Boss to relish home double-header
mansfieldtown.net, 9th February 2017
Stags’ boss Steve Evans says the upcoming home double-header against Hartlepool United and Accrington Stanley could have a big impact on the rest of the season.
Stags are yet to taste defeat in Sky Bet League Two in 2017 and now face Pools and Accrington in the space of just four days at One Call Stadium as they sit just two points outside the play-off places.
And the gaffer says the two home fixtures gives Stags the opportunity to both climb the league table and also further increase confidence in the squad.
“We’ve got two games at home in the space of four or five days that could have a massive impact, not only inside the camp but in terms of league positions and things like that,” the Stags’ chief said.
“All we can do is focus on ourselves. I said it prior to Barnet, we cannot focus on whatever happens around the country.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/se-09-feb-3565713.aspx#lsvWLl8JGh8YpdZq.99
“We have to look after ourselves in these two home games and the only priority is Saturday against Hartlepool.
“We’re desperate for a win, we’ve not won since last Saturday and when you’re winning games, it becomes like a drug, winning. The dressing room, as we evolve, will start to find that out.”
Earlier this week, chairman John Radford launched another ‘buy one, get one free’ offer for the home matches against Accrington and Newport County later this month and the manager has lauded the generosity of both the owner and the chief executive, Carolyn Radford.
“It’s a fantastic and generous offer by John Radford and Carolyn Radford, there’s not too many owners who have been crying since last July and August to see their team win on a Saturday on a regular basis so they can enjoy their weekends.
“I’ve often said, they’ve got everything in life. They’ve got each other, they’ve got beautiful children, they have fantastic businesses and a real happiness about them - it’s infectious and it makes people want to be happy too.
“What they never had was a winning football team on the back of that and what they didn’t have is Mansfield Town supporters in a real happy frame of mind.
“What we’ve seen in the last ‘buy one, get one free’ offer is an excellent home performance, an excellent three points and we saw everyone leave the One Call Stadium in a really happy mood.”
Saturday’s visitors Hartlepool United have picked up four points from their last three games since the arrival of new manager Dave Jones and our boss says Stags will face a tough challenge against who he believes is the most experienced manager in Sky Bet League Two.
“They’ve had their day in the week off so we’ve come back in this morning really fresh and with a real focus to come up against who I described in my programme notes for Saturday as the most experienced manager in League Two you could imagine in Dave Jones.
“I thought he did a wonderful job at Sheffield Wednesday and obviously lost his job when new owners came in and the big investment came in.
“You never, ever forget the experienced guys in the game and the one thing we do know is Hartlepool will come here on Saturday and they’ll be organised, they’ll be efficient and that’s led by a manager who knows this game inside out.”
Furthermore, the boss confirmed that neither Kyle Howkins or George Taft will be available for the visit of the Pools, but hopes to have both players fighting for a place in the matchday squad next week.
"Tafty’s [George Taft] probably looking at the following week at Grimsby as perhaps being available but we won’t get them on the bench if they’re not deserving of it.
“The way it worked last time with Kyle [Howkins] was he played [for West Brom's under 23s] and then he was straight back with us. They [West Brom] just want to see him in a competitive game. So he’ll play on Monday and his first available option for us will be Tuesday night.”
Supporters will be able to view Steve Evans’ news conference, in full, on Stags PlayerHD later today.
Stags wary of rejuvenated Hartlepool
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 09 February 2017
Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans believes new Hartlepool United manager Dave Jones has quickly rejuvenated the players at his struggling club and expects a tough game at the One Call Stadium on Saturday.
The vastly experienced Jones joined Hartlepool last month to rescue them from the wrong end of the table and has made a quick impact.
But Pools arrive at the One Call Stadium to face a Stags side seven League games unbeaten and about to play the first of two home games in four days that could push them up into the top seven for the first time.
“I think they will come here and have a go,” said Evans.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-wary-of-rejuvenated-hartlepool-1-8380300
“I’ve known Dave Jones a long time and I don’t think they will come and be adventurous from 3pm, but I think they will be adventurous over an hour and a half and I think they’ll try to win the game.
“They have nothing to lose in that they are coming to play a form team and they’ve been struggling a bit for form themselves.
“The most notable thing is the difference in class of the performances prior to Dave Jones and with Dave Jones. It is considerable when you look at the evidence.
