EVANS CHASING ATTACKING MIDFIELDER
Boss eyes further additions to strengthen squad
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 24 August 2017
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans is lining up moves for two more players before the summer transfer window closes next Thursday.
The gaffer added Oxford United frontman Kane Hemmings to his strike-force earlier this week on a season-long loan deal.
And after making no secret of his desire to add a striker and an attacking midfielder to his squad, the boss is now focussed on securing a deal for the latter after bringing Hemmings to the club.
"I drove a long way on Tuesday to watch the kid play [the attacking midfielder] and I thought he was excellent. When you go to have a final look, you want the player to be good and he was good," the Stags' chief said.
"We've gone away so we'll let those discussions continue with other people and we'll see where it lands. If we get this lad in, we've never hidden who it is, a midfield player, we'll get him in and in terms of the first team squad, we're almost done and dusted.
"I've had some communication via text message. I've had two or three conversations with his representatives over the last week or two and one with his manager, so we'll probably know more in the next 24 hours as to how close we really get.
"Then I'll have to rely once again on our chief executive stepping in and seeing if she wants to do and of course if the chairman wants to do it."
In addition to the potential midfield signing, the gaffer is also tracking a young striker, with whom he has previously worked at a former club.
"There is another young lad from one of my former clubs, who may be coming out of there and if that can happen, it'll be great.
"This is just a young lad that we liked and we just heard this week that he could be available to us. He'll be a young player coming into the group.
"He'll come in with the first team but the priority is this central midfield player. I have no back-up to this midfield player; this is someone I identified last season, if I'm being honest.
"I made a move for him last season, but I got a 'custard pie'. I got no chink of light whatsoever from his manager.
"The interest has been there for two or three weeks, real interest from us. We'll know pretty much by the next 24 hours if we're going to do something."
Stags welcome Nathan Jones' Luton Town to One Call Stadium on Saturday and the boss has confirmed that winger Alex MacDonald will be named in squad, however fellow wide-man Alfie Potter will miss out.
"Alex has been excellent in training, it has to be said. In a little practice match, he was magnificent, ran out of gas a little bit, but he'll be in the 18 on Saturday.
"Probably physically-wise, Alex MacDonald is in the best shape he's ever been in his career and the sooner we can get minutes into him and properly involved in the team, the better.
"Alfie will train tomorrow, not today. He'll be back in full training but Saturday will probably be a little bit too soon for Alfie. We expect him to be back in full competitive training tomorrow.
"Zander Diamond picked up a little niggle in the practice match on Tuesday, but Zander will be fine. I'm expecting him to train today, but if there's any element of doubt, we'll leave him out such is the talent and quality in our group."
Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags later today to view the manager's full news conference.
Kane Hemmings could be recalled by Oxford United if he starts banging in the goals
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 24 August 2017
Mansfield Town are aware that should new loan signing Kane Hemmings impress and score a huge number of goals, he could end up being recalled by parent club Oxford United in January.
But boss Steve Evans would be delighted if Hemmings did that well and is hopeful the player would want to stay on board and see the job out on his season-long loan.
Evans knows Oxford have the final say and he could end up with a goalscoring headache in the New Year, but if Hemmings has already chalked up the goals, Evans said: “That would be great. “Score me a lot of goals and give me the problem of finding another one in January.
“You would always rather have that problem. I have sold some gifted players over the years as a manager.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/kane-hemmings-could-be-recalled-by-oxford-united-if-he-starts-banging-in-the-goals-1-8720170
“I have always said if a player gets an opportunity to surpass where we are then good. “But if he does come here and score goals, which we are hoping he does, why wouldn’t you want to stay here?
“The crowds will be almost double where they were at the beginning of the season and everyone will be really happy. So why wouldn’t you want to stay?
“But we have a lot of water to go under the bridge before that.”
The last striker to come on loan from Oxford and do well was Stags legend Matt Green - and Mansfield hope Hemmings can follow in his footsteps.
