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Archived News from November 2016

30th November 2016 19:27

Evans calls for efficiency after Carlisle loss
mansfieldtown.net, 26th November 2016

Stags’ boss Steve Evans spoke of the importance of being efficient in both boxes after seeing his side defeated 5-2 against league-leaders Carlisle United this afternoon.

Evans experienced his first defeat as Mansfield Town manager in Cumbria this afternoon, despite striker Pat Hoban heading the Stags in front in the sixth minute.

Carlisle midfielder Jason Kennedy equalised to ensure the sides were all square at the break before a Charlie Wyke hat-trick and a late goal from former Stags’ winger Reggie Lambe secured all three points for the Cumbrians after substitute Danny Rose had reduced the arrears for the Stags with his second goal in as many games.

And Evans, 54, says his side need to be more competent whilst defending their own 18-yard box and when attacking in their opposition’s area.

“Defensively we were poor. You’ve got to deal with balls in to your box. Carlisle play a lot of good football but they also put balls in to the box from 60 or 70 yards and when you can’t win the first header, it’s a problem,” Evans said.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/evans-post-carlisle-3437523.aspx#JUqzUZj7WHjI1c4Y.99

“Then in the attacking third, so to speak, we weren’t as efficient as we should have been. But the reality does break down that they get a penalty when their man handles it, that makes it hard work.

“I think to be organised, you have to be efficient in both boxes. I think, certainly defensively, we weren’t efficient in our defending today.

“When there’s balls coming in from 50 and 60 yards and we’re not winning headers then you’re always going to concede and I looked at the two big boys, Michael Raynes being one of them, who stuck ‘the nut’ on most things that came in to their box.”

Just as Stags were looking for a way back in to the game at 3-1 down, Carlisle were handed a fortuitous penalty for handball against a Stags’ defender and manager Evans says a Carlisle player handled the ball in the area, not one of his own charges.

“We’ve looked at the DVD; I’m not going on the basis now of my eyes - at first, everyone in the ground, including the Carlisle United supporters, were gobsmacked.

“If you actually look at the penalty decision, the Carlisle United players run back. So they run back because the referee’s blown his whistle so they think their player’s handled it.”

After overseeing back-to-back victories in his first two games as Stags’ boss, the former Rotherham United manager says he will get straight back on the training ground to prepare for their next trip to Cumbria in 10 days time.

“We won’t kid ourselves, we didn’t get kidded against Crawley or against Blackpool [in] midweek - there’s a lot of work to be done and the ones that can, over a four or six week period, sustain the type of performances that we need to be taking the club forward, then they’ll be here and the others simply won’t.

“We don’t get too down, we didn’t get too high last week and we get back on the training ground and we’ll work with the players. You’re not getting a reaction that says some of my players aren’t good enough; there’s a lot of good players in that dressing room.”

Supporters can view Steve Evans’ post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD.


Carlisle had rub of the green says Stags boss Evans after first defeat

Steve Evans said he felt the 5-2 scoreline didn’t do his side justice today as he suffered his first defeat as Mansfield Town boss as home side Carlisle United went top. Evans admitted his side’s defending was poor, but said the home side had enjoyed the rub of the green including a penalty kick when it was a Carlisle player who had handled. And he added that he was happy with six points out of nine in his first three games in the hot seat.

“We were poor today in the two thirds of the pitch that matter,” he admitted. Click HERE to read the match report “ Defensively we were poor. You have got to deal with balls that come into your box. “Carlisle play a lot of good football but they also put balls in the box from 60 and 70 yards and when you can’t win the first header it’s a problem. “In the attacking third, so to speak, we were not as efficient as we should have been. “I said prior to the game we had to be in it at 75 minutes and we’d have been in it at 85 minutes if big Krystian Pearce makes it 4-3 with the miss of the season so far.

“They got a penalty when their man handled it and that makes it hard work. Then we should go 4-3 when Krystian misses an easy, easy chance with four or five to go and it would have been a very different game. “Then they break and get a deflected goal on top of the penalty which makes it harder on the players.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/carlisle-had-rub-of-the-green-says-stags-boss-evans-after-first-defeat-1-8260946?

“But we didn’t get kidded against Crawley or against Blackpool in midweek. There is a lot of work to be done and the ones that can over a four or six week period sustain the type of performances we need to be taking the club forward, then they will be here and the others simply won’t.”

