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RESERVES TO PLAY BEHIND-CLOSED-DOORS GAME
9th February 2018 11:11


Stags to play behind-closed-doors game as youngsters head to Vale
mansfieldtown.net, Monday 05 February 2018

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans has revealed that his side will play a behind-closed-doors game against an un-named League One club tomorrow, meaning a young Stags' squad will compete in the Central League clash away to Port Vale.

In general, Stags have used the reserves' fixtures to increase the competitive minutes of first team players who haven't been playing in Sky Bet League Two.

However, they have often faced sides made up of youth team players, hence why the boss was keen to organise the behind-closed-doors game against what he expects to be competitive opposition.

"People know our views that we play the experienced players, but it will be a very young side, it'll be like an under 18s that goes across to Port Vale," the Stags' chief said.

"The boys that need minutes in the first team group will be in a behind-closed-doors match against a League One club. It's just about the quality of opponent. We don't know what we'll get when we go to Port Vale.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/february/stags-to-play-behind-closed-doors-game-as-youngsters-head-to-port-vale/

"If the gaffer there decided to play all his squaddies and different likes, then we'd be sending the boys over there.

"We turn up sometimes and it's kids and it doesn't give the boys the same fearsome opposition that what the League One club will bring tomorrow. That's going to be everyone that's not been used in their first team at the weekend and others, very much like us."

Despite the January transfer window closing last Wednesday, clubs in the National League and below are still able to make loan signings and the boss admits that some of his players could depart on loan in the coming days, but insists he is happy for everyone to stay and play a part in Stags' promotion push.

"There will be some movement in the next week or so. Let me be clear: if no-one goes out, great, it doesn't matter to me.

"It's lads that come to your door and seek to play football more than anything else. If they're not getting games here and they want to go and play, like George Taft did, we applaud it.

"I don't see one player in our group that won't possibly play a part. If they play a five-minute meaningful part between now and the end of the season, that's enough for me. By the same token, they need to go and play football to be ready to play."

Skipper Zander Diamond was omitted from the matchday squad for Saturday's 3-1 home win over Barnet as his wife was in labour with their first child and the gaffer, speaking to the local media at One Call Stadium this morning, was please to report that Mrs Diamond has given birth to a baby girl.

"As I did then and as I have done for the last few days, on behalf of all of us I've sent Zander our congratulations to him and Nadine.

"Another little Diamond is born, another little Stags' supporter. Mother and baby are doing great. I did tell my wife this morning that all three are doing great and she said: 'well, Zander's work was done a while ago!'

"Congratulations to Zander and his family; him and his wife are real nice people and there couldn't have been a baby more welcomed into the world than when those two got their hands on it.

"From all of us, and I know the lads have been in touch: well done, skip. We'll see you tomorrow."

Supporters will be able to view the manager's full news conference on iFollow Stags later today.

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Boss nominated for Manager of the Month award
mansfieldtown.net, Tues 6 Feb 2018

Stags' boss Steve Evans has been nominated for the Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month award for January, we are pleased to announce.

Stags are the in-form side in Sky Bet League Two and progressed through January without defeat in the league.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/february/boss-nominated-for-manager-of-the-month/

Starting 2018 with a brilliant 3-1 win at home to Carlisle United, Stags went on to record a credible 0-0 draw away to Cambridge United before returning home with a thrilling 3-2 win over Cheltenham Town, thanks to a 94th minute winner from winger CJ Hamilton.

We finished the month off with another injury time winner, this time in a 2-1 victory away to Morecambe.

The four January matches make up part of a nine-game unbeaten run in Sky Bet League Two which has seen Stags move to fourth in the division.

Stags have lost only once in their last 17 matches in Sky Bet League Two, a run which dates back to the middle of October.

The boss has been named on the four-man shortlist for the second time this season after previously being nominated in November.

