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COLCHESTER PREVIEWS
18th March 2017 1:02


Boss wants to retain high performance levels
mansfieldtown.net, 13th March 2017

Stags’ boss Steve Evans wants his side to produce the same type of ‘energetic and disciplined’ performance against Colchester United tomorrow as they did against Plymouth on Saturday.

The gaffer has dubbed Saturday’s showing as the best performance since he took over as manager in November, despite seeing his side slip to an undeserved defeat against Argyle.

And the former Leeds United manager has called on his players to replicate Saturday’s performance in order to create some luck in front of goal.

“We’ve got to go down there and put in the same type of energetic and disciplined performance that we did here on Saturday,” the Stags’ chief said.

Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/boss-wants-to-retain-high-performance-levels-3623147.aspx#BCMKw6eWGXkKEysS.99

“Then we’ve got to rely on some players, not just strikers, there’s midfield players missing chances and centre-backs from corners.

“The performance, in my opinion, was the best since I’ve been here, by a long way. If we get those levels of performance between now and the end of the season, I’ve said to the players I will always stand by results. I’ll stand by them with results if they’ve got that type of endeavour and they produce that type of quality.

“You have to run with it and help create that little bit of luck that gets you some goals.”

Goalkeeper Jake Kean is the only Stags’ player ruled out of tomorrow’s Sky Bet League Two fixture with his knee injury and the gaffer has taken the time to compliment Scott Shearer, who has performed well in between the sticks in Kean’s absence.

“I spoke to Jake this morning and he’s hoping to be back in training at the back end of this week, so we’d probably say a realistic objective is Saturday week to be out on the pitch.

“I have to say Scott Shearer’s been excellent. Perhaps because of mistakes in the past, he doesn’t get the credit that the big fella deserves.

“He’s come in and he’s got absolutely no chance with the two goals on Saturday and other than that he’s conceded one goal in the previous three, so he deserves enormous credit.”

The squad will leave for Colchester tomorrow morning and the manager says he will assess the best way to tackle the U’s after training today before deciding whether to make changes to his starting XI.

“The lads that started will be hoping they get the nod and the lads on the bench or maybe sitting in the seats next to the chairman or whatever are sitting thinking ‘maybe I’ll get my chance’.

“We’re going to pick it with Colchester in mind, with the fact we’re away from home in mind, do we deploy two strikers? Maybe three; we’ll have a look at it and we’re going to look at different things this morning and then firm our decision up as we go down tomorrow.

“There are people chomping at the bit to get into the team so we’ll look at training today and we’ll go down nice and early to Colchester tomorrow and we’ll be ready, hopefully, to produce another performance.”

Supporters will be able to view the manager’s full news conference by logging in to Stags PlayerHD later today.

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Stags wary of Colchester backlash
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 13 March 2017

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans is taking little notice of Colchester United's 4-0 home thrashing by Portsmouth when he takes his Stags side down there tomorrow.
Evans is aware his side could face the backlash of that defeat for play-off rivals Colchester, but is also happy his own side are in top form, despite an unlucky 2-0 home defeat by Plymouth on Saturday.
“Colchester were thumped 4-0 by a team that's probably got a budget three times that of everyone else in the league and three times the support if not more,” said Evans.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-wary-of-colchester-backlash-1-8436776

“Portsmouth are a club we all know should be challenging to be in the Premier League. They are a fantastic club.
“But Colchester's home form up to then has been quite extraordinary if you look who they have beaten. When you can beat the likes of Carlisle 4-1 not long ago, then it's no surprise that most of the Colchester points come at home.
“It's always a tough place to go. It's a lovely place to go - a lovely part of the world with nice people down there. But we are not going down there to have a nice evening. We're going down there to try to win a match.
“It will be tough as there is always a reaction. No doubt Colchester will be smarting from Saturday, though it's no great shame being beaten by Portsmouth in League Two.”
Stags have not scored in three games and Evans continued: “We have to go there and put in the same type of energetic and disciplined performance we did on Saturday, then we have to rely on someone to score a goal.
“We can't get too down. Saturday's performance in my opinion was the best since I've been here by a long way. If we get those levels of performances between now and the end of the season, I will stand by these players.
“It was a game in which we should have been fairly comfortably in front. But football will never change. You have to take your chances.”
Evans may tweak his side tomorrow but admitted it was a tough decision after such a good display against Plymouth.
“There are two chains of thought as it was a fantastic performance.
“But it is two competitive games in four days and there are people champing at the bit to get into the team.
“We will pick it with Colchester in mind and being away from home in mind. Do we deploy two strikers or maybe three?
“We have to run with it and help create that little bit of luck that gets you some goal.
“We were free-flowing, scoring goals and defensively strong not so long back. It was only our second defeat since Boxing Day - that's criminal!”
He added: “The reason we are sitting in eighth and not second or third is, dare I say it, the form between August and November - that's just a fact.
“We've accrued enough points since to say we'd be in the picture. But we still are.
“We have a difficult run of fixtures. There's 10 games to go. It was 11 and we missed an opportunity on Saturday to get the three points our performance deserved. We have to make sure in the last 10 matches we can make up a two point deficit on the rest.”
Stags and Colchester fought out a 0-0 draw at the One Call Stadium back in early December and Evans said: “There was nothing in it.
“I think it could have gone either way. We missed a chance or two to win it and I know they felt the same afterwards.
“It was a really hard, competitive game and at the stage I thought both teams could be contesting for the play-offs and they still are which is testament to both sets of players.”
Apart from keeper Jake Kean, Evans will have a full strength squad to choose from at Colchester.

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No date still for Evans FA hearing
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans still has the threat of a touchline ban hanging over his head.

Evans was sent to the stands at Grimsby on 18th February and has appealed against charges brought by the FA.

But he said: “I’ve heard nothing - I am just waiting.

“The date will come fairly quickly. I spoke to a couple of other colleague of mine and it’s what happens in the industry isn’t it?

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/no-date-still-for-evans-fa-hearing-1-8440367

“It’s not good for you but it’s part of what happens. A couple of my colleagues are also waiting on a date.

“We’ll probably get three or four days notice on it and we will go there and we’ll put our case across and then we’re at the mercy of an appeals panel, who we trust will be absolutely fair on the day. “If they have that approach I expect it to not affect me.”

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Kean hopes on Morecambe return for Mansfield
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Injured Mansfield Town keeper Jake Kean could be fit again for the trip to Morecambe on Saturday, 25th March.

But he could then face a real battle to win back his shirt.

The loanee Sheffield Wednesday stopper suffered bone bruising in a challenge during the home win over Newport County last month.

“I spoke to Jake this morning and he’s hoping to be back in training at the back end of this week,” said manager Steve Evans.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/kean-hopes-on-morecambe-return-for-mansfield-1-8440373

“So we’d probably say a realistic objective is Saturday week to be on the pitch.

“Whether that’s starting, I have to say Scott Shearer has been excellent and perhaps because of mistakes in the past he doesn’t get the credit the big fellow deserves.”

Evans also has two centre halves champing at the bit after injury in Kyle Howkins and George Taft.

“Kyle is fit,” he said. “We just decided we wanted a more attacking bench. He has been fortunate as he’s been able to have a couple of games at West Brom and a couple of closed doors games with ourselves too.

“George is fit in terms of being injury-free, but is he ready for competitive games and the heat of battle? That remains a question.

“He is someone we want to see out there, as with Kyle, but I will always pick the team fairly and make sure we are picking players who are ready. We don’t have time for a schedule of saying we are going to give you some game time. With nine games to go we are beyond that.”

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Boss Steve Evans backing Danny Rose to bloom
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans believes returning striker Danny Rose will play a crucial role in Stags’ last nine games of the season.

And he also warned his strike force they need to produce statistics that prove they are worth keeping on when he goes looking for proven goalscorers in the summer.

Due to injuries and suspension, Rose, 23, has struggled to make a consistent impact since his summer arrival for an undisclosed fee from Bury, though he had begun to get regular games after the November arrival of Evans until another injury.

Rose twice came close with a lively late substitute’s cameo in Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Plymouth and ahead of Saturday’s visit of promotion rivals Carlisle United, Evans said: “Danny was playing every week and very much in our thoughts.

“We worked so hard to get him fit. When we got here he wasn’t fit. You don’t get match-fit by not playing matches.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/boss-steve-evans-backing-danny-rose-to-bloom-1-8440800

“He grabbed his chance and was fantastic. Then he tweaked his hamstring and he didn’t train until last Thursday.

“We obviously have to be careful. He had two light sessions on Thursday and Friday and a 20-minute cameo on Saturday when, dare I say it, Plymouth were sitting behind the ball, so it was a bit easier for Danny than it was starting the game in the heat of the battle.

“But, over the remaining games if you ask me if Danny will play a big part - 100 per cent I believe, yes.”

Rose is competing with Matt Green, Shaq Coulthirst, Yoann Arquin and Pat Hoban for a place up front and Evans is hoping he can hit on a pairing or formation that can take them to the play-offs, having failed to score for three games before last night’s trip to Colchester.

“If I had a magic formula I’d produce it,” he said. “The bottom line is you always need to sign players that can score some goals.

“There wasn’t many out there in January when we went into the market to try to bring players in who could score a goal.

“So we have no alternative but to do that in the summer. Stats never lie at the end of the season for strikers.

“I have always said at the end of the season they get judged on statistics. Did they score enough goals to be part of what we are trying to build going forward?

“Because of the transfer window now they get security and you can’t bring others in. But, at the end of the season, if they have delivered performances and goals and assists then that’s when decision time comes for them.”

Evans continued: “Football will never change. In the words of Bill Shankley - what’s the net for son? To put the ball in it.

“If you don’t do it then you’re not going to win football matches.

“You can trade insults but you don’t need to tell players six times they should score a goal when they miss a chance.

“It’s not just the strikers. There are midfield players missing chances for fun - and centre backs from corners.

“But you’re always more worried if you’re not making chances and I thought Saturday’s performance was the best since I came here.”

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