He added: “You learn the benchmark is high if you want to be at the top end of the league if you look at what Carlisle have done today. But I don’t think there was three goals difference.

“If you watched this game as a neutral, you’d certainly think the team that’s probably been done a little bit is Mansfield Town.

“That’s what happens when you’re at the top of the league. You tend get these breaks and these decisions and I have been fortunate to be on the receiving end of some of them.”

Evans was upset by the performance of referee Seb Stockbridge and said it wasn’t the first time he’d felt let down by the Tyne & Wear whistler.

“I thought their fans were terrific. I think they influenced a lot of decisions in their favour today.” said Evans.

“I think they got a penalty when Michael Raynes, who played for me at Rotherham, was laughing as he almost caught it and shoved it up his jumper.

“That’s why you saw the reaction of three or four of them running to the referee. He said I just saw a yellow shirt handle the ball. I said which number, he said I don’t know.

“We looked at the DVD, I am not going on the basis of my eyes.

“Everyone in the ground, including the Carlisle United supporters were gobsmacked. The Carlisle players actually run back as the referee had blown his whistle and they think he (Raynes) has handled it.

“To everyone’s amazement he pointed to the spot. But I have had him before and my personal opinion is he is not very good.

“I am entitled to have that opinion. I don’t see him have any good days, never mind many. When you see the appointment you shake your head.”

Stags have no game next weekend but return to action a week on Tuesday with a return haul up to Carlisle for a Checkatrade Trophy tie.

“We will be back on the training ground and working hard and we’ll be ready to come back here in 10 days time,” he said.

“I don’t go this far on my holidays, but we will get on the coach, come up, and they will probably tell us there is another inspection.

“The pitch was perfect. The mind games started with the inspection and it might be off!

“We take this firm and square on the pegs. We don’t get too down like we didn’t get too high last week and we get back on the training ground and work with the players. “You won’t get a reaction saying some of the players are not good enough as there are a lot of very good players in that dressing room.”

Evans said he had to be pleased with the points gained from his first three games in charge.

“When the chairman appointed me if someone had said you’d get six points out if nine you’d have taken it,” he said.

“We probably felt we could have made it nine such was the confidence in the camp.

“We got the early goal and settled down and then we committed a bit of suicide. We gave a cheap ball away in the middle of the park.

“It’s a long trip home now for us but more importantly for our supporters who I thought were great, turned up in good numbers today on a freezing cold morning, probably travelling not knowing if the game was on or off.”


BBC Nottingham Sport
Steve Evans: “We were poor in the two thirds of the pitch that mattered”
"When there's balls coming into your own box from 60 yards and they're winning headers..You're always going to concede"
"I've had this referee before..My personal opinion is that he's not very good and I'm entitled to have that opinion"


Free Saturday but hard work continues for Stags

Mansfield Town have a free Saturday this week as new boss Steve Evans finally gets a chance to put his squad fully through its paces on the training pitch for the first time since he took charge earlier this month.

The Stags have played three games in quick succession under Evans, winning the first two at home to Crawley Town and Blackpool before losing 5-2 at Carlisle United on Saturday in a seven day spell. Following their exit from the FA Cup to Plymouth Argyle in the First Round at the start of the month, Mansfield have no match at the weekend.

Their next game is another long trip up to Cumbria to face Carlisle again, this time in the Football League Trophy, a week on Tuesday (6th Dec). And, Evans will be hoping that his squad can impress both in training and on the pitch ahead of the transfer window that opens in the New Year.

He told Mansfield 103.2 after the weekend defeat: "The players have an opportunity in the next four or five weeks to come up with the performances that say they're deserving of going forward from January.

"There are no long term contracts here, that's clear and good for us, so we get an opportunity with a clean piece of paper. "There are some good players we've got here at Mansfield Town, there's not lots of bad players, there's a lot of good players here.

"But, it takes eleven men on that pitch at any one time to win a football match and it takes a referee to be level and fair and when you've got neither then it's hard work."


MANAGER: We approach things with a real focus
by Andy Hall, carlisleunited.co.uk

Manager Keith Curle gave us his reaction to the latest serving of fantastic entertainment at Brunton Park on Saturday afternoon.

“Looking at the score line you would think it was comfortable, but when the board for six minutes of added time went up, and there were a couple of skirmishes around our box, I did start to worry,” he said.

