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Archived News from February 2017

16th February 2017 20:39

Boss well-prepared for Accrington challenge
mansfieldtown.net, 13th February 2017

Stags’ boss Steve Evans says tomorrow’s clash with Accrington Stanley will be a sterner test than the one which Hartlepool posed as his side look to stretch their unbeaten run to nine games.

Saturday’s 4-0 win over Pools was Stags’ biggest victory of the season and it extended their unbeaten league run to eight, including six victories and two draws.

During that unbeaten streak, Steve Evans’ men have conceded just two goals and the boss says his side will have to be at their best to overcome an underrated Accrington side tomorrow night.

“Accrington Stanley have beaten the likes of Bradford this season, they’ve beaten Luton, they drew with Carlisle - we got ‘whomped’ at Carlisle and they drew with them and should have beaten them when Carlisle were in super form, not the wee dip they’re having now,” the Stags’ chief said.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/boss-well-prepared-for-tough-accrington-test-3573055.aspx#PzqDjuRy3GzKiP3d.99

“I think it proves that Accrington have got some tidy players and there lies my respect for them because they’re capable of beating any team in this league.

“This is an Accrington side under a very experienced gaffer (John Coleman), someone who’s like me who’s come through non-league and knows what it takes to put teams together.

“I really respect the opponents tomorrow night and we’re going to have to be at our best. This is one game that I’ve said to the players prior to the weekend: we’ve got two mountains coming up and the higher mountain would be Tuesday. We’ve got over Saturday, this is a much sterner test on Tuesday.”

With games coming thick and fast in Sky Bet League Two, the manager says it is important to manager players’ game-time in order for them to perform at their best.

“We’re in a period where we’re doing Saturday-Tuesday, we have a break next week and then we have the long trips ahead of us so we need to make sure that we use the group in a wise way and make sure that we’re not seeing anyone tired.

“If anyone produces, not a not good performance, but a tired performance, then it would probably mean that their miles on the clock is high in terms of a short space of time and they need to come out the side.

“A lot of the analysis I do with Sean O’Callaghan, our analyst, is based on minutes and actual time and making sure what my eyes tell me are [the same as] the figures that he comes up with.”

Defender Kyle Howkins is expected to take part in a match for West Bromwich Albion’s under 23s tonight and the gaffer has confirmed that he won’t be available for selection for tomorrow’s game against Stanley, but says he has 21 players at his disposal.

"I think West Brom have got a game tonight and one later in the week and he’ll be involved in that and then we probably need to bring him in here and get a week’s training in to him like we did last time before we could involve him.

“It will be the 18 players who were involved on Saturday, plus Ashley Hemmings comes in to contention as always, as does Paddy Hoban and a young man from our under 21s, Lewis Collins, who’s been training with the first team for about two/two-and-a-half weeks now.

“Every day the kid’s getting better and that’s good because we want people to challenge from within the squad and of course from the youth below it.”

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


Bogey team Stanley will be a much higher mountain to climb for the soaraway Stags tomorrow
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 13 February 2017

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans has warned that bogey side Accrington Stanley will be a much higher mountain to scale than fellow strugglers Hartlepool United when they visit One Call Stadium tomorrow (7.45pm).

Unbeaten in eight League games, the Stags swept aside Hartlepool 4-0 to go into the top seven play-off places on Saturday, but Evans has no doubt that Stanley will cause them far more problems.

They certainly have done in recent years, Stags unable to win any of their last 11 League games against them and their last League win over them coming back in 1961 away from home and the last League win over them at Field Mill in 1960.

“They are a better team that Hartlepool in my opinion,” he said.

“I think Dave Jones (Hartlepool boss) has his work cut out. He’s like me, he’s just gone in there. But he didn’t get so much time to make a big difference, if any, in the transfer window.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/bogey-team-stanley-will-be-a-much-higher-mountain-to-climb-for-the-soaraway-stags-tomorrow-1-8387624

“But Accrington Stanley have beaten the likes of Bradford this season, they’ve beaten Luton, and they drew with Carlisle. We got walloped by Carlisle, but they drew with them and should have beaten them.

“That was when Carlisle were in super form and not in the dip they are having now. It proves that Accrington have got some very tidy players.

“That tells you how tough it’s going to be tomorrow night and if any of my players are complacent then they will pay a price - that’s for sure.”

He continued: “Accrington are capable of beating any team in this league. I have just watched a full re-run of the game down at Portsmouth and Portsmouth scored in the first one and a half minutes and then it took them until 90+ to get second.

“Accrington were very much in that game in the second half on a counter-attack basis.

“This is an Accrington side under a very experienced gaffer, someone like me who has come through non-League and knows what it takes to put team together.

“I really respect our opponents tomorrow night and we are going to have to be at our best.

“I said to the players prior to the weekend, we have two mountains coming up and the highest of the mountains will be Tuesday.

“Now we have got over Saturday, this is a much sterner test on Tuesday.”

Centre half loanee Kyle Howkins will play for parent club West Brom’s U23 tonight but won’t be rushed back into the Mansfield squad tomorrow.

“We probably need to bring him in here and get a week’s training into him like we did last time before we can involve him,” said Evans.

“It will be the 18 players on duty on Saturday. Ashley Hemmings and Paddy Hoban come into contention of course and a young man from the U21s, Lewis Collins, who has been training with the first time for about two and half weeks now, and every day the kid is getting better.

“That’s good as we want people to challenge from within the squad, and of course from the youth below.

“We know how difficult it is to get into this top seven and we are in a little bit by default at the minute because Wycombe Wanderers have a game in hand.

“People will say they’ve not won it yet, but if they get the win we drop out of it.”

Supporters buying tickets for tomorrow night will get a free one for the visit of Newport County later this month in another tickets deal by chairman John Radford.


‘Romantic’ Stags boss unhappy with Valentine’s Day football
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 13 February 2017

Steve Evans has slammed the Football League’s fixture-makers for ordering a full programme of games tomorrow on St Valentine’s Day evening which is bound to cause consternation in many fans’ households in Mansfield and nationwide.

The Stags host a visit by Accrington Stanley and will hope their two for one ticket offer will help swell the crowd with fans attending tomorrow given a ticket for the visit of Newport later in the month.

There is a lot of love for Mansfield right now with the side in the top seven and eight League games unbeaten.

But having Valentine’s Day games have not gone down well with everyone.

Evans said: “This is the same football authority who booked games on deadline day when they know that managers and clubs and chairmen up and down the country are focused on trying to improve their squad.

“More qualified managers than me have said enough about deadline day.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/romantic-stags-boss-unhappy-with-valentine-s-day-football-1-8387660

“I think there are very few days on the calendar that could be exempt. I think Christmas Day should always be exempt for the man who put us all on this world.

“And I think Valentine’s Day is one of the days of the year that people should know that you look on your loved ones and try to treat them a bit extra special.

“I can only assume the person who did the fixtures doesn’t have a loved one!”

So does Steve Evans consider himself romantic? “I would like to think so,” he laughed.

“I think the chairman appreciates when we have a glass of wine together!

“I have the opportunity if there are 1,000 ladies in the stadium tomorrow to share it with as thousand ladies, I don’t think the wife will be so keen on that though! “I just think it’s an opportunity to bring the ladies to football.

“I love to see more and more families coming now. I think we’ll see more families tomorrow night, probably more ladies than normal because hopefully the gents are bringing them along.

“It’s just one of those occasions like Christmas and family birthdays when you have to sacrifice.

“My only concern tomorrow is not about love hearts and nonsense like that, it’s three points.”


Democracy as Stags fans help manager pick the side
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 13 February 2017

Mansfield Town supporters’ opinions on team selection will be taken on board by manager Steve Evans as he continues to follow Sir Alex Ferguson’s tip to avoid being a dictator.

Ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Accrington Stanley, Evans said he likes to garner a collective opinion of everyone he speaks to before making his decisions.

“We’ll have a staff meeting tomorrow afternoon, but I ask anyone I see in the town of Mansfield what their team would be. I love to get opinions,” he said.

“Sometimes you get opinions that are not the norm and you have to balance that out.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/democracy-as-stags-fans-help-manager-pick-the-side-1-8387691

“If you asked eight or nine people about a team, perhaps five, six or seven of them who are unconnected, say they’d like a change for player A to be replaced by player B. “You actually go away as a manager and have a look at that. And you should do.”

He explained: “I learnt that trait from Sir Alex Ferguson on a visit to Old Trafford.

“He said to me he asks the tunnel stewards on arrival, he asks the press guys, he asks the people who serve them so well up there cooking their dinners and the like. He said quite often from those opinions comes one opinion of many people.

“It is better to have many people’s opinions than just being a dictator and picking it yourself. I’ve never managed like that and maybe that’s why we’ve had success over the years.”

The only opinions he has to take with a pinch of salt at times are his own players.

“The players will tell you they are the Maradona of Mansfield, and so they should,” he smiled. “We want players to be confident. We want players to be bright.”


Coleman wants a fast start and goals from Accrington Stanley at Mansfield
lancashiretelegraph.co.uk, by Johnny Greaney

JOHN Coleman is demanding a positive start and goals when he takes his inconsistent side to buoyant Mansfield tonight.

The Reds suffered a 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth on Saturday that was mostly down to conceding from a corner inside two minutes at Fratton Park and a limp first half-hour performance.

Meanwhile, the Stags have been resurgent since Steve Evans took charge, winning six out of the their last eight games in a superb run stretching back to the start of the year.

That's moved them up to seventh in the table and they go into tonight's clash with Stanley on the back of a 4-0 hammering of Hartlepool.

"It's vital to get a good start at Mansfield," said Coleman.

"They are on the back of scoring four goals so will be absolutely cockahoop, so we have to learn from Saturday but put it behind us.

"We can't do anything about it now, what we can do is try to win more games and we've got a great opportunity to do that at Mansfield."

Coleman will have Scott Brown and Matty Pearson both available again after suspension and is delighted to have them back in the fold, although Terry Gornell will miss out.

The manager said: "They are two good lads, two very keen lads who will go through a brick wall for you.

"It's not so much Scotty's experience, I think you miss his enthusiasm.

"He's got that in abundance and you miss it when he's not there."

He added: "I think the game will come too soon for Terry. He damaged his ankle in training last week and possibly won't be ready until the weekend."

Stanley have scored the lowest number of goals in League Two, something Coleman admits is a 'massive concern', but he is looking for an improvement in all areas after described the Pompey defeat as 'unacceptable'.

"It's another game and we've got to get ourselves up for the game and compete the way I know we can do," he said.

"We didn't make too many chances on Saturday. I don't think their keeper made a save, we had a couple of scrambles and a couple of pot shots that were off target, so we want to improve on that straight away."

He added: "It's been up and down all season, but that first half hour at Portsmouth was unacceptable.

"If I was a travelling fan I would have been really really upset by what I saw.

"Then we woke up after half an hour and we gave as good as we got.

"If we'd have started the game like we finished the game there would have no problem in getting one point and possibly three.

Read more at http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/sport/football/accrington_stanley/news/15088602.Coleman_wants_a_fast_start_and_goal_from_Accrington_Stanley_at_Mansfield/?ref=mac



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