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Archived News from February 2018

23rd February 2018 18:11

First team players to feature in reserves match
mansfieldtown.net, Mon 19 Feb 2018

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans has revealed that a strong Stags' side will face Grimsby Town in the Central League tomorrow.

Our second string will take on Grimsby at Rainworth Miners' Welfare on Tuesday (1.00pm kick-off) and with no first team match scheduled for this mid-week, the boss will utilise the fixture as a first team game.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's clash with the Mariners, the manager expressed his desire of wanting to get more playing time into some members of the first-team squad.

"We've always said it, those that have been on our bench, those that have been trying to break into the first team, and those that have been in slightly and then gone out of the team - they will all play," the Stags' chief said.


"I would expect our captain [Zander Diamond] to play because he needs some minutes on the pitch.

"I would expect the likes of Hayden White to play, John Hunt for sure, [Paul] Digby, [Joel] Byrom - I could keep going. We'll certainly have Lee Angol and [Omari] Sterling-James out there, and Matt Penney will need some minutes.

"We'll decide on Will Atkinson and Jimmy Spencer later."

The manager has insisted that any sort of game is good for his players, regardless of whether it is a first-team fixture or not.

"We need to get minutes into a few of them, so the reserve game on Tuesday comes at the right time.

"I've always said that it doesn't matter who plays against us, it's just important that our players play competitive games.

"We're not one of them to wrap them up and say 'you don't need to play', because if they want to get into the first team, they have to play - and more importantly - they have to play at a certain level to get into the group."

Away from events on the pitch, the gaffer heaped plenty of praise onto the 224 travelling Stags' fans who made the 450-mile round trip for the 1-0 win over Exeter City at St James Park on Saturday.

"It's a wonderful commitment, but to see them down there and to hear the noise was brilliant.

"At Exeter I've always found the home supporters fantastic. It's tremendous there and they're normally in full voice, but they were silent, and the only noise that was coming for long, long periods was the Stags' supporters. So thank you to every single one of them."

The former Leeds United manager also looked forward to 'An Evening with Steve Evans and Paul Raynor' on Monday 26 February, which will give the opportunity for supporters to hear from the manager and his assistant, as well as posing questions to the pair.

"Myself and Paul have always looked forward to those occasions. Supporters get the opportunity to be direct, and they get the opportunity to get straight answers back.

"I've always said that if you ask the question, you may not get the answer if we don't know the answer, or if we're not sure, or if we can't say it for the sake of the dressing room, but we're very honest in these situations.

"Hopefully it's a positive evening and another opportunity for us to meet a few more Stags' fans in person."

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's full news conference.


Stats show Stags’ display at Exeter surpassed Newport thrashing
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 19 February 2018

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans said match statistics confirmed the performance in Saturday’s magnificent 1-0 win at promotion rivals Exeter City was actually better than the display given in the midweek 5-0 thrashing of Newport County.

“Credit to the players,” beamed Evans. “They carried on from the rampant performance against Newport with a really stylish performance at Exeter.

“First half it was total football, total control, and it’s fair to say we hemmed back a very, very good Exeter side.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stats-show-stags-display-at-exeter-surpassed-newport-thrashing-1-9024318

“We knew there would a reaction second half so we had a little word in the dressing room, changed one or two things tactically, and the boys carried it to a tee. Exeter never made a chance. “It was an excellent three points against, what must be said, is a terrific team. “All the statistics, apart from the goals for column, tell you it was better. There was 15 per cent more energy, 16 per cent more sprints, something like 11 per cent more creative situations, more opportunities breaking into the final third, all that tells you it was better. “On the eye it was better. But I’d have settled for being worse and 4-0 up. “I think the quality of the play in the first half went up a notch from where it was against Newport and that’s credit only to the players, not the coaching staff. The players deserve the credit for that.” Evans said he was delighted to see new combinations of players gelling superbly in all departments right now. “Partnerships are developing all over the pitch,” he said. “I don’t think anyone would wish to play against our front two at the moment. Every time Rose and Hemmings go on the pitch together they are looking more and more of a handful. “It tells you how tough the job is for Lee Angol, Jimmy Spencer and Ricky Miller, who is looking razor sharp and we are struggling to get the wee man on the pitch. That’s hard. “King and MacDonald are looking a blossoming partnership. “Hamilton and Benning have been looking top notch for a while, Potter has come in and put in some really good performances. Him and Anderson set up the goal with a wonderful pass from Anderson and wonderful tenacity and cross by the wee man. “It created an opportunity for the two strikers. When we talk about partnerships, one striker gets on the end of it, the goalkeeper makes a wonderful save and, like Batman and Robin, up pops Robin and scores!”