“Matt Green came here and did extraordinarily well,” said Evans. “That was why he got another fantastic move. He is a good kid, but we can only focus on the lad we’ve got.
“Kane is an exceptional striker. I am not sure too many guys get 20-plus goals in the Scottish Premier League in a team that’s fighting to stay in the division rather than at the top end of the division.
“He went to Oxford last season and, if you take the season as a whole, the kid scored 18/19 goals at a level above and a lot of those were big games.
“When you score against the likes of Newcastle you’ve got a bit of pedigree.”
Evans added: “We still have to get him razor sharp. “Like most guys who come in, like the MacDonalds and the Byroms, we’ve seen they were not where we needed them to be and Kane won’t be.
“But he will certainly be involved against Luton on Saturday and play a part. Everyone will find out if he starts when they see the team sheet at quarter to two.
“He is under serious consideration. But all our strikers are. We are in good shape.”
Evans was unaware of a fee had already been discussed with Oxford over a potential permanent move. “I don’t know,” he said. “I think the chief executive has had those conversations. Obviously Oxford are his parent club and we have to respect that. “I think both clubs understand where it would need to be if it happened.”
Steve Evans praises Carolyn Radford’s role in Kane Hemmings deal
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Steve Evans said chief executive Carolyn Radford should take a lot of credit for helping seal the deal that brought goal ace Kane Hemmings to Mansfield Town this week.
After securing a loan deal for Hemmings from Oxford United, the Stags manager said: “We got the call and once again I have to say - Carolyn Radford, what a job.
“Once or twice during the negotiations I thought it wasn’t going to happen - and I am a glass is half full man every day of the week and very positive.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/steve-evans-praises-carolyn-radford-s-role-in-kane-hemmings-deal-1-8720574
“I didn’t think it was going to happen, but she pulled it through for us and she was really strong in her negotiation stance.
“We got it over the line and we are now working hard to do another, though that won’t be in time for Saturday.”
Mansfield Town target two new players ahead of transfer deadline
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 24 August 2017
Mansfield Town are hopeful of signing their main midfield target and could also add an extra young striker to the squad before next week’s transfer deadline.
Boss Steve Evans finally secured the goalscorer he wanted with the arrival of Kane Hemmings on loan from Oxford United this week.
But he is tailing an attacking midfield player, who he failed to sign last season, and may also bring in a promising young forward from one of his previous clubs who has become available.
“We are getting closer. It’s at a finely balanced stage,” said Evans on his pursuit of the midfielder.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-target-two-new-players-ahead-of-transfer-deadline-1-8720122
“I have had several names put to me of central midfield players. But this kid for me has stood out like a lighthouse in a dark ocean.
“I drove a long way on Tuesday to watch the kid play and I thought he was excellent. “When you go to have a final look, you want a player to be good - and he was good.
“The discussions continue and we’ll see where it lands. “If we get him in, as far as the first team squad, we’re almost done and dusted.
“There is another young lad, a striker, on the horizon at one of my former clubs who may be coming out of there. “If that can happen, that’s great. But the priority is the lad I travelled to see.”
Evans continued: “I have had some communication with the midfield player via text messages and two or three discussions with his representatives over the last week or two plus one with his manager.
“We will probably know in the next 24 hours how close we will really get. I am going to once more have to reply on our chief executive stepping in and seeing if she and the chairman want to do it.
“We have said for a number of weeks we wanted a central midfield player and a striker. We’ve got the striker in, now let’s see if we can get the other one in.
“He is an attacking midfield player. I want someone to break forward and score us a goal.”
Evans hit a brick wall in trying to sign the midfield player last season and is hoping for better luck this time around.
“This is someone I identified last season if I am being honest,” he said. “I made a move for him and I got a custard pie - I ate it.
“I got no chink of light from his manager whatsover. “But I have just tracked it and tracked it and kept looking at our deficiencies and what we need.
“The real interest from us has been there two or three weeks and we should know in the next 24 hours if we are going to be doing something.