“We expect him to have rejuvenated six or seven players who, in all honesty, had gone off the boil a bit but now look like they are back on their mettle.”
Evans said he had huge respect for Jones and the way he had treated the Stags manager in past encounters.
“He is the most experienced manager you could imagine in League Two,” said Evans. “I thought he did a wonderful job at Sheffield Wednesday but obviously lost his job when the big investment came in. “He is someone when I was back at Rotherham in League Two and League One, who was very courteous and very kind to me and helped me and you never forget. “The one thing we do know is Hartlepool will come here on Saturday and be organised and efficient, led by a manager who knows this game inside out.” He added: “But we are desperate for a win as we’ve not won since last Saturday. Winning becomes like a drug and the dressing room we are evolving will start to find that out. “We have two games at home in four days that could have a real impact, not only inside the camp but also with league positions, and all we can do is focus on ourselves.”
Former Stags winger Nathan Thomas came through a reserve game against Stags’ youngsters in midweek and could be thrown back in after injury.
“It wouldn’t surprise me,” said Evans.
“But it’s never going to be about what Hartlepool do on Saturday. It’s just about what we do individually and collectively. We will be the difference whether we win on Saturday.”
The weather forecast is for an icy cold weekend, but Evans added: “The covers are on and our groundstaff will be working round the clock to make sure we are good to go.”
Howkins comeback delayed for Mansfield
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 09 February 2017
Central defender Kyle Howkins will now not be available for Mansfield Town’s home clash with Hartlepool United on Saturday.
The giant centre half loanee has recovered from a knee injury and was expected back into the Stags squad after being pencilled in to play a comeback U23s game for parent club West Brom this week.
However, that did not happen and boss Steve Evans said: “He is now playing for them this coming Monday.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/howkins-comeback-delayed-for-mansfield-1-8380250
“The reason he didn’t play this week was they just felt he was a couple of days away from being ready.
“They just want to see him in a competitive game and so his first available option for us would be Tuesday night.
“But if he plays an hour on Monday there’s nothing wrong with him being on our bench on Tuesday against Accrington.”
Stags manager praises new ticket deal for fans
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Stags manager Steve Evans is hoping supporters once again take up chairman John Radford’s latest buy one get one free ticket offer as the club targets a place in the top seven by the middle of next week.
Mansfield play two home games in four days this weekend and anyone buying tickets for Tuesday’s home clash with Accrington Stanley will receive a free ticket for the visit of Newport County on February 25th Having already seen Radford boost the crowd with an identical offer last month, Evans said: “I said when he made the last offer that John Radford has got too much money!
“It is a fantastic and generous offer by John and Carolyn Radford.
“There are not too many owners that have been crying since July to see their team win on a Saturday on a regular basis so they could enjoy their weekends.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-manager-praises-new-ticket-deal-for-fans-1-8380599
“I have often said - they have everything in life. They have each other, they have beautiful children, they have fantastic businesses and a real happiness about them - it’s infectious. It makes people want to be happy too.
“But what they never had was a winning football team on the back of that or Mansfield Town supporters in a really happy frame of mind.
“What we saw with the last buy one get one free was an excellent home performance and three points and then seen everyone leave the stadium in a really happy mood. We have to make sure we look after those games.”
Stags pair miss on winning League Two awards
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans and midfield loanee Ben Whiteman both missed out on glory after nominations for Sky Bet League Two Manager of the Month and Player of the Month respectively.
Although they were among the four nominees for each category after Stags’ superb January, neither came out on top when the winners were announced this morning as Doncaster Rovers’ Darren Ferguson took the manager’s trophy and Exeter City youngster Ollie Watkins the player’s trophy.
Evans was just happy to be nominated and praised winner Ferguson. “It is just recognition of doing a good job,” he said.
“From a League Two perspective Darren Ferguson has done a fantastic job since the summer, rejuvenating a team that was pretty much on the floor after probably the worst run-in in British football history to get relegated.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-pair-miss-on-winning-league-two-awards-1-8380575
“He is deserving of it with five tremendous wins home and away and a really powerful side. I think they’ll be in League One next year and a lot to do with that is the man who has received manager of the month.
“It the award a poisoned chalice? What it tells you is that you’ve won four or five games just before it so that means you are getting a lot right.
“In all seriousness, when I’ve won championships and promotions I have not had many managers of the month awards.
“I think manager of the year is the one that everyone wants as that means you’ve truly successful and probably the champions. I have a number of them on the sideboard and I want to have a few more. But you have to ultimately finish top of the pile to win them.”
Stags were believed to have offered £350,000 for Watkins in last month’s transfer window so Evans is already a fan. But he believes all-action Sheffield United loanee Whiteman deserved the trophy. “Young Ollie Watkins is a kid we know real well, we have done enough research on him, but I think if you take the month in isolation I think Ben should have won that award,” said Evans. “Sometimes these awards come because people watch different games at different times. “Young Watkins is a superb talent. But Ben is a young man who we brought here and is continuing to learn his education.
“He’s got a lot to improve on as he needs to get better if he wants to play in the level or two levels above.
“But he has been born with a talent. The day you’re born there is little bit of gold dust inside you and you’re destined to have a lot of ability with a ball.
“More importantly he comes from a family of winners who are really supportive of him. But inside him he has a real desire to succeed in football and a real competitive edge and that probably sets him aside from a few others. I think the kid will go on and have an excellent career over time.”
White's got the feel-good factor
mansfieldtown.net, 9th February 2017
Stags’ defender Hayden White says he is enjoying playing regular football after joining the club on loan from Peterborough United last month.
The 21-year-old has been ever-present in the Stags’ right-back berth following his debut at Notts County and has been part of a defensive rearguard which has conceded just one goal since the derby day draw.
And the former Bolton Wanderers defender says he is relishing the opportunity to play regular EFL football after boss Steve Evans brought him to the club last month.
“All I want to do is play football and the gaffer gave me the opportunity to play here and I took it. I give my best in every game and try to perform and I think I have so far.
“I’m really enjoying it. It’s going very well and we’re picking up the results that we need and hopefully that can continue.
“It’s been a bit stop-start, especially this season, but I’m here now and it’s my job to keep myself in the team and I’m sure I can do that.”
And after stating that he is enjoying life at One Call Stadium, the London-born man says he is open to the possibility of turning his loan into a permanent switch at the end of the season, but admits the decision is in the hands of the manager.
“We’ll see what the manager says and what he wants to do come the end of the season. I’m really enjoying it here and we’ll see what happens.
“When you’ve got a manager like this with his past record and what he’s trying to achieve, this is always something that will appeal to me.”
Stags have steadily climbed the Sky Bet League Two table since the turn of the year and White says the whole squad are focussed on working together to achieve collective success.
“Pearcey [Krystian Pearce], Benno [Rhys Bennett], Mal [Benning] - they’ve all been first class and they’ve done very well. They’ve helped me settle in straight away and I’m very happy to be playing at the moment.
“When you’ve got players in front of you that want to work and you can tell that Collo [Lee Collins], Ben [Whiteman], everyone in there, they just want to win. There’s a lot of winners in the team and it’s very good at the moment.
“The boys in the changing room are just taking it one game at a time at the moment and we’re trying to get the three points there and then we’ll move on to the next game. All the focus is on the Saturday coming up.”
Supporters can login in to Stags PlayerHD to view Hayden White’s news conference, in full.
Hayden White enjoying life as part of Stags resurgence
Loanee full back Hayden White says he is enjoying life so much at promotion-chasing Mansfield Town that he would consider making his move permanent at the end of the season.
White was one of eight new faces at the One Call Stadium in January as manager Evans reshaped his squad for the promotion push.
And the 21-year-old Peterborough right full back has impressed fans and the management team alike with consistent performances since his arrival.
Evans said in January the loan was “with a view to doing something more permanent” and now White has spoken of his delight at playing for the Stags.
“I hope I have impressed people. I give my best in every game and try to perform - and I think I have so far,” he said. “We will see what the manager says and what he wants to do come the end of the season, but I am really enjoying it here.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/hayden-white-enjoying-life-as-part-of-stags-resurgence-1-8383586
“When you have got a manager like this and with his past record and what he is looking to achieve, it is always something that would appeal to me - but we will see what happens at the end of the season.”
White, who had loans spells at Carlisle, Bury, Notts County and Blackpool while with Bolton Wanderers, before signing for Peterborough last summer, added: “I am really enjoying it. It is going very well.
“Over this season this is the happiest I have been. I am very happy to be playing at the moment and to be playing in a winning team - long may that continue.
