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Archived News from December 2016

EXETER PREVIEWS / + EVANS ON FRINGE PLAYERS+OLDHAM
20th December 2016 13:44


Another away grueller for Stags at Exeter
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 15 December 2016

After two successive hauls up to Carlisle United, Mansfield Town face another gruelling away trip this weekend to the other end of the country to face a resurgent Exeter City on Saturday.

The length of his first three away trips have been a baptism of fire for new boss Steve Evans, who smiled: “Someone said to me was there any down side to taking the Mansfield Town job - and I think the chairman and chief executive hid the fixtures.

“I don’t think they were telling me I was going to Carlisle twice and then Exeter in the space of three weeks. I’ve got bags under my eyes!

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/another-away-grueller-for-stags-at-exeter-1-8292106

“There is a lot of travelling in this division and you have to do it. But who do I feel most for? I think supporters as they have to make those long journeys and we get paid for it, it’s our job.”

Stags won their last away game at Carlisle in the Checkatrade Trophy and Evans said: “It’s the week before Christmas and we want to make it a ‘Christmassy’ journey on the way home by getting the points.

“We knew before we turned the year we had another long trip after Carlisle and we’ll take the same result coming home, then we have two home games over the festive period. If we can deal with them we’ll be right in the mix.”

Exeter have just won two and drawn one of their last three and Evans said: “I have a lot of respect for the manager down there, Paul Tisdale is someone I know really well.

“I think he the longest serving manager aside of probably Arsene Wenger. He has done an incredible job and they are a good side.

“I have the highest respect and highest regard for him. It will nice to see Paul, but it will be even nicer to come away with the points.

“I think he’s got a lot about him. I think he is a successful guy. He directly deals with a lot of the business side of the football club as well, so he probably deserves a knighthood from the people down at Exeter City.”

He added: “They play with a real flair and a real openness.

“It will be extremely tough. They had a difficult start to the campaign, and it took Paul quite a while to get it right.

“But he has found a formula, he’s found a system as he always does - he is a top guy, never mind a top class coach.

“He has stayed very loyal to that football club and in many ways they reward him with signing the likes of Reuben Reid, who is a top player. A lot will go through him.

“It’s going to be a difficult day for us down there. But we’ll go down there in good form. All bar a 30-minute period at Carlisle, we have dominated most of what we have been involved in.”

The Stags will be hoping to trouble Exeter’s new scoreboard after drawing a blank in last weekend’s 0-0 home draw with Chesterfield when the new scoreboard at One Call Stadium was used for the first time.

“We simply didn’t do enough to win the game,” said Evans.

“We’d all expect Matt Green to stick the ball in the net after 12 minutes and from then we’d probably have gone on to win it quite comfortably given our domination of the play.

“Our creativity was lacking a little but, but certainly not our industry. I felt for the players afterwards after how hard individuals and the team had worked.”

Stags will travel down tomorrow and stay over to help ease the strain of over four hours on the coach to Devon.

“The boys will be in tomorrow morning and this time we will train before we go,” said Evans.

“We will be nice and relaxed on the journey on the way down and we’ll make sure we’re ready for a difficult game.

“Exeter have found a bit of form. But we have had a look at them and we feel we can exploit one or two things, though we know it’s going to be tough.

“When I’ve been there I’ve had mixed results over the years.

“The supporters get behind the team they love and it makes it a difficult fixture for us at an important time leading up to the Christmas period.

“But If I get the same levels of effort and commitment that we’ve had - all bar that 30 minutes in the second half of the League fixture at Carlisle - and the same effort and determination we had against Colchester here on Saturday, plus a little bit of quality on top of that, we’ll have a good afternoon.”

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Stags' boss set for Exeter test
mansfieldtown.net

Stags’ boss Steve Evans is expecting a difficult match against an in-form Exeter City in Sky Bet League Two this weekend, but feels his side 'can exploit one or two things'.

