Boss targets 70 points for top seven finish
mansfieldtown.net, 23rd March 2017
Stags’ boss Steve Evans believes ending the season with more than 70 points will give any side ‘a real chance’ of finishing in the Sky Bet League Two top seven.
Stags currently have 55 points with eight games remaining and a win at Morecambe on Saturday could see them draw level on points with Exeter City in seventh place.
And the gaffer says that his side are in charge of their own destiny, with five of the top seven still to play.
“I think if you’re north of 70 you’ve got a real chance of going in in sixth or seventh. There’s a lot of football to be played. We’re in charge of our own destiny; we control it by who we play.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/boss-targets-70-points-for-top-seven-finish-3639868.aspx#YBjwXbJZwWeWCxM9.99
“We come out of Morecambe and we play the top group. We’ve got Exeter to come, Doncaster followed by Wycombe, Luton, Portsmouth, Stevenage, we’ve got them all to play bar the last day.
“From our point of view, we just have to remain focussed. We have to go to Morecambe, the boys know they have to be up for the game, be competitive, then we come out of Morecambe and if we’ve added to our points tally by one, it’s good. If it’s three, it’s very good [and[ if it’s three, we’re bang in the mix with Exeter to come.”
Tuesday’s 3-2 Central League win over Chesterfield provided Stags with the chance to give minutes on the pitch to players who have found game-time hard to come by and the boss was pleased with what he saw.
“It was important that the players got an opportunity to get some game time and we used it for different reasons. We used it to, for example, Kyle Howkins went and got 60 minutes which is great for him, because he obviously got threw into the action on Saturday.
“It’s quite interesting; you look at certain players and you’re looking at how far they’ve come. We’ve never hidden the fact that we’ve worked so hard with Alex MacDonald who’s been wonderful in some spells in the games recently and young Alfie Potter.
“On Tuesday [we were] watching the Alfie Potter we know.”
The manager knows Saturday’s game against the Shrimps will be a tough test for his side, and complimented their manager Jim Bentley for his approach to the game.
“Morecambe’s got good players, I can’t give the management team any higher compliments than to say Jim Bentley should be managing, for me, at a higher level. I think he performs miracles at the football club and Kenny McKenna, his assistant there; they’re wonderful guys, hard-working guys, you see them everywhere.
“I’m not building them up to be what they’re not but to go to Morecambe is a real difficult place to go for any team and we’ll need to be at our best to come away with something.”
Finally, the former Leeds United boss revealed that defender Krystian Pearce could be in contention for Saturday, but skipper Lee Collins will miss out.
“We’re hoping that Krystian Pearce will train today, so that could be good for us as well because you can’t beat competition for places.
“I think Lee will miss [the game]. Lee’s probably got a chance of next Saturday but Krystian’s been up in my office saying he wants to train. I’ve said to him, I always believe when you’ve got the experience that Krystian’s got, then the final decisions always come down to him.
“Medical staff have to guide you and lead you, but sometimes you have to let people have their heads because pain thresholds are different in different people. We’ve said let’s go out and train and see how it is. I think he’s quietly confident he could be available, but if he doesn’t feel right in training today we’ll take him out the mix.”
Supporters can login to Stags PlayerHD to view the manager’s news conference, in full.
Steve Evans: ‘Mansfield Town are in control of our own destiny’
chad.co.uk, by STEPHEN THIRKILL, Thursday 23 March 2017
Stags boss Steve Evans has been speaking about the play-off race during Thursday’s weekly press conference. During the briefing he spoke of how Mansfield control their own destiny with seven games to play
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/steve-evans-mansfield-town-are-in-control-of-our-own-destiny-1-8456030
Boss Steve Evans believes Mansfield Town are in control of their own destiny as the race for the play-offs hot up.
Stags currently trail seventh-placed Exeter City by three points ahead of their massive clash at One Call Stadium on Saturday week.
And, with Mansfield bringing their regular season to a close with a run of fixtures against play-off rivals Wycombe, Luton, Stevenage and Portsmouth, Evans knows there is plenty to play for.
