Lincoln derby should be 'fantastic' encounter, says Stags' chief
mansfieldtown.net, 14 SEP 2017
Stags' boss Steve Evans believes Saturday's Sky Bet League Two clash with Lincoln City has 'the hallmarks of a fantastic local derby'.
We take on the Imps in Saturday's early kick-off (1.00pm) at Sincil Bank, which is expected to reach capacity.
Stags' allocation of 1,409 seats was snapped up by supporters, whilst the home side had just 100 tickes remaining yesterday.
And the gaffer is looking forward to a match which has all the makings of a high-octane local derby.
"It'll be a full house, I assume, with a fervent home support. We'll have a passionate away support and it's got the hallmarks of a fantastic local derby," the Stags' chief said.
"I think they're a wonderful football club. I was a rival manager to them for a few years and I went there on a couple of occasions. They're fantastic supporters.
"I've got nothing other than good words about a good football club. They've (management duo Danny and Nicky Cowley) done a wonderful job. The FA Cup run was special to every manager who's ever been in non-league. I applauded and messaged Danny on a number of occasions as they popped through rounds."
The former Leeds United boss says he won't prepare for Saturday's clash any differently to how he's approached any of the Stags' previous games.
"We'll go there and we won't prepare for Lincoln any differently at all to how we prepared for Grimsby or away at Carlisle or any other games, well prepare in a very professional manner.
"I think expectation comes from looking at the playing squad, looking at everything around the place and we are right to have high expectations. We have high standards in the camp.
"We can look at our season to date and I'll use the word I used a couple of weeks ago - it's frustrating. But I'll still be sitting frustrated on Christmas Day. It takes a little bit of time to gel what's virtually a new team.
"We kept nine or ten from the previous group, the rest had to go because we didn't think they could take us where we needed to go, or they didn't live right. We want players to live right to be successful and I've said many times now, we've got a fantastic dressing room."
Stags could be missing a couple of players for Saturday's trip, but the gaffer wouldn't disclose which players picked up knocks in Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Wycombe Wanderers.
"We've got one or two knocks, but we're going to keep them in-house. We've got a couple of knocks from Tuesday. There's no reason for me to help the people at Lincoln and say who may be under pressure to start the game.
"We don't know if they'll be fit or not. There's an opportunity for the guys to still train today and tomorrow. They know the rules here; if they don't train for a couple of days, they don't get included."
Furthermore, the manager revealed that some players could still go out on loan to non-league clubs, with the loan window now open for National League clubs and below.
"There's a couple of clubs that are interested in taking a couple of our players and my words to the players yesterday was that they have to go out and play some football. In the short term, they're not going to play here.
"We don't need any player to leave the football club. We're not putting them out on loan because we need to pull some salary back or anything like that. We're very comfortable and well within the budget, supporters should know this."
Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's news conference later today.
Injury worries, but Stags boss keeps cards close to his chest ahead of derby
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 14 September 2017
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans said he has one or two injury worries ahead of Saturday’s big local derby at Lincoln City (1pm).
Evans kept an unchanged side in midweek but saw them produce an under-par performance in awful conditions for a 0-0 draw with Wycombe.
Today he was playing his cards close to his chest on his side. “Maybe I will make changes on Saturday, maybe not,” he said.
“We have one or two knocks from Tuesday, but we are going to keep them in-house.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/injury-worries-but-stags-boss-keeps-cards-close-to-his-chest-ahead-of-derby-1-8754228
“There is no reason for me to help the people at Lincoln and say who may be under pressure to start the game.
“The players know the rules here. If they don’t train for a couple of games they don’t get included.
“Whatever team we pick, we want a committed performance. We know how Lincoln will play.
“The ball will go early and long into the strikers as quickly as they can do it and they will feed off that. And they find a way to win matches which is admirable. You can only applaud it.”
Stags were beaten 3-1 by Lincoln at home in the Checkatrade Trophy less than three weeks ago when both sides rested big guns.
“We wanted to win the Checkatrade game and we put out a team that on paper we thought was capable of winning, said Evans.
“The quality of some of our football was fantastic but the game turned when the big money signing Michael Bostwick came onto the pitch, he is a good player.”
Evans is a big fan of Lincoln City and their boss Danny Cowley. “I think they are a wonderful football club,” he said.
“I was a rival manager to them for a few years. I went there on a couple of occasions and they are fantastic supporters.
“My daughter is at University in Lincoln and loves every minute of it. She is endeared to the city and may settle there in the future.
“So I have nothing other than good words about the club and a management team that have got them out the Conference with 95 points - still a long way short of the record we set.
“But they have done a wonderful job and their FA Cup run was special to every manager who has ever been in non-League. I messaged Danny after every round and they deserve enormous credit.”
Evans added: “I’ve talked about what they’ve spent this summer, but they’ve spent no more than the top clubs in this league and they have invested their money very wisely.