The full shortlist is as follows:

Gareth Ainsworth (Wycombe Wanderers)
Steve Evans (Mansfield Town)
David Flitcroft (Swindon Town)
Harry Kewell (Crawley Town)

The winner will be announced on Friday 09 February after being decided by the judging panel, comprising of former Ipswich Town manager George Burley, Sky Sports' EFL League expert Don Goodman, EFL marketing director Drew Barrand, League Managers' Association director Olaf Dixon and Sky Bet EFL trader Mikey Mumford.

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League One friendly for the Stags
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 05 February 2018

A Mansfield Town XI will take on a strong League One club in a behind-closed-doors friendly tomorrow (Tuesday) as boss Steve Evans looks to fine-tune his squad for Saturday’s big game at Swindon. The Stags already have an away Central League reserves fixture at Port Vale tomorrow (2pm).

But, unsure if Vale will field a young or experienced side, Evans has elected to play it safe and make sure his fringe players and three new signings will be up against strong opposition. “I will be sending a very young side to Port Vale,” said Evans.

“People know our views that we usually play the experienced players, but this time it will be more like an U18s. “The boys who need minutes from our first team group will be in a behind-closed-doors match against a League One club.

Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/league-one-friendly-for-the-stags-1-9001919

“It’s just about the quality of opponent. We don’t know what we’ll get at Port Vale. You turn up sometimes and it’s kids.

“We know what the League One club will bring tomorrow - everyone who has not been used in their first team at the weekend and others very much like us.”

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Diamond delight as skipper misses Barnet game to see baby born
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 05 February 2018

Mansfield Town will welcome defender Zander Diamond back into the camp tomorrow after the skipper was given the weekend off to be at the birth of his baby. Wife Nadine gave birth to a daughter at the weekend while Stags were seeing off bottom club Barnet 3-1 to make it double delight for Diamond.

Manager Steve Evans smiled: “What was the big man doing messaging me at 1am and getting me up? I thought it was John Radford. “But on behalf of all of us at the club, congratulations to Zander and Nadine - another little Diamond is born. Another little Stags supporter!

“Mother and baby are doing great. I did tell my wife this morning that all three were doing great, but she said Zander’s work was done a while ago!

Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/diamond-delight-as-skipper-misses-barnet-game-to-see-baby-born-1-9001910

“Zander and his wife are really nice people and there couldn’t have been a baby more welcomed into the world when those two got their hands on it.

“I know the lads have been in touch with him. Well done skipper and we’ll see you tomorrow.” Evans had no qualms about allowing his captain to miss Saturday’s game. “These are once in a lifetime days and I couldn’t look at myself genuinely if Zander Diamond was playing for us and his wife was giving birth, which was something he desperately wanted to be around,” he said. “On Friday the message from me to Zander was clear - we’ll see you after the baby is born, We knew it was going to be over the weekend.”

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New trio are a shot in the arm for Stags
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Manager Steve Evans believes his three new signings are the perfect shot in the arm as Mansfield Town stay in the hunt for automatic promotion. Evans maintained he would have been happy with his squad’s promotion chances, even if he had been unable to add anyone before last week’s deadline. But Swansea midfielder Adam King, Sheffield Wednesday winger Matt Penney and Peterborough goal ace Ricky Miller all arrived on loan and Evans smiled: “It was wonderful. “I wanted to get all three on the pitch on Saturday, but Rhys Bennett stopped that with his mistake. “But one thing we know from three or four days training is that we have brought three very good players in. They are capable individually and collectively of helping the group. “They will get an opportunity to play in a game this week to stake a claim for Swindon on Saturday. “We didn’t bring them in just to be fillers and back-up. We already had players that have been fillers and back-up. “So we needed players that were capable of coming in and pushing what we’d got to a higher level of performance. That’s what it’s about. So we were delighted to bring these three in.” Evans continued: “The new signings have been a shot in the arm to the dressing room. We’ve seen a real focus in intensity in training last Thursday. “We went into training on Thursday probably thinking Rose and Miller against Barnet. “Then Hemmings was stunning on Thursday and Friday and carried that on in the game on Saturday. “So even Kane gets a little jolt in the side - and he’s been good for us. He has been exceptional in games. “You look at Joel Byrom. King can play that role. We have good options going to Swindon. But I have always been a believer if you deserve to keep that shirt, you keep it. “It’s wonderful for the dressing room. The message coming to me from the captain and others is that we have a real togetherness in there and those three new lads are part of it.” Stags are fourth, a single point off the top three and Evans maintains they can break into it and stay there. “I’ve been confident since the 1st June,” he said. “I said it would be a rollercoaster. You’re always going to get inconsistency in performance, suspensions and injuries. But we are covered now for every eventuality bar something extreme. “We have good options. As Graham Wesley said on Saturday we are bringing Jimmy Spencer and Ricky Miller off the bench. I’d have loved to have seen his face if we’d been able to bring Adam King and Matt Penney off the bench. “They might make us better. They certainly won’t weaken us. “We have good strength and we have good numbers. We are positive, but we know how tough this challenge is. Look at all the top teams at the weekend. They all did their jobs apart from those who played each other. “We are going to lose games. We are going to lose a number of games between now and the end of the season. We’ve just got to lose fewer than the rest.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/new-trio-are-a-shot-in-the-arm-for-stags-1-9003274

