{ the news }
An independent supporters' website dedicated to Mansfield Town FC
Archived News from January 2017

9th January 2017 21:06

Boss updates fans on player bids
mansfieldtown.net, 5th January 2017

Stags’ boss Steve Evans has today updated supporters on the bids which he submitted for two separate players on Monday.

Following Monday’s 1-0 victory over Blackpool at Bloomfield Road, the manager revealed that he submitted two ‘written cash offers’ for two separate players as he looks to bolster his squad following the addition of midfielders Joel Byrom and Ben Whiteman, goalkeeper Jake Kean and striker Yoann Arquin.

And the manager has today provided an update on the aforementioned bids, revealing that he is facing competition from two higher division clubs for one of the players.

“One of them we’re still waiting to hear from and one of them I’ve had a phone call from the player’s representatives,” the Stags’ chief said.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/boss-playing-waiting-game-as-bids-are-reviewed-3503151.aspx#DKAxSTcPy6QSIwzB.99

“Our offer was accepted but there’s also two clubs in League One who have bid for this player so he wants to have a chat with them.

“I understand that; if you want to play as high a level as you can then I understand it from the player’s point of view. His agent has said he’ll ring me early evening and let me know if that’s gone according to how they think it might do. If that’s the case then we’ll lose out on that one but the second one we’re waiting to hear [on].

“We’re waiting on a number of things. It’s not just those two written offers but I’m speaking to other managers and representatives of players about other options we’d like to explore and we’re going to try and do that.”

Defender Kyle Howkins, who returned to the side over the Christmas period after missing six matches through a combination of suspension and injury, has returned to parent club West Bromwich Albion after the expiration of his loan, but the gaffer says he is in talks to extend the 20-year-old’s stay at One Call Stadium.

“I was talking to Tony Pulis on Monday evening coming back from Blackpool and of course Tony’s own side had a terrific win over Hull so we were both in good spirits but Nick Hammond, the director of football at West Bromwich Albion, controls [transfers].

“I’ve just spoken to Nick in the last few minutes and they’re going to have a management meeting this afternoon, not just about young Kyle but about all the players.

“We’ll know at some stage today whether Kyle’s a possibility for the option to come back for a longer period, or whether it’s not.”

Looking ahead to Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash against an out-of-sorts Crewe Alexandra (3.00pm kick-off), the Stags’ boss is focussing on his own camp rather than the opposition as he looks to close the gap on the play-off positions.

“Morecambe were on a poor run of form, so from that point of view it’s never about what the opposition do, it’s what we do that counts.”

“I’ve got a lot of time for Steve Davis, the manager there, a lot of time. We go back a long way in respect of being in opposition benches, if you like.

"They don’t get ‘too up’ at Crewe and they don’t get ‘too down’, they’re very much level.

“Some of their play up at Morecambe on Monday said they should have won the game, and won it quite comfortably.

“If we can get a result against Crewe then we’re probably going to take ourselves within that five or six points of the play-off pack and that’s where we aim to be.”

Supporters can view Steve Evans’ news conference, in full, on Stags PlayerHD.


Question: The referee came over to talk to you in the first half against Blackpool ...
Evans: He said if you can sing rather than shout, we'll have an atmosphere.


Stags bid accepted - but Evans could miss out
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 05 January 2017

Mansfield Town have had one of their two bids for new players accepted by his club - but he is also being chased by two League One club who may yet snatch him away.

Stags boss Steve Evans confirmed earlier in the week he had made two written bids for players and today said: “One of them I am still waiting to hear from and one of them I had a phone call from the player’s representative and our offer was accepted.

“But there are also two clubs in League One that have bid for this player, so he wants to have a chat with them.

“If you want to play as high a level as you can, then I understand that from the player’s point of view.

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/stags-bid-accepted-but-evans-could-miss-out-1-8319399

“His agent has said he will ring me early evening and let me know if it has gone according to how they think it might. If that’s the case we will lose out on that one.” Whatever happens with these two players, Evans has other irons in the fire.

“We are waiting on a number of things, not just those two written offers,” he said.

