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EVANS PRESS CONF 11 JUL:LOOK FORWARD TO FRIENDLIES
16th July 2017 21:21


Gaffer wants high performance levels in home friendlies
mansfieldtown.net, Tues 11 July 2017

After landing back on British soil from the pre-season trip to Malta yesterday, Stags' boss Steve Evans is now excitedly looking ahead to the trio of home friendlies next week.

The boss oversaw a 5-0 victory over a Malta Players Association XI in addition to a number of intense training sessions on the Mediterranean island and the hard work is set to continue now the squad has returned to north Nottinghamshire.

And Saturday's home match against Championship side Sheffield Wednesday will give supporters the chance to see the new-look Stags' side in action for the first time at One Call Stadium, and the gaffer has outlined what he hopes to see in the fixture.

"I want to see us being comfortable in possession, organised and almost like effortless - that's how it looks but with plenty of effort - out of possession and just for us to be competitive," the Stags' chief said.

read more at https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2017/july/evans-11-july/

"If we're competitive in the three games against those types of opposition, then we fear no-one in the season ahead.

"It's going to be tough for us on Saturday. This is a Sheffield Wednesday squad who only went out on penalties in the play-offs. They're a wonderful club; they're one of the top seven or eight clubs in British football and they'll bring a healthy support but Carlos [Carvalhal] will want his team to come here and, before they go away for a little while, to put on a good performance.

"We're undecided if [we'll give the players] two 45 minutes or whether it's a 60 and a 30 but certainly all the players will be on the pitch at some stage.

"I think the plan is that we'll have the whole group here on Saturday for Sheffield Wednesday, then the plan would be that we'll probably send four or five [first team players] to Stocksbridge Park on the Tuesday, and the same again to Stamford on Friday with the bulk involved against Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest.

"We're back and we're ready to work. It's still a fitness programme. We're looking forward to playing again at the One Call Stadium."

The manager has also provided fans with an update on potential further additions to his squad.

"I've got four decent strikers here at the football club with Jimmy Spencer, Danny Rose and the two other guys, Lee Angol and young Omari [Sterling-James] - they're talented boys and I think there's goals there, for sure.

"We're trying to do something positive but we have to make sure that when we go to the market, first and foremost the player wants to come, but secondly, we get value for money.

"[Goalscorers] are a sought-after commodity, they're hard to get, and we know who our targets are. That one is maybe going to fall a little bit short because people don't want to sell, that's their prerogative, but we don't just have one name on that list, the chief executive (Carolyn Radford) has three or four names and we're exploring that as we speak.

"[We're looking for] a central midfielder, we've got enough lads that can do jobs in wide areas for us. We're very solid across the back and I just want a different type of central midfield player and a striker - and it has to be a striker that gives us something [different] to what we've got, not more, but something to give us another option."

Supporters will be able to view the gaffer's full news conference, in full, on iFollow Stags later today.

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Stags working hard to add last two new faces
chad.co.uk,by JOHN LOMAS, Tuesday 11 July 2017

Despite being rebuffed in a bid to sign one of League Two’s top scorers last week, manager Steve Evans is continuing to try to fill his final two holes in the squad.

Evans had said he wanted a striker and advanced central midfielder to complete his ranks but saw his hopes on one striker deal rebuffed last week.

He said: “The chairman and chief executive are willing to support the numbers we want to bring in and they are working so hard to make it happen.

“We’re trying to add something to the group and not just more of the same. More of the same doesn’t encourage me to spend the Radford family’s money.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-working-hard-to-add-last-two-new-faces-1-8643991

“We need a central midfield player - we have enough that can do jobs in wide areas, we’re very solid across the back.

“I just want a different type of central midfield player and a striker. That has to be a striker that gives us something different to what we’ve got - another option.”

Some Stags fans appear anxious that Evans brings in a proven goalscorer but he replied: “It seems to be more other people’s focus than mine.

“I have got four decent strikers here at the football club - they are talented boys and I think there are goals there for sure.

“We are trying to sign one more, I know the chief executive was on the phone earlier as she was messaging me.

“We are trying to do something positive. But we have to make sure that when we go to the market that the player wants to come and that we get value for money. All the players that have arrived here we think are good value for money.”

The rumour mill has associated Stags with interest in players of the calibre of Doncaster’s John Marquis and Exeter’s David Wheeler.

Evans replied: “I can’t stop people making names up in their head. “There are a number of players that scored goals in League Two last year They are a sought-after commodity. They are hard to get.

“We know who are targets are. That one is maybe going to fall a little bit short because people don’t want to sell - that is their prerogative.

“But we don’t just have one name on our list. There are three or four names and we are exploring that as we speak.”

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Sterling-James catching the eye at Mansfield
chad.co.uk,by JOHN LOMAS

New Mansfield Town winger Omari Sterling-James has really caught the eye in his first two weeks with the club.

The 23-year-old came in on a free transfer from Solihull Moors but already has boss Steve Evans singing his praises and believing he can play a big part in the season.

“Omari Sterling-James was a young man we thought we’d bring in from non-League,” explained Evans.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/sterling-james-catching-the-eye-at-mansfield-1-8646065

“I’d watched him myself and thought he had something. He’s go more than something that kid.

“I don’t like picking individuals out, but I am sure we’re going to see plenty of him this season.”

However, Stags fans may not be seeing him this weekend as he is one of two players who have picked up slight problems.

“Young Omari has been feeling his hamstring tighten a bit and Zander Diamond has had a little infection in his toe, but Zander is good to train today.

“There will be no chance for Omari if he doesn’t train Thursday or Friday. If that means the kid plays against Middlesbrough on Wednesday that means the fans can be excited then.”

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Carolyn Radford is the new Karren Brady, says Stags boss Evans
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town CEO Carolyn Radford has been described as the new Karren Brady by boss Steve Evans.

Evans has been impressed by her work this summer in helping hammer out transfer deals and sees her in the same mould as the Birmingham and West ham trailblazer.

Evans said: “It’s Karren Brady mark two isn’t it? “You can see it and that’s a huge plaudit as Karren is one of football’s finest administrators.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/carolyn-radford-is-the-new-karren-brady-says-stags-boss-evans-1-8645664

“I don’t think anyone from the Premier League down to grassroots disputes that. She is a real professional.

“When you meet Carolyn Radford you get the charm, the charisma, the beautiful looks, but you have a real steel lady behind all of that who has to negotiate to get the best value for money she can for this football club and the Radfords’ other businesses.

“We are very fortunate to have her.”

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Owls will give Stags a stiff test
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans expects a searching examination of his players when Championship neighbours Sheffield Wednesday come to town for Stags’ first home pre-season friendly this Saturday (3pm).

Evans said: “It will be tough for us on Saturday. This is a Sheffield Wednesday squad that only went out on penalties in the play-offs.

“My own personal view is that like Huddersfield, who went up, if Sheffield Wednesday had got to Wembley, then I think they’d have been in the Premier League.”

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/owls-will-give-stags-a-stiff-test-1-8647004

Evans turned down an approach from the Owls to be their new boss in 2013 and said: “They are a wonderful club - one of the top seven or eight in British football - and they will bring a healthy support who will want to see their team play some good football.

“It’s not so many years ago that I could have been the manager of Sheffield Wednesday and I know their backroom team particularly well. They are good people.

“Carlos (manager Carvalhal) will want his team to come here and put on a good performance before they go away. We will be tested.

“Then Middlesbrough will be here with 18 or 19 Premier League players, then Mark Warburton will be coming up the road from Nottingham. And I know the standards that man has.

“I want to see us comfortable in possession, organised, show plenty of effort out of possession and be competitive. If we can be competitive in the three games we’ve got against that type of opposition then we fear no one in the season ahead.”

For Stags’ opening friendly away to a Malta Select XI last week, Evans fielded two sides for 45 minutes each.

“We are undecided whether it’s two 45 minutes on Saturday or a 60 and a 30, but certainly all the players will be on the pitch at some stage,” he said.

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Stags may tweak pitch size for new season
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town may change the size of their pitch this season to suit the new-look squad.

Groundsman Mez Merriman is hard at work creating the best surface the club has ever had and is waiting instructions on size from the management.

“We may tweak it a bit,” said boss Steve Evans. “We are looking at fine lines about our shape and how we’re going to play.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-may-tweak-pitch-size-for-new-season-1-8647199

“That is changing as we get to know the players and their abilities. We have some real flexibility in the squad with players that can play a number of key positions for us. But there will be no major work.”

Evans praised Merriman’s commitment, smiling: “I am really impressed that’s he’s got a tent out and he sleeps here now. He seems to be living here.

“I have been speaking to him on a really regular basis from Malta, not only about the stadium but also the training pitch we have next to it while our new training ground is developed, and he is working so hard.”

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Excitement as Stags rev up for busy week of friendlies
chad.co.uk,by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town are revving up for five pre-season friendlies in eight days, including three against Championship clubs. Sheffield Wednesday visit the One Call Stadium on Saturday to begin that run with Stags boss Steve Evans already delighted with the quality his new-look squad is showing.

“The biggest plaudit I can give three or four of these kids is that we are very fortunate to have worked in the Championship at Rotherham United and Leeds United and three of four of these lads could play in those teams,” he said. “That’s a personal opinion of myself and Paul but shows you the type of player that we’ve signed. “But it’s easy on the training ground and it’s easier in pre-season matches. But when it comes to Crewe away and the games that follow that, you look around the ‘fancied’ teams in League Two and our first 10 games are particularly tough. If we are in the top group after 10 we’ll get promotion.” Evans was delighted with the training camp in Malta last week and his squad are now all preparing for Saturday’s opening home pre-season friendly with Championship neighbours Wednesday.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/excitement-as-stags-rev-up-for-busy-week-of-friendlies-1-8646076

“It was fantastic to be honest and credit to the Radford family for allowing us to have a week like that in Malta,” said Evans.