Read more at http://www.carlisleunited.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/keith-curle-with-his-thoughts-on-the-mansfield-town-game-3439106.aspx#3iBdX5bxXRq9f9ib.99

“That was probably based on what had happened with the Exeter game the week before, because this is a place which can have late goals. Fortunately we didn’t panic and it ended up that we went on to score another goal for ourselves.”

“In terms of how the game went, and I’ve said this a number of times before, sometimes teams can score too early against you,” he added. “You’ve still got time to go on and do something about it and the good thing is that we know our players have a game plan. They don’t fold or hit the panic button and they approach things with real focus.

“We know we’ll face different challenges within the game and we will never let that change the way we do things. There’s a style of play we’re trying to implement, but there are variations within it. We see things going against us as a challenge and the way to meet that is head on. That’s the way we like to do things.”

The team announcement revealed that the same starting eleven which had played so well at Grimsby on Tuesday night had been given the nod again, but he admitted that it hadn’t been an easy decision to make.

“I nearly tinkered with it,” he told us. “I think this is the first time I haven’t used two orthodox strikers at home, and that’s something I’ve been pondering since last Tuesday.

“I had a sleepless night on Thursday thinking about it. I got up early on Friday morning to go for a walk in the freezing cold, and that was to clear my head. It was only at that point that I finalised my game plan. I relayed my decision to the staff and we came up with the methods we felt would get us a good foothold in the game.”

“What you have to bear in mind is that Mansfield are a very difficult team to play against,” he commented. “They get a huge amount of encouragement from the manager on the sideline, because that gives them extra belief. I thought our fans played a massive part because they got on to Paul Raynor and Steve Evans straight away.

The focus from the terrace was on upsetting them and getting a reaction. Obviously when a manager is involved with the crowd his focus isn’t on his own team. That makes it a ‘very well done’ from me to our supporters.

“Our staff did really well because they made sure I didn’t get involved in any of it. I’d asked them to make sure that was the case before kick off, even though you have to bear in mind I like both Steve and Paul. They’re very enjoyable people to be around and very professional. All they’re trying to do is maximise every advantage they can find.

“As soon as the whistle blows, they change, because they want everything to go their way. I’m the same, but what I can’t afford to do is lose my focus, and I’m pleased that we were able to keep sight of what we needed our players to do.

“What we came up against was a group of players who knew their jobs. We had to make sure we competed with that so that we could earn the right to do what we needed to do to give them problems. I’ve watched a lot of footage of their games and since Steve has gone in teams have tried to beat them at their own game. That will never work. We went out to match their honesty and endeavour so that we got the right to play. The pleasing thing is we did that.”

Having seen striker Charlie Wyke bag his first career hat-trick, he said: “He’s a good player. He came to us at the right time and he’s one who has a really good understanding of the game. He needed to be playing competitive football and scoring goals, because that’s what he’s all about.

“The test for him under us was to push himself on to the next level where he would be starting regularly and scoring goals. His goal return has been very good and he’s earned the plaudits he’s getting.

“I think we bought him for a nominal fee and he was a good bit of business. There was a career for him to grab hold of, if he wanted to, and he’s worked extremely hard at his game to improve.

“He’s got his hat-trick and Danny Grainger was part of that. He’s shown an understanding that the striker was on two goals and, let me tell you, there would have been a fight in that 18-yard box for who was going to take it if Danny hadn’t stepped aside. I call that real professional courtesy - mind you, I wouldn’t have let him have it!”

On the absence of big striker Jabo Ibehre, he said: “Jabo missed out through a slight displacement in his back. It’s nothing major and we know we’re a small squad, so he was deemed not fit to play or be involved.

“I listened to the medical advice and he’s one who will be reassessed next week, so this was an opportunity to give him the rest time he needs. He’ll be looked at again early in the week and we’ll take the advice we’re given once we see how he is.”

Speaking about the pitch inspection, which was called early on Saturday morning, he said: “The pleasing thing is we have good lines of communication at the football club. Our club secretary had spoken to our ground staff at 8.15am and, at that point, there was a genuine concern.

“That information was passed on to myself, and the relevant staff, and I spoke directly to Dave Mitchell who told me he was confident. He knew it was going to have time to thaw and the referee was called in at 11am to have an early pitch inspection.