“In the cup game on Tuesday I thought for 75 minutes the kid was as good as anything on the pitch. That gives me a a bit of glee as I travelled a lot of miles to watch him and you want them to do well.
“But often when you drive those miles and you want them to do well they don’t and you go away thinking I can’t do that. But I drove away from that stadium thinking that’s one for us if we can make it happen.
“There is a lot to be done yet. We’ve not even spoken yet about any terms.”
On the young striker, Evans said: “He is an additional player. He’s not a back-up plan and if he signs he wouldn’t be playing on Saturday.
“He is just a young lad we liked and we heard this week he could be available to us. “He would be one of the younger players coming into the group.
“He’d come into the first team but the priority is the central midfield player and I have no back up to the central midfield player.”
Alex MacDonald in line for Mansfield Town return
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Alex MacDonald is in line for a first Mansfield Town appearance on Saturday with boss Steve Evans saying the winger is in the shape of his life. MacDonald has missed out so far after a minor knee operation but is now champing at the bit to face Luton Town. “Alex has been excellent in training it has to be said,” smiled Evans. “In a little practice match he was magnificent, though ran out of gas a bit. He will be in the 18 on Saturday. “In the early matches in Malta - and 500 or 600 Stags fans went to Malta - everyone raved about Alex MacDonald from the chairman down. “Then he picked up his little niggle. But that’s all behind him now. He’s training as well as he ever has. “Physically Alex MacDonald is probably in the best shape he has ever been in his career. The sooner we can get minutes into him and get him properly into the team and involved the better.” Evans added: “What I do know is when MacDonald is in possession of the ball and there are five minutes to go and he’s around the edge of an opposition box, I don’t think there are too many players in our squad we’d rather have on the end of that than Alex.”
Stags only injury worries now surround midfielder Alfie Potter and centre half Zander Diamond. “Alfie will be back in full training tomorrow, but Saturday may be a little bit early for him,” said Evans. “Zander Diamond picked up a little niggle in the practice match on Tuesday, but I think he will be fine. “If there is any element of doubt we’ll leave him out, such is the quality and talent we have within our group.”
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/alex-macdonald-in-line-for-mansfield-town-return-1-8720566
Mansfield Town turn down bids for Rhys Bennett and Alex MacDonald
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town have received bids for several of their first team squad players as deadline day approaches, including Rhys Bennett and Alex MacDonald.
But manager Steve Evans poured scorn on some of the approaches made and has no intention of letting anyone out unless they want to go. “Clubs have come forward,” he admitted.
“But if I wanted to go and buy a nice Rolls Royce I can’t turn up at the garage with £5,000 can I? They would look at me as if I am senile.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-turn-down-bids-for-rhys-bennett-and-alex-macdonald-1-8720571
“You have to be able to afford who you pick up the phone for or have a chance of doing it.
“So those that want to go quietly and leak information out that they’ve got an interest in a player need to get the offers right.”
“We have had bids for three or four players, not just Rhys. He added: “I think there are one or two clubs that don’t realise Alex MacDonald has not been playing because he’s been injured.
“They are saying he’s not in my plans and they want to make me an offer. “He can’t be in my plans if he’s in the treatment room.
“So some clubs should be more diligent and do their research before they come on the phone to an experienced manager.”
Evans wants to keep his squad as strong as possible “We don’t want to lose players with no emergency loans available and have to look to kids to come in when we’re in pressure situations. “If the kids are good enough they will get in. But we don’t want to be forcing them in and blooding them too young, forcing them into a situation that could ruin them forever. “I want to keep all our first team group as long as I can. But we have always said to them if they are not happy, they’re not playing and they want to go, come and knock on the door and, if people are sensible, we’ll move you on. “We only want players that want to play for Mansfield Town. “Dare I say they should be throwing their bodies in front of cars on the motorway to be playing for Mansfield Town, such is the project we’ve got here, not only for this season but for two or three seasons ahead under the chairman.”
Stags' mood high ahead of Luton clash
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 24 August 2017
Stags’ defender Krystian Pearce says everyone is ‘looking lively’ in training ahead of this Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Luton Town.