The manager will travel with his squad to Devon early this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s match as Stags look to close the gap between themselves and the Sky Bet League Two top seven.

Stags sit in 13th position, four points from the final play-off spot. Exeter, meanwhile, are in 17th, three points behind Steve Evan's team.

And the boss is fully aware of the threats that the Grecians will pose, and also praised the club’s boss, Paul Tisdale, who is the longest-serving manager in the EFL.

“We’ll train this time before we go and we’ll be nice and relaxed on the journey on the way down and make sure we’re ready for a difficult game,” the manager said.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/boss-anticipating-difficult-clash-with-grecians-3471893.aspx#4uuDP5ZhuUUI8Iix.99

“Exeter have won their last couple of games but we’ve had a good look at them now and we feel as if we can exploit one or two things, but it’s going to be tough.

“I think he’s a successful guy (Paul Tisdale), I think he deals with a lot of the business side on behalf of the football club as well, and directly gets involved in that. So he probably deserves a knighthood from the people down at Exeter City!

“It’s always a difficult place to go. Wherever I’ve been, I’ve had mixed results down there over the years. It’s a difficult place to go, supporters get behind the team that they love and it makes it a difficult fixture for us at an important time, leading up to the Christmas period.”

The former Leeds United manager revealed at Thursday night’s ‘Christmas with Steve Evans’ event at One Call Stadium that he had clinched a deal for two players, who will be unveiled once the January transfer window opens.

However, he has praised his current crop of players for their hard work as the boss tries to implement a new style of play.

“They’ve come in every day and they’re trying to adapt to [a new] style of play and that takes a little bit of time.

“I think Jurgen Klopp took four months and we’re trying to do it in four weeks. We’re trying to implement a style of play that sees you win league matches in a difficult league.

“We’ve got some very, very good players here, this isn’t going to be a complete overhaul but I would say anyone who’s got a car - if you take two of the piston heads out and you take the gearbox out, you have a problem. But if you put good stuff in, then you expect better to come out.”

The Stags’ under 18s face Fulham this afternoon in the third round of the FA Youth Cup and the gaffer says it will be an experience that our youngsters can educate themselves from.

“What a terrific place for them to go and play their football. What a terrific place to go down to Fulham and I think I’m right in saying the game’s at the training ground but it’s a wonderful place, it really is.

“It’s a Premier League training ground and the kids will learn from that, they’ll benefit from.

“I think the youth team staff have done a terrific job. I think they’ve assembled a group of young men that are very enthusiastic.”

Supporters will be able to view Steve Evans’ news conference on Stags PlayerHD later today.

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Boss Steve Evans to keep Mansfield Town’s fringe players fit and ready
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 15 December 2016

New Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans plans to treat the Central League matches much more like conventional reserve games to keep his fringe players fit and ready for the first team.

Previous boss Adam Murray rarely used first teamers in the games as he wanted to largely use U21 players and saw the fixtures as a way of bridging the gap from youth to first team.

However, Evans has concerns over the fitness gap between parts of his squad and said: “It (the Central League) certainly needs us to play our players in it that aren’t playing for the first team.

“I think for obvious reasons Adam made a decision rightly or wrongly, that they (fringe players) don’t have to play in the U21s.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/boss-steve-evans-to-keep-mansfield-town-s-fringe-players-fit-and-ready-1-8292326

“We have always believed as a management team that if you’re not playing in the first team, you need to be playing competitive games.

“The boys are all fit, physically, yet you can train every day, but match fit is a different case altogether.

“When we can allow it to be around the fixtures, we will make sure as many of our players as possible who were on the bench or not involved with the first team on the Saturday, will play in the U21s.”

In the meantime, Evans staged an inter-squad game with fringe and youth players involved yesterday which saw players like Darius Henderson, Pat Hoban, Mitch Rose, Danny Rose and Jack Thomas all top up their fitness levels and push their claims for a place at Exeter on Saturday.