Players’ determination changes Mansfield manager’s mind
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 19 February 2018

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans said sheer determination by the players who saw off Newport not to lose their shirt put paid to his plans to freshen up the side at Exeter City on Saturday. Evans eventually went with an unchanged side and they rewarded that decision with a priceless 1-0 win over their rivals.

Evans said his midweek comments about making changes were not kidology and the fact he did not make those expected changes were simply down to the players with the shirts making it impossible for him to drop them.

He explained: “It was all about the training ground. Sometimes there has to be a reason why you put players in - and there were three or four jumping at us to go in.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/players-determination-changes-mansfield-manager-s-mind-1-9024325

“But, by the same token, as a staff you have to look at why players should come out. And there was no reason why they should come out when I looked at them. “They were bright, they were bubbly. I was probably looking for something that wasn’t there. “Were they going to be a little bit tired after their exploits against Newport? But they bounced in here on Thursday and Friday and almost with that bit of positive arrogance that said ‘I feel fresh, don’t think about taking me out’. “Paul and I had a really good debate about it and in the end we both said we’d keep the same team and same subs and it produced a great result.”


Strong Stags reserves out to sink Mariners
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town will field a strong reserves side for today’s visit of Grimsby Town to Rainworth MW’s Kirklington Road ground (1pm). After sending a youth team for last week’s reserves fixture at Port Vale, manager Steve Evans will use today’s clash to top up on vital minutes for all his fringe players for the big run-in ahead. He said: “Those that have been on our bench will play, those who are trying to break into our first team, those who have been in and have dropped out will all play. It will be a strong side. “I would expect our captain (Zander Diamond) to play because he needs some minutes on the pitch. “I would expect the likes of Hayden White to play, John Hunt for sure, Paul Digby, Joel Byrom - I could keep going. We’ll certainly have Lee Angol and Omari Sterling-James out there, and Matt Penney will need some minutes. “We’ll decide on Will Atkinson and Jimmy Spencer later. “We need get minutes into one or two of them so this reserve game comes at the right time.” Evans is expecting caretaker boss Paul Wilkinson to get the nod for the Grimsby job and said: “I assume that if Paul gets the job he will want some players to get some minutes and he will want to look at one or two things. So I am expecting them to be a bit stronger. “But it doesn’t matter who we play against. It’s just important our players play competitive games.” Grimsby today announced they would be sending a largely youthful side, though Sean McAllister, Jack Keeble and Tom Sawyer will also be included in the starting line-up.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/strong-stags-reserves-out-to-sink-mariners-1-9025441


No pats on the back for Stags star Rose just yet
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town’s top scorer Danny Rose still has a way to go before he will be getting any pats on the back from boss Steve Evans. Evans backed Rose to score 20 this season and Saturday’s winner at Exeter moved him onto 17. However, Evans smiled: “When he gets to 25 we’ll say well done Danny! He is a great kid. We love having him around. “I made it clear in the summer that we had our 20-goal plus striker in the building, but people didn’t want to acknowledge it as they thought we’d go and sign someone from whatever level or whatever club. It guarantees you nothing. “What we had was a young man who, when I came into the building, like CJ Hamilton, didn’t often get on the pitch. “When he did he would be playing right wing or left wing. That’s not Danny Rose. “So we spent a lot of time with him. We spoke to him and told him what we expected - and he produced it at the back end of last season, scoring nine or 10 goals. “He’s carried it on, but he’s got a few more to get if we are going to get where we need to be.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/no-pats-on-the-back-for-stags-star-rose-just-yet-1-9027350


No questions off limit as fans quiz Stags bosses Steve Evans and Paul Raynor J
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Nothing will be off limits when Mansfield Town fans get the chance to pose questions to boss Steve Evans and assistant Paul Raynor at the One Call Stadium on Monday night (7.30). The club are expecting a packed 1861 Suite for the ‘Evening With’ event and Evans smiled: “Myself and Paul have always looked forward to them. “Supporters get the opportunity to be direct. They get the opportunity to get straight answers back. “You can have fans’ forums where you and I know that certain questions are not allowed. I have never done that in my career in any of these meetings, whether it be at Leeds, Rotherham or Crawley. “I’ve always said if you ask the question, you may not get the answer if we don’t know the answer, aren’t sure, or can’t say it for the sake of the dressing room. But we are very honest in these situations. “Hopefully it will be a positive evening and it’s another opportunity for us to meet in person a few more Stags fans.” On the current form, Evans is not expecting hostility, smiling: “They usually save that for match days. “You do have them (hostile questions), but you are honest. “You have to demonstrable, you have to be understanding of what supporters want to see. “You have to have a style of play, you have to produce results and you have to have a chemistry with them. I think we’ve got that chemistry.” He added: “At the end of the day Paul Raynor and I are no different to the large majority of Stags fans. “I was born and brought up on one of the worst council estates in the world. I am proud of it and I never, ever forget it. I still go there, I still have family there. “As was often said to me growing up there, a spade is a spade. A spade is not a shovel. A shovel is a shovel. “From that point of view, win, lose or draw on Saturday, I want to make sure we put our side across on Monday and supporters are welcome to ask any questions. “A good result always helps. Everyone is a lot happier on a Monday when their team’s won on a Saturday. Sunday and Monday are great days when you win on a Saturday. “But with 46 games it is a train journey. As you get into a platform, you get the three bags of coal, you chuck it on your train and way you go. If we can get three bags of coal at the weekend against Coventry, the fires will be stoked on Sunday and Monday.” Evans was delighted with the club’s following in Devon last weekend for the win at Exeter. “I think it would have been wonderful if two had made the trip, “ he said. “It’s such a large commitment to say to your family, you’re leaving at 9am and I’m not going to be back until 10pm. “To see them down there and hear the noise was wonderful. “I have always found the home supporters at Exeter fantastic. They are normally in full voice. But they were silent. “The only noise for long periods was from the Stags supporters. So thank you to every one of them.”

Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/no-questions-off-limit-as-fans-quiz-stags-bosses-1-9027354


Mansfield boss Steve Evans on these two Coventry City men: 'They would get into every team in League Two'
Sky Blues take on Mansfield in a vital League Two clash on Saturday


Steve Evans has said that Marc McNulty and Michael Doyle would 'get into every team in League Two' as the Mansfield Town boss prepares for a crucial showdown against Coventry City.

Evans is aiming for a League Two double over the Sky Blues with his Mansfield side having won 1-0 at the Ricoh Arena.

Mark Robins accused the Stags of ‘below the belt’ behaviour on the pitch and his opposite number of ‘unbelievable’ behaviour off it after Alex MacDonald's late winner in November.

City will be searching for three points this time around to arrest a sticky spell which has seen them suffer four defeats on the bounce in all competitions.

And Evans is expecting a difficult time against the visitors.

“It will be a really, really tough," he said. "They are a fantastic club with some excellent players - some outstanding players - and brilliant support. They will come here in good numbers.

“You look at the likes of McNulty and Doyle, and they've just taken on Jonson Clarke-Harris, who scored for them at Brighton, who I signed in my time back at Rotherham, they are full of good players all around the pitch.

“It (four defeats) is a wobble in football terms, but I watched 60 minutes of their game against Brighton and I thought they were terrific, considering the quality of their opponents.

“The boy Doyle, would he get into every team in League Two? Yes, absolutely. Would McNulty get in? Absolutely."

Robins' side head to the One Call Stadium five points and three places outside the play-offs ahead of the run-in but will have their work cut out against Mansfield who have won five and lost one of their previous six games.

That impressive run makes Evans' men the second-most in form side in the division at the moment and has lifted them to fourth place.

And Evans expects the promotion picture to ebb and flow with twists and turns aplenty on the horizon.

“In isolation at any stage of the season, this would be a tough one," he added.

“We are looking forward to it. We will freshen up this week and make sure we've got lots of energy to play.

“Then we'll go and try to get a point and if we can get all three it will be great.

“I still think there's nine or 10 teams competing.

“You only need to look at the run Crawley have been on for example. They come from 18th or 19th so well done Harry (Kewell). I think beating us was a big day for them. Since then they have been fantastic - and they're not alone.

“I am expecting the likes of Colchester and, 100 per cent, the likes of Lincoln. So it's never going to be about a certain four or five teams."


'Coventry City striker was in touch with me directly on deadline day' - Mansfield boss' transfer revelation
Striker signed for Sky Blues - Mansfield manager Steve Evans was in contact with him


Jonson Clarke-Harris opened his Coventry City account last weekend with a goal against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The striker rejoined the Sky Blues in the final stages of the January transfer window, signing on loan from Rotherham United until the end of the season with a view to a permanent switch.

But the 23-year-old could have made a different deadline day move which could have seen him lining up against City at the One Call Stadium on Saturday.

Clarke-Harris was on Mansfield Town's radar - City's next opponents.

Stags boss Steve Evans has revealed that he was 'directly in touch' with Clarke-Harris on January 31 and would have looked to sign him were Mansfield not already satisfied with their business.

“You look at the likes of McNulty and Doyle, and they've just taken on Jonson Clarke-Harris, who scored for them at Brighton, who I signed in my time back at Rotherham, they are full of good players all around the pitch," said Evans.

“Jonno himself was in touch with me directly on deadline day, but we'd done our business. If we hadn't he was someone you'd have been looking at straight away.

"He's a talented boy and a wonderful kid. He gave me some great moments when I signed him."



Latest | February 2018