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

23rd November 2017 11:00

Gaffer highlights club's improvement in first year of reign
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 16 November 2017

As he celebrates a year in charge of Mansfield Town, gaffer Steve Evans believes the infrastructure of the club is 'significantly better' than when he first walked through One Call Stadium's doors 12 months ago.

The gaffer has overseen 55 competitive matches since his appointment last November, attaining a 47.3 win percentage - the highest of any permanent Stags' boss since Dave Smith between 1974 and 1976.

And as he reflected on his first year in charge at this morning's news conference, the boss highlighted the improvement of the club's infrastructure since his arrival.

"I got a message from the chief exec (Carolyn Radford) and the chairman (John Radford) when I woke up this morning, so I'm very grateful for that," the Stags' chief said.


"Is the playing squad better? Significantly. Is the management team better? Significantly. Is the support better? Significantly. Is the training ground better? Significantly. I can remember coming here in the wet last year, so even the weather is significantly better!

Manager Steve Evans, pictured on the day he was unveiled as the club's manager

Manager Steve Evans, pictured on the day he was unveiled as the club's manager.

"The infrastructure is thanks to people like Paul and Tina Broughton (stadium and operations directors), who help on a daily basis and run the football club off the field, everything is significantly better. We're really working hard to make sure the results are significantly better because ultimately that's why we're all here.

"We said when we came in we would try our best to get near the play-offs [and] we took it to the last day. We said in the summer that it would be a bit of an inconsistency until mid-to-late January to February and then we would come through strong and that's not wrong either.

"If we're right in the whole picture of this, then we'll be challenging when it matters."

Stags' under 18s booked their place in the third round of the FA Youth Cup with an excellent 1-0 win over Rotherham United last night and the gaffer has labelled the display as 'a fantastic performance'.

"I've already sent my congratulations to all the boys, John Dempster (academy manager) and the staff. I think it was a fantastic performance. [It was] 'backs to the wall' in the second half; I watched a good extended highlights of it, but congratulations to every one of them.

"[They will face] Crystal Palace in the next round and I'm sure we all look forward to watching the boys against Premier League opposition.

"We need youth players coming through into the first team, that's why these youth fixtures are put in place. We just want to make sure that we get players through; it doesn't matter whether you're 17 or 37 or 27 if you're good enough to play. If they're good enough, they'll find a pathway through to the first team."

Focussing on the immediate future, the former Leeds United manager is preparing his squad for Saturday's visit of Stevenage and he is expecting a physical test for his charges.

"They should've beaten Notts County. They went in front and missed a couple of good chances to go and put it away. They're well organised, they're big, they're strong, they're physical. We know what we'll get.

"We'll make some changes to make sure we're right for that game and it'll be a stern test. On the back of the performance against Coventry, if I get the same type of performance, I'll take the result that comes. It's an opportunity for us to get three more points and push ourselves a little bit closer to that top group.

"Momentum is a wonderful thing in football but we've not been able to, because of the inconsistencies in results and sometimes performance, we've not been able to get that steam train fully loaded and 'away we go'."

The manager hopes to have defender David Mirfin and striker Lee Angol back in training today after their respective injury lay-offs, but stressed the importance of not rushing them back into first team action.

"Whether we deduce that they're ready to start for us on Saturday, we'll have a look at them. I've taken different views on players; Joel Byrom trained for about five minutes and then played against Notts County because we were desperate to get him back in the team.

"David Mirfin and Lee Angol are two big players for us, but we do have lots of games ahead, it's not just about Stevenage on Saturday. We'll take a professional opinion from the medical department, without them we wouldn't play them anyway."

Supporters will be able to view the manager's full news conference on iFollow Stags later today.


Stags ready to stand strong against physical Stevenage
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 16 November 2017

Steve Evans will pick a side to stand up to a big, physical Stevenage side at the One Call Stadium on Saturday. Already without 10-goal top scorer Danny Rose due to a one-match suspension, Evans said it was likely there would be other changes needed, despite the superb 1-0 win at Coventry last weekend.