Evans said: “We had a lot of players involved in that for obvious reasons, people like Danny Rose, and Lee Collins is still catching up again on game time after being out. We had enough bodies out there to make sure we’re giving them some action.

“Danny is a perfect example. You would be entitled to say at this stage of the season, if I am not playing in the first team how do I get my minutes on the pitch? At Mansfield Town it just didn’t exist.

“We are trying to remedy that and make sure we are getting these players the minutes on the pitch. You have to give all your players an equal opportunity to stake a claim in the team, not just some.

“Paddy (Hoban) also played the game, scored a couple of goals, and was shooting from everywhere, which is normal for him. But he is a great lad with great enthusiasm.”

“Young Jack Thomas is another. The kid was sensational here in keeping Mansfield Town in the Football League and he must be given an opportunity to get some minutes on the pitch to stake a claim to be in our team.

“If you don’t get those minutes then you’re simply not ready when the chance comes.”

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Steve Evans: ‘festive period not pivotal to Mansfield Town’s season’
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 15 December 2016

Mansfield Town launch into a busy festive period at Exeter tomorrow with manager Steve Evans saying he believes chairman John Radford is ‘quietly excited’ by some of the potential January signings he has suggested to him.

Although wanting to stay with the play-off chasing pack, Evans also dismissed the notion that Christmas/New Year is pivotal to a side’s season.

“I think three points in August, managers dismiss it and say it’s just a start,” he said.

“But they are the same as three points in March or April - it’s just the significance of what those points might be later in the season.

“It was our job when we came in to make sure we came though the latter part of November and certainly December keeping ourselves in contention what that top six or seven. “We will have a better second half of the season - you can put the kettle on for that now!

“Whether it’s going to be good enough to take us where we need to be we will see. That will depend on getting the players in we’d like to bring in.”

Evans met with John Radford on Wednesday and added: “I was with the chairman for a long time yesterday and he was probably glad to get rid of me. But I think he is quietly excited.”

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/steve-evans-festive-period-not-pivotal-to-mansfield-town-s-season-1-8292340

Stags may head for Exeter in 13th place, but anything can happen over the second half of the campaign in a tight league.

And, like ex-Stags boss Paul Cox before him, Evans said his sides often come strong on the home run.

“You only have to look at what happened at Barnsley - another manager who is doing terrific in the Championship for them,” he said.

“I think I am right in saying they were around the bottom two at Christmas time and they got promotion at Wembley. It was an incredible achievement.

“But season after season when I was in League Two with Rotherham United we were terrible until the middle of February, then ultimately our belief in the players came through.”

Although he intends to sign three or four new faces in January, Evans added: “We have some very, very good players here. This is not going to be a complete overhaul.

“I’d say if anyone has a car and you take the two pistonheads and the gearbox out, you have a problem.

“But if you put good stuff in you expect better to come out and the group just needs a little bit of help - and we are going to try to do that.”

Whatever happens on the field, Evans stressed Christmas is about spending time with family. Whether that will include Christmas Day itself will probably hinge on how things go at Exeter. “Christmas a lot of work, which you are used to in football,” he said.

“I am a big family person.

“I have two beautiful daughters at home and another, who is equally beautiful, so we try to get together as a family as often as we can and try to make sure that we say hello to a neighbour and we go to church and all the stuff people wouldn’t expect from Steve Evans. But my private life is my private life.

“You only get one family don’t you? And there is that old saying that blood is thicker than water. I think when you are a young professional sportsman or woman, your family time is your time off normally.

“We say to them don’t go and spend it with your mates going for beer and all the other stuff you try to tell them not to do - spend it with your loved ones. It’s that time of year.

“But we are in the profession that we have a lot of work to do over the Festive period, and that becomes the priority.

“My family fit around the Festive fixtures. If it’s right for us, and we’ll make that decision in the days ahead, we will be in here Christmas Day. I’ve done it both ways.

“We are leading up to two big games here at the One Call against Morecambe and Doncaster - two terrific fixtures.”