“We are speaking to other managers and players’ representatives about other options we’d like to explore, and we are going to try to do that.

“Of course the nearer we get to Saturday, it may take place after the weekend. But we are still trying to do something in time for Crewe Alexandra here on Saturday.”


Stags await West Brom decision on Howkins’ future today
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 05 January 2017

Mansfield Town are expecting a decision over the future loanee centre half Kyle Howkins from parent club West Bromwich Albion later today.

The giant centre half’s’ loan spell ended at Blackpool on Monday and Stags manager Steve Evans said: “Tony Pulis gave me a ring on Monday evening on the way back from Blackpool. Of course Tony’s own side had just had a terrific win over Hull, so we were both in good spirits.

“But Nick Hammond, the technical director at West Brom controls him (Kyle). I have just spoken to him and they are going to have a management meeting this afternoon - not just about young Kyle, but about all their ins and outs, similar to us.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-await-west-brom-decision-on-howkins-future-today-1-8319457

“We will have a call today and at some stage later we will know if Kyle is a possibility for an option to come back for a longer period or not.

“Kyle has reported back nice and bright for training at West Brom this morning, which is normal and, if it’s going to happen, he will train with the group here in the morning.”

He added: “Obviously we know in our heads what we are going to do if he is not here and we know who we are going to go for if he’s not coming in.”


Evans will cap Stags squad at 22
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 05 January 2017

Manager Steve Evans wants to keep his Mansfield Town squad down to a lean and hungry 22 players maximum.

So as new players come in during the January window, others will be shown the door.

“You have to manage and control budgets with your chairman and chief executive,” he said.

“People have seen four players come in and they’ve thought we were the busiest club going. But we have seen four players leave.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-will-cap-stags-squad-at-22-1-8319768

“We have to balance it. We have a small squad compared to some others in the league.

“Our genuine first team squad here is about 20/21 players. We don’t want 24/25 players as, if everyone is fit, it becomes too many players not playing and too many little eggs in your basket not happy.

“We will just keep it nice and focused, a 21/22-man squad maximum.

“So if two or three more are coming in, and that may be the plan in January, then two or three may have to go.”

Evans has two bids in to buy new players, but is also scouring the loan market. “We have certainly been making enquiries and asking the questions,” he said.

“What people will do is look at their squad and what they are going to do. We are very, very hopeful we will have two or three new faces in the next seven to 10 days, certainly by the end of the month.

“Then we will let the squad settle and see where it goes.”

Evans believes he may be able to pull a late rabbit out the hat just as the window closes.

“What I have always known as a manager is that the day before deadline day - which is always a special time - people become available to you that you never thought,” he said.

“So Mrs Radford, please note, John Radford is not allowed to go on holiday on deadline day.

“Supporters should realise I have had the most wonderful support from the chairman and chief executive.

“They probably ring me more than I ring them now, they are so eager to find out what is going on. They want to make things happen.

“It is unusual in football that you’ve got a chairman and chief executive want to spend some money to improve their team.”


Stags boss dismisses Green move rumour as ‘nonsense’
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 05 January 2017

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans has dismissed claims on social media that top scorer Matt Green is moving back to Oxford as ‘nonsense’.

Evans also had high praise for Green, who has scored in both the last two games to move on to 11 for the season.

“I think the Oxford thing is nonsense,” he said. “It’s made up in someone’s mind at four o’clock in the morning and they shove it on tweet tweet!

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-boss-dismisses-green-move-rumour-as-nonsense-1-8319779

“One thing I know about Oxford United is that if Michael Appleton is ever interested in a player, as I have done with Michael in the past, he will pick the phone up and do it on a professional basis.

“We have heard nothing - and I do hope they come in and make offers because it’s nice to know your players are valued.”

Evans is not a big fan of social media. He smiled: “It said me and Angelina Jolie had been out for a dinner! Social media is social media and I sometimes learn what my players have had for dinner just by reading it.”

Evans is determined to get the best out of Green. “Matt Green is important,” he said.

“He has always been a goalscorer but a player whose consistency has sometimes been a problem to him.