“Stevenage are well-organised. They are big, strong and physical,” said Evans. “We know what we will get, so we will make some changes to make sure we are right for that game.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-ready-to-stand-strong-against-physical-stevenage-1-8861560

“It will be a stern test, but if I get the same type of performance as at Coventry last week I will take the result that comes.” Stevenage have been inconsistent so far, but showed in a 1-1 home draw with leaders Notts County last weekend that they are capable of worrying the best. “They should have beaten Notts County,” said Evans. “They went in front and then missed a couple of good chances to put it away. But we have been guilty of that ourselves. “Saturday is an opportunity for us to get three more points and push us a bit closer to that top group. “Momentum is a wonderful thing in football and we’ve not been able to gain any due to the inconsistencies in results and sometimes performances. “We’ve not been able to get the steam train fully loaded and away we go. We have still got half the coal missing at the minute. “But the consistency is coming and the performances on the training ground are coming. The desire to be in the team is getting greater.” On Rose being out, he said: “He would be a loss to any team - he’s a terrific kid. He will be hurting missing this weekend.” Jimmy Spencer is favourite to replace him, though fellow striker Lee Angol has not been ruled out as he and defender David Mirfin try to shake off injury in time. “Both are very close now,” said Evans. “They will be back on the training pitch today but whether we deduce they are fit enough to start for us on Saturday we’ll have to have a look at them. “They’ve been out a few weeks now so we must make sure they are right to play. “I have taken different views with players. Joel Byrom trained for about five minutes and went straight in against Notts County as we were desperate to get him back in the team and David Mirfin and Lee Angol are two big players for us. “But we do have lots games ahead after Saturday so we will take a professional opinion from the medical department. “Without them we wouldn’t play them anyway.”


Stags boss celebrates first anniversary at a ‘significantly better’ club
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 16 November 2017

Steve Evans today celebrated his first anniversary of being appointed Mansfield Town manager and said already the club was ‘significantly better’ in every aspect. Evans took over a side heading towards the wrong end of League Two under Adam Murray but ahead of Saturday’s home game with Stevenage, has seen his new look squad start to gel with seven games unbeaten and just two points off the play-offs.

“I got a message from the chairman and chief executive when I woke up this morning and I am very grateful for that,” he smiled. “I have enjoyed it very much.”

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-boss-celebrates-first-anniversary-at-a-significantly-better-club-1-8861258

As to his first year’s achievements, he said: “People can judge. “Is that playing squad better? Significantly. Is the management team better? Significantly. Is the support better? Significantly. Is the training ground better? Significantly. “I can remember arriving in the rain last year so even the weather is significantly better, as is the infrastructure of the club thanks to Paul and Tina Broughton, who run the club on a daily basis. “We are really working hard to make sure results as significantly better as well. That’s why we are all here. “We said when we came in we’d try to make the play-offs and we took it to the last day. “We then said in the summer there’d be a bit of inconsistency until mid/late January, then we’d come through strong. That’s not been wrong either. We want to be challenging when it really matters.” He added: “I think we are probably three or four wins away, rather than draws in recent times, from where we’d like to be. “We know if we’d made them into wins rather than draws when we’ve been in winning positions, we would have been ideally where we wanted to be.” Evans hopes to be celebrating his second anniversary with Stags in League One. “That is the plan though we all know how tough it is,” he said. “We are not going to make any claims that we are the best at anything as we’re not the best at anything yet. But have a plan to say we can be. We have to keep working hard.”


