Stags relishing feel-good factor amidst excellent run
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 22 February 2018
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans has likened the Stags to a family by paying homage to the club’s owners, in addition to the staff behind-the-scenes.
With only one defeat in their last 12 Sky Bet League Two fixtures and knowing that a win against Coventry City on Saturday will equal the total number of victories attained last season, the club is moving in the right direction both on and off the field after plans for a Hampton by Hilton hotel at One Call Stadium were unveiled earlier this month.
And speaking to the local media at One Call Stadium this morning, the boss gave supporters a glimpse of what it’s like to work for the club at present.
“You only need to walk around the club now; it’s a different football club to when I walked in to what it is now,” the gaffer said.
“The people who deserve enormous credit are the Radford family. I keep saying it, but without their support where would the football club be? Like many others, probably struggling perilously.
“Around the football club from the ground staff, to the catering staff, to the commercial team to the players and the backroom staff, it’s a real positive place to come to work. Everyone has a smile on their face and they’re focussed.
“We all have personal issues at home and problems around ourselves but we come through those magical gates and we’re in the world of ‘you have to be positive.’
“Positivity in football is a great thing to have and negativity, as Sir Alex [Ferguson] once told me: ‘if there’s a bad apple in there, grab it and throw it as far away as you can because there will be two the next day’.
“I think it is a family. I think that’s possibly the biggest thing, other than the financial aspect is what the Radford family have brought to the football club.”
The positive mood around the club is epitomised by the dressing room banter which, according to the gaffer, he is often at the centre of.
“I’ve already been in and around the dressing room [this morning] and they’re already having their banter about me and Rayns (Paul Raynor, assistant manager) and others but it’s fantastic. What a great place it is to come and work.
“The line was cutting my socks up so I said if anyone cuts my socks up again they’ll pay a price. I didn’t say if any go missing, now my socks have gone missing.
“I’m looking at [Alex] MacDonald because he’s got that cheeky chappy eye and the person who was in front of me there, Kane Hemmings, him and [Jacob] Mellis, they’ll be involved. I only need to catch them and John Radford will be a few quid better off because we’ll take some of their wages!”
Moving attention to on-field matters, Stags have no new injury concerns for Saturday’s visit of Coventry City, who the gaffer describes as ‘the biggest club in League Two’ as we look to make it six successive home victories in Sky Bet League Two.
“We’re in fantastic shape. There’s only David [Mirfin] that’ll be missing from being able to be selected - that’s ahead of training on Thursday and Friday of course where you’re always subject to picking up little niggles. The boys look in fantastic shape. They look incredibly fresh.
“Players win you games and you help them as coaches and as managers but they’ve got a fantastic array of talent at Coventry City and I don’t hold back on that.
“Many of the players, or certainly two or three of them, who we’d liked to have brought here went there and it’s never about whether they go for money or whether they don’t or whether they go because of the size that Coventry could be, but this is the biggest club in League Two on Saturday.
“There’s a lot of good clubs but by far the biggest is Coventry City. 27,000/28,000 fans they’ve got, potentially, sitting on their doorstep waiting and wanting to come to their games.
“It’s a fantastic club and they’ve got a really good side, so it’s going to be tough for us.”
Supporters will be able to view the manager’s full news conference on iFollow Stags later this afternoon.
Need a ticket for Saturday’s match? Head to http://www.stagstickets.co.uk.
Can Stags equal winning record before March arrives?
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 22 February 2018
Victory for Mansfield Town against visiting Coventry City on Saturday will equal the 17 wins they achieved all last season - and we are only still in February. It is a poignant marker of the improvement at the One Call Stadium and how serious their promotion challenge is this time around.
However, they will only equal that figure on Saturday if they can see off their promotion rivals and boss Steve Evans said: “The big word is ‘if’. It’s two letters and one of the smallest words on the planet.
