HEAD OF REFEREES SAYS IT WAS A STONEWALL PENALTY
Stags are 'alive & kicking' heading into Easter weekend
mansfieldtown.net, 10th April 2017
Mansfield Town are targeting a minimum of four points from their next two matches in a crucial Easter period, manager Steve Evans said today.
Despite slipping to a 1-0 defeat away to promotion-winning Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, Stags still remain just four points off the Sky Bet League Two top seven after other clubs failed to capitalise.
And speaking ahead of our upcoming double header away to Wycombe on Good Friday, followed by Luton at home on Easter Monday, the manager said: “We’re still very much alive and kicking but if we don’t take four from six over the Easter weekend, we’ll not be kicking anymore.
"We’ll still be alive, hopefully, with God’s permission, but we have to take four from six," the Stags' chief said.
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“I think we have to take four wins [from our remaining five games]. We’d much prefer to get three on Good Friday and that gives us an opportunity to make it six on Monday.
“We have to take four out of six over Easter weekend, for me, given who we then go to play and who plays us - we go to Stevenage thereafter - if we take four from six it’s game on at Stevenage.
“By Monday, you can be right in the situation and you can be right out of it. If we get six out of six, we’ll be right in it, don’t worry about that. We’ve got five matches left and we have to go and acquit ourselves in every one of them.”
The former Leeds United boss praised the superb away following of 2,010 Stags’ fans at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday and is looking forward to a ‘big game’ against Wycombe on Friday.
“I don’t think many people expected us to go to Doncaster and win or get anything, apart from a magnificent Stags’ following, it has to be said, a magnificent following.
“We’re four points off it with five games to go, we know what we have to achieve to get in the play-offs.
“They’re (Wycombe) a good side and we’ll be playing against a good side with a highly intelligent manager (Gareth Ainsworth).
“They’ve got good players. They’ve been in and around the play-offs all season. They’ve stuttered a little bit in recent times but they’re capable of getting into the play-offs, as we are, but it’s a big game for both clubs.”
The manager provided an update on right-back Hayden White, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, whilst also revealing that goalkeeper Scott Shearer is unlikely to feature again this season.
“He (White) had no chance when we looked on Friday. He might have a chance for Friday or Monday, that’s down to the medical team.
“There’s no point me telling anyone here when those boys are going to be fit when I’ve not really got my head round talking to the physiotherapist this morning because if I’m doing his job then I’m not doing my own.
“If you said to me that he was going to be 100 percent post-Easter and we got four out of six and he’ll be ready for Stevenage, which he will be, then we’d grab that too.
“Scott’s probably unlikely to figure at any stage this season. He’s just got different ailments; he’s got injections in knees and elbows and different things. It comes to people who get to that age and it makes it more difficult. If we have to call on him, the big man will be there, of course, but we also remind people that people have a welfare.”
Supporters can login to Stags PlayerHD to view the manager’s news conference, in full.
Referees’ supremo agrees Stags were denied a ‘stonewall penalty’
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 10 April 2017
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans’ claims that Stags should have been awarded a late penalty in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Doncaster Rovers have today been backed by referees’ supremo David Allison. Evans was furious with match referee Dean Whitestone after Alfie Potter appeared to be shoved to the ground by Andy Butler.
The decision hurt even more after Stags were beaten by a contentious late penalty the week before, but today Evans at least feels his frustration has been proved correct.
Evans said: “You have to be upbeat don’t you. But this morning you receive a call from the head of referees at the Football League, David Allison, and he tells you it’s a stonewall penalty we’ve not had.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/referees-supremo-agrees-stags-were-denied-a-stonewall-penalty-1-8485585
“Our analyst sent him the DVD on Sunday. David Allison is a man of the highest integrity - someone whose opinions I value.
“We often have disagreements on decisions because he looks at it in the cold light of day. “But he has said it was a certain penalty. The referee has not given it and he’ll need to learn from it.”
He added: “We move on. It’s a penalty we should have had. We had one last week we shouldn’t have had against us so it’s particularly cruel in the space of seven days.
“But for those out there that were questioning whether it was a penalty or not, the head of referees at the Football League thinks it’s a certain penalty. That matter is now closed and we focus on Wycombe.”
Evans sets Easter points target to keep Mansfield play-off hopes alive
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 10 April 2017
Steve Evans has targeted a minimum of four points from Mansfield Town’s two tough Easter matches to keep their play-off dream alive. Stags were beaten 1-0 at Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, sealing Rovers’ promotion, but some of the other results elsewhere went in Mansfield’s favour and they remain four points off the seventh spot with five to play.
Evans maintained his side still need four wins to make the play-offs ahead of the Good Friday trip to Wycombe Wanderers (3pm) and home clash with Luton Town on Easter Monday (3pm).
