RUSSELL, MEDLEY, EVANS REACTION
AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH DUNCAN RUSSELL FROM BBC RADIO NOTTINGHAM --->
Stags are down to the bare bones, admits boss Russell
MANSFIELD Town boss Duncan Russell admits he needs reinforcements after seeing his injury-hit side well beaten at Crawley Town last night.
The Stags put in a brave, battling performance against Steve Evans' champions-elect at the Broadfield Stadium before going down 2-0.
But the biggest worry for the visitors was the fact they were able to field only three substitutes.
The late withdrawals of Adam Smith and Kyle Nix meant Stags had seven players on the treatment table ahead of their trip south.
Russell is hoping the majority of them – long-term absentee Rhys Day aside – will be fit against Rushden on Saturday.
But with one eye on Wembley, he is looking to add new players to prevent burn-out now that the transfer deadline has been extended until tomorrow.
"Crawley are an excellent side with great movement and excellent players that have cost a lot of money," said Russell.
"I wanted the lads to show character and they did that. If Louis Briscoe had scored when he hit the post, it might have been different.
"But we didn't have the personnel and it's frustrating when you haven't got the bench to change it around.
"Jason (Truscott, physio) says I will probably have six players back at the weekend but we have been looking to bring people in and we have until tomorrow to do it.
"We have to give players a rest when we get others back and if we can get a couple in, we can do a rotation.
"By their own admission, some of the players are very tired."
Medley pleased to be back as Stags lose at 'champions'
ALTHOUGH he didn't score, Luke Medley was delighted to be back in Mansfield Town colours in the 2-0 defeat at leaders Crawley on Tuesday night after being recalled from his loan spell at Aldershot.
“What a great game to come back into, I was buzzing throughout it,” he said.
“We worked our socks off tonight against a team destined for the Football League. We grafted and gave a good account of ourselves. We can take the positives out if it.
“I am glad to be back and the lads welcomed me back with open arms.
“I know there is a chance of playing at Wembley, but we have to put that to the back of our minds and I just want to get on a good run until the end of the season.
“We have so many games coming up, four in a week at one stage. But I can't wait to play back in front of the home fans again on Saturday.”
Manager Duncan Russell paid tribute to his side's efforts against the soon-to-be champions and said: “We showed a lot of character tonight against a very good Crawley side who showed great movement.
“I am down to bare bones tonight after Adam Smith and Kyle Nix pulled out at the last minute which left us with three on the bench.
“So I take my hat off to the lads who played tonight as they showed a lot of courage and tried to play and kept going to the very end. That's all I could ask of them.
“Of the seven injured players, our physio Jason tells me we should have six of them back for Saturday.
“But I still need to bring one or two more in before Thursday's deadline as we need more strength in depth with so many games coming up. Then I plan to rotate the side as players, by their own admission, are very tired.
“I missed my wingers tonight and, if I had more of my players to chose from and they showed the same enthusiasm they did tonight then we might have got something out of it. But take nothing away from Crawley, they have a lot of good players.”
Crawley boss Steve Evans said: “We could have had eight tonight against a good Mansfield side.
“But there was some terrific goalkeeping and some bad luck on our part.
“That is a Mansfield side with a lot of pedigree, well organised by Duncan Russell and I am delighted for him and his side to be going to Wembley. To be fair to them they do have a number of injuries to deal with, though so do we.
“If we had scored the second goal early on it might have been a rout.
“But we are just happy with the three points and it was a terrific night.
“Though Mansfield did hit the post at 1-0, I never felt we wouldn't win the game.”
Reds' boss Steve Evans was delighted with last night's outstanding performance in the 2-0 win over FA Trophy finalists Mansfield Town and this morning predicted his team will improve as time goes on.
Goals by Kyle McFadzean and hot-shot striker Matt Tubbs was little reward for such a dominant team performance. This was a match that had the final score been around 8-0 it would have been justice. Young Charlie Wassmer was simply outstanding as was his central defensive partner McFadzean. Josh Simpson and Ben Smith put in fine performances whilst the industry of Sergio Torres was a joy to behold.
The crowd of 3,162 was also a big plus on the same night that England played Ghana live on TV so the lads march on and the season starts to become interesting.
Speaking on Wednesday, ahead of travelling to our reserve match at Aldershot Town, manager Steve Evans reflected on a good night and spoke about his belief that this team will only get better. Steve said: "The objective before the Mansfield Town match was to get three points and we delivered that.
"The only disappointing thing was that we did not significantly add to our goal difference such was our domination of the match. It has to be said they had a young goalkeeper who did very well with some fantastic saves and our finishing could and should have been so much better. The fact is that had this match finished with a seven or eight goal winning margin I do not think anyone from Mansfield could have had too many complaints.
"Competition for a place in our starting XI is superb and as a manager or coach that is what you want. We substituted Matt Tubbs and Craig McAllister and we brought on Brodie and Cook - that gives you a chance.
"Many will forget that this squad has been put together in a very short time. I do believe they will get better and, make no mistake, this Crawley Town team will improve and if they keep working as hard as they are then we can have a fantastic few years.
"There is a fantastic togetherness in the dressing room. These lads love working hard and with the ability in the group they will be successful.
"Our next fixture is another very tough one. Darlington had a superb result at Grimsby Town last night and our report says they were brilliant so we will need to be ready.
"We have a number of players in our reserves today and they will be keen to shine to get into the starting XI for the match with Darlington."
Latest | March 2011