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Steve Evans hoping homework will pay off when Mansfield Town face Oldham Athletic
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 15 December 2016

New Stags manager Steve Evans quickly saw the irony of the Checkatrade Trophy draw against League One Oldham Athletic - a club he came so close to taking over in the summer.

But Evans is hoping the homework he did then will stand Mansfield in good stead to progress to round four.

“We are very aware of what Oldham have assembled,” he said.

“Obviously I had the opportunity to join them back in the summer and I still keep in touch with the chairman probably three or four times a week - we message and speak to each other.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/steve-evans-hoping-homework-will-pay-off-when-mansfield-town-face-oldham-athletic-1-8292332

“I don’t think either of us thought it would be great if we meet each other (in the Trophy), but we are looking forward to it.

“I know how tough it is to go to Oldham and get a result - it’s extremely tough.

“One of the things about Oldham and one of the reasons I considered joining them is their supporters are much like here, same as Rotherham and Leeds fans, salt of the earth and say it as it is. It was an attraction.

“It is an opportunity for both clubs to take another step nearer what is ultimately a dream day. But you have to have a lot of other days that some people don’t want to know about to achieve that dream.”

Evans is still unsure why he didn’t take the job, but just trusted and followed his instincts.

“I just changed my mind,” he said. “Something didn’t feel right, I don’t know what it was.

“The chairman is terrific. I was talking to John Radford about Simon Corney last night - I met him on a number of occasions.

“They are good people and I went round the place two or three times.

“I just woke up on the day it was due to be happening later that day and it just didn’t feel right. I couldn’t go into any football club if it just didn’t feel right. “He accepted my explanation at the time and I said it may be in the future as the one thing I did respect was the football club.”

He added: “I have always been so committed to any club or project I joined it just has to ultimately feel right before you agree to do it. I have heard too many managers say they are taking a job as a stepping stone - well don’t take the job.

“You should never do that. You have to take the job and believe what you are going into.”

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McGuire lauds new manager's influence
by Tathagata Mukherjee, mansfieldtown.net, interview on 15th December 2016

Mansfield Town’s all-action midfielder Jamie McGuire has praised the impact of new boss Steve Evans after the Stags' recent spell of consistent performances.

The Stags have slipped to a solitary defeat in the five games which the Glasgow-born manager has taken charge of, and are unbeaten in three home games.

Their next outing is the 450-mile round trip to Exeter City this Saturday, who sit four places below the Stags in Sky Bet League Two, but only three points apart.

And McGuire believes it is crucial to continue their good run of form going in to the Christmas period - and it all starts with preparing the right way ahead of the Exeter trip.

“Consistency is the main thing for us. We have come into a good run of form going into Exeter on Saturday,” McGuire said.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/mcguire-lauds-new-managers-influence-3471602.aspx#6oR8I7Wvb3vb6WBO.99

“It is all about us [and how we approach the game]. We have been in good form ourselves. Exeter are a good team with some good players. But we have to go there with confidence, make sure we set the standards what we want to set.

“You have to prepare right. You eat right on the coach, get your water in as you do, get to the hotel, the boys rest up, get the food in them, and then back into your rooms - ready to go for Exeter.

The Birkenhead-born midfielder believes the Stags’ new boss is beginning to install a winning mentality in to the playing squad.

“That’s the character he (Steve Evans) is. He is a winner; he gives 100 per cent from the start.

“Standards have got to be high with him, because that’s what he wants. He demands it, and that’s what you see in the training and you see in the games.

“He demands high standards, good quality, and from training to the games, that’s what he’s been talking about.”

Following the outing against Exeter, the Stags feature in back-to-back home games over the Christmas period against Morecambe and Doncaster Rovers.

The ex-Fleetwood Town man feels that it is a good chance for the Stags to collect maximum points, but must take each game as it comes.

McGuire said: “It (winning maximum points) would be the perfect Christmas present for the whole club. But again, we are starting with Exeter first.

“[Let’s] see if we can get three points going down there. Then you have two home games - Morecambe and Doncaster. So let’s go down there, let’s go and pick three points up, and [it will be the] start of a good Christmas period, hopefully.”

Finally, McGuire has praised the support from the Stags’ faithful over the past few weeks and has emphasised how important they are to the club’s success.

“I have mentioned it a few times in press conferences, they (Mansfield Town supporters) are the '12th man', and when they get behind us, when this place (One Call Stadium) is rocking, it’s massive for us.

“I think there is a good few going down to Exeter on Saturday, so [there will be] a good following again from them. If we can take three points from Saturday, and then take them to two home games for them, let’s get the place rocking again.

“As the gaffer has said, it is a ‘roller-coaster’. But let’s make it a good roller-coaster, get the fans behind us, get the club booming, and if we can get the nine points over the Christmas period, that would be the perfect present for everyone.”

Supporters can view Jamie McGuire's news conference on Stags PlayerHD.

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Jamie McGuire calls on Mansfield Town to maintain high standards
chad.co.uk, by STEPHEN THIRKILL

Battling midfielder Jamie McGuire knows Mansfield Town must maintain their standards under new boss Steve Evans.

Experienced McGuire has been left impressed by the training ground work of Evans and insists Stags must take that work into matchdays.

“We have been in good form of late and we need to keep the consistency,” he said.

“Our training is high in intensity and the boss demands high standards, we have taken that on to the pitch.

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/jamie-mcguire-calls-on-mansfield-town-to-maintain-high-standards-1-8292918

“He demands quality and taking training into games. you have got to demand a high standard for yourself and the club.

“You have got to perform for the club on a matchday and that’s what he wants.

“I keep doing what I am doing and that’s all I can do. I will keep battling away and will give 100 per cent effort and passion.

“Steve Evans’ teams are effective and I have had some great battles with the gaffer down the years. He is a winner.

“The transfer window is coming up and you know if you don’t perform you could be out.

“There is going to be changes and every player knows they have to keep the standards up.”

Stags face the long trek to Exeter City on Saturday as they look to keep pace with the play-off pack. Exeter are unbeaten in their last three games, but McGuire says their focus is on maintaining standards at Mansfield Town.

“Exeter are doing well with good players, but we go there with confidence and it is about what we do and the standards that we set,” he added.

“We have got to be ruthless and take our chances. It was frustrating we did not take our chances against Colchester, it’s what wins games and we have got to take our chances.

“We got a point and now we move on to Exeter. We will prepare right for the game before we focus on the home games against Morecambe and Doncaster.”

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Exeter City v Mansfield Town: Match preview
15th December 2016, by Sam Richards

Tis confident of first home win this Saturday

Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale is confident their first home win of the season is just around the corner ahead of Saturday’s match with Mansfield Town.

After a mini-run of three games without defeat and the joint best away record in League Two - having picked up 21 points on the road - Tis is confident that City’s stand a good chance of getting their first three points at St James Park this weekend.

“We’ve been trying every game, it’s not like we haven’t,” said Tis. “We’ve played particularly well in the last couple of games. Against a very good Luton team we came close and played well against Doncaster, it’ll happen soon.”

Read more at http://www.exetercityfc.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/exeter-city-v-mansfield-town-match-preview-3471073.aspx#c53la8HquzyyVHi3.99

The Grecians have been particularly out of luck this season with injuries that have hindered progression and prevented any form of consistency in the starting 11. A few of these players are looking to get back in the side in the coming games.

“We had defensive issues last week at Cheltenham which we managed to overcome and get through so I’m hoping that we will have Jordan Moore-Taylor and possibly Luke Croll back in contention,” said Tis.

“Neither are assured of being fit but we are hoping they may well be available.

“It was good to see Troy Brown and Jordan Tillson back on the pitch but as many players as possible will be a good problem for me to have.

