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Archived News from December 2016

EVANS, BENNING AND JOHN McGREAL REACTION
14th December 2016 18:28



Display merited more than a point - Stags' boss
mansfieldtown.net, 10th December 2016

New Stags’ boss Steve Evans felt his side deserved to win today’s Sky Bet League Two match against Colchester United after dominating much of the game.

A resilient Colchester United side fought off the attacking intentions of the Stags in what turned out to be a frustrating afternoon for the home side.

And the manager feels his side did enough to win the match but believes the Stags ‘lacked quality’ in the final third.

“We’ve dominated from start to finish. That’s (Colchester) an excellent side; they’ve scored seven goals in their last two league matches so we know what they’re about,” the Stags’ chief said.

“But I felt we took the game to them but if I’m being honest, I think we lacked a little bit of quality in the final third and maybe the passing from central areas in midfield wasn’t where it should be today.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/boss-left-disappointed-after-colchester-draw-3461723.aspx#z8xDRk0ZF5q386RP.99

“I go away and my memory of the game is I think we’ve had all the ball, all the play [and] all the chances. We know how they’re going to play, they’re going to sit men behind the ball and to be fair we restricted them to the odd flurry up in attack.

“I said to the boys afterwards: ‘If there’s a boxing match, the towel might have come in on 75 minutes’. But we’re not in a boxing match - [to deliver] that knockout blow, you have to have that little bit of quality and that’s what was disappointing.”

Stags now sit four points off the Sky Bet League Two play-off places after today’s stalemate and the gaffer has reiterated the importance of staying within touching distance of the top seven as the opening of the January transfer window approaches.

“We go away disappointed but as I said to the players, they’re a credit. They’ve given us absolutely everything and what we lacked for in a little bit of quality, we can address that when the window opens.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure whoever we bring in has the same application as that group in the dressing room because if we’d have won today, we would’ve gone eighth in the table.

“That’s the fine margins it is but we sit four points off the play-offs and if we’re there in January, four points off the play-offs, Mansfield Town will have a big part to play in the second half of the season.

“There’s a lot of players who are improving quickly, there’s a lot of players who need minutes on the pitch quickly and we’re trying to do a lot of things in a short space of time. We need to make sure come January we’re in the picture when the window opens.”

Finally, the boss praised the One Call Stadium crowd of 3,398 as they roared their team on during today’s encounter.

“The crowd numbers were up today. They were right behind us today. I thought the atmosphere in the second half when we had a little passage of play and [played] balls across the box, which were poor in the end, but the [atmosphere during the] lead-up play was excellent.”

Supporters can view boss Steve Evans’ post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD.

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BBC Nottingham Sport @BBCRNS twitter
Steve Evans: "Matt Green was the first in the dressing room to apologize to the players and staff, but he was won us games as well" #Stags

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Decent point, but goal-shy Stags disappoint Evans
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 10 December 2016

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans was left disappointed as his side dominated for 90 minutes against in-form Colchester United, but failed to find a winner in today’s 0-0 draw. Matt Green came the closest, twice missing the target and forcing a save out of Sam Walker.

United had won their last two games 4-0 and 3-0 and so Evans said: “It was a hard-earned point against a team in good form.

“But did we have the quality to open the door? The evidential answer is no. But you can’t miss the two big chances we had, one in each half.

“We have dominated from start to finish against a side that have scored seven goals in their last two games. We know what they are about, but I think we took the game to them. “We just lacked a bit of quality in the final third and maybe the passing from central areas of midfield was not where it should be today.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/decent-point-but-goal-shy-stags-disappoint-evans-1-8283964

“We said to the boys you have to earn the right to win matches and we reiterated that point at half-time.

“We knew by then we should be 1-0 up. You don’t expect Matt Green to miss the type of chances he missed today.”

He added: “I think if we’d got a goal we might have got more. But it wasn’t to be. We go away disappointed.