“Best case scenario at Doncaster would have been we’d won and it was only a one point gap,” he said.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-sets-easter-points-target-to-keep-mansfield-play-off-hopes-alive-1-8485812
“But I said to the chairman on Thursday, given who’s playing each other on the day and given we had to go to Doncaster, as a worst case scenario, if we came out of Doncaster, irrelevant of results, and it’s still four points, we’ll have had a better weekend than others.
“I don’t think many people expected us to go to Doncaster and get anything apart from a magnificent Stags following.
“But our performance deserved at least a point. “We are four points off it with five games to go. We know what we have to achieve to get into the play-offs.”
Evans continued: “When I joined this football club it was more like a relegation fight than a promotion fight and had John Radford said to me that day, take us to the last five games of the season and you’re four points off the play-offs I’d have said yes please.
“That’s the message to the players today. We are still very much alive and kicking. “But if we don’t take four from six over the Easter weekend, we’ll not be kicking any more.” Evans admitted a win at play-off rivals Wycombe on Friday would be the perfect way to prepare for the visit of high-flying Luton. He said: “I still think we have to get four wins and, just from a mental, psychological battle, I think if we have to take four from six over Easter, dare I say it, I think we’d much prefer three on Good Friday to give us an opportunity to make that six on the Monday. “At Rotherham we had to win our last handful of games to secure promotion and it’s reminiscent of that situation - the difference is we’re playing for a play-off instead of an automatic. “But we have to get four out of six over Easter weekend for me, given who we then go to play.
“If we take four from six, it’s game on at Stevenage. If we take less it could finish at Stevenage.
“So let’s hope we’re going to Stevenage to get a positive result to bring us back home against Portsmouth in front of what will probably be the best crowd of the season, given the way the visitors travel.”
Gareth Ainsworth’s Wycombe were held 3-3 at home by Cheltenham Town on Saturday but are a point and two places in front of 13th-placed Mansfield ahead of Friday’s clash.
“They are a good side with a highly intelligent manager,” said Evans. “They’ve got good players and they’ve been in and around the play-offs all season.
“They have stuttered a little bit in recent times, but they are capable of getting into the play-offs as we are. It’s a big game for both clubs.”
Ainsworth is also looking forward to the clash, saying: Me and Steve Evans have had some good games against each other.
“Obviously they lost against Doncaster which saw them promoted, so they’ll want to bounce back and we definitely want to bounce back, so it’s definitely the hallmark for a good game on Friday. “It will be a game where I want to get a win on the board, with Doncaster and a few tricky away trips coming up, and Cambridge at home.
“So it’s all to play for. We’re a point closer, it should have been three, but we’ll work on what went wrong and put it right for Friday.”
Evans welcomes League’s push to give young home-grown talent a chance
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans has welcomed the Football League’s new push to force clubs to give home-grown talent a chance, though doesn’t think their proposals go far enough. From season 2017/18, all 72 EFL clubs must increase the number of home-grown players on team sheets from six to seven. Even more importantly, the clubs have also agreed to introduce a requirement for at least one club developed player to be named on each team sheet for any EFL League game from the start of the 2018/19 season. A ‘club-developed’ player refers to a footballer who has been registered to that club for a minimum of 12 months prior to the end of his U19 season. This differs from a ‘home-grown’ player, which simply refers to a player that had been at any club affiliated with the FA or FAW for at least three years prior to their 21st birthday. “I welcome it,” said Evans. “I think it should have been here years ago. I don’t think one is going far enough to be honest. “I think if you’re going to invest the amount of money like the owners do here and owners do all around the country, on top of some terrific backing from the Premier League and the Football League, and you want to get youngsters involved, then put it on the managers that you have to pick two or three. “I don’t think they have gone far enough but it’s a step in the right direction.” Evans said he already had youngsters he wanted to see in his first team but now wasn’t the time to pitch them in with the pressure of chasing a play-off place. However, should Stags miss out with games still to go this season, Evans said he would blood them. “We have some good talented youngsters,” he said. “You want to bleed these youngsters when you’re in a pre-season programme when you can find out if they are good enough technically and physically to go and play with your players. “I am a 100 per cent believer that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough. “But at this stage of the season experience plays a part - a big part with the bigger crowds and the bigger expectations going. That’s not only the players but the officials as well, and as we can see in recent weeks some buckle. “There are two or three I’m looking forward to seeing play for the first team. They will play for the first team. It will be about timing. “If someone was saying to me the scenario was we couldn’t get into the play-offs, would they figure? Yes they would.”
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-welcomes-league-s-push-to-give-young-home-grown-talent-a-chance-1-8486234