EVANS PREVIEWS FRIENDLIES, PLUS TARGET NEWS
Gaffer predicts significant pre-season week
mansfieldtown.net, 17 July 2017
Stags' boss Steve Evans says this week is a 'pivotal' part of pre-season as his squad begin to increase their number of minutes on the pitch.
Saturday's visit of strong Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday provided the new-look Stags with a great test against good opposition, despite the Owls eventually running out 3-2 winners.
And with four matches pencilled in during a packed pre-season schedule this week, the gaffer: "There's always a pivotal week in pre-season; this is our week. We're asking players to step up and get between that 75 and 90 minute mark," the Stags' chief said.
"Some will be asked to go through the pain barrier and get to the 90 [minute mark] because their type of bodies need it.
"By the time we have our open day here with the supporters on Sunday, we should hopefully be thinking we've got all the players on the training field on the open day and everyone's had almost two 90 minutes in their belt. The target is always a minimum of three 90 minutes and a couple of 45s [before the start of the season] and we're still on target."
Stags travel to Evo-Stik Southern League side Stocksbridge Park Steels on Tuesday evening before welcoming Championship side Middlesbrough to One Call Stadium on Wednesday night and the boss says the squad will be split between the two games.
"I can say that all the squad will travel to Stocksbridge and all the squad will be here for the Middlesbrough game and they'll train in between times of course.
"So we'll be up there (at Stocksbridge) - myself and Paul [Raynor] will take the team so that's probably indicative of the squad that will travel. There'll be a lot of first team players travelling and we're going to travel up nice and early and prepare properly and see if we can win a game.
"Every game now is massively important. It's very important because it's now important to us about the minutes on the pitch. We probably go by the Stocksbridge games and the Middlesbrough games and we get to Stamford and Nottingham Forest and we then have to start to think of Crewe.
"We then have to start thinking [about what] we've got, certainly in training and certainly in periods of matches, where we've got people in positions and in boxes where we're looking to play them. This is a big, big week for us up until Saturday evening and if we can come through Saturday evening with all the boys fit and available and if we've produced, in patches, good performances from everyone, then I'll be pleased."
The manager revealed last week that the club are working hard to bring further additions to One Call Stadium and this afternoon, the former Leeds United boss stated that a deal has been agreed for one player in particular.
"We're in a little bit of a chain. We're quite confident that the chief executive (Carolyn Radford) has come to an agreement, certainly for one of them and [we're] close on another, but we're in a chain. They have to go and get their targets.
"We'll give it a few more days - probably until Thursday or Friday - and if they've not got something positive to report, then we will look at other targets on our list."
Former Plymouth Argyle winger Jordan Slew appeared for the Stags against Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday as a trialist and the boss confirmed that the 24-year-old is still training with the club.
"We said we'd have a look at him and that's what we're going to do. We'll have a look at him through to the weekend but we'll give him some minutes on the pitch, as opposed to five or ten-minute cameo appearances where it's difficult.
"It has to be said, he's trained particularly well. Can we do something if we want to do it? Yes, absolutely. Are we ready to do something? No, we need to see more."
Supporters will be able to view the gaffer's full news conference on iFollow Stags later this evening.
Slew bidding to become a Stag
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Monday 17 July 2017
Former Plymouth Argyle striker Jordan Slew could force himself into the Mansfield Town squad this week. But his signing would be in addition to the striker and attacking central midfield player already being pursued by Stags boss Steve Evans with news on them expected by the weekend.
Trialist Slew was a surprise inclusion in Saturday’s highly entertaining 3-2 opening home pre-season friendly against Sheffield Wednesday, playing the last 26 minutes, and Evans is an admirer of the 24-year-old.
“Jordan is a young man who did great last year with 35/36 starts at Plymouth and played wide in a lot of those games, but proved a real asset,” said Evans.
Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/slew-bidding-to-become-a-stag-1-8654616
“He scored their winner here at the One Call Stadium when he ran away from Jammer (Jamie McGuire).
“He lives locally. He is only 25-30 minutes away from the stadium and we said we’d have a look at him and that’s what we are going to do until the weekend.
“We’ll give him some minutes on the pitch as opposed to five or 10 minute cameo appearances, which is difficult. “It has to be said he has trained particularly well.
“Can we do something if we want to do it? Yes, absolutely. Are we ready to do it? No, we need to see more.”
Meanwhile Evans continues to pursue his two main targets but the deals, being concluded by Stags’ CEO Carolyn Radford, are currently in limbo.
“We are still waiting. It’s like buying a house - we are in a bit of a chain,” said Evans.
“We are quite confident the chief executive has come to an agreement for one of them and is close on another.
“But being in a chain, their clubs have to go out and get their targets, so we have done our bit. They are trying to get their players in and it depends on that.
“We will give it a few more days and if they’ve not got something positive to report we’ll have to turn to other names on our list.
“But, as I said two weeks ago, if we go with what we’ve got now I would be pleased. We have got a fantastic squad.”
Despite the appearance of former England U19 international Slew this week, Stags fans won’t be watching their usual glut of trialists pre-season and trying to guess their identities.
Evans explained: “I wouldn’t say we’ll be seeing much in the way of trialists.
“We may get the odd phone call from an agent who was perhaps thinking his player was going to land a job in League One or the Championship and he’s a very good player that would be good for us. “That can always happen and you can never say never
“But I am not a trialist man., I don’t believe in having five or six trialists in just to use them.
“I see managers and coaches use kids all summer and then the week before the start of the season they tell them they are not going to offer them anything. I wouldn’t like that to be done to my son so I’m not going to do it to anyone else’s son.
“Jordan Slew is a possibility. We’ve got him in. Others that are not a possibility, we won’t bring them in.”
Stags continue their pre-season games at home to Middlesbrough tonight (Wednesday), away to Stamford on Friday and at home to Forest on Saturday before sending teams out to Gainsborough Trinity and Carlton Town on Tuesday night.
Thomas fighting for his future at Stags
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Jack Thomas will be given every chance to prove he is worth a place in this season’s improved Mansfield Town squad according to boss Steve Evans.
But the young midfielder knows his future with his hometown club could be quickly curtailed if he fails.
Still only 21, the Mansfield Woodhouse-born Stags trainee exploded onto the first team scene in 2014/15 and played a major role in securing safety, winning the Player of the Year award, despite only playing 12 games.
He has played 52 times now for the club, but his star has faded and loan spells at Hednesford United and Barrow have seen him out of the picture at the One Call Stadium.
When he was the only player of the 23-strong squad not to start either half last weekend, some fans felt this spelt the beginning of the end for him, but boss Evans said: “Far from it. “Jack knows what we said to him at the end of last season - that he comes back and has a period of six to seven weeks to show that he can play a part here.
“He’s still a young man. Just because he played two seasons ago and probably kept the club in the Football League on his own with his own performances.
“That should never be forgotten, but we have stepped up in terms of quality who we have got and it (last weekend) was about getting minutes on the pitch for certain individuals, but Jack will be involved in two of the next four games.”
Thomas made just 11 appearances for the Stags last season from 15th October to 24th January, given just six games to impress by Evans before heading for Barrow. He was named in the starting line-up for tonight’s friendly at Stocksbridge Park Steels.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/thomas-fighting-for-his-future-at-stags-1-8656918