“But the players were a credit and they gave us absolutely everything. What we lacked for in a little bit of quality, we can address that when the window opens.

“What we are trying to do is make sure whoever we bring in has the same application as that group in the dressing room.

“I am looking to bring in three or four players. But they must be value for money. And they need to be starting or the chairman will ask why I am spending his money for players to be sitting on the bench.

“If we’d won today we’d have been eighth in the table - that’s the fine margins it is - four points off the play-offs.

“If we are there four points off the play-offs in January then we will have a big part to play in the second half of the season.

“My memory of today’s game is that we have had all the ball, all the play and all the chances.

“We restricted them to the odd foray up the field. I don’t know what the percentages were on the pitch today but it may have been in the eighties for us in their half. “If it was a boxing match the towel might have come in after 75 minutes, but it’s not boxing and you have to find that knock-out blow.”

Stags were delighted to see a crowd of 3,398 on a day they put on the Evans’ 11s ticket deal and the manager said: “The crowd numbers were up today and they were right behind us today. “I though the atmosphere in the second half was great when we had a little passage of play and balls across the box.”

Danny Rose was booked for a stoppage time dive, but Evans believes it was a penalty or at least a free kick as there was confusion if it was inside the box or outside. “I think there was contact,” said Evans. “I’ve looked at the DVD and there was minimal contact, but it was a free kick or a penalty.

“A couple of lads have said it was slightly on the edge of the box and a couple have said it was inside. But I don’t think we got a lot from the officials today.

“We have won three and drawn one out of five and that is acceptable form. But we are capable of so much more.

“It was important we defended right at the end and we got a little break when when the ball came off the top of our bar.”

Colchester boss John McGreal said: “We would have loved to have gone three wins on the bounce, but we will take what’s next, which is a clean sheet and a point. “It keeps the unbeaten run going, which we are craving at the moment. “It wasn’t the best of games or a great spectacle - and they had chances to win it late on, but it would have been unjust if they had nicked it. “I am made up for the fans. They made themselves heard and we have come away with a good point. “The three central defenders were excellent. We had done our homework and we knew what was coming. “ We have done a lot of analysis on Mansfield over the past few games (since Steve Evans took over) and we knew it would be physical.” He added: “Steve Evans does a terrific job wherever he goes and had already got two wins from two matches here under him, so to come away with a point, we are happy. “We would have loved to have been three from three, but we will take the draw. “The system (three central defenders) is working ok at the minute. “The strength in depth with the centre backs, who were outstanding, held us together. A couple of weeks ago we might have gone under. “Even though we have got the clean sheets, we do look as though we can nick goals at the other end as well.”

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Benning bemoans lack of luck after U's draw
mansfieldtown.net

Left-back Mal Benning believes Stags didn’t get the lucky breaks they needed during this afternoon’s 0-0 draw at home to Colchester United.

Manager Steve Evans’ men dominated the majority of the game but couldn’t find a way past a resolute U’s defence.

And Benning, who is in his second season with the club, believes a contributing factor to the 0-0 draw was the ball dropping to an opposition defender rather than a Stags’ forward.

“We controlled the game. It’s just that little bit of, when we cross the ball, it needs to land on one of our heads, we need to pick one of our players out,” Benning said.

“I think it was alright, the final ball in to the box. It wasn’t as if it was getting cut out by the first man. It was one of them where we need to pick out a player instead of landing it one of their heads.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/benning-bemoans-lack-of-luck-after-us-draw-3461916.aspx#BGxMq4AdOTjUmZqi.99

“We just needed that one little bit of luck, I think, to get in front of goal. I feel if went one [up], we would have got a couple more but it’s just one of those days.”

Stags are currently sitting 13th in Sky Bet League Two and the former Walsall left-back says a small number of favourable results will catapult the Stags up the table, such is the density of the division.

“As you can probably see, the table’s really tight. We only need one win and we’ll shoot straight back up, but we’ll be working towards that.