Pearce has started in the heart of the Stags’ defence in each of the last three games in all competitions and will be hoping to keep his place for Saturday’s visit of the Hatters.
Nathan Jones' men will pose the toughest test so far for the Stags following a very good start to the season.
They stormed to an outstanding 8-2 victory at home to Yeovil Town and a comprehensive 3-0 home win over Colchester United. The only disappointing result thus far has been the 1-0 defeat away to Barnet.
And the former Torquay United defender believes the squad are looking forward to what promises to be an exciting clash.
“I think all the boys are looking forward to it. Training’s been good; everyone’s looking lively in training so it should be a good performance from the lads.
“They’re probably one of the biggest clubs in the league and they’re probably going to be up there come the end of the season - but hopefully we’ll be above them!
“I think every game is going to be tough but Luton have got a very good strike force, but if I’m selected I’ll be trying my best to nullify them.
“It’s going to be a tough fixture. We’re trying to put [last] Saturday right and trying to get another three points on the board.”
The 27-year-old is one of five players vying for a starting place at the centre of the Stags’ defence with summer signings Zander Diamond and David Mirfin and fellow defenders Rhys Bennett and George Taft all capable of playing there.
And although Pearce is focussed on working hard to keep his place, he believes everyone will get their chance at some point this season.
“Personally, I’m playing and I’m in the team and I’m just trying to keep my place in the team and collectively, I think the players are starting to gel well now and we’ll look like a solid team very soon.
“It’s very competitive at the back especially, because there’s a lot of centre-backs. Obviously Beno (Rhys Bennett) was Player of the Season last season and he hasn’t been able to get in yet, so it’s very competitive.
“Everyone knows they’re going to play this season, everyone knows they’re going to be involved so it’s just about keeping your head right and making sure you’re ready when you’re called upon.
“I think everybody in the squad has to be on it every day to be honest because there’s so much strength in depth. We’ve got a very good squad this season.”
Supporters can view Krystian Pearce’s news conference by logging into iFollow Stags.
Krystian Pearce says it is time to show why Mansfield Town are the bookies favourites
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 24 August 2017
Mansfield Town centre half Krystian Pearce believes Saturday’s visit of promotion rivals Luton Town would be the perfect time for Stags to show why they were pre-season favourites to go up with the bookies.
“We have a very good squad this season - we are favourites for a reason and we will try to prove it on Saturday,” said Pearce.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/krystian-pearce-says-it-is-time-to-show-why-mansfield-town-are-the-bookies-favourites-1-8720369
“They are probably one of the biggest clubs in the league and they will be up there come the end of the season, but hopefully we’ll be above them.
“The gaffer has recruited well over the summer, so hopefully we’ll be up there.
“All the boys are looking forward to Saturday and training has been good. Everyone has been looking lively.”
Pearce will find himself up against Luton Town’s potent front pair of James Collins and Danny Hylton and said: “They have a very good strike force so, if selected, I will be trying my best to nullify them.”
Pearce is one of five top class centre halves fighting for two shirts. “I am happy personally as I am playing, I’m in the team, and I am just trying to keep my place,” he said.
“It’s very competitive, at the back especially. There’s a lot of good players. Benno (Rhys Bennett) was player of the season last season and he’s not been able to get in yet.
“But everyone knows they are going to play this season and be involved. It’s just about keeping your head right and making sure you’re ready when you’re called upon.
“Collectively I think the players are starting to gel well now and we will look like a solid team very soon. “Everyone in the squad has to be on it every day as we have so much strength in depth.”
Pearce got a first glimpse of new signing, loan striker Kane Hemmings, in a practice match on Tuesday, but didn’t have to face him. “He was on my team to be honest,” he smiled.
“But hopefully he’ll come in and have a good debut and hopefully nick a goal.”
Pearce was unhappy to see Stags pipped 2-1 at the death at Accrington last weekend. “It was a disappointment to concede late on,” he said.
