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Archived News from February 2018

7th February 2018 10:39

31 Jan 2018


Mansfield Town FC @mansfieldtownfc

DEADLINE DAY: The gaffer has confirmed that five serious bids from three different EFL clubs for three #Stags' players have all been turned down today.


Stags ready for promotion push as squad takes shape
mansfieldtown.net, Thu 1 Feb 2018

After a transfer deadline day which included two new additions, one loan departure and numerous bids turned down for key players, boss Steve Evans has a hungry squad at his disposal as Stags prepare to fight in the final 17 games for promotion from Sky Bet League Two.

During a busy Deadline Day at One Call Stadium, the gaffer finalised loan deals for wide attacking midfielder Matt Penney from Sheffield Wednesday and prolific frontman Ricky Miller from Peterborough United, who scored over 70 goals in two seasons for Dover Athletic prior to joining Posh in the summer.

The two late arrivals join midfielder Adam King, who joined on loan from Swansea City earlier this week, as the Stags' trio of January signings and the gaffer is now expecting to see hard work on the training ground as the new additions fight for a spot in an in-form Stags' side.

"First and foremost, each of those guys have arrived because we think they've got something to help us with," the Stags' chief said.

"Through the season, players lose form, they lose discipline - on the field discipline, I'm talking about not tracking a runner and not doing what we're working on on the training ground - and that creates opportunities to be in the team.


"Part of my conversation with Ricky last night - and I think the kid loved it - was I pick the team honestly. We pick it honestly and he's took references. He's spoken to a couple of players who have played for me and they've said 'he's ruthless, he picks it honestly'. I may have banter with some, but I may not pick them.

"How do they get in? They train properly, they work hard and when they get an opportunity to go on the pitch, they represent that Mansfield Town shirt with the same pride as the supporters that walk into the stadium wearing one."

Midfielder Calum Butcher, who joined Steve Evans' men from Millwall in the summer, linked up with Isthmian League side Billericay Town in the only Deadline Day departure yesterday, however the boss insists the 26-year-old will still have a part to play at One Call Stadium next season.

"We got a call from a couple of clubs in the Conference that Calum chose not to be interested and then Billericay, who are like the Roy of the Rovers of non-league at the minute. Yeah, they've got funds available but they spend it so wisely.

"The plan is for Calum to go down there, get lots of game time, get your name on the scoresheet, we're going to track you, play really well and then be back in the summer when you move up with your young family and play a big part next season. He goes with our best wishes and we have to be fair to everyone."

The boss revealed that the club turned down Deadline Day offers for top scorer Danny Rose, the in-form CJ Hamilton and the influential Alex MacDonald, the latter of whom the gaffer believes is currently performing at the level of a Championship player.

"These are players we didn't want to lose. Do you want to lose Rose? Do you want to lose MacDonald? Come on, get a grip, we don't want to lose them and that's the wonderful support, I keep saying it, that you get from a wonderful family, the Radford family.

"Look, we got bid a lot of money for Alex MacDonald when he was a wee humpty dumpty and he was with us about a week! He's going to hammer me now! He's been brilliant, hasn't he? He's been sheer class on and off the pitch. He leads by example in our dressing room now.

"Alex and Rosie were the two and it has to be said, predominantly Alex, to be fair. There were two or three that wanted to take him and he's been incredible since he's come here. Alex MacDonald is playing, at this minute in time, like a Championship player.

"What I would have never deprived, had it been a Championship club come, I would've said to my board: 'listen, it harms us but we have to send this kid on his journey because as he is now, he's a Championship player'.

"We rejected the offers from League One and Alex has played many, many times in League One but never with the focus and fitness that he's got now.

"He really has come into his own and we've seen that in the last two months. He's been nothing short of outstanding."

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


Posh goal ace on board after Stags miss out on Manchester City striker
chad.co.uk, JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 01 February 2018

Mansfield Town opted for the ‘phenomenal’ goalscoring of Peterborough’s Ricky Miller after failing to lure a Manchester City youngster to the One Call Stadium.

Evans had two names at the top of his list to beef up his striker department and, when City eventually declined to let their players out, Stags boss Steve Evans had to make a dash in his car to speak to Miller, who had been one of his summer targets.

“The striker options were a lad at Manchester City, who has been involved with England and such like, and Ricky Miller,” explained Evans.

“We only got word yesterday that the Manchester City boy was being kept in the building by Pep (boss Guardiola) which is a decision we respect.

Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/posh-goal-ace-on-board-after-stags-miss-out-on-manchester-city-striker-1-8995518

“So early afternoon the chairman (John Radford) and Carolyn (CEO Radford) said they were going to pick up the phone and talk to Peterborough. It all happened very quickly thereafter.”

Miller has scored 125 goals in 254 career games, including 45 goals in 46 games for Dover in 2016/17, and Evans has kept tabs on him since his failure to sign him before the season started.

“We tried to get Ricky back in the summer and your opinion on players doesn’t change,” he said. “I respected why he joined an ambitious League One club like Peterborough and he had a fantastic pre-season for them.

“Then he had his start of the season suspension, which he had to accept, and then, to be fair, the boy (Jack) Marriott was on fire. “He was like a red hot poker in front of goal and, with the system they play of predominantly one striker, it makes it hard.

“It’s easy to feel sorry for yourself as a player and it’s easy as a manager as you’re winning game and on the front foot.

“From about October/November I knew Ricky Miller was going to become available. I am close to the people at Peterborough.”

Once the Manchester City deal was turned down, Evans quickly asked the Radfords to pursue Miller.

Evans said: “I got a call from Carolyn Radford to say it has been agreed with Peterborough but she said there are two others that have agreed as well so you’re going to have to get in the car and meet him. “I needed to sit down and talk to him as I’d never spoken to him before in my life, contrary to what some might have thought

“I wanted to know what this challenge would mean to him. To be fair the kid came across as really hurting and wanting to prove a point. He wanted to sign.

“Lots of people have been there in their career and gone on to do fantastically well. He knows the quality of players he has joined here as well.”

Evans outlined the striker’s attributes, saying: “Miller plays off the shoulder. He rats around defenders and never gives them a minute.

“He’s strong, he’s aggressive and anyone who can score all those goals in a Conference season, it was incredible. “He is tenacious. He works extremely hard for the team - and he hates losing.

“We played Peterborough in a behind-closed-doors match a couple of months ago and he was outstanding. “He gave our back four a terrible time - and that was against a very experienced back four, of which three of them are in the team now.”

Evans now wants Miller to get back among the goals - once he has proved he deserves a start.

“We just want him to score. To score over 40 goals in any season at Conference level is phenomenal and probably unprecedented. “We thought we had a great one in Matt Tubbs in our Conference winning season when he scored 34/35, which we thought would be unprecedented. But Ricky took it to a new level.

“But he won’t be judged on that. He’ll be judged what he does in a Stags shirt from when he gets one - he has to earn the right in the next two days to get one.

“We try to pick our best XI players to start a game and we pick a bench to affect the options we have on the pitch. We pick the team honestly.”


Mansfield manager very satisfied with January transfer business after landing loan trio
chad.co.uk, JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 01 February 2018

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans declared himself very satisfied with the talented trio he landed before the January transfer window slammed shut this week. Evans brought in three loanees in Peterborough striker Ricky Miller and Sheffield Wednesday winger Matt Penney, both on deadline day, plus Swansea midfielder Adam King, 48 hours earlier.

“It was hectic and a little bit pressured at times,” said Evans. “But I am very happy. We were very careful in our targets.

“All three turned down other clubs to come here. You have to be able to sell players a vision and explain to them how many times you’ve seen them. “We have sold them what this can be. They want to be part of this journey.”

Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-manager-very-satisfied-with-january-transfer-business-after-landing-loan-trio-1-8995530

King has already had a run-out in a Stags shirt as he played 45 minutes for the reserves on Tuesday at Rotherham - and he has already turned heads.

Evans said: “The people at Rotherham said Adam was stunning for the first half-hour of the game. “That’s a big word for them to use as they had a lot of experienced Championship players out there. “It was just getting him to know how we play. If we’d had Ricky and Matt in the door on Monday they would have both been involved too.”


Evans praises boardroom support to knock back bids
chad.co.uk, JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town staved off pursuits by other clubs for three of the current successful first team on transfer deadline day. Top scorer Danny Rose, midfield dynamo Alex MacDonald and flying winger CJ Hamilton all had clubs interested in taking them. So manager Steve Evans was a relieved man when club CEO Carolyn Radford told him to turn all bids down if he wanted without having to consult them further. “There were principally three players that four or five clubs were keen on. One club bid twice,” he said. “I obviously had to refer those bids to Carolyn Radford. “After the third one she said ‘I am not answering you any more. If you don’t want to accept it then please take our instructions and say no’. “I am very fortunate as a manager when you are given that level. So I was able to say no. It is wonderful support. “These are players we didn’t want to lose.” Evans continued: “We had a little call on CJ. Not a bid as such, they just wanted to ask where the value would be. “Alex and Rosey had bids, Alex predominantly - he had two or three wanted to take him. “Alex is playing like a Championship player right now. If it had been a Championship club I would never have deprived him and I would have told the board we have to send this kid on his journey. “But we rejected the offers from League One - a division where he has played very successfully, but never with the focus and fitness he’s got now. He has really come into his own.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-praises-boardroom-support-to-knock-back-bids-1-8996846