“League Two is like that, as we saw that last year as well. We just need to get a couple of wins and we’ll shoot straight up.

“A clean sheet is always nice but at the end of the day, it gives us a platform to build on. Everyone’s involved in winning a game and hopefully scoring a goal.”

Last year’s Goal of the Season winner believes the players have reacted positively since the arrival of manager Steve Evans.

“Everyone knows about what he brings, passion and whatnot, and everyone knows about him so obviously the players have reacted to him and I think we’ve reacted well.

“As I said in the programme, it’s pressure but it’s good pressure because obviously it’s bringing the best out of players.”

Benning went on to thank the fans for their support after being named as the sponsors’ Man-of-the-Match for his energetic display on the left-hand side of the Stags’ defence.

“The fans are very good. They’ve got my backing a lot which I appreciate and you could hear them today and in the last two games and it does give the players a boost, but unfortunately we couldn’t get the win for them.”

Supporters can view Mal Benning’s post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD.

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Pressure on to impress new manager is a good thing, says Stags Benning
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Saturday 10 December 2016

Mansfield Town defender Mal Benning believes the pressure of impressing new manager Steve Evans is having a positive effect on the club.

Players know their places are under threat with the January transfer window around the corner and Benning, who was awarded man of the match in yesterday’s home 0-0 draw with Colchester United, said: “Everybody knows what passion he brings.

“The players have reacted to it and I think we have reacted well.

“The gaffer has everyone on their toes. As good the old gaffer was, since the new one came in, everyone’s on their toes.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/pressure-on-to-impress-new-manager-is-a-good-thing-says-stags-benning-1-8284034

“We all have to impress. It’s pressure, but it’s a good pressure and it’s bringing the best out of players.”

On the 0-0 draw against Colchester, he added: “I thought we controlled the game but needed that one bit of luck in front of goal,” said Benning.

“I think if one had got in we’d have got a couple more - but it was just one of those days.

“A clean sheet is always nice, it gives us a platform to build on.

“The table is really tight and we we just need one win and we’ll shoot straight back up.”

“The fans were very good, you could hear them today like the previous two games here, but unfortunately we just couldn’t get the win for them.”

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Colchester United head coach John McGreal satisfied to see his side extend their unbeaten run
by Jonathan Waldron, gazette-news.co.uk

Colchester United head coach John McGreal said he was pleased with the point his side secured at Mansfield Town, following their 0-0 draw at Field Mill.

The U's extended their unbeaten run in League Two to three matches, following a committed performance against the Stags.

The goal-less draw meant that Colchester have now not conceded a goal in more than four and a half hours of football.

McGreal said: "We'd have loved to have gone three wins on the bounce but we'll take a point and the clean sheet and move on.

"It keeps the unbeaten run going that we're craving at the moment.

http://www.gazette-news.co.uk/sport/colchesterunited/14959142.McGreal_pleased_with_U_s_point_at_Mansfield/

"In the last five or ten minutes they put balls into our box but we had some great opportunities late on to nick it.

"It would have been unjust as it wasn't the best of games and it wasn't a good spectacle.

"But I'm made up for the fans who made themselves heard and we go away with a good point."

Colchester's three centre-backs George Elokobi, Frankie Kent and Tom Eastman were all excellent at Mansfield and boss McGreal said he could not pick a man of the match.

"They were all excellent," added McGreal.

"We knew what was coming and we've done a lot of analysis on Mansfield over the last couple of games.

"We knew it was going to be physical and Steve Evans does a terrific job wherever he goes, he gets his wins."

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twitter

Ashley Hemmings @AshHemmo23
Unlucky not to win today but we stood strong throughout the game. Go again next week an hopefully get the 3 points @mansfieldtownfc #Stags

JAMIE MCGUIRE @JAMIEMCGUIRE23
Good point yesterday good week of training ready to go again against Exeter @mansfieldtownfc

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Latest | December 2016