“Set pieces are going to be massive this season so we need to learn to defend them better. “We didn’t deal with them on Saturday so need to make sure we deal with them better against Luton.
“Accrington is always a hard place to go, but it’s gone now so we move on to Saturday. “It is obviously going to be a tough fixture against Luton, but we are trying to put right last Saturday and get another three points on the board.”
Three days after Luton, Stags take on Lincoln City at home in the opening game of the Checkatrade Trophy group games. But Pearce was adamant the foot would stay on the gas.
“Winning is a habit so we want as many wins as possible,” he said. “Every game we look to win, so we’ll definitely try to win it.”
Jones relishes Evans contest - and post match chicken nuggets!
dunstabletoday.co.uk, by MIKE SIMMONDS, Friday 25 August 2017
Hatters boss Nathan Jones is looking forward to coming up against Mansfield Town chief Steve Evans tomorrow, and even sharing a chicken nugget or two with him after the game.
The Stags chief has become notorious for his touchline antics alongside assistant Paul Rayner, with Jones and Evans exchanging strong words during last year’s 1-1 draw at the One Call stadium.
However, Jones knows it is all part of the game, as he said: “We all have an element of fire and real zest about us, but afterwards, we have a couple of chicken nuggets and a good chat about it.
“In the 90 minutes, yes, he expects a certain level from his team and he expects a lot from those who are on the park and he gives that from the technical area.
Read more at: http://www.dunstabletoday.co.uk/sport/football/hatters/jones-relishes-evans-contest-and-post-match-chicken-nuggets-1-8120374
"So it’s always a real good battle when you come up against Steve’s teams, and that’s what it’s going to be on the weekend.”
The Mansfield chief stated in his pre-match press conference that the Hatters had spent big money this season in recruiting their squad, as on Town's transfer dealings, Evans said: "They've made some top, top signings and spent big money very wisely.
"(James) Collins and (Danny) Hylton are as good as anyone in the league. They're very good players but we've got good players as well."
However, that was something that Jones disagreed with, as he continued: “Well, I’m not too sure about the big money. I think we’ve signed well, but we’re well in credit in terms of what we’ve spent and what we’ve recouped.
“What we’ve paid what we had to pay for certain ones, we haven’t paid massive, few fees we’ve actually paid and a lot of those were for young people like Jack Stacey.
“The only one you can call reasonably big for us which was James Collins, so that’s not factually correct, but it’s all part and parcel of if and I think we’ve spent wisely and got good value for money.”
Mansfield themselves have been busy in the transfer market over the summer, making a whole host of new additions themselves, as Jones said: “When you make that many signings, they’re obviously good pedigree signings he’s made and I think it will take time for those to gel and to get the full value from them.
“It’s early, they’ve had a decent start and they’ll be a difficult side, we know what type of side they’ll be, they’ll be a force, but it’s three games in, we were top of the league this time last year and after the first game, so it’s about consistency and about getting your signings to bed in.
“We’re exactly the same, we made some key sigings, people like Marek Stech, people like Alan McCormack, (Andrew) Shinnie, James Collins, right through the spine of the team we’ve strengthened and it’s going to take time for them to gel as well.
“So we’re all finding our feet at the minute and I’m sure we’ll get the best out of our respective squads.”
The Stags can call on striker Lee Angol too, a player who spent a season with Luton under John Still, was but never featured for the first team, sent to Boreham Wood on loan and then joining Peterborough.
Jones added: “I’ve seen him at Peterborough and on loan at Lincoln last year and know he’s a dangerous striker.
“Steve is renowned for bringing in strikers and strikers doing well, so he will be a danger, but they’ve got a number of dangerous players as have Luton by the way.
“We’re looking forward to the weekend, it’s a big game and it will be fantastic challenge it will be a tough afternoon and we’re ready for that.
“They are the pre-season favourites, the bookies favourites, with the signings they’ve made, so we know it will be a tough game, but w go there in good form and it’s the tests we want.”
Latest | August 2017