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Stags fringe players could still go out
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town could still lose one or two fringe squad players who want football with the January transfer window not applicable to non-League clubs. But boss Steve Evans will be happy if all stay put and fight for a first team place. “There will be some movement in the next week or so. Whether it’s this week, I’m not sure,” he said. “Teams were involved in the FA trophy last weekend, so that stopped a lot of fixtures. So people are probably looking around now to see who didn’t go out in the window. “But let me be clear. If no one goes out - great. It doesn’t matter to me.” He continued: “If you get lads coming to your door who are just seeking to play football if they’re not getting games here like George Taft then we applaud it. “But if they don’t go out or no one comes in that’s fine. I don’t see one player in our group that won’t possibly play a part. “If they play a meaningful five-minute part between now and the end of the season, that’s enough for me. “By the same token, they need to play football to be ready to play.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-fringe-players-could-still-go-out-1-9006189

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Can in-form Stags end poor record at Swindon?
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

In-form Mansfield Town will be hoping to end a miserable run of results at the County Ground when they travel to face promotions rivals Swindon Town on Saturday. Of their last nine games there, Stags have lost eight and drawn one. One defeat in their last seven matches has the Robins currently sitting two points and two places behind Mansfield in seventh and Stags boss Steve Evans said: “I think Swindon are terrific to be fair. “They gave us a 3-1 wiping here didn’t they? It could have been more. “When Swindon made an approach for me I was very humbled and honoured as, I said at the time, they are a big club. “They are a Championship club every day of the week. “When I saw Dave Flitcroft had got the job I thought it was a shrewd appointment. “I watched them win 1-0 at Stevenage last week and it could have been three or four. It was probably one of the most comfortable games I’ve seen for an away side. “I have watched 40 minutes of extended highlights of their performance at Lincoln and it takes Lincoln until the 95th minute to beat 10 men. They were probably a bit fortunate. “I’ve been very impressed with Swindon - I think they will be there at the end.” Evans said his side were on target for the 10 points he had wanted from four tough games. “I said to the players two or three weeks ago that when we were looking at a little booklet of four games, two at home and two away, I genuinely looked at Morecambe and Swindon away and said if we can take four points from those and six at home, we’ll be bang right in the mix,” he said. “Well, we’ve taken the six at home and three at Morecambe, now we’re going to try to get three at Swindon. But I know how tough it’s going to be. “It’s a fantastic place to go and play football. It’s a nice stadium and they have a good support behind them. “But we will take a good support too. Our away supporters have often been the difference as they were at Morecambe late on - and they got a pay day. “From our point of view it’s one game at a time now. We have Swindon away followed by two, arguably, equally as tough games. They’re all tough now whether you play bottom or top.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/can-in-form-stags-end-poor-record-at-swindon-1-9006200

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