showed why they are up there. On the day the game could easily have gone either way.

“We had the first few chances and they certainly didn’t have more of the ball or more chances than us.

“In the important parts of the pitch, both penalty areas, things didn’t go okay. You only need a few mistakes and we couldn’t get our goal to give us confidence to keep going.”



Q: You got sent to the stands last year and Steve Evans got sent there this year, do you think you are similar to him in how you become a different character when the whistle blows?

I’d like to think there’s a mutual respect between us as we’ve both been around for quite a long time and have both seen thousands of games.

We’re in a competition and if we were two boxers you have to get in the ring and you’ve got to punch, you’re going to be punched so you have just got to get through it and embrace the situation and hope that your team feels the same as the two managers do.

I think in many ways there’s similarities of course as we’ve both been around a long time and I’m pretty sure we will be pushing and shoving over a game of chess.

Q: Steve Evans has been very complimentary about your performance that night and he said that his team have got to set the record straight, describing their performance as a stink bomb going off, they’re going to be fired up aren’t they?

I think if they are fired up too much then it’s going to be derogatory because actually they are not a bad football team and they did well.

We had representatives at Mansfield when they played Cardiff this week, obviously it wasn’t me and I will have seen the game by the time Saturday comes.

They did alright for about an hour or so. Since we’ve played them they have played very well and have been on a very good run.

They did give a good account of themselves until the end where Cardiff’s quality finally came out.



Latest | January 2018