Steve Evans wants League Two games to take the focus for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Steve Evans was satisfied with his fact-finding mission to Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night but is now keen to put talk of the FA Cup on a backburner as Stags tackle three crucial League Two games in eight days. The Mansfield Town boss travelled up to see the first round replay in which National League Guiseley, under ex-Stags manager Paul Cox, won the tie on penalties to book a second round trip to Mansfield. The game will take place on Sunday, 3rd December (2pm), but Evans said he wanted to focus only on Stevenage this Saturday for now and won’t think about Guiseley until the Chesterfield derby was out the way the weekend after. “I don’t know much about ‘Paul Cox’ sides but I will focus on them for the second round,” he said. “I went up to Accrington on Tuesday and the tie could have gone either way. “It was a cold night and a long way back, so when extra-time finished I left and followed the penalties on social media to see what happened. “It didn’t really interest me, it was going to go either way, but I’d seen enough of both of sides to know I’ve had a good look at them. “We’ll worry about the FA Cup when it comes around and we’ve got our League games out of the way. It’s the last thing on my mind at the moment.”

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/steve-evans-wants-league-two-games-to-take-the-focus-for-mansfield-town-1-8861670


Stags aiming to move Blackpool trip
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 16 November 2017

Mansfield Town are trying to move their scheduled Checkatrade Trophy second round tie at Blackpool away from the scheduled date of Tuesday, 5th December. With Stags’ home FA Cup clash with Guiseley yesterday moved to Sunday, 3rd December, suddenly the Stags have very little recovery time for the Blackpool trip. Manager Steve Evans is adamant it will get moved, though the Football League and Blackpool will have to agree as well. “Conversations are happening about moving in to the Wednesday or my suggestion that we play it a week later,” said Evans “It’s amazing there should be any restraint on us moving it to a week later when Lincoln and Notts County did in the last round. The same rules don’t always seem to apply to everyone. “There would be lots of changes player-wise anyway - but we won’t be playing Sunday/Tuesday. “The game will certainly not be on that Tuesday. It will either be the Wednesday or the following Tuesday.”

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-aiming-to-move-blackpool-trip-1-8861298


Dashing winger feeling confident after impressive performances
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 16 November 2017

Flying wingman CJ Hamilton believes his confidence is beginning to increase after putting together a string of impressive first team appearances in recent weeks.

The 22-year-old joined Stags in the 2016 summer transfer window and immediately showed his potential with his blistering pace on the left wing.

After being involved in four games in the first month of the 2017/18 season, Hamilton didn't play a competitive minute until he was handed a start against Notts County in the Checkatrade Trophy last month.

The former Sheffield United man made his mark by scoring the winning goal at Meadow Lane and has since noticed an increase in self-confidence.

"[The Checkatrade Trophy] gives everyone an opportunity to show the gaffer why you should be in the team," Hamilton said.


"The gaffer sometimes makes a few changes and some of the boys that haven't been playing get into the team by playing in that competition, so it's good for everyone all round.

"[The goal] got my confidence up and it showed the gaffer and other people that I can do stuff week-in and week-out."

Hamilton's spell on the sidelines provided him with the opportunity to work hard on the training pitch and prove to boss Steve Evans why he deserves a place in the first team.

"Everyone is down when they are out of the side but you've got to take it on board and do the right things; get on the training ground, work hard and show why you should be in the team.

"I beat men alright but it's that final ball that's been 'killing me' the last couple of times, but I'm starting to get there now.

"The gaffer has always said he's always got my back and obviously it takes me to 'do it' myself."

Stags have six league matches between now and Christmas Day - four of which are at home - and Harrow-born winger Hamilton believes it's important to build momentum ahead of the Christmas period.

"The build up to Christmas is always important, you try and get as high as you can before the Christmas [period] and hopefully we can do that with the games coming up.

"It will be another tough game [against Stevenage]. Stevenage are another good team in this league, and you can never underestimate a team in this league.

"If the fans are as loud as they were at Coventry, then I feel confident we can get the three points on Saturday."

Supporters can view CJ Hamilton's full news conference by logging in to iFollow Stags.