Sterling-James hungry for Stags starting place
chad.co.uk, JOHN LOMAS

Omari Sterling-James shunned options to go out on loan this week to fight for a Mansfield Town first team place. And the striker/winger underlined his determination with a hat-trick for the reserves at Rotherham United on Tuesday. “He is still knocking on the door,” said manager Steve Evans. “To be fair to him he turned a couple of options down to go on loan. He said ‘I don’t want to go, I want to stay here and compete to get in’. “The same afternoon he went up to Rotherham and scored a hat-trick against an experienced Rotherham United side. That’s no mean feat.” Evans added: “We are delighted for the kid. He is lovely and we think a lot of him. “Competition should increase levels of performance and when they are given a starting shirt it has be valued, it has to be like being given a bar of gold. “It’s treasure, so you have to do your best to keep hold of it and not just give it away.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/sterling-james-hungry-for-stags-starting-place-1-8996840


‘Jack Thomas still has a part to play here’ - Evans
chad.co.uk, JOHN LOMAS

Young Mansfield Town midfielder Jack Thomas still has a big part to play at the club. That is the belief of manager Steve Evans, although Thomas could yet go out on loan to a Conference club. “The transfer window does not affect down below us, so he can still go out,” said Evans. “But Jack came on in the reserves in midweek and Paul Raynor said he was one of our better players. “Jack Thomas still has a part to play here. But competition is severe. “When we joined this club what was his competition? Not that great if I’m honest. “Now he’s competing with Joel Byrom, Jacob Mellis, Alex MacDonald, Will Atkinson, and now Adam King too. “But I still believe big time in Jack Thomas or otherwise we’d have given him a penny or two and let him go on his way. That wasn’t the case.” Evans added: “There were clubs in for Jack. But I don’t want to put the kid in a relegation battle in the Conference. “He did that last year. He trusted someone’s word and they broke their word to him. I don’t want to put the kid in that situation.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/jack-thomas-still-has-a-part-to-play-here-evans-1-8997084


Stags boss backs Butcher to shine on loan at Billericay
chad.co.uk, JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans is hoping midfielder Calum Butcher enjoys a successful loan spell at Billercay Town and returns to the Stags ready to be a key player next season.

Stags had high hopes when they landed Butcher from League One Millwall in the summer. But, struggling for full fitness and a run of games, life has been frustrating for Butcher who has now had to drop to play non-League, despite interest from League One clubs interested in his services.

“The kid just needs to go and get games,” said Evans. “He came here and we had to work hard initially to get him fit as he was only a bit part of the scene at Millwall.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-boss-backs-butcher-to-shine-on-loan-at-billericay-1-8997120

“He scored on his debut off the bench with his first touch. But since then he’s been in and out - more out than in - but he’s never stopped working hard. “Coming here, he is away from his young family in London, which is always going to be tough. “When he wasn’t getting into the team on a regular basis all through December and January, I had a number - probably close to 10 - League One and League Two clubs ask to take him on loan. “We would have pressed the button with a good League One club but there is an idiotic rule that you can’t play for three clubs in one season - it’s nonsense probably made up by a janitor at FIFA. “They have no regard for what we’re about in League One and Two. We don’t have Premier League resources.” However, Butcher, 26, has now joined Isthmian League Premier Division leaders Billericay “Calum was frustrated at that ruling and asked if there were any other options as he needed to play games,” said Evans. “A couple of Conference clubs were interested. But then we got a call from Billericay, who are the Roy of the Rovers team of non-League right now. “They have a fantastic owner. It’s all right having funds, but you have to spend it properly and Calum will be a great signing for them. “He’s going to play with people like Jermaine Pennant and others.” Evans believes a good loan spell there could set up Butcher well for next season at the One Call Stadium. “He needs to go there, get lots of games, and help them get promoted,” said Evans. “He is back every night with his young family, which is important to him. I think the plan was to move them up here this summer. “So let’s hope he has a fantastic season and is back with us in the summer, his family have moved up, and he’s ready to go and play a big part next season.”



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