“But it means so much - if this and if that. We don’t deal in ifs, whats, buts and maybes. “But the reality if we do win is it would be a nice achievement with so many matches left. But have a lot of work to do in the remaining fixtures, whether we get zero, one or three points against Coventry. “Any one in isolation could be massively important.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/can-stags-equal-winning-record-before-march-arrives-1-9031241
Stags were pre-season title favourites and he smiled: “Some thought that we’d win it in September and October. “But the form of the team is good. The boys are working so hard. The performances for large periods now are starting to be very emphatic and good. “But we are going to get tested now in the remaining fixtures like every other team is. “They are a huge test of your character, your substance, and your abilities - mentally and physically. “The passion should be there on the pitch and sidelines, but away from all that you have to remain calm and focused.” He added: “You only have to walk around the club now. It’s a different club from when I walked in here. And the people who deserve enormous credit are the Radford family. “Where would the club be without their support? Probably, like others, struggling perilously. “It’s a very positive place to come to work. “We are very fortunate we’ve got a fantastic dressing room. Sir Alex Ferguson once said to me if there is a bad apple in there then grab it and throw it as far away as you can as there’ll be two the next day. “Everyone here is pulling in the same direction and everyone is fighting for a starting shirt. “The boys look in fantastic shape and everyone is incredibly fresh.” Evans believes opponents Coventry are the biggest club in the division. “This game will provide a challenge as tough as any in the league,” he said. “I don’t think there is anyone who disputes that there is probably the breadth of a hair on your head is the difference between a lot of the teams. “Coventry are in that bracket principally because of their players. They have a fantastic array of talent. “Some of the players we’d have liked to have brought there went there. “They are the biggest club in League Two we play on Saturday. There are a lot of good clubs in the division, but by far the biggest club is our league is Coventry City.”
Hard-working Hemmings loving blossoming strike-force
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 22 February 2018
After forging a fruitful partnership with Danny Rose this season, frontman Kane Hemmings is enjoying life alongside the Stags’ top scorer and is aiming to add more goals to his game in the final stretch of the season.
The Oxford United loanee has found the back of the net eight times this season and his tireless performances have impressed Stags’ fans since his arrival in August.
And the 26-year-old believes that he and his strike partner have complemented each other well so far this season, having scored 25 goals between them since the beginning of the campaign.
“I think we’ve got a good understanding of what each other’s roles are and how we both work, and I think we both work hard for the team so it’s been enjoyable,” the former Dundee man said.
“We’re both in good form and we’re both playing with confidence, so I’m enjoying it at the moment and I’d like to think he [Danny Rose] is as well.
“He’s good in the air, so I’ll always be running off him and in recent weeks the gaffer has highlighted that.
“We’re playing closer together and I think that’s good for us, and I just find him very easy to play with because you know what you’re going to get. I think we complement each other well in the way that we work and play.”
On a personal note, Hemmings is hoping to add to his season’s tally of eight goals from 24 appearances as the Stags head into their final 13 games.
“I should’ve scored a few more goals but I’d be more disappointed if I wasn’t getting in the right areas so I’ll keep getting in there.
“Once you’re in the box, it’s a bit hit-and-miss whether you score, but hopefully I’ll put more away than I miss between now and the end of the season.”
In the league, the Stags have lost just one of their last 12 games, and following a run of five wins in their last six matches, Hemmings commented on the positive mood within the Stags' camp.
“Training’s been really good and really sharp - it’s very bubbly and everyone’s upbeat.
“It’s a case of just working hard on the training pitch and taking it into Saturdays.
“I think over the last couple of months we’ve been putting in really good performances and got a good run of form, so we’ve put ourselves in a great position.”
The Stags take on Coventry City at One Call Stadium on Saturday (24 January, 3.00pm kick-off) with Steve Evans' men aiming to move into the top three, while the Sky Blues will be hoping to close the gap on the play-off places and Hemmings is looking forward to another big game.
“Coventry are a very good team but we’ve already beaten them once this season and we’ll take confidence from that.
“We’ve been very good this year so hopefully we can keep this run that we’re on at the moment going and get another three points to keep us pushing up the table.
