EVANS, BENNETT, GARETH AINSWORTH REACTION
Manager proud of 'dogged' performance
mansfieldtown.net, 14th April 2017
Stags’ boss Steve Evans commended his side’s battling qualities after this afternoon's superb hard-fought 1-0 win away to Wycombe Wanderers.
Defender Krystian Pearce’s first half header was enough to seal a hugely important three points which saw Stags close the gap on the play-offs to just two points.
Our 1-0 win over the Chairboys was one of only two victories for teams in the top half of Sky Bet League Two this afternoon, with Exeter City also triumphing at home to Barnet.
And the boss was pleased to see match-winning qualities at both ends of the pitch as Stags won at Adams Park for the first time since August 2013.
“I think the boys knew we had to come and ‘have a go’ and I think it was two types of performances; it had the bits that you need to win a game, in terms of dogged defending near the end and a super save by Jake [Kean].
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/manager-proud-of-dogged-performance-3675109.aspx#JIqxZpLwYpmDeaG0.99
“We played some wonderful football and then you have to deal with an aerial bombardment that you’re going to get from Wycombe - and I don’t knock it, you find a way to win a game.
“We’ve continued our performance levels today and we’ve put our bodies on the line and Jake Kean, I’ll need to look at it back, it’s probably one of the best live saves I’ve ever seen.
“Not many people stop Bayo Akinfenwa scoring from that position - his header is as hard as a shot and it’s a fantastic save.
“I’ve had to give big praise to my defenders today because they’ve been criticised in weeks gone past, but they deserved that today.”
The manager switched his formation to a 3-5-2 system this afternoon and he was impressed with how well his players adapted to the change after working hard on the training ground all week.
“It was nice to have four, five, six days when we came out of Doncaster to work on a change and the boys embraced it.
“We gave them two options to how we’d play today and they only knew the final way we were going to go an hour-or-so before kick-off.
“[When] you get to this stage of the season, you can’t give anyone a whisper of an idea what you’re going to do because it’s the finest of margins and we saw that today.”
The former Leeds United manager has now called on the people of Mansfield to come and support the Stags in Monday’s huge match against Luton Town as we look to build on today’s win.
“Results might have gone our way but we need a big crowd at the One Call Stadium on Monday, we’ll get that for sure. We’ve given ourselves a chance and if we can go and produce a performance as good as today and as dogged as today, it gives us another chance to get some points.
“It was a collective effort - we lose collectively, we win collectively and I’m pleased for the fans.
“They’ve been on a couple of journeys in recent times where it’s not been good for them and they go away disappointed but I said at Morecambe, don’t leave the aim of getting in the play-offs here and I said at Wycombe today, don’t leave it here.”
Supporters can login to Stags PlayerHD to view the manager’s post-match interview.
Stand-in skipper buzzing with Wycombe win
mansfieldtown.net, 14th April 2017
After scoring the only goal of the game in this afternoon’s 1-0 win over Wycombe Wanderers, defender Krystian Pearce says the players are ‘buzzing’ to be in the play-off race.
The former Torquay United defender saw his header rebound off the post but he was the quickest to react as he nodded the ball into the back of the net.
And with spirits high in the Stags’ dressing room, Pearce is delighted with today’s victory in Buckinghamshire.
“I think everyone in the squad knew that today was make or break really so it was a battling 1-0 victory that we’re all buzzing about.
Read more at http://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/article/2016-17/stand-in-skipper-buzzing-with-wycombe-win-3675384.aspx#Ki21yxUzvzCg8US6.99
“Rhys [Bennett] said that he was going to get there [for the goal] but I said no, no chance! It was always going to be me but it was a great victory and we’re just buzzing to still be in the mix.”
The Birmingham-born defender played as one of three centre-halves alongside Rhys Bennett and George Taft and Pearce believes the players carried out their jobs well the different formation.
“We worked on it a bit and the gaffer (Steve Evans) changed it and said this gives us the best chance of winning, so it worked today.
“The three of us looked like we were solid today and hopefully we can continue playing solid for the rest of the season.
“It was vital that it was a team performance today and I think everyone pulled their socks up and dug in. Every single one of us was working hard today and did our jobs.
“[Adebayo Akinfenwa] is a big threat but I think we dealt with him, more or less, the whole game so we were happy with our performance.”
With just four games remaining in Sky Bet League Two, Pearce believes Stags’ fate is in their own hands with three of the top six still to play.
“Obviously I know we’re two points off now, we’re tenth but it’s very close now. It’s in our hands because if we win our remaining games, we’ll be in there.
“I think with the games that we’ve got left, every one's must-win now - there’s no easy games left so we know every team we play’s going to be tough.
“In this league, it can change every week so as long as we can get back-to-back wins now and build on today, we’ll be in the mix.”
To view Krystian Pearce’s post-match interview, login to Stags PlayerHD.
Gareth Ainsworth felt his side were very unlucky after losing 1-0 to Mansfield Town at Adams Park yesterday
Gareth Ainsworth was pleased and frustrated in equal measure after seeing his Wycombe side lose very unluckily to Mansfield Town yesterday at Adams Park.
Krystian Pearce scored the only goal of the game on 13 minutes, nodding into an empty net after he reacted quickest to the rebound.
Wanderers had numerous chances to level but were denied by Stags keeper Jake Kean's heroics, after he produced several magnificent saves to keep the Chairboys at bay.
Ainsworth felt his side gave absolutely everything for the cause and was perplexed at how his side couldn't force at least a draw.
He said: "It was incredible. When their goalkeeper gets man of the match you know you have had a good game.
"I thought we passed it well and we probed and kept working hard and there was only one team in the game for 70 minutes.
"I am pleased with all my boys. What a great reaction to the disappointment of not winning last week and we have done everything but score.
"Once we get one I think we would have gone onto win the game."
However, Ainsworth bemoaned another slow start from his side. After letting in two in the first 15 minutes against Cheltenham last week, they let in another inside the opening quarter of an hour, much to the gaffer's disappointment.
He added: "We made a point of saying we havr to start quicker than we did last week.
"It was a sloppy goal and we have started to concede from set plays which is disappointing."
Ainsworth was quick to heap praise on the performance of Sido Jombati, who excelled at the heart of the defence.
He commented: "Sido is fantastic. He can see how Michael Harriman has been playing well.
"My philosophy is if you are playing well then you keep your shirt and Sido has done plenty to keep his shirt.
"He was outstanding at the centre of defence. It is a position he is not totally foreign to and I think he is clever and he showed a lot of experience."
Next up for the Blues is a trip to Barnet on Monday. Ainsworth explained anything other than a win and their challenge is over.
"We will see how we got on on Monday. We have to win. If we don't we are out of it," said the 44-year-old.
"By some crazy chance we are still in it, just four points behind which is brilliant.
"We have won seven on the spin earlier on in the season. There is no reason why we can't do four on the spin so let's give it a go."
Ben Whiteman @BenWhiteman1
Very good win, take it on to Monday now!
George William Taft @t99fty
3 points to take us into to Monday well done to all the boys, great graft today and the fans that made the trip down
Hayden White @HaydenWhite7
Big 3points! Nice to get back out there too @mansfieldtownfc
John Radford @JRadfordMTFC
Very proud of the team... creative in the final third and dug in when we needed to.
This is going to be an exciting finale!