“I think 71 points is the total we will need to get into the play-offs,” he said. “If you are north of 70 then you have a real chance of sixth or seventh spot.
“There is still a lot of football to be played, We’re in charge of our own destiny, we control it with who we play.”
And promotion-king Evans knows his side can pile further pressure on the teams above them by bringing three points back from Morecambe on Saturday.
He added: “We come out of Morecambe and we play the top group. From our point of view we just have to remain focused.
“We have to go Morecambe and be up for the game, be competitive. If we come away with a point it is good, if we come away with three points then that is very good.
“If it is three points then we are bang in the mix with Exeter to come. If we get a point on Saturday and one of two of the teams above do not look after themselves we could be playing Exeter to go into the play-offs.
“What a great position to be in since we took over. League Two is a fantastic league, Doncaster deserve to be champions, Plymouth will go up and Stevenage are trying to stop Portsmouth going up.
“The play-offs will be a real fight, there is ourselves, Blackpool and Wycombe fighting with the other teams in the play-offs.”
But Evans knows Stags will need to be at their very best to bring anything back from the seaside.
“Morecambe have got good players and I can’t give the manager anymore credit than saying he should be managing at a higher level, said Evans.
“He performs miracle at the club. Morecame have got pace in their team, good players and they are strong defensively.
“To go to Morecambe is a real difficult place to go for any team and we’re going to have to be at our best to win.”
Stags will include defender George Taft in their 18 man matchday squad after he played 90 mins in the 3-2 reserve team win over Chesterfield.
Battle for Mansfield Town places hots up after reserve win
chad.co.uk, by STEPHEN THIRKILL, Thursday 23 March 2017
Steve Evans admits he has a few more selection headaches following Tuesday’s reserve win over Chesterfield. Stags secured the bragging rights with a 3-2 victory over their bitter rivals as a number of first team squad players impressed. And Evans says the performance shows he has plenty of options as Mansfield look to smash their way into the play-off places.
“We used the game for a number of different reasons. Kyle Howkins got 60 mins which is great and George Taft got his first 90 mins in a long long time,” said Evans.
Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/battle-for-mansfield-town-places-hots-up-after-reserve-win-1-8456183
“It gave us a chance to give a number of players a run out such as Yoann Arquin, CJ Hamilton, James Baxendale and so on. Jamie McGuire covered every blade of grass like he always does.
“All the guys needed game time and they did very well. There were no injuries and it was objective achieved.
“You look at certain players to see how far they have come. A couple have worked their way in to my thoughts for Saturday,”
And Evans feels that competition around the squad will be a big help as Stags get down to the business end of the season,
“What’s important is we have competition for places and I think we have demonstrated in the last month of football that we do change things to have an affect and win the game.
“One of two people will say ‘but you didn’t win the game’, but we took the opposition apart on the day and just missed chances. Some of the perfomance against Carlisle did not reach the heights of our display against Colchester or Plymouth, but it could have been a more emphatic win.
“You will always be judged on winning football matches and so you should be. Management is always a statistics game.”
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Shaq sets sights on promotion
mansfieldtown.net, 23rd March 2017
Striker Shaq Coulthirst has set aside his personal targets for the season and is instead entirely focussed on helping Stags achieve promotion from Sky Bet League Two.
The 22-year-old frontman joined the club on loan from Peterborough United during the January transfer window and has since scored five goals in the amber and blue.
Coulthirst stated than his original target when he joined the Stags was to score 10 goals by the end of the season, but has now admitted that he doesn’t mind how many he notches as long as the Stags win promotion.
“When I first came here, I wanted 10 - 10 or more. That will be fine but realistically whatever gets us promoted, I’ll be fine with," Coulthirst said.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/shaq-sets-sights-on-promotion-3640128.aspx#0ZGXi1KFlBFQBUHQ.99
"If I stay at five and we get promoted, that’s fine with me, but obviously I want to score goals.
“It’s the business end of the season. We know that the points are the most important thing.
“Obviously [earlier] in the season it’s about performances and building momentum and stuff but when it gets towards the end, it’s all about results.”
After spending three matches out of the starting line-up, the former Tottenham Hotspur youngster was pleased to mark his return to the side with a goal against Carlisle United last week.
“I thought it was important after the last few games that we just get the win and do what we can to get the win. It was a good all-round performance from the team.
“I had a few shots before and I tried to put one in the near corner but the ‘keeper was already standing there so I went for the other corner and thankfully it worked out.
“I had a time out of the team and I’ve come back and scored the goal at the weekend and I just want that to continue. I want to score as much as I can. I didn’t come here to get near the play-offs, I came here to get promoted so as long as that happens, I’m happy.”
Stags have the option of turning Coulthirst’s loan move into a permanent deal at the end of the season, but the former York man insists his sights are firmly set on Stags achieving a top seven finish.
“Everyone keeps asking me this and I actually have no idea. I just want to get promoted here and see what happens.
“The fans, the manager, the players, everything’s been perfect since I’ve come here so there’s no reason why I wouldn’t want to sign for this club. But at the minute, we’re concentrating on getting promoted and that’s all I’m thinking about.”
Supporters can login to Stags PlayerHD to view Shaq Coulthirst’s full news conference.
Coulthirst happy to help Stags get scoring again
chad.co.uk, by STEPHEN THIRKILL, Thursday 23 March 2017
Shaq Couthirst says he had little doubt Mansfield Town would start scoring goals again despite their run of four games without finding the net.
That run was ended by a 2-0 win over Carlisle last weekend, Coulthirst setting up Matt Green for the first goal and then scoring the second himself.
And the loan signing from Peterborough United was delighted to play a part in ending the barren spell.
He said: “Things hadn’t been going our way in front of goal but I always knew we could sort it out and the main thing was that we were creating the chances, which is better than when you’re not, so now we have to make sure we keep that going.
Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/coulthirst-happy-to-help-stags-get-scoring-again-1-8456266
“It was important after the last few games that we did everything we could to get the win and to be back in the team and scoring was great for me as well as it being a good all-round performance from the team. “I’ve seen Greeny day in day out in training scoring goals and I know what he can do so it was good to be able to assist him for what was a great header. “I’m not really a winger so maybe it took me a while to realise I could cross it but I did in the end and luckily Greeny put it away.
“I’d had a couple of chances before my goal and had tried to put one in the near post but the keeper saved it so with the next one I went the opposite side and there was a clear gap and I knew it was in straight away.”
Mansfield now prepare for a trip to Morecambe this weekend to a face a side unlikely to be playing a part in the relegation battle or promotion mix come the end of the season.
But Coulthirst knows that won’t make it any easier a game. He said: “It will be tough as the expectation levels are high when it comes to winning it given they’re not fighting for promotion but they all carry three points if you win it so it’s important we can win it which I think we can with our group of players.
“It’s hard not to take notice of the league table but with the games coming so thick and fast you see things change so quickly so it’s hard to keep track.”
On his own personal development, Coulthirst says he’s enjoyed playing alongside Stags’ attacking players, and although not wanting to set himself too much of a goalscoring target, remains keen to do his bit if it helps secure promotion.
He added: “I had some time out of the team and have come back in to score and I just want that to continue. I didn’t come here to not get in the play-offs, I came here to get promoted and that’s what I hope will happen.
“It works well with Danny Rose and I up front. He wins a lot of headers and I can run off him quite a bit despite him not being that tall - he has a great spring on him for a little guy. “It’s an exciting part of the season. Points are the most important thing. Earlier on it’s about performances and getting momentum but now it’s about getting the crucial points.
“When I first came here I wanted to score ten goals but realistically whatever gets us promoted I’m fine with - if I stay at five and we go up then that suits me but obviously I want to score goals.”
And on his future after the season is out, Coulthirst said: “I’ve no idea on my long-term future. I just want to get promoted here and see what happens at the end of the season, have a good summer and see where that takes me.
“Everything has been perfect since I’ve been here - the fans, management, players, so there’s no reason I wouldn’t want to sign for the club, but at the moment the focus is on getting promoted.”
Latest | March 2017