EVANS, DIAMOND, NEIL ASPIN REACTION
Boss stresses need to stay focussed after Vale romp
mansfieldtown.net, 21 November 2017
Stags' boss Steve Evans has urged his players to maintain their focus after a superb display in tonight's magnificent 4-0 victory away to Port Vale.
A brace from skipper Zander Diamond and strikes from frontmen Danny Rose and Kane Hemmings ensured Stags took a deserved three points from in-form Port Vale.
The victory extended Stags' unbeaten run in all competitions to nine matches as they chalked up their third Sky Bet League Two clean sheet in a row.
And as he reflected on an impressive all-round display from his side, the manager highlighted the need for his players to remain focussed ahead of Saturday's local derby against Chesterfield.
"I've been over the course many times and we just get back on the training ground, we stay really focussed and if anyone loses their focus before Saturday, they're out [of the side]," the Stags' chief said.
"We've got no favourites in the camp; we pick them all equally, as we did tonight and as we do every other week.
"The dressing room is a fantastic place to be. People talk about team spirits from the top level to the bottom level and they come based on results really.
"If you're doing well and you're in a spell of form where the results are positive, the dressing room takes care of itself. We just need to make sure that we go back on the training ground and our focus every week should be about working hard."
A clinical attacking display combined with a solid defensive performance helped Stags to a victory which catapulted them into the Sky Bet League Two play-offs and the gaffer was pleased with his players' efforts on a difficult pitch in Staffordshire.
"I don't think there was a lot in the game [before the first goal]. They've had a bit territorially, but not any clear-cut chances, Conrad's (Logan) had a couple of basic things to deal with.
"This is a team that we were playing tonight that had lots and lots of confidence. Just look at their last eight results, they're going to have lots of confidence.
"I must admit, I thought my back five were very good, but they were very good on Saturday.
"I thought the back two, central defensively, Rhys and Zander headed a lot of balls out tonight. They've competed with Tom Pope and if you compete with Tom Pope, it gives you a chance to beat Port Vale.
"I don't think Popey had many clear headers and when he did, it then presented Conrad with practically easy saves.
"Once we got the second goal, I could see our players stepping up and really believing. It's no more than three points, it's no more than victory on the road and we go back to the training ground and prepare for Saturday.
"It doesn't matter whether it's Chesterfield, Chester City or Chester United, it doesn't matter to us. It's another game."
Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's post-match interview on Wednesday.
Confidence sky high for in-form Stags ahead of derby day
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans said confidence was sky high in the dressing room ahead of Saturday’s derby showdown with Chesterfield after a 4-0 romp at Port Vale extended their unbeaten run to nine games tonight. A brace from skipper Zander Diamond either side of half-time saw Stags take control at Vale Park with Danny Rose and Kane Hemmings completing the scoring as Mansfield also chalked up a third successive clean sheet.
“Confidence in a dressing room is always a big thing - it comes from getting points, winning and not getting beaten,” smiled Evans after a third win in a row. “We have a lot of big characters in there. They are all positive and they all want to work hard. “All the group are working hard - the boys in the team, the boys on the bench, the boys back at home - the result is for all of us. “We will chop and change again on Saturday as we did tonight and as we did last week as this is a squad of men and not individuals. “We have picked up a few knocks and have a few doubts for Saturday but the medical team will deal with that tomorrow.” Evans admitted it wasn’t the best of starts to the game for his side. “It was dogged and resilient performance tonight,” he said. “We won the battle in both boxes and we won the battle box to box in terms of energy. It was a very polished performance “We have to accept that Port Vale started better than us and were on the front foot. “But we got the goal just before half-time and were probably fortunate to turn in front. “In the second half we got the second and third goals in quick succession and after the second I thought we’d broke that spirit Port Vale had got from their magnificent games they have had under Neil Aspin and his staff. “When we got the third I knew it was going to be a case of whether we scored four or eight. “But we had to keep our discipline and our shape to make sure we protected that valuable asset which is called a clean sheet as, if you can keep those and score a goal or two, you’re always going to win a game.” Skipper Diamond bagged his first two League Two goals for the club and Evans said: “Xander is a big fellow who can always get up into the box and get a goal. “I can remember him doing it for Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier League but it’s taken us a while to get him firing. Now he’s got himself fiiring.” Top scorer Rose then smashed home a spectacular 11th goal of the season and Evans said: “Danny never surprises me. He has worked so hard this week while he’s been suspended and I thought he got battered all over the pitch tonight. “But he answered in the best way all strikers do, and all players do, by performance and striking a goal. He took it away from the defender on his chest and it was a beautiful finish. “Let me tell people who see this goal it’s something Danny does regularly in training.” Evans added: “The last goal was a great ball from Alex MacDonald for Kane Hemmings to break the offside and what a wonderful finish. I am pleased for him as he’s worked so hard for the team.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/confidence-sky-high-for-in-form-stags-ahead-of-derby-day-1-8870122
Quality at both ends pleases skipper in Vale victory
mansfieldtown.net, 21 November 2017
Captain Zander Diamond says the Stags' resilience in defence and ruthlessness in attack were the side's main attributes in an outstanding 4-0 victory at Port Vale this evening.
The defender, who joined in the summer, scored his first league goals in Stags' colours as he got on the score-sheet either side of half-time.
Frontmen Danny Rose and Kane Hemmings rounded off the convincing win as Mansfield moved into the Sky Bet League Two play-off places.
Speaking post-match, Diamond said: "Port Vale are on a rich vein of form but we believed in ourselves that we could come here and put a performance on.
"I think they dominated us for the first 20 to 30 minutes but we dug in, were resilient, we get the goal, dusted ourselves down and get the second goal and from then on it was a decent night's work.
"We knew they were going to come at us. I thought they started really well on the front foot. We defended for our lives at times, as a team we've worked our socks off.
"We get the goal just before half-time and I think you could see from their reaction it 'knocked the stuffing out of them'. It's the perfect time to score so it was pleasing in that aspect.
"Conrad [Logan]'s made some fantastic saves at the end. I think as a team collectively we were at it tonight. At 65 minutes we could've easily said 'the game's won' but we defended really well and got the clean sheet. It's great that the momentum is with us at this moment in time.
"I think in recent weeks we've had chances and not taken them. Tonight we've done it at both ends. We've got the balance correct.
"To come away from home any time and score four goals and get a clean sheet, you'll take that. Tonight was really pleasing. I thought it came together really well and it's a good time to be a Mansfield player."
The 32-year-old Scot says confidence is high in the dressing room but is refusing to get carried away with more than half of the season still to play.
"These nights don't come along too often. When you're winning games of football it breathes confidence throughout the team individually and collectively.
"It's confidence without being arrogant. I've been in the game long enough; the game can bite you in the backside if you go overboard.
"We know this is a good result and it's only November but when you look back at the end of the season hopefully it's a decent result to take us where we want to be."
Diamond is relishing the upcoming derby with Chesterfield at One Call Stadium on Saturday and hopes the side's good run of form can continue.
"When I first came into the football club, they were saying about the fixture list coming out and I think Chesterfield was one of the first teams I looked at. I know a few players in the Chesterfield ranks; they'll be up for it as well.
"It's a derby game. I'm sure the fans will come out in full voice, get behind us and hopefully we can finish off a good week."
Supporters will be able to view Zander Diamond's post-match interview on iFollow Stags on Wednesday.
Diamond sparkles as confident Stags march towards derby day
Mansfield Town skipper Zander Diamond was the two-goal star of Mansfield Town’s 4-0 win at Port Vale last night. After the win, which pushed Stags into the top seven play-off spots, Diamond spoke to the press. . . .
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/video-diamond-sparkles-as-confident-stags-march-towards-derby-day-1-8870721
Mansfield Town's two-goal skipper Zander Diamond said the whole team was responsible for a third clean sheet in a row at Port Vale last night, not just the defence.
Stags soared to a 4-0 win at Vale Park to make it nine games unbeaten and Diamond said confidence was rightly high going into Saturday's home local derby with arch-rivals Chesterfield.
Of the latest clean sheet, he said: “You can't just put it on the back five with Conrad (Logan) as well. The team is working ever so hard from the front.
“We are dogged and resilient all over and we are really putting a shift in for each other.
“We're working as a unit and the clean sheet is for the whole team, as are the goals.
“Collectively it's come together tonight, but there's a long way to go.
“You have to take confidence. If you're winning matches and getting clean sheets along the way it's fantastic to be around. We are confident without being arrogant.
“These nights don't come along too often. I have been in the game long enough to know the game can bite you in the backside if you go overboard.
“We know this is a good result, but it's only November.”
Stags didn't have it all their own way last night in the early stages as Vale pressed hard without creating too much.
“We hung in for the first 30 minutes,” he said. “I'm not going to say it was easy - they had a few chances and we had to make a few last ditch blocks and tackles.
“We dug in. We defended for our lives at times and worked our socks off as a team.”
“But in this league, if you get the first goal you've got something to hang on to.
“We got the goal just before half-time, which was a great time for us, and then we came out second half and basically we've taken our chances when they came along and defended brilliantly.
“That first goal knocked the stuffing out of them a bit.
“It was definitely one of my best nights in recent times, when you're coming away here on a Tuesday night with Port Vale in a rich vein of form themselves.
“But we believed in ourselves that we could come here and put a performance on.”
Diamond's second goal was straight off the training ground and he said: “Macca's (Alex MacDonald) put a dangerous ball in and you just take a chance.
“I don't think their boy has defended it well at the near post and it's come across and you're in the right place at the right time.
“But it was nice to see the back of the net. It's been a few years since I've scored two.
“From then on it was a decent night's work.
“But, collectively, defensively, the clean sheet is the most important thing. You get the goals, yes, but the clean sheet is the pleasing aspect.”
Now the Stags will prepare to face Chesterfield with Diamond still hoping to complete his target of nine points in eight days.
“We are under no illusions,” he said. “We know this derby game will be fierce.
“We'll dust ourselves down, recover well, and hopefully finish off the week with nine points
“That was my target at the beginning of the week and we've got six out of six now, so hopefully we can put on a performance on Saturday to finish it off.”
He added: “I know a few players in the Chesterfield ranks and I know they'll be up for it as well.
“It's a derby game and the fans will come out in full voice behind us. Hopefully we can finish off a good week.
“Momentum is with us at this moment in time. It's a good time to be a Mansfield Town player.”
Gaffer Disappointed After Mansfield Result
Neil Aspin fell to his heaviest defeat as manager on Tuesday evening as Mansfield ran out 4-0 victors at Vale Park.
Despite the scoreline, Aspin believes that his side had an ‘excellent’ first half and the margin of defeat was perhaps harsh on his players who did create chances themselves.
“You don’t feel too good as a manager when you lose 4-0 at home, on the face of it, it looks a disastrous result,” said Aspin.
“But, if you were at the game you’d realise that in the first half we were excellent and we thoroughly deserved to be in front.
“Mansfield had never really had a shot in the game until they scored right on half-time, and then after that, it just gives a totally different reflection on the game.
“Once we conceded that second goal we had a really bad spell and you’d have to say their finishing was excellent, but we have to dust ourselves down and get on with it.”
On the level of commitment from his players, Aspin added: “They put in a lot of effort and a lot of commitment, but nothing went our way in the game.
“You need a bit of luck, the run of the ball which is what you need, and we’ve had two or three efforts cleared off the line and nothing fell for us - we could’ve been talking about a different result if we had taken our chances in the first half.”
Zander Diamond’s first goal of the evening came just two minutes before the break to give the Stags the lead against the run of play, something which Aspin was disappointed with.
He said: “It was disappointing, but I honestly thought that if we could do the same as what we had been doing in the first half during the second, that we would get a break to get back into the game.
“The first goal hurt, but the second goal certainly killed the game off. We then had a high line and we were vulnerable in behind because we were chasing the game.
“You need to be in front so the opposition comes out and you can exploit the spaces behind them.
“I’m disappointed because we’ve been getting some good results, but we have to go again.”
Neil Aspin prepared for 'hell of a scrap' as Port Vale slip towards drop zone after 4-0 defeat to Mansfield
Vale went into tonight's game on a run of six wins in nine games under Aspin. But the manager says he knows his side don’t face a simple task as they try to pull clear of trouble.
He said: “We knew this game would be tough and I was very pleased with the way we played in the first half.
“When you look at the other teams who are winning as well, it emphasises that it is going to be a hell of a scrap all season and we have to get the balance right.
“Tonight we have actually had a lot of good situations to score and the stats would back that up. We have had a lot of good attacking play.
“But it is no good if you concede at the other end. So we have to get the balance right. You are not going to win games if you concede goals like we did tonight. But I don’t want to be too critical, up until they scored that first goal we did really well and deserved to be in front.”
Aspin said: “I thought the first half was possibly the best we have played since I have been here, I thought we were excellent in the first half. It sounds ridiculous when you are speaking after losing 4-0 at home, but I couldn’t fault the players.
“We were really good in the first half, a threat, but we didn’t get the goals and they scored with their only effort at goal.
“But you can’t praise the players when they work hard and then criticise them too much tonight. They put in a lot of effort and, if you were at the game, you will realise the score wasn’t a fair reflection on the game.”
Denton Reflects on Mansfield Town
Tyler Denton believes that last night’s 4-0 loss to Mansfield Town doesn’t reflect on how the team actually performed on the night.
After dominating the first-half, Vale suffered their first defeat in five games over promotion chasing Mansfield.
Talking to the local press after the game, the on-loan left-back expresses his disappointment with the loss and believes that the Stags’ second goal in the game was the ultimate issue.
He said: “It was very disappointing.
“I thought we were excellent in the first-half and we didn’t deserve to lose 4-0. It was disappointing to concede just before half-time because I thought we battered them.
“The second goal was key at that point, but it was definitely not a 4-0 defeat.”
Despite the result, Denton was impressed with his side’s performance in the first 45 minutes as they fell a goal down on the 43rd minute.
“We passed the ball well which we went away from in the second-half which was our downfall,” said the 22-year old.
“The fight we showed in the first-half, as well as the passing and our ability - we were all there.”
It’s Vale’s only negative result in five games as they look set to continue their solid run of games into Saturday at Lincoln City.
He said: “It’s good to go on a good run, that’s what the manager said to us.
“It’s vital to know that even if we don’t win, we don’t want to lose.
“That’s why it was so disappointing to lose against Mansfield.”
Latest | November 2017