“The preparation was fantastic and the facilities were top class. It was a good week in preparation for what lies ahead at the start of the season.

“We saw in Malta when we played the inter-squad game - it was a real humdinger of a game and the tackles were flying in.

“We asked for it to be competitive. We said take that idea you may injure someone out of your head as it could happen in any type of match. You have to go and be competitive. It’s the only way players learn and get the benefit from it.

“Half the group are new and half were here before so you are trying to get that integration right. But more importantly I wanted to get across our style of play - how we want to play and what we expect of individuals.

“In all fairness, the guys have grabbed that. It was a good weekend and something to build on.”

He added: “I was pleased to see the rain falling today after two weeks of sunshine with my holiday and then Malta - that’s no good for a Glaswegian. We are back now and we’re ready to work. There is still a fitness programme to follow. “Obviously we’re looking forward to playing a game at the One Call Stadium and we have a fantastic football club in Sheffield Wednesday coming to town on Saturday.”

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Stags will send strong squads to non-League friendlies
chad.co.uk,by JOHN LOMAS

mansfield Town will only be using their full first team squad for the three home friendlies of next week’s busy week of pre-season action.

But fans heading to Stocksbridge Park Steels on Tuesday and Stamford three days later can still expect strong squads with only the match at Heanor Town next Thursday scheduled to feature the club’s U21 side.

Stags take on Championship trio Sheffield Wednesday (Saturday), Middlesbrough (Wednesday) and Forest (Saturday week) and boss Steve Evans explained: “The plan is we’ll have the whole group here on Saturday for Sheffield Wednesday.

“We will then probably send four of five of the first team squad to Stocksbridge on Tuesday, the same against Stamford on the Friday with the bulk involved against Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-will-send-strong-squads-to-non-league-friendlies-1-8646070

“But it will still be quite a strong selection for Stocksbridge and Stamford with U21s, four or five of the squad travelling plus young Jack Thomas and young Lewis Collins.

“They will be strong sides and if they are going to play against that level of team then they will probably be playing 80 or 90 minutes.”

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Evans predicts open league for new season
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Although Mansfield Town, Coventry City and Luton Town are the bookies’ top three fancied clubs for League Two glory this coming season, Stags manager Steve Evans expects seven or eight clubs to challenge and one of the most open promotion races for some time.

As Coventry and Luton add impressive names to their squads, Evans said: “We knew who Coventry and Luton were talking to. Agents are always telling other managers what’s going on, so you are aware of it.

“I was impressed with the boy (James) Collins going to Luton and I think there is going to be another exciting midfield player joining them in the next couple of days.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-predicts-open-league-for-new-season-1-8647210

“You look at the work Mark Robins has done at Coventry. It show the type of money that can be deployed there.

“But there will be other clubs that will be particularly strong in this league, not just those two and ourselves.

“There will probably be seven or eight clubs who you can look at and say their squads are much stronger than they have been before.

“League Two next season will be at its most competitive for a while. The three that went up last season made it a little bit one-sided.”

He added: “I am impressed with the work Kevin Nolan has done at Notts County. I know he’s local and they are our rivals. We want to beat them and they will want to beat us.

“Also, people talk about our signings yet up across the motorway at Chesterfield they have signed 10 as well, but no one talks about it. “

They have a good manager and they will be a force as well. They will have Chris O’Grady up top and anyone in this league would take him.”

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Competition high as Stags players give boss food for thought
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Steve Evans is still some way off deciding his starting XI for Saturday, 5th August at Crewe with everyone in his new-look Mansfield Town squad in impressive form already.

Evans said no one should read too much into his starting line-ups over the next week as he experiments with three main friendlies against Championships sides plus two away at non-League opposition.

“We have different permutations and different formations and the lads are working hard,” he explained ahead of Saturday’s opening home friendly with Sheffield Wednesday.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/competition-high-as-stags-players-give-boss-food-for-thought-1-8647220

“You always come out of a pre-season game or a training session and say he’s going to start the season, then he drops a bit and someone jumps in front.

“We will be getting towards the back end of our pre-season campaign before we can be sure. By the time we play Nottingham Forest here and a couple of non-League clubs thereafter, I think in that week I will be pretty close in my head to knowing where I am going.

“Although we’ve signed 13 players I can assure our supporters now that one or two of those lads won’t develop into what you’d call regular players for us. That’s the nature of statistics. We are going to give them all every opportunity - I have no one in mind as they have all impressed. But not everyone can be successful.

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