“They’ll both be looking to be fit for selection. Other than that Robbie Simpson will still be out, Pierce Sweeney still out, along with Troy Archibald-Henville and one or two others.

“We’ve got a lot of football, just coming up to the halfway point of the season. A lot of football still to be played and if you look at the last four or five months, how many enforced changes there have been.

It gives you some idea of what’s coming and we want as many players fit as possible for what will be a really tough winter few months I think.”

Mansfield have recently appointed ex-Championship manager Steve Evans as their new leader and the team seem to have reacted well. Mansfield have only lost one of their last five games in all competitions, scoring nine.

When asked about their opponent’s biggest strength, Paul replied ‘the new manager’.

He added: “He’s got them competitive and up and running over the last four or five games. He knows the league, he gets his teams very purposeful and energetic and knows exactly what he’s doing. I think the biggest strength will be the influence of the manager and this early period where he’s taken over a team and they’ll be playing to his word.”

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Exeter City vs Mansfield Town: Match preview with Grecians boss Paul Tisdale
By David_Byrom, December 15, 2016, exeterexpressandecho.co.uk

Paul Tisdale says it is a case of Exeter City putting their heads down and going again when they try to record their first home league win of the season at the 10th attempt on Saturday.

The Grecians are yet to win a home game this season, and the game against Mansfield Town this weekend is the last chance they have to do so this year.

Yet they have been buoyed by some positive recent form that has seen the side go three games unbeaten, including picking up their second home point of the season in a 0-0 draw with Luton Town.

This means Tisdale feels they can go into the game with the belief that they can put in another good performance against Steve Evans' side.

"We can do no more than keep focussed on what we're doing," he said. "I think we've played well in our last two home games, against Doncaster and Luton, and I don't see any reason why we can't put in a good performance against Mansfield.

Read more at http://www.exeterexpressandecho.co.uk/exeter-city-vs-mansfield-town-match-preview-with-grecians-boss-paul-tisdale/story-29985983-detail/story.html#hoArGcoer53HdAlv.99

"So we've got to concentrate on the basics and one thing I can guarantee is that the players are fully committed and all believe in each other.

"I think it's a case of putting our heads down and going again."

Glasgow-born Evans was appointed manager of the Stags last month but Tisdale says he is not expecting any great shocks about how Evans will set his team up when they arrive at St James's Park on Saturday.

"I don't think there's going to be too many huge surprises," he said.

"The only thing I'll be sure of is that Steve Evans generates a lot of energy and purpose within his team, whoever they are.

"Whichever team he has managed, they've always been a very determined and effective team, so I'm expecting that Saturday.

"Whether he's been there for four weeks or four years, his team will be up for the fight and will play purposeful football.

"I've got a lot of respect for what he's done at the clubs he's been at - he's successful and has had a lot of good experiences with plenty of success.

"So we must be respectful of that but, on the same token, we have to give ourselves the credit that we can go out and win."

City were short on centre-backs for last weekend's 3-1 win away to Cheltenham with Jordan Moore-Taylor, Pierce Sweeney, Luke Croll and Troy Archibald-Henville all missing.

However, Tisdale is hopeful of getting at least one of them back for this weekend's game.

"Jordan Moore-Taylor is ill," he said. "He's got some sort of blood infection and we don't know how long that will take to clear.

"He's had that now for about 10 days so we're hoping that will be cleared soon - it's affected all of his glands so he basically needs a period of rest to try to get better.

"We're hoping that Luke Croll will resume light training soon, as he's had a scan and had some positive results.

"He's now missed three weeks, so he's down on training but hopefully we can introduce him to light training soon.

"Troy Archibald-Henville was back in training on Monday and Pierce Sweeney is probably a month away from any kind of training.

"Centre-half is obviously the key for us and, out of those four players, we'll hopefully get at least one back for Saturday."

He added: "In a month's time we'll have them all fit and raring to go, which will give us a selection worry, but at the moment, having one back will be useful."

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Latest | December 2016