“I knew I would be on the way out at Peterborough (in January). It was about where I would get the most amount of games and it was here.
“All I want to do is play football. The gaffer gave me the opportunity to come here and play, and I took it.”
White has joined a successful defence in recent weeks and thanked those around him on the pitch for helping him to settle in at One Call Stadium.
“Pearcey [Krystian Pearce], Benno [Rhys Bennett], Mal [Benning] - they’ve all been first class and they’ve done very well,” he said.
“They’ve helped me settle in straight away and I’m very happy to be playing at the moment.
“When you’ve got players in front of you that want to work and you can tell that Collo [Lee Collins], Ben [Whiteman], everyone in there, they just want to win. There’s a lot of winners in the team and it’s very good at the moment.”
White has formed a good partnership on the right with Whiteman, a contender for League Two player of the month, and said the Sheffield United loanee “has done fantastic since he came in.”
The full back was one of two Peterborough players to join the Stags in January along with striker Shaq Coulthirst.
Manager Evans said of White: “He is a fantastic full back. He gets up and down the pitch and he is competitive. He gives us a lot going forward and he is solid defensively. He is everything we look for.
“He had an excellent season last year at Blackpool, despite their troubles, got a great move to Peterborough and young (manager) Grant McCann down there has picked different options.
“These lads are not lads that want to sit about. Him and Shaq Coulthirst were banging on Grant’s door saying they wanted to go and play, so we are delighted to accommodate them.
“I don’t see too many better full backs in League Two on the right side, but he has to prove that when we come up against the so-called big clubs in this league - and we are going to face enough of them in the coming weeks.”
White, who admitted his career had been a little stop-start, especially this season, said the Stags’ promotion ambitions were a realistic target.
“We are taking it one game at a time at the moment. It (the play-offs) are very achievable. The boys want to achieve it,” he said.
“We are not getting ahead of ourselves. We know we need to keep picking up wins and come the end of the season we will see where we are.
“We have played some of the teams who will be up there at the end of the year. The players that the manager has brought in and those who are in the team and around it know what they want to achieve - to get up into the play-offs at least.”
London-born White was also full of praise for manager Evans. “(Steve Evans) is a very big name for League Two,” he said.
“Everyone can see what the manager is doing and how well he is doing and I am sure that will continue as well.
“There are no half-hearted days (with him). It is 100% or nothing and I think that’s what everybody needs to bring the best out of them
“He is very honest and will tell you exactly what he thinks, and every player needs that.”
We Want To Spoil Their Party - Jones
Fri 10 Feb 2017, hartlepoolunited.co.uk
Dave Jones has called on side to keep on improving as they return to action against an in-form Mansfield Town side at One Call Stadium on Saturday.
The Pools boss has been happy with the way his players have taken to the messages passed to them during training and wants more of that to be taken out on the pitch this weekend.
Jones and his staff were thrilled to see some of their work come to fruition with the opening goal against Yeovil Town last Saturday and now they want to see more of the same at Mansfield.
“We are trying to get information in to the players to make them better and stronger,” Jones told Pools PlayerHD.
“We feel like they’re responding well and the goal last week was nice because we had worked on switching the play and breaking quickly so that was a bonus.
Read more at http://www.hartlepoolunited.co.uk/news/article/2016-17/dave-jones-wants-more-progress-from-hartlepool-at-mansfield-3567858.aspx#cVVrl63PSRUS52Rq.99
“There seems to be a lot of questioning from them, which is good because that means they want to take it on board; when you see progress you’re happy and if the players buy in to it we have a good chance.
“We want to get as many points as we possibly can and you never know where that will lead - we’re not out of anything at the moment so why not strive for that?”
The trip to Mansfield is arguably Jones’ biggest test since taking the reins at The Northern Gas and Power Stadium, given the Stags are one of the form teams in League Two at the moment.
Steve Evans’ side are unbeaten in six league outings and have won the last three in succession to move two points behind seventh-placed Portsmouth in the table.
“We will approach this game the same as any other,” Jones insisted.
“Nobody is going to give you anything so we will have to go and earn it and we will look at all the different ways we can go there and get something.
“They are in form and chasing the pack down just above them for a play-off place and they will see it as an advantage being at home so we have to go and spoil the party.”
Click here now to watch the full pre-match video interview with Dave Jones on Pools PlayerHD.
Latest | February 2017