“We like to think we have given him a bit of focus in the last two weeks and Matt knows he was almost ready to go out the team as his performances were not as they should be.

“He put that right against Doncaster with all the effort anyone could imagine someone would put into a game and he got his reward with a goal.

“On Monday at Blackpool I think he covered every blade of grass and got the goal again. It’s no secret the harder and sharper you work the more likely you are to top the goal charts.

“He has 11 already and nine more and you are a 20-goal-a-season striker. If you are then you are a real asset to any football club.”


Stags to ignore poor Crewe record and stay focused
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans will ignore Crewe Alexandra’s poor form and concentrate on his own side when the Railwaymen come to town tomorrow (3pm).

Stags fans will see Crewe’s dire record of two wins in 20 matches and expect a home win, but Evans said disappointing recent results counted for little when Stags were out-manoeuvred by Morecambe two homes back.

“Morecambe were also on a poor run of form, so from that point of view, it’s never about what the opposition do, it’s what we do that counts,” he said.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-to-ignore-poor-crewe-record-and-stay-focused-1-8319970

“I have a lot of time for the manager, Steve Davis, there. We go back a long way in respect of being on opposition benches.

“Some of their play up at Morecambe on Monday said they should have won the game and won it quite comfortably - we’ve had a look at it.

“It will be another tough game for us. But every game at every level is tough until you are 3-0 up with five minutes to go and then it’s easy.” Evans is still hoping he can add to his squad at the 11th hour, though already has four new faces hoping on home debuts after the quartet of Yoann Arquin, Joel Byrom, Ben Whiteman and Jake Kean all started in Monday’s 1-0 win at Blackpool. But he did suggest there would be changes, despite the victory.

“We are ready,” said Evans. “The players had a couple of days downtime because they worked a lot over the Christmas and New Year period. But they are back in now and they are nice and bright.

“We will pick what we think is right for Saturday. It is unlikely to be the team that won at Blackpool that will start against Crewe. We had two tough games.

“Over the two games I thought, if I am being honest, that our performance was possibly better against Doncaster Rovers and we should have won the game.

“Blackpool was very much like the game here, where there was not a lot in it, and one piece of quality with the through ball, and we won the game.”

It is a busy week for Stags with the Crewe game quickly followed by a home Checkatrade Trophy against League One Oldham then a big Saturday local derby at Notts County.

“If we can get a result against Crewe we are probably going to take ourselves within five or six points of the play-off pack, and that is where we aim to be,” he said.

“Get that out the way and we can look forward to the Checkatrade and decide what players are going to play in that, because obviously we’ve then got a big derby over at Notts County, who I am told by that time will have a new manager.

“It was a shame to see John Sheridan go after such a short period of time but it seems to me owners just want to change managers like confetti at a wedding, there’s that much of it.”

On Oldham, he added: “Any time you play a team from a league above, it’s tough and Oldham Athletic will want to make progress in that competition, the same as we do. But our focus right now is on Crewe.”

Only once all season have Stags managed back-to-back League wins and Evans said: “It was levelled at the team when I arrived that they could have one or two good performances and some people would think they had arrived and their performances would go down.

“We try to keep it on a level keel. Good players usually produce good performances consistently which makes you a good player at whatever level you play.

“But we need our supporters to come here with the same determination and the same atmosphere round the stadium as what we had leading up to the Doncaster game.

“I came into the stadium against Doncaster thinking this means so much to everyone, then I saw nearly 500 supporters at Blackpool thinking this means the same.

“So let’s have a good support inside the One Call Stadium, let’s get the three points and pop ourselves five or six points off those play-offs and let everyone see that Mansfield Town train coming, because it’s going to come.”

He continued: “I was surprised that almost 500 Stags fans travelled up to Blackpool in a part of January when money is tight just after Christmas. It was fantastic to see.

“Not for the entirety of the games, but I think for the last half hour of the away League fixture at Carlisle and the first half at Exeter we let them down as the sheer effort and determination of performance was lacking.

“I did address it in my team talk and said that is a minimum. These supporters have paid a lot of money to come here, so just give them a shift.

“All the players involved, including those that weren’t involved, and all staff gave it everything they’d got.

“As often happens when you do that, the quality shines and the bit of quality in the game from Greeny (Matt Green) got us the points.”


Stags helping Hamilton build confidence
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Exciting winger CJ Hamilton has suddenly begun to find his form at Mansfield Town where new boss Steve Evans said it had simply been a question of giving the youngster some confidence.

The lightning-fast Hamilton followed up a good display against Doncaster with another lively outing at Blackpool and Evans said: “If you tell someone they are not very good most days, they are not going to be very good most days.

“I think if you tell someone they can be very good most of the days, there is a chance they can be very good. “With young CJ we came in and identified him very quickly. He is a lovely kid. He is an insecure boy that does need to be told on a regular basis that he can be something quite special.”

Stags fans are now starting to see the talents that saw him on the playing staff at Sheffield United, and his admirers include other managers.

“It’s really interesting,” said Evans.

“Every manager, when CJ has played a large part of the game, including the likes of Darren Ferguson and Gary Bowyer, they have all had a beer or a glass of wine with me afterwards and spoke about CJ Hamilton being a real player for Mansfield Town.

“That’s nice from opposition because it means he is doing something positive for Mansfield Town. “From my point of view his performances are getting better.

“We still need to get his end product right and we are going to continue to work hard on that. If he gets that right this kid can go a long way.”

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-helping-hamilton-build-confidence-1-8319899


New midfielder lauds manager's influence
mansfieldtown.net, 5th January 2017

New midfielder Joel Byrom says the impression made by manager Steve Evans was the catalyst in his decision to sign for the club.

The former Northampton Town midfielder signed a deal at One Call Stadium after our match at home to Doncaster Rovers last week following his departure from Sixfields.

And Byrom, 30, says he wanted to move to One Call Stadium as soon as he heard of the interest from manager Steve Evans.

“As soon as I heard of the interest I was interested to come and see [the club]. So I spoke to the manager and then it happened quite quickly from there," Byrom said.

“Before I knew it, I was in here and training and ready to play in the game on Monday.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/new-midfielder-lauds-managers-influence-3503425.aspx#4lCZVQChSUrq25Yi.99

“Obviously when I wasn’t playing at Northampton, I was looking to get a move and the interest the manager showed in me, it was just one of those things that just felt right and I go with my gut.

“I’d spoken to a few lads at Northampton - Alex Revell who’d played under him (Steve Evans) at Rotherham and he couldn’t speak highly enough of him. So I came and met him myself and then my mind was made up.”

The Blackburn Rovers’ academy product says he has enjoyed life since joining the Stags last week and was pleased with how his debut went against Blackpool.

“I’ve enjoyed it since I’ve been here, I’ve loved it. The training’s been good. It was great to get a win on my debut and all the lads have been brilliant helping me settle in.

“It was one of those typical League Two performances away from home. It’s not pretty but you get chances and obviously Greeny (Matt Green) took his chance really well and I think we deserved it in the end.

“The away support, you could heard them all the way through the game. They were brilliant from the first minute to the last.”

Byrom was part of the Northampton side which won League Two last season and he is now looking forward to the challenge of helping the Stags close in on the play-off positions in the second half of the season.

“We’re on a bit of a run now. We got a draw against Doncaster, I was here at the game, and I thought we dominated for the majority of it. [Then we got] a win against Blackpool and hopefully we can take it in to Saturday and get another win.

“The aim’s just to push on and climb the table. You’ve got to take one game at a time but I think there’s teams who have been in worse positions than we have at Christmas who’ve managed to make a real run for the play-offs and push themselves up the league.

“Once you get on that winning run, it becomes natural. You just go in to games and you’ve got the confidence building and you just end up winning games.”

Supporters can view Joel Byrom’s first interview as a Mansfield Town player on Stags PlayerHD.


Joel Byrom aims to steer Stags up League Two table
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

New signing Joel Byrom says he wants to help Mansfield Town climb the League Two table. Byrom, one of four new faces at the Stags to the start the new year, signed from Northampton after helping the Cobblers to the League Two title last season.

The 30-year-old midfielder said: “The aim is just to push on and climb the table, but you have got to take one game at a time. There are teams who have been in worse positions than us at Christmas who managed to make a real run for the play-offs and push up the league, but we have got to take one game at a time.

“Once you get on a winning run it becomes natural, confidence builds and you end up winning games. At the end of last season at Northampton we weren’t playing great but we were still picking up wins and draws because teams were already beaten before they got out there.”

Byrom, who made his debut alongside Jake Kean, Ben Whiteman and Yoann Arquin in the 1-0 win at Blackpool on Monday, said he was looking forward to making his first home appearance against Crewe on Saturday.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/joel-byrom-aims-to-steer-stags-up-league-two-table-1-8321029

“I am looking forward to it. We are on a bit of a run now - a draw against Doncaster (I was here and we dominated for the majority of it) and then the win against Blackpool. We can take that into Saturday.”

Byrom said he was keen to join the Stags when he heard of the link after falling out of favour at the Cobblers when Rob Page took over as manager from Chris Wilder.

“As soon as I heard of the interest I was interested to come and see. I spoke to the manager (Steve Evans) and then it happened quite quickly from there. Before I knew it I was in here training ready to play on Monday (at Blackpool).

“When I wasn’t playing at Northampton I was looking to get a move. The interest the manager (Steve Evans) showed in me, it just felt right and I normally go with my gut (feeling). Different managers have their own ideas, I didn’t fit into the plans there (at Northampton), but that’s football for you.

“It was my time to move on. You have got to make sure you are playing football as much as you can because your career doesn’t last too long.

“Alex Revel at Northampton, who had played under Steve Evans at Rotherham, couldn’t speak highly enough of him. I came to meet him myself and then my mind was made up straight away.” Byrom has enjoyed his time at the One Call Stadium so far.

“I have loved it. It was great to get a win on my debut and the lads have been brilliant, helping me to settle in,” he said.

“The away support (at Blackpool), you could hear them all the way through the game. They were brilliant from the first minute to the last.”

The midfielder took most of the Stags corners and free kicks at Blackpool.

“I have taken set pieces wherever I have been,” he said. “I work on them in training and it is something I have always liked doing.

“All the new lads did well (at Blackpool). It is not easy coming into a new side, but the rest of the lads have helped us along the way and been great with us.”

He played alongside Stags’ Lee Collins at Northampton and said the defender “was very unlucky not to get a new contract before he came here (Mansfield).

Asked what he could bring to the Stags, Byrom said: “I am consistent, have a decent left foot and am a passer of the ball. I work 100% for the team all the time. I make sure I work hard, that’s the first thing, and then look to play on top of that.”

Byrom started his career at Blackburn, before dropping into non-league. “I had sort of lost my love for it (football) a little bit,” he said.

“I was working full-time. Then an old friend of the family asked me to help out and get playing football again. i started enjoying it and it took off from there.”

The midfielder then helped Stevenage back into the Football League and after spells at Preston North End and Oldham Athletic he joined Northampton, playing a crucial role in their charge to the League Two title last season. He recalled: “When people weren’t getting paid, staff and players, it brought the whole club together. Everyone united. When things started going wrong behind the scenes, that’s when the playing staff picked up and from Christmas we didn’t lose a game.

“Wilder is a very good, lets you play with freedom and a lot of very attacking football. His recruitment for Northmapton in the last couple of years was very good.”


Lowe Back For Mansfield Clash
crewealex.net, 6th January 2017

Crewe welcome back their captain for Field Mill encounter.

Ryan Lowe has successfully returned to training this week and has declared himself fit for tomorrow’s fixture away at Mansfield Town. Lowe, 38, is leading the club’s goalscoring chart with 8 goals this season but he has been forced to miss the last three games after sustaining a slight hamstring strain at Cambridge.

Steve Davis will have a decision to make whether to bring the experienced player back into the side following the recent form of his replacement Charlie Kirk, but the Crewe boss has said it is a welcome boost to have his main marksman back in contention.

Steve told the club’s official web-site: “Ryan has trained this week and has come through okay. He is fine and will be a welcome addition to the squad.

“We have missed him. He is a goalscorer and we have not been scoring enough goals of late. A natural goal scorer is invaluable to any team.

Read more at http://www.crewealex.net/news/article/2016-17/lowe-back-for-mansfield-clash-3504617.aspx#IJApWTO1sOmI8ojR.99

“We have been creating chances but not taking them. Our ratio has to be better and having Ryan available again should help us with that. We just need that little bit of quality and a bit of luck to turn those chances into more goals.”


Crewe Without Youngsters For Mansfield
crewealex.net, 6th January 2017

Crewe Alexandra will be without young midfield Tom Lowery (thigh) and youngsters’ Callum Saunders and Ryan Wintle are struggling with illness. Places will be available in the Crewe Alexandra squad with the fit-again Ryan Lowe battling it out with Charlie Kirk for a starting place in the team.

Read more at http://www.crewealex.net/news/article/2016-17/crewe-without-youngsters-for-mansfield-3504690.aspx#xDHtKstFhiTFrEKU.99

Captain Ryan Lowe has returned to training this week after missing the last three games due to a hamstring injury. Kirk has started the last three games and arguably produced his best performance in a Crewe shirt against Carlisle on Boxing Day.


Boss: "Hopefully Luck Will Change In Front Of Goal"
crewealex.net, 6th January 2017

Steve has faith in his front players to start finding the back of the net.

Steve Davis has told crewealex.net that he has faith that our fortunes will turn in front of goal. The Alex have scored just two goals in our last six games and the boss is after a vast improvement after missing some good chances against Accrington and Morecambe in our last two encounters.

The Crewe boss told the club’s official web-site: “We are creating chances but not taken them. It is not as though we are going through games and not creating anything.

“We have just lacked that little bit of quality or composure. We have also faced goalkeepers in good form, who have arguably been the man-of-the-match. That was certainly the case at Morecambe.

“We have to make better decisions in and around the box and be more patience. They have shown that they can do it. They have done it in the earlier part of the season when we played some terrific football and were taking more of our chances.

Read more at http://www.crewealex.net/news/article/2016-17/boss-hopefully-luck-will-change-in-front-of-goal-3504773.aspx#XsvM4ym2H9iIJYVZ.99

“They have shown what they are capable of and we just need the ball to run for us a bit more. Hopefully our luck will change a bit and the goals will come back.

Steve added: “We have just encouraged them to make the same runs and get in the right positions and hopefully they will start to get their rewards for that.”


Steve Evans Is 'A Real Football Man'
crewealex.net, 6th January 2017

Steve Davis looks forward to meeting up with Stags boss Steve Evans.

Crewe Alexandra boss Steve Davis is looking forward to going up against manager Steve Evans at Field Mill this weekend. The former Crawley, Leeds and Rotherham manager is now in charge of Mansfield Town and Davis says that ‘football man’ Evans is always great company on a match day.

The two of them have known each other since Steve Davis was a player with Northwich Victoria and Evans was managing Boston United in the non-league.

Ahead of our trip to Mansfield, Steve told the club’s official web-site: “Steve is a very experienced manager and he would have seen Mansfield as a fresh challenge. I am sure there were a lot of people who were surprised that he accepted the job after he had managed Leeds and Rotherham in the Championship but I know that Steve is a real ‘football man’ and he always wants that challenge.

“I knew him when he was manager at Boston and I was still playing at Northwich, so I’ve known him for a long time now. He has grafted at Boston and then Crawley and he deserved his success. He worked hard and got his rewards with the clubs he went on to manage. It is never easy.

“A lot of football managers and people in the game like him because he is a real football man and great company. You have some banter with him on the touchline but that is fine because we both want our teams to win and afterwards we have a drink and a good chat.

Read more at http://www.crewealex.net/news/article/2016-17/steve-evans-is-a-real-football-man-3504852.aspx#7UpR43Qx1C0D0mLE.99

“Steve has a way of playing and his style has been successful for him, so he will be getting down to implementing that at Mansfield. It will be a good game for us and when you are facing a Steve Evans side you have to be bang at it.”



Latest | January 2017