EVANS AND GARY BOWYER REACTION
Dominant Stags deserved more from cup tie - gaffer
mansfieldtown.net, Wednesday 06 December 2017
Stags' boss Steve Evans believes the best side bowed out of the Checkatrade Trophy following this evening's 5-4 penalty shootout defeat to Blackpool.
The Tangerines progressed to round three after scoring five of their six spot kicks, whilst Stags' winger Alfie Potter and midfielder Jack Thomas both had their efforts saved.
The match went straight to penalties after a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes, midfielder Calum Butcher equalising two minutes from time for the Stags after Blackpool right-back Kelvin Mellor had headed the hosts into a first half lead.
And after seeing his side dominate their League One opponents for much of the match, the gaffer admitted he was disappointed not to create more opportunities in the final third.
"We've had to score late but I think we were dominant. In the first half hour, we were totally dominant," the former Leeds United manager said.
"After the goal, we had a little spell for 10 minutes where we lost our composure. In the second half, we were the only team trying to make chances and trying to score a goal.
"We don't look at Alfie and we don't look at Jack for the penalties for the simple reason that we had enough entries into the final third and we don't do enough with those final entries to create opportunities and that's what's disappointing because we certainly had enough of the ball.
"We don't lose the cup tie on the penalty shootout; we lost the cup tie because we never did enough in the box in the final third in both the first 30 minutes or the last 30 minutes. If anyone is sat here as a neutral, the best team by a country distance has lost the cup tie."
Defender Krystian Pearce had a second half header hacked away from the goal-line which would've drawn Stags level in the 51st minute, and although Stags appealed for a goal to be given, the officials ruled that the entire ball hadn't crossed the line and the manager admitted he would need to watch it again for complete clarification.
"We didn't know from where we were. Our analyst thought it was a goal - I don't know if his eyesight's gone 'wonky-wonks' but I think the other TV company here says it's not quite in so I'm going to go and have a look at it.
"At the end of the day, it'll make no difference; we're out. I thought the referee had a good game tonight, no complaints. The best team on the night lost, on penalties, but we have to take it.
"I just said to the boys, we get back on the coach, we've got bigger things to look after. We'll go back in the early hours and prepare for Saturday."
Defender David Mirfin limped off in the 82nd minute following a clash with Blackpool striker Armand Gnanduillet but the gaffer believes the knock to his knee will only keep him out for Saturday's trip to Crawley, at most.
"That was the knee that David was out with for a couple of weeks and he just felt he'd got a bang on it again, so he iced it up. If he's out for Saturday, it'll be Saturday, there's no major concern."
Supporters will be able to view the manager's post-match interview on iFollow Stags on Thursday.
Best team lost says Evans after Stags exit Checkatrade Trophy
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Wednesday 06 December 2017
Mansfield Manager Steve Evans said the best team had lost after Stags suffered penalties heartbreak in tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy second round tie at League One Blackpool. Stags needed a late Calum Butcher equaliser to force a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes and spot kicks in which Alfie Potter and Jack Thomas saw their kicks saved.
But the Stags were on top for long spells of the game and Evans said: “In normal time the best team has not won the game by a long way has it?
“Anyone sitting here as a neutral knows the best team by a country mile has lost the cup tie. We didn’t deserve to lose that and I have told them that.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/best-team-lost-says-evans-after-stags-exit-checkatrade-trophy-1-8896848
“We have to take it on the chin. We only have ourselves to blame. “We had to score late but we dominated the game. We dominated the first half hour, then they got the goal and for 10 minutes we lost out composure. “Second half we were the only team trying to play football, trying to make chances and score a goal, which we did.” He added: “That’s been our best performance in the Checkatrade. “We were good at Notts County, but we equalled that tonight in terms of the dominance in the game against a much better team than we played at Notts County. They were hanging on in the end.” Evans said he allowed players who stepped forward to take the penalties and attached no blame for the exit to Potter or Thomas. “We support our players and the dressing room is united,” said Evans. “You always feel for the two lads that missed the spot kicks. “First and foremost you have to ask the lads who wants to step forward and take one? You have to pick the ones that like to take them and feel confident to take them. “You have to to say Alfie’s was a good save from the keeper and Jack’s was a poor penalty. But the best players in the world have hit poor penalties. “But we didn’t lose the cup tie on the penalty shoot-out. We lost it because we didn’t do enough in the box. “We don’t look at Alfie or Jack for the penalties for the simple reason that we had enough entries into the final third - three times more than Blackpool - and we don’t do enough with those final entries to create opportunities. “That’s what disappointed me as we certainly had enough of the ball. “Jack gets no recrimination from me. I thought he did well when he came on, both in midfield and at full back. “He is a lovely kid and he and Alfie are hurting. They have tears in their eyes and as the manager I’ve put my arm round them.” Evans made nine changes and said several of them had staked a claim for Saturday’s League two trip to Crawley. “There were a lot of good performances tonight which I am pleased with,” he said. “We have now got bigger things to look after so we’ll go back and prepare for Saturday. “I thought Paul Digby, for a start, was outstanding. Butcher scored a great header and it was a great delivery from Mal Benning. “Jimmy Spencer did really well and came into his own in the second half after, probably, not his best first half. “There were a lot of pluses for us all over the pitch and we played some brilliant football, especially in the first half-hour and the last half-hour. “We play like that and we’ll win games. We just need to do more in the final third.” Evans was unsure whether one effort had crossed the Blackpool goal line in the second half, the referee deciding it hadn’t. “We didn’t know from where we were,” said Evans. “I will have a look at it but it doesn’t matter now as we are out. “I thought the referee had a good game tonight. I have no complaints. The best team lost on penalties.” Stags lost centre half David Mirfin with an injury during the game and Evans said: “It was the knee David was out with for a couple of weeks. “He got a bang on it again so we iced it up. But if he is out for Saturday it’s no major concern.”
Bowyer: Main Objective Achieved
Manager Happy To Progress In Checkatrade Trophy
Gary Bowyer was pleased to see his Blackpool side achieve its main objective of progressing to round three of the Checkatrade Trophy this evening.
The Seasiders required a penalty shoot-out to see of League Two side Mansfield Town, with the visitors having levelled the tie at 1-1 in the 88th minute.
Scott Quigley scored the decisive penalty for Blackpool, on a night when Clark Robertson made his return from injury.
Speaking post-match, here’s what the manager had to say
Into the next round.
The main objective was to get through and it was any which way you can. That’s what we’ve done, and we’re absolutely delighted. The lads are buzzing because they’re a step closer to Wembley. That was the motivation tonight.
Bouncing back on penalties.
The response to go and win on penalties was terrific, especially when we were the first team to miss. Psychologically to bounce back with the quality of the remaining penalties was very good from us, and what a save from big Chris.
Winning penalty from Scott Quigley.
He did better tonight. He’s been desperate to do well and he’s shown signs of improvement throughout training. He’s been out of the squad and I think that just took the pressure off him and allowed him to concentrate on what he does well. I thought he had a better game tonight and capped it off by scoring the winning penalty.
Another goal from Kelvin Mellor.
It was a great goal. They spent some time yesterday working on the corners and he got a decent delivery from Andy Taylor. He showed last week and last season that he’s such a threat in the opposition box.
Robertson’s return from injury.
I’m absolutely delighted. For me tonight he again showed what a good player he is with his composure and his defending. He’s been a miss for us and the timing of him coming back now is good for us, and it was always the plan to bring him off at half-time.
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