Stags eyeing spot in top seven ahead of Yeovil clash
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 14 Dec 2017
Mansfield Town head into this Saturday's home match against Yeovil Town knowing that a victory could propel them back into the Sky Bet League Two top seven, but boss Steve Evans insists his players must up the ante after their unbeaten run came to an end away to Crawley Town last week.
We face the Glovers in the first of back-to-back home games on Saturday and will be looking to return to winning ways after last week's 2-0 defeat to Crawley - a first loss in 12 games.
And the gaffer is now targeting another stretch without defeat after our 12-match unbeaten run came to an end last week, and he believes a further positive run of results will see the Stags break into the Sky Bet League Two top three.
"I think what should not be forgotten is in the team meeting we had when we came back in on Tuesday, the boys knew [they didn't perform at Crawley]," the Stags' chief said.
"I didn't need to be a schoolteacher in front of them, it was more of 'why do we deliver this type of performance on an occasional basis?'
"We also reminded them of the positives; we were 12 matches unbeaten, if we're another 12 unbeaten, we'll be in the top three when that 12 matches comes to an end.
"It's about [regaining] a little bit of focus again, a little bit of concentration, don't get complacent and stay on the front foot. If we do that, we'll be fine."
Stags are one of five teams on 32 points in the race for the top seven
Stags are one of five teams on 32 points in the race for the top seven.
Midfielder Joel Byrom will certainly be absent from the Stags' squad on Saturday with a groin issue, however the gaffer is 'hopeful' that striker Kane Hemmings will be fit to play a part.
"We're still hopeful that Kane will be out there with us. It's a very minor thing, it's a few strained fibres in a calf muscle and when you get to the very top of the level of sprinting, that's when it gets tested and if there's any little feeling of doubt in there, then we take him out.
"We're hopeful, it's not certain, it's not out, but we're hopeful. We won't really know, or the medical team won't really know, until they take him to the maximum sprint levels."
Despite facing a Yeovil side who currently occupy 20th spot in League Two, the manager believes the Glovers' squad is underperforming, such is the quality in their ranks.
"Without a shadow of a doubt, when you look at the squad that Darren Way's assembled there and break it down, they're underperforming.
"I know one thing, the manager's not underperforming. He'll be turning up at seven in the morning and he'll be doing the same things when they win and when they don't.
"Port Vale obviously lost a man or two in mid-week but 11 v 11, they (Yeovil) were very dominant. It put me very much in the mind of when we played Gusieley. They went down to nine men and people hid behind that, but 11 v 11 the result would've been the same, if not more emphatic.
"I was impressed with what I watched them do in mid-week, beating Port Vale. I was impressed with their togetherness, what it meant to them, and they'll come here with nothing to lose and everything to gain.
"They're a good side, they're well organised, if people look at their results, there's a lot by the odd goal - I would take an odd-goal victory now."
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Yeovil Town boss Darren Way challenging his players to rise to the occasion against Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, STEPHEN THIRKILL, Friday 15 December 2017
Yeovil Town boss Darren Way knows his struggling side have to dramatically improve their away form. Read his thoughts on that and test his side face against Mansfield Town.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/yeovil-town-boss-darren-way-challenging-his-players-to-rise-to-the-occasion-against-mansfield-town-1-8912426
Battling Yeovil Town boss Darren Way says his side must have focus and energy if they are to get anything from Mansfield Town on Saturday.
The struggling Glovers go into the match 20th in the table and with just one point in their last five away matches.
And Way knows his youthful side will need to rise to occasion against a Mansfield Town side determined to climb up the League Two table.
“Like any League Two encounter, it’s very, very difficult,” he said.
“A large amount of time and energy will go into this game. When you’re dealing with a club like Mansfield that no disrespect, going into that game with the amount of players and the amount of money that they would have spent this year, it’s a very difficult task and it’s a task that we look forward to.
“They’ve got pace and power up front. They play 4-4-2, they’ve played a diamond, I think the crowds that they’ve been getting have been quite good and I know that they can generate some noise there with the games that I’ve had previously.
“We’ve just got to make sure that we stay focused and we know what the job is because of the importance of it.
“My job is not to say where Mansfield should be. All I know is that Steve spent a good wealth of money this year to assemble the squad.
“Knowing Steve as I do, he would definitely think that he should get promoted.
“They’ve got good players and they were disappointed with their position over a number of years and Steve’s come in and changed that.”
The Somerset side has won just two of their previous 20 away matches in League Two and have conceded 48 goals in the process.
But, despite that woeful record, Way is confident that his young side are improving and can turn things around.
He added: “With the players and the experience that they’re gaining, I look at Port Vale away [in the FA Cup] and the way in which they came back in that game shows that we’re making improvements.
“Any away game can be difficult, certainly because of the 14 or 15 new players that we’ve got, the majority of them have never experienced playing in a different ground, with different noise and pitch dimensions.
“It shouldn’t make a difference, but I think on one or two occasions some of our younger players have not stood up to the mark and we have to make sure that as a team, we need to make sure we put in a very good performance and it’s going to take all 11 of us at the top of our game to take those three points.”
Latest | December 2017