“It will be a full house, there will be a fervent home support and we have a passionate away support, it has all the hallmarks of a fantastic local derby.”
Lincoln have five ex-Stags in their squad for the game and Evans smiled: “There could have been two or three more if I’d let it happen in the summer - I don’t know if it was an infatuation!
“I respect going there. We know it’s going to be tough. “Is it going to be the difference if we get promoted? Maybe. We don’t know until the end of the season.
“We’ll go there and work hard and if we win there will be no shouting and singing like we saw here in the Checkatrade.
“We will do what did when we have beaten sides like Grimsby and come in quietly and go back to the training ground on the Sunday or Monday and get ready for the next one.”
Mellis and Butcher can play in same Stags side - Evans
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Stags manager Steve Evans insisted midfielders Jacob Mellis and Calum Butcher can play in the same side. Best used as attacking midfielders, Butcher has found himself on the right of a diamond in his two starts so far but failed to make the expected impact. Calum Butcher of Mansfield Town - Pic By James Williamson However, Evans said: “They can play in the same team - both are very talented footballers. But both were poor on Tuesday by their or anyone’s standards. “You watch them in the training ground and their interaction, passing and finding space with each other, both lads are top class at this level.” Both ended up being withdrawn during Tuesday’s 0-0 home draw with Wycombe in dreadful weather conditions. “We’ll only know if it was a good point at the end of the season. But all I will remember it for will be the conditions. “It was farcical at stages. I think both teams failed to put on a performance really, but both sets of players deserve enormous credit for trying. “Second half the elements really got up - I don’t know if it was called Galeforce Irene or what - but it was going straight into that away end. “Conrad Logan is one of the best kickers in any league in the country and he couldn’t get anywhere near the halfway line with his goal kicks which showed the elements the boys were facing. “But did we play well? No. Did we play with the same fluency? No. have we got lots to learn from that? Yes.”
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mellis-and-butcher-can-play-in-same-stags-side-evans-1-8755412
Stags’ fringe players to get minutes out on loan
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Two Mansfield Town fringe players could be heading out the club on loan over the next week. Although the transfer window has closed, the rule does not apply to players heading to National League clubs. Stags boss Steve Evans, speaking before Jack Thomas’ loan move to Boston was confirmed, said: “There are a couple of clubs interested in taking a couple of our players and my words to the players yesterday were that they have to go out and play some football. “In the short term they’re not going to get any here. We don’t need any players to leave the football club. We’re not putting them out loan as we need to pull some salary back or something. “We are well within the budget John Radford gave me in the summer - and supporters should know this. “I could have gone out and spent £300,000 on a couple of occasions and I was the one, along with Carolyn Radford, who said to the chairman let’s hold fire. We don’t need to do that. “We’ve got a dressing room very much on a level par on salaries and expectations.”
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-fringe-players-to-get-minutes-out-on-loan-1-8755421
Expectation levels of no concern to Evans
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans is comfortable with the level of expectation around the club. But he feels the tag of pre-season title favourites with the bookies was simply down to timing and that the late business done by other clubs has put their rivals in very strong positions. Ahead of Saturday’s big derby at Lincoln City the Stags sit 11th, two points off the play-offs with some fans complaining they expected them to be higher. “I think the expectations come with the quality of the players here,” he said. “Fans get annoyed. Some were annoyed when we were beating Grimsby 4-0 because it wasn’t six! “But we are right to have high expectations. We have high standards in the camp. “We are everyone’s cup final at the minute because of what people wrote in the summer - not us. “Some teams did their signings later in the window. “They couldn’t write much about what was happening down at Luton Town as they didn’t spend over half a million pounds on James Collins and Luke Berry until very late. “They couldn’t write much about what was happening down at Coventry until Mark Robins went about signing some superb players for the level. “We did a lot of business early so people wrote words about being favourites. It’s just a tag you have to deal with. “But with that tag and expectations comes a performance level that needs to be better from all of us.” Evans continued: “We have lost one League game in the 93rd minute at Accrington when we should have won the game. “Any manager can say ‘what if’ but the reality is that if we’d drawn at Accrington and seen off Luton we’d be sitting third in the table and everyone would be walking around with a smile. That is based on fact. “We are doing more right than we’re doing wrong, but it is a new group and people are still getting to know each other and we are still getting to know them.
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/expectation-levels-of-no-concern-to-evans-1-8755360
Green hopes to heap more misery on former club
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS
Former Mansfield Town legend Matt Green returns from a one-game ban with hopes of inflicting more misery on his former club for Lincoln City on Saturday. Green, along with fellow ex-Stags Ollie Palmer, netted as a substitute in last month’s 3-1 Checkatrade Trophy win at the One Call Stadium. And he will further hope to prove Stags wrong for releasing him this summer when he lines up against them on Saturