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

16th February 2017 20:38

Boss looking for further improvement after Pools win
mansfieldtown.net, 11th February 2017,by Tathagata Mukherjee

Stags’ boss Steve Evans says there is more to come from his group of players after seeing them record their biggest win of the season so far against Hartlepool United this afternoon.

Midfielder Ben Whiteman shone in a comprehensive 4-0 victory with a fine double, while new signing Alex MacDonald and striker Danny Rose scored the other two on a cold and wet day at One Call Stadium.

The victory over the Pools extended Stags’ unbeaten run to eight games as they picked up their sixth clean sheet in the process.

And the manager said that although he wasn’t entirely happy with the performance, the players’ attitude pleased him as they near the business end of the season.

“It wasn’t comfortable in the second-half. We didn’t start the second-half particularly well,” the Stags’ chief said.

“It was a mixed performance today, but we scored four goals; and if we don’t concede a goal, then I am a manager, who - based on the result - will go away happy.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/boss-still-looking-for-further-improvement-after-pools-win-3569609.aspx#ezmioq2fi0bX51Gv.99

“There is so much more to come from this club - we don’t get too high. We go back on the training ground, train and get ready for Tuesday and that is a different proposition all together.

“We have got a great group of players - they want to learn and improve, and we want them to do that because we need that to happen if we are going to get involved towards the end of the season.”

The ex-Leeds United manager added that substitute Alex MacDonald’s goal proved to be the turning point in the second-half, whilst also showering praise on the goal-scoring exploits of midfielder Whiteman.

“Thankfully, Alex [MacDonald] came on and gave us a great goal, and fantastic play. He is a wonderful talent and he’s come onto the pitch and gets us a goal probably at a stage of the match when we are not happy.

“I have watched him for a little while and Sheffield United - they did make it happen for us, and Ben [Whiteman] wanted to come and he wanted to play.

“He is a smashing lad and it helps when he gets that ratio of goals he is getting from midfield.

“All the lads in the dressing room, they are all personable young men. They want to improve, they want to get better and Whiteman is one of them.”

Furthermore, although the Stags have now moved into the top-seven with today’s victory, the 54-year-old refuses to look too far ahead into the play-off prospects and will continue to focus on each game as it comes.

“What I do know is that for us, when we are in seventh, we are aiming to be in sixth, and I said to the group that we can only have the objective to look at one place in front of us.

“We are concentrating and trying to get a good performance on Tuesday [against Accrington Stanley]. I know it will be about what we do, about what individuals do and what collectively we do.

“We have a fresh lot from today - we left CJ [Hamilton] out today, he might come back in and we might want to ring in one or two more changes because we believe in and trust all of our players.”

Finally, the boss again highlighted the contribution of the Stags’ faithful in creating a fantastic atmosphere to drive the Stags forward.

“It [the fans’ enthusiasm] is very noticeable. The players were just chatting in the dressing room, about the atmosphere, and all true to them, they kept us going at the start of the second-half.

“Obviously we got a couple of goals in the first-half, and we looked to take it on. But I think when we got the third goal, the atmosphere was terrific.

“I want to give them (the fans) these terrific afternoons, terrific evenings. And we can only do that if we continue to stay focused, work hard and try to improve, and that is what we are going to do between now and Tuesday.”

Supporters can view Steve Evans' post-match interview, in full, on Stags PlayerHD.


twitter BBC Nottingham Sport @BBCRNS
Evans jokes: "if any player gets carried away, I'll jump on them. And you don't want me jumping on you cos that won't be pleasant! #stags


Stags not getting carried away says Evans as they burst into top seven with biggest win
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 11 February 2017

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans said no one was getting carried away with the eight game unbeaten run that has finally taken the club into the play-offs spots.

The Stags put Hartlepool United to the sword with a 4-0 home win today to move into seventh and now sit just six points off the top three automatic promotion places.

However, at 2-0 up, Mansfield did labour for a while after the break until two more goals killed off the visitors and Evans said: “It wasn’t comfortable for a period of the second half.

“I don’t think we started the second half particularly well, but we’ve got a great group of player who want to learn and improve and we want them to do that if we are going to get involved towards the end of the season.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-not-getting-carried-away-says-evans-as-they-burst-into-top-seven-with-biggest-win-1-8385259

“When your team scores four and you don’t concede a goal you have a lot to be happy about. Individually, though, perhaps they need to ask themselves could they have done more today and the answer in some cases would be yes.

“I’ve said since I walked in, every player we’ve added, we’ve added with due care and made sure we’re signing players that have a fantastic attitude on good days and bad days.

“It was a mixed performance today but you score four goals and don’t concede, and I am a manager whose job is based on results, so you go away happy. But there is so much more to come from this group.”

Stags are back at home to Accrington Stanley on Tuesday and Evans said: “We won’t get too high. We’ll get back out on the training ground and prepare for Tuesday, which is a different proposition altogether.

“No one is getting carried away. If they do I will jump on them - and you don’t want me jumping on you as it won’t be very pleasant.

“There is no complacency. It’s just an expectation you’ve got a little bit more time than you have and instead of a player receiving a ball in two or three yards of space, suddenly there’s an opposition player on him as we’ve not given it him sharp enough.

“Thankfully Alex MacDonald came on and got us a goal with fantastic play. He is a wonderful talent and gets us a goal at a stage in the match when we’re probably not that happy. That settled everybody down and we could have scored as many as we wanted then.”

Ben Whiteman made it five goals for the Stags with a brace that took him to four in the last three games and Evans beamed: “I said when I signed him he was probably the one player Stags fans hadn’t heard of in all honesty, but I’d watched him for a little while.

“I am grateful to Chris Wilder and all the people up at Sheffield United. They really did make it happen for us. Ben wanted to come and he wanted to play. “I look beyond football sometimes and he is a personable young man. He wants to improve and get better, as they all do, and he’s on the training ground asking us to do extra bits with him. He is a smashing lad and it helps when he gets the ratio of goals he is getting from midfield.”

Whiteman was one of four nominations for the League Two January Player of the Month award and Evans said: “I think he should have got January’s award though another gifted young man, Ollie Watkins, won that.”

Evans was happy to get into the top seven at last but believes automatic promotion is already beyond them.

“It’s a good position to be in and they will enjoy that result with their families and loved ones tonight - and so they should. But then we’ll be back in to work hard and get ready for Tuesday,” he said as preparations began for Tuesday’s visit of Accrington Stanley.

“It’s crazy thinking we can go into the top three. I have already said they have gone for us.

“But what I do know is that if we are seventh we can aim to be sixth. We can only objectively look at one place in front of us and sometimes when the points are tight, one or two places behind you. “But it will now be about what we do as individuals and collectively. We will freshen it up a bit. We left CJ Hamilton out today, but he might come back in and there might be one or two more changes as we believe in and trust all our players.”

Once again the home fans, who thanks to the two for one ticket deal, numbered almost 4,000, made a lot of noise.

“It is very noticeable. The players are chatting about it in the dressing room,” said Evans.

“It was all though the game and they kept us going in a period at the start of the second half.

“We got a couple of goals in the first half - which is unusual for us - and looked to take it on.

“When we got that third goal the atmosphere was terrific. I want to give the people of Mansfield some terrific afternoon and terrific evenings. And we can only do that if we stay focused, work hard and improve.”

On a wintry day, he added: “Thanks to all the ground staff and all the supporters and everyone who turned up to clear the snow off there this morning. We are very grateful.”


Modest midfielder staying level-headed after plaudits
mansfieldtown.net, 11th February 2017

In-form midfielder Ben Whiteman is determined to maintain his impressive run of form after an incredible start to life at One Call Stadium.

The Stags' faithful are heaping praise upon the 20-year-old since his loan signing from Sheffield United at the turn of the year and his performances in January earned him a nomination for League Two Player of the Month.

And after netting a brace in this afternoon's comprehensive 4-0 win at home to Hartlepool United, Whiteman emphasised that nothing had yet been accomplished, despite his magnificent start at One Call Stadium.

"You can't get too carried away with yourself, I've only been playing for a month," said Whiteman, who now has five goals for the Stags in seven appearances.

"There's a lot of the season to go yet but I'm doing alright. My main focus is on helping Mansfield Town and helping the boys get results. I scored two but more importantly we got the three points so I'm delighted."

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/modest-midfielder-staying-level-headed-after-plaudits-3569638.aspx#UgHPDRCGw3DLytLU.99

However, even though Stags defeated the Pools in fully-deserved fashion, Whiteman still saw room for improvement: "We were a little sloppy in the second half and the gaffer has reminded us of that. We won 4-0 [though] so we can't really complain. You have to do the ugly side of the game, get back in and help your team-mates out. That's what football is about."

A crowd 4,309 witnessed the spectacle, with Stags' supporters in fine voice throughout the victory.

"They were really loud," said Whiteman. "The fans who made it to Barnet last week for different class as well. They were different class today so we can't really ask for more. It gives you a bit of a boost when things get flat and aren't going your way."

Whiteman said post-match that the team's spirit is a big factor in the Stags' excellent current form which has seen us extend our unbeaten run to eight matches in Sky Bet League Two with six clean sheets in that period.

"We're a close-knit group. I think that's showing on the pitch. We've only conceded one goal in the whole of January and I think it's showing. The back four and Keano [goalkeeper, Jake Kean] have been different class."

Reserving special praise for boss Steve Evans, he said: "I can't thank the gaffer enough for bringing me here, and I'm getting regular game time so that's the most important thing."

To watch the full interview with Ben Whiteman, login to Stags PlayerHD


Midfield goals ace Whiteman targets top three finish
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 11 February 2017

Midfield goals sensation Ben Whiteman is convinced Mansfield Town can still gain automatic promotion to League One this season.

Yesterday’s thumping 4-0 home win over Hartlepool United moved the Stags into the top seven for the first time, just six points now off that top three automatic places.

Sheffield United loanee Whiteman bagged a brace to make it four goals in three games and five in seven overall and said: “Hopefully we want to get up in the top three, we don’t want to have to go up through the play-offs.

“If it is the play-offs then that’s what it is. But we want to go up in the top three.”

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/midfield-goals-ace-whiteman-targets-top-three-finish-1-8385348

Stags still have to play all the sides above them and Whiteman said: “It’s probably a good thing. We have got to show ourselves against the top teams and hopefully we can turn them over.”

Whiteman almost completed a hat-trick but was thwarted by keeper Adam Bartlett. “I thought it was in to be fair - the keeper’s pulled off a good save,” he said.

“I am delighted to score two, but most importantly we got the three points.

“I can’t thank the gaffer enough for bringing me here and getting regular game time - that’s the most important thing.

“You can’t get too carried away with yourself, I’ve only been playing for a month. There’s still half a season to go yet I’m doing all right at the moment.

“We are a close-knit group and the lads are showing on the pitch why we’ve only conceded one goal this year.

“The back four and Jake Kean have been different class.”

He added: “I think we were sloppy second half and the gaffer reminded us of that at full-time. But we’ve won 4-0 so we can’t really complain.

“The fans were different class again, really loud, and we can’t ask for more.”


Players’ Attitude Has To Change

Manager Dave Jones brings us his thoughts after seeing Pools lose 4-0 at Mansfield Town.
Jones spoke to Pools PlayerHD after the game and admitted he has work to do to change the mentality of the players.

“I just see two teams; I see one at home and one away and, from all the videos I have watched, it’s the Club’s trait. It’s what they do and we’ve got to change that.

“For twenty minutes, we should have been a goal up and then we can’t be disappointed when a goal goes against us but they’re our own downfalls, they switch off and then you can see the disappointment in them.

“We have to change that attitude.

“I felt disappointed for the fans, you start so well and think you’re at it and then come in at half time 2-0 down. That first goal just seems to deflate everybody.

Read more at http://www.hartlepoolunited.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/dave-jones-post-mansfield-town-3569558.aspx#qQv9xhIIV2TPTJOR.99

“I feel sorry for some of the younger kids, when they’re struggling they need the experienced players to stay compact and help them.

“Technically they’re all very good but you have to add all the other ingredients in as well.”

The Pools boss had a special mention for young full back Kenton Richardson who replaced Liam Donnelly at half time to make his Club and Football League debut,

“Kenton coming on, he’s only 17 years of age, it’s great for him and I don’t think he let anyone down whatsoever.”


Hartlepool boss unhappy with away attitude after Stags defeat
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Hartlepool United boss Dave Jones said his struggling side need to change their attitude away from home after watching them crumble to a 4-0 defeat at Mansfield Town yesterday.

After missing a good early chance, they were rocked by two home goals in seven minutes and finished off by two more inside five second half minutes.

“I have seen two (Hartlepool) teams, one away and one at home,” he said.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/hartlepool-boss-unhappy-with-away-attitude-after-stags-defeat-1-8385346

“It seems to be the club’s trait and I have got to change that, but it’s going to be hard work.

“After 20 minutes we should have been a goal up, maybe two up, but we can’t be disappointed when their goals go in because they are our own downfalls.

“As soon as we switch off we concede and you can see the disappointment in the players. They have got to change that attitude.

“Good sides dig in, stay compact and build up a way back. We did all right up until they scored.

“We just switch in off in certain areas and you can’t do that. You can’t play well one week and not the next.”

He added: “I feel sorry for some of them. Some of them are young kids and when they are struggling they need the experienced players to stay compact and help them. You can’t just isolate them.

“Technically we are all very good but you have to add in all the other ingredients. They have got to transfer their home form into their away form.

“For 20 minutes I felt comfortable, and Podge (Padraig Amond) was unlucky (not to score).

“Their first goal was from our own mistakes. We need the experienced players to calm the younger ones down. I felt disappointed for the fans. We started so well.”


Hartlepool United midfielder Nicky Featherstone apologises for Mansfield
sunderlandecho.com, by ROY KELLY

Nicky Featherstone today apologised to Hartlepool United fans for Saturday’s 4-0 drubbing at Mansfield - and he says that the players are desperate to make amends.

The midfielder admitted that the team’s away form is “not good enough” following their eighth defeat on the road.

Pools slipped to 19th in League Two, just five points above the drop zone.

No team in the division have conceded more away from home than Pools and with a trip to another promotion contender to follow tomorrow night at Luton Town, things are looking bleak.

“We want to apologise to the fans,” Featherstone said.

Read more at: http://www.sunderlandecho.com/sport/football/hartlepool-united/hartlepool-united-midfielder-nicky-featherstone-apologises-for-mansfield-and-looks-to-make-amends-at-luton-1-8386220

“They travel a long way and spent a lot of money to support us.

“At the minute, away from home, it’s not good enough. We’d like to put things right for them.”

On the Luton trip, Featherstone added: “It’s a chance to put things right.

“We’re working hard on the training ground and preparing well for each game but, for whatever reason, we’re not delivering away from home at the minute.

“It’s very disappointing and it’s hard to put our finger on why.”

A sizeable number of the Pools travelling support of 331 left their seats at Field Mill on Saturday after sub Alex MacDonald made it 3-0 from outside the box.

And the total dwindled still further when Ben Whiteman made it 4-0 in the 76th minute with his second goal.

Whiteman had put Pools ahead in the 19th minute in front of the away fans who then had to witness a calamitous second, scored by Danny Rose.

Ironically, Pools could have taken the lead from a home mistake but Padraig Amond’s attempted lob drifted wide at 0-0.

“Goals change games,” said Featherstone.

“Podge had a chance and it doesn’t go in and then, at the other end, we don’t defend well enough in our box.”

Mansfield: Kean, White, Pearce, Bennett, Benning, Whiteman, Collins, Byrom, Potter (MacDonald 65), Rose (Green 69), Coulthirst (Arquin 78). Subs not used: Shearer, Baxendale, Hamilton, McGuire. Booked: Rose.
Goals: Whiteman 19 & 76, Rose 26, MacDonald 71

Hartlepool Utd: Bartlett, Donnelly (Richardson 46), Harrison, Bates, Kavanagh, Walker, Featherstone, Nelson, Amond (Alessandra 58), Thomas (Oates 75), Rooney. Subs not used: Woods, Hawkins, Smith, Fryer.

Att: 4,309.



Ben Whiteman @BenWhiteman17
Boys different class again! Made up to get on the score sheet, fans were non stop all game #stags

Danny Rose @dannyrose_32
Lads were class once again! Clean sheet and another win #stags

Rhys Bennett @RhysBeno91
Solid performance from the boys congrats to @alexmacca11 @dannyrose_32 I told you mate ! (flames)@BenWhiteman17 big game Tuesday now #stags

Shaq Coulthirst @ShaqCoulthirst
Fans Were Class Today. Massive 3 Points. Onto Tuesday... #stags

Hayden White @HaydenWhite7
Quality from all the boys again! Clean sheet & 3points. On to Tuesday now! @BenWhiteman17(flames) @mansfieldtownfc

Massive win boys different class again @BenWhiteman17 on flames we go again Tuesday @mansfieldtownfc

Lee Taylor @LTphys
Delighted for @alexmacca11 goal today you have worked your Nutts off for me since your arrival #JustTheBeginning #imwatchingyou



Latest | February 2017