CJ Hamilton aims to keep improving for Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 16 November 2017

Winger CJ Hamilton wants to keep improving his game in order to cement his place in the Mansfield Town starting eleven. Hamilton regained his starting place during the 1-1 draw against Exeter City following a spell on the bench. And the Londoner says he wants to repay the faith of boss Steve Evans and live up to his potential. “The boss gave me my chance after a couple of good performances in the Checkatrade Trophy and I have been able to take that chance,” he said. “The Notts County game did wonders for me, it really got my coinfidence up and showed the boss what I can do. “I feel I have learned from being out of the team, you have to take it on board and do the right things on the training pitch. “You have to work harder and show that you shoud be in the team. “The boss has backed me and I just have to have to the confidence to go out and perform.

“I have to improve my final ball, but I think that side of my game is starting to get better. I have been working hard on the training ground and you can see that the work is starting to pay off. “It is time to live up to my potential and contribute some goals to the team. “Not getting a regular run in the team has been frustrating. I have tried to be more consistent when I do get a chance in the team. “The standard in the team has gone up quite a bit, we have more good signings and we have got more of an eye for goals and key passes. “We can feel ourselves growing game by game and getting more confident.” Stags are currently fives games unbeaten in League Two, but know they must turn draws into wins if they are to climb the table. They face mid-table Stevenage at home on Saturday and go into the game on the back of a superb 1-0 win at Coventry, where the quality of result was also matched by the quality of the team performance. “We want to keep the unbeaten run going, it takes a lot to keep it going,” added Hamilton. “You could see how hard we battled for the win at Coventry. The whole team battled hard and the fans were fantastic. “They got right behind us from start to finish and pushed us on to the win. “If the fans back us on Saturday like they did at Coventry then I am confident we will get the three points. “It will be a tough game, they are a good team and you cannot underestimate any team in this division. “Any team can get points away and it is important we make our home form count."

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/cj-hamilton-aims-to-keep-improving-for-mansfield-town-1-8861821


Sarll looks forward to Mansfield away

Video & Quotes from the boss...

Sarll on last week’s point against the league leaders…
“I have stated many times that we haven’t taken enough points. We have either been a win or a loss side and we kind of started to go back to that in the month of October.

“But I was obviously pleased with the reaction from the players. They started the game very well; maybe what I didn’t give them credit for straight after the game was how many chances we created.

“I highly respect Kevin and he said after the game that we were the only one team who should have won that - his team should have been 3 behind after 50 minutes.

“I was pleased with the performance, the defensive performance was very good and it looks like Jack King is back in the swing of things.

Sarll on it being too early to read too much into the table
"The top half of the league doesn’t really settle I don’t think until the end of February, because people do their work in January and they have that normal little thrust in February.

“I can remember going into our Boxing Day last year against Cambridge at home and I think we were a point away from 5th, in 9th place and a win would have taken us into the play-offs.

“We lost that day in the last minute and I think we went down to 11th or 12th.

“So it is very much like that in the division we play and it will be like that every year.

“If we can find that consistency where we pick up a point away at Yeovil rather than getting beat 3-0, and we can add that across the course of the season, we would be in such a great place at the end of the year.

“The boys work so terrifically hard. I never catastrophize over these type of situations because the players work so hard, and at the same time, when things are going well, we don’t sensationalise.”

Sarll on Mansfield…
“I worked for Steve (Evans) at Rotherham and you can be as opinionated as you want about Steve but he has been very successful.

“In football management, it is about longevity, it is about sustainability, it is about survival and he has been very successful.

"(I expect a game) very similar to last Saturday. A very established group of players with an established manager. They have terrific resources to recruit and Steve has made no bones about it, he has recruited to get promoted and because of that, they have obviously recruited heavily in established, senior players.

“Most of the players are very hard working and very honest and we know we will have to show an awful amount of resilience, like last year when we went there and got a terrific result.

“The young players that day played with real vigour and fearlessness and we got a terrific result. Look, Stevenage expects to win so I don’t expect anything different on Saturday."



Latest | November 2017