"The ref had doubts, but Sarah [McKnight] and Dave persuaded him to come back at 12.15am, to leave us as much time as possible to get it on. You have to thank him for listening to that. In the end the pitch was excellent, and that’s well done to everybody who was involved.”


Keith Curle salutes "phenomenal work" of Carlisle Utd groundstaff

Manager Keith Curle today saluted the unsung heroes behind Carlisle United's table-topping form.

The Blues boss has highlighted the work of David Mitchell and his groundstaff - and said it should not be underestimated at Brunton Park.

Award-winning Mitchell and his staff helped ensure Saturday's game against Mansfield beat the overnight frost.

United went on to beat the Stags 5-2 to reach the summit of League Two.

Curle also said their work at the Blues' training facilities at Creighton also helped their vital preparation in a week when temperatures fell below freezing.

United's boss said: "People only see probably what they see at Brunton Park, but the training ground has been absolutely phenomenal.

"That is down to the work Dave and his lads have put into making sure our training facility hasn't hampered or altered how we want to train and prepare for games.

"For the workload that goes into that - to Dave and his body of men, a massive thank-you from all of us."

Curle felt the Brunton Park surface was in great condition on Saturday despite fears earlier in the day that the game was in doubt.

Mansfield boss Steve Evans has since described the call for a midday inspection as "mind games", suggesting it was always going to be playable.

Curle, though, said the concerns over parts of the pitch were genuine and led the club to contact referee Seb Stockbridge to carry out the inspection.

United's boss said: "I think there were genuinely concerns in the morning.

"I had phonecalls from Dave Mitchell and [club secretary] Sarah McKnight regarding the pitch inspection.

"I've got to thank the referee for coming in early, and taking the advice and listening to the club officials to come back and have another look, another inspection, at a time when more sunshine had got on it.

"I thought the pitch played absolutely fantastic for both sides."

This Saturday's visit of Rochdale in the FA Cup is unlikely to be in any doubt, with temperatures set to remain above freezing later this week.


INTERVIEW: To have nine goals already is amazing
by Amy Nixon, carlisleunited.co.uk

Jason Kennedy on the Mansfield Town game

We spoke to midfielder Jason Kennedy shortly after full time on Saturday following the 5-2 victory over Mansfield Town.

“I thought we deserved the victory,” he said. “The lads went out there and put another shift in, and we got the three points which is the main thing.

“I think we’ve shown the strength of character we have in the team. We were disappointed to concede form the set piece and it was my man who scored the goal, which was frustrating for me.

Read more at http://www.carlisleunited.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/jason-kennedy-on-the-mansfield-town-game-3443397.aspx#WiM3U7UVkpbD8gww.99

"We’ve come from behind in a few of the last games and it isn’t the ideal scenario, but it’s a case of doing what we’ve got to do to get the rewards in the end.

“We bounced back and got our rewards and I think it shows the mental strength and character we have within the dressing room. We don’t concentrate on the negatives and moan about them, we turn them into positives and come out and work hard."

On his goal, which took him to nine for the season so far, he said: “To have nine goals already is amazing for me. I’m happy to keep scoring and helping the team. I thought the lads were superb today.

“Trace [Simon Tracey] gives us areas to be in for set pieces on Friday’s. Thankfully I managed to get into my area this time and I was free, which made it a bit strange. I was thinking I was offside or something like that. It went in the back of the net which was the main thing.

“I’m getting into the areas I’m supposed to be getting in and I’m getting the rewards for that. I’m playing up front with Charlie [Wyke] as well so I’m trying to read where he’s going to put it and get on the end of things. Everything is going to plan at the moment and it’s working well.

“I think it was always going to be the case that Charlie would get ahead of me in the goalscoring charts. It was nice to be at the top while it lasted but Charlie is a striker and he’s obviously scored a hat-trick today.

"I’ll carry on hunting him down - he might have a little lapse in one or two games so I can catch up. He’s giving me a bit of stick now that he’s overtaken me but the Middlesbrough car school is flying high at the moment."

“For my yellow card I actually slipped," he explained. "I thought the lad was going to touch me but I slipped over. I was trying to get back on my feet as quick as possible but the ref thought it was a dive.

"I’ll just have to take it on the chin. Lee Dykes came over to me when the gaffer took me off and he did say that the yellow card was the reason. I was enjoying myself and I thought there were goal opportunities there, so I would have liked to stay on the pitch."



Latest | November 2016