“It’ll be two teams trying to get on the ball and dominate each other to make the possession count so I’m expecting a very good game.”
With a bumper crowd expected at the One Call Stadium for Saturday’s game, marksman Hemmings is pleased with the backing of Stags’ supporters.
“It always helps when you’ve got the backing of the fans and when there’s more there making loads of noise to make a good atmosphere - that’s all you ever want as a player.”
Supporters will be able to view Hemmings’ full news conference on iFollow Stags later today.
‘Batman’ happy with ‘Robin’ as Stags striker partnership flourishes
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 22 February 2018
Kane Hemmings believes Danny Rose is the perfect strike partner for him as Mansfield Town continue to charge up League Two. Manager Steve Evans described them as ‘Batman and Robin’ last weekend and as Stags prepared for Saturday’s big home game with rivals Coventry City, Oxford loanee Hemmings said: “I think we complement each other well. We are both in good form and confident.
“I am enjoying it and I’d like to think he is as well. I think we have a good understanding of what each other’s role are and how each other works.
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/batman-happy-with-robin-as-stags-striker-partnership-flourishes-1-9031154
“I think we both work hard for the team as well. “He is good in the air and I will always be off him. In recent weeks the gaffer has highlighted us and I think we’re playing closer together which is good for us. “I find him very easy to play with. You just know what you’re going to get.” The pair’s fine form is keeping new Peterborough loanee Ricky Miller on the sidelines and Hemmings admitted Miller is good competition. He said: “That’s a good thing as it’s always going to drive you on to know that one bad game you could be out the team. That’s healthy for any position on the pitch. “Ricky has looked sharp. He’s a little bundle of energy. He gets about the pitch and, if he gets it onto his left, he’ll have a hit.” Hemmings has been playing superbly but has now not scored in the last five games and he said: “I should have scored a few. “I’d be more disappointed if I wasn’t getting in those positions. Then you have got something to be worried about. “I will keep getting in there and I will either keep missing them or score. It is what it is. It’s hit and miss. Hopefully I’ll put more away than I’ll miss. “You can’t be scared to get into an area and miss a chance. “Hopefully there is another gear in there and there will be a few more goals from now until the end of the season.”
David Mirfin nears Mansfield Town comeback
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Centre half David Mirfin takes his next big step to a Mansfield Town comeback from injury next week. Mirfin will be back in the building after rehabilitation from a knee operation and manager Steve Evans said: “The nice thing is nice we have him back in full-time from Monday. “He won’t be going off to see consultants and different people every day. “It will now be about how quick we can get David on the grass. “One thing we know about David, when we get him on the grass, is that he has more talent in his wee left toe than a lot still have in our team. “He was sensational before he was injured and he has been a loss for us. “But because of the form of Krystian Pearce and Rhys Bennett, he has gone a little bit unnoticed. “If they can keep performing like that we can give David enough time to make sure he is 100 per cent right to come back in.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/david-mirfin-nears-mansfield-town-comeback-1-9031732
‘Sockgate’ returns to Mansfield Town
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
‘Sockgate’ is back at Mansfield Town Football Club as manager Steve Evans searches for the latest culprits. With all going so well at the moment, dressing room joviality and banter is high and Evans found his socks cut up recently. Still not having found who was responsible, he admitted he has now had another pair stolen. “I have just been down to the dressing room and everyone is fresh and having a banter about me and Rayns (assistant Paul Raynor) and others,” he smiled. “There is a line drawn with the banter and that was cutting my socks up. “I said if anyone cuts my socks up again they will pay a price. But I didn’t say ‘if my socks go missing’. Now they’ve gone missing. “I am looking at (Alex) MacDonald as he has that cheeky chappy eye. And I think (Kane) Hemmings and (Jacob) Mellis will be involved. “I need to catch them and after that John Radford will be a few quid better off as we’ll take some of their wages.”
Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/sockgate-returns-to-mansfield-town-1-9031734
INJURY NEWS: Squad update ahead of Mansfield trip
Michael Doyle has been in training this week at Ryton...
ccfc.co.uk, by Mark Hornby
Captain Michael Doyle has been back in training this week, Coventry City Manager Mark Robins confirmed in his pre-match press
The Sky Blues travel to Mansfield Town on Saturday, and the Skipper could return for the visit to Field Mill.
"Michael has been out for a couple of weeks, and played with this injury for a while," Robins said.
"He came back into training this week. We’ll run the rule over him again for this week. He was training yesterday, was fine, looked OK and was moving well. We’ll run the rule over Michael and make a final decision."
Defender Jack Grimmer returned to the Sky Blues side last week at Brighton, and the Manager confirmed his 57th minute substitution at the Amex was precautionary.
"Jack has been out for a couple of weeks, so we didn’t want to over cook him in the game. We didn’t do that, he has trained this week, so he will be available for selection tomorrow.
"Whoever plays tomorrow has got to be focused and fully ready for it."
Robins was also asked about the progress of Midfielder Tony Andreu, and while the Frenchman has been runnning, remains a long way from fitness.
"Tony is rehabilitating and running. He’s working and has got to in getting back from this injury.
"You have to when you have a cruciate knee ligament injury, but just because he is running it doesn’t mean he is near to being fit. He’s had a graft onto the bone and that’s got to take, so the more strengthening work he can do the more chance he has of that graft holding."
INTERVIEW: Mark Robins previews Mansfield trip
Sky Blues face Mansfield on Saturday afternoon...
ccfc.co.uk, by Mark Hornby
Mark Robins sat down with the press this morning at Ryton, as Coventry City return to league action on Saturday at Mansfield Town.
After last week's FA Cup exploits, the Sky Blues visit Field Mill tomorrow looking to close the gap on the League Two play-off places.
“It was a great cup run, really enjoyable and some good memories" said Robins.
"The support we had at the games is something you don’t forget. That’s over and done with now. We’ve enjoyed that, it’s been a good experience and we shift the focus back onto the league.”
Mansfield were the victors at the Ricoh back in November, and Robins reflected on what was a tight game between the two sides.
"The game was fairly even. They were physically capable, they try to force mistakes and pin you in. They have Danny Rose who will win the ball in the air, leaps twice his height but also will go to ground if he feels some contact. They have some good players.
"I think the strength in depth they have is impressive, and they have a good chance of achieving their aims for this season.
"They are all tough games, but we have the opportunity to go and upset that form book again."
The Sky Blues' visit to Mansfield sees them enter the final 14 games of the season, and a busy week which the Manager sees as a potentially defining one.
"We’re fully focused on the 14 remaining games. The week will be a defining week - we have Mansfield, Wycombe away and then Lincoln at home next Saturday. It will go a long way to telling us where we will finish up this season.
"We’ve got to take each game as it comes, but all in all you have to try and win every game. Tomorrow is the most important game of our season, because it’s the next one. We’re all looking forward to it.
"We need to be focused on our jobs, which they have been this week. They are talking among themselves about what we need to do, but the time for talking stops and we have to go and make sure we follow that up with good firm actions and carry out the game plan."
"We’ve got to go and try to win. We have to approach every game in that way. We have a duty to ourselves, the support and the club."
Jonson Clarke-Harris notched his first goal for the club last week, and Robins praised the striker's contribution in the match at Brighton.
"Jonno was outstanding last week, and he hasn’t played 90 minutes for a long time. He’s got the bit between his teeth last Saturday, and this weekend we need the same performance from everybody who takes their place in the starting line up and the lads on the bench too."
With another excellent away following at Mansfield, Robins finished his press call talking about the support from the Sky Blue Army.
"It’s all about the fans. We have a duty to deliver for them what they want. While there is a pressure and expectation playing for the club, we’ve got to embrace it and fear nothing. The supporters have been fantastic, behind the players, behind me and behind the team, and really positive."
Latest | February 2018