EVANS AND MICHAEL FLYNN REACTION
Gaffer commends players' efforts in Newport draw
Stags' boss Steve Evans said he was proud of his players after they secured a hard-fought point away to Newport County this afternoon.
In high winds and driving rain, Stags took the lead midway through the first half when striker Danny Rose struck a low effort into the bottom corner for his eighth goal of the season.
Second half substitute Shawn McCoulsky rescued a point for the hosts when he volleyed an effort beyond goalkeeper Conrad Logan from 10 yards.
And during an afternoon in which Stags were forced to battle for a point, the gaffer commended his players for standing up to the physical nature of their South Wales counterparts.
"They've got a lot of big lads and I was really proud of the players today, they stood up to that," the Stags' manager said.
"They play a certain way that's very difficult from every angle. They put long throws, crosses, corners, free-kicks, everything goes into your box.
"I'm pleased with how hard we worked; we need to do more in terms of when we've got the ball, in terms of creativity and keeping it better, but I'm proud of my players with how hard they've worked in the last two games.
"We asked for a response after Swindon and you could see the supporters, to a man, giving the players a standing ovation today and that's just for effort."
The manager made a double substitution in the 72nd minute, replacing front two Danny Rose and Kane Hemmings with Jimmy Spencer and Omari Sterling-James, and the former Leeds United boss revealed the change was to try and inject some freshness into the front line after an energetic display from the pair.
"He (Danny Rose) had nothing left, him and Kane Hemmings. It's a big pitch; it's a wide pitch. It's a saturated surface and it takes a lot [out of you].
"What we tried to do when we made the double change was to get a bit of freshness at the top end of the pitch and - we almost did it once or twice - we thought on a counter attack basis we could catch them.
"Credit to the players. We'll travel home and we'll freshen some of the group up for Tuesday."
With the season now 15 games old, the manager believes partnerships within the Stags' side are growing week-by-week.
"We've come, we've got a point. It's a hard-earned point. You look at the results around the league today, I've just glanced at them - it's a hard league.
"Our partnerships and our little things are growing every week. Every week we come to work, it's getting a little bit better; a little bit better in training, a little bit better understanding and there's some real competition for places, as we saw today with the bench we could name."
Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags to listen to the manager's post-match interview later this evening.
One point reward as Stags stand up to direct Newport
chad.co.uk, Saturday 21 October 2017
Steve Evans was delighted to see his players stand up to the pressure that Newport County’s very direct style puts the opposition under and take a point from today’s 1-1 draw at Rodney Parade. Danny Rose gave Stags a first half lead only to see Shawn McCoulsky level from a huge Ben Tozer throw.
“You’re never pleased when you don’t win a game, but we’ll take the point. It is a tough place to come,” said Evans. “You can understand why they are sixth in the league.
“With those long throws as well they are the longest ball team I’ve seen in a long time, but it’s very effective for Michael (manager Flynn) and his players. They know their jobs inside out.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/one-point-reward-as-stags-stand-up-to-direct-newport-1-8817192
“It’s very difficult when you’re trying to be a footballing side and competing with that. But my players stood up brave today and if anything we probably go away disappointed we’ve not won the game.”
The wind and rain caused extra problems. “In the first half the wind had subsided and the pitch had held up extremely well to the rain - credit to Newport for the job they’ve done,” said Evans.
“Second half, though, the weather changed and the wind and rain started going into our goalkeeper’s face. Credit to the players - they stood up to it.”
On Rose’s goal, the manager said: “He kicked part of the ground, but he’s found the finish. “We played Danny a little bit deeper off Kane today and he found little pockets. A lot of that was caused by Kane Hemmings’ excellent movement.”
Stags’ hopes of taking all three points were wrecked from a long Tozer throw. “We switched off for their goal which was the disappointing aspect as, other than that, my goalkeeper has only had to make a couple of saves,” said Evans.
“He throws it as far as many people can kick a cross and they play to it. It’s how they put you under pressure. “We worked on defending it Thursday and Friday and said it’s not about dealing with the first ball - it’s the second phase that leads to the goal.”
Yet Stags could have been 2-0 up had Alfie Potter’s finish not hit the post. “Alfie’s hit the inside of the post and any other time that goes in,” said Evans. “You can never say at 2-0 your game is over, but at 2-0 we would have been in total command and make them change how they do things which gives you even more of an advantage. We knew that was a key moment.”
He added: “We have got lots of improvement to come. We need to be in that pack as we go into January as, if we are, we will affect it so positively that we’ll be in the pack at the end of it. “But we are in a run of really tough games right now. We have to keep in contention.
“Credit to our supporters today. They’ve come along way and they knew conditions were going to be awful. I was so proud to see them applaud the players at the end as they knew they’d put in the effort.”
Bristol City youngster is top scorer for Newport County after leveller against Mansfield Town
southwalesargus.co.uk, by Andrew Penman
MICHAEL Flynn admits Shawn McCoulsky is close to forcing his way into the starting XI after the substitute earned a point against Mansfield Town with his seventh goal of the season.
The striker, on loan from Bristol City, is now County’s top goal scorer after coming off the bench to score for the third successive match in League Two.
McCoulsky’s volley from a Ben Tozer long throw saw the Exiles draw level with Mansfield, who had led through Danny Rose’s first-half strike.
“Shawn is knocking on the door for a start now,” said Flynn after the 1-1 draw.
“He’s scoring for fun now and he was outstanding when he came on.
“He’s the club’s top scorer now and, fair play to him, he works hard and he did well today with his back to goal.
“When he got hold of the ball he did really well and I’m delighted for him because he’s a great kid.”
The point means Flynn’s men remain sixth in the table but the manager felt his side should have had all three.
“We were by far the better team,” he said.
“I thought we dominated, especially in the second half, and their keeper was man of the match.
“We should have had three or four penalties for shirt pulling and we conceded a sloppy goal,” he added.
“I’ve spoken to the referee at half-time, in a respectful manner, and I said he had to keep an eye on it.
“He said he would but they kept getting away with it.
“It was bizarre. It happened that many times and I don’t know how they kept getting away with it.”
POST-MATCH | Mike Flynn praises battling Exiles performance in 1-1 draw with Mansfield Town
newport-county.co.uk, by Ryan Robinson
Mike Flynn says he thought the Exiles were “outstanding” in the tough conditions at Rodney Parade as they battled to a 1-1 draw with Mansfield Town.
On an afternoon where the wind and rain played a huge part in the outcome of the game, the away side took the lead with their first opportunity on 22 minutes.
When County failed to clear a Will Atkinson delivery, the ball sat up perfectly for striker Danny Rose to get his 8th of the season with a predatory volley into the far corner from 10 yards.
But from that moment on it was one-way traffic from County, and the Exiles finally got their just rewards with the equaliser in the 69th minute.
And just like in the previous two league encounters, it was super-sub Shawn McCoulsky to get it.
The Bristol City loanee got in-front of his marker from a Ben Tozer long-throw to stab home from just outside the six-yard area.
That meant McCoulsky scored for the fourth successive game in all competitions, making him County’s top scorer for the campaign in the process with his 7th goal.
Frank Nouble, Padraig Amond and Ben Tozer all had chances saved by visiting goalkeeper Conrad Logan as County battled hard to find the winner late on, although had to settle for a well-deserved point, keeping the Exiles in 6th position in the League 2 table.
And Flynn was proud of the performance from his side.
“We were by far the better team,” he commented.
“I thought that their goalkeeper was man-of-the-match. I’d love to see the possession stats and the amount of chances we created.
“Second half there was only one team in it. We were outstanding.”
Flynn was also pleased to see his side get something from such a battling performance, after failing to pick up any points in mid-week from a similar level of performance.
“I’m so made up for them today,” he affirmed.
“You may say it was only a draw but it was the manner of the draw.
“It is better than nothing. And I wish we’d have taken a point on Tuesday as-well because that’s better than a loss.
“The crowd have clapped the boys off today, gone away happy and they’ve seen their team dominate a game of football.”
Discussing improvement points for his side going forward, Flynn has challenged the team to be more alert in the defensive areas.
“I thought we were the better team first-half as-well,” he said.
“But, I’m disappointed with the goal that we conceded if I’m honest.
“I just think we were a little flat footed, waiting for something to happen and I think the change of shape worked very well in the second half.”
Flynn did, however, heap praise on attacker Frank Nouble post-match, who won the fan’s man-of-the-match poll for his performance.
He added: “There were some really good performances but Frank Nouble was unplayable second-half.
“I just wish he hadn’t have tired towards the end there because I think a fully-fit Frank Nouble at the end would have won it for us.
“He was unplayable today, Mansfield had to double up on him, had to foul him as-well. He was running through people, put some good crosses in, had shots tipped over the crossbar and he was just unplayable.
“I also think David Pipe was brilliant, Mark O’Brien was a rock at the back. Joe Day didn’t have too much to do which was positive.”
Flynn also felt substitute Sean Rigg showed his true capabilities when coming on late in the second half.
He said: “I’ve just told Riggy that I thought he did more in 20 minutes when he came on today than he did in the whole of the 80 minutes on Tuesday.
“That’s not me having a go at Sean because that’s what I know his levels are. I know he can be that good and that’s what I want from him.
“He wasn’t bad Tuesday but he wasn’t as effective as he was today.”
And Flynn also admitted Shawn McCoulsky must now be considered for a starting-berth in the team.
He stated: “I’ve told him that’s he’s knocking on the door for a start now and I’ve also told him the reasons why he hasn’t been starting at the moment.
“Seven goals now, club’s top scorer and he’s scoring goals for fun. Fair play to the boy, I’ve got a lot of time for him because he works hard and what he did today when he came on was be good with his back to goal and that’s what we needed from him.
“He got hold of the ball, set things up and he was outstanding when he came on.
“He’s scoring goals against defenders in League 2 and he’s scoring goals quite regularly at the moment. He’s really giving me food for thought.
“If he carries on at this rate I think he’ll have 17, 18 or 19. He’s going to be up there and that’ll be outstanding because we haven’t had that for a good few seasons now.”
The Exiles now have a full week to recover before another tough away test, with a trip to 2nd place Notts County.
And Flynn revealed post-match that his side will be boosted by the fact that Joss Labadie’s injury is not as bad as first feared.
“We’ve had a bit of good news,” he confirmed.
“It’s not as bad as we first thought. He’s going to be out for a few weeks, I don’t want to put an exact timetable on it but it’s not as bad as we first thought and that’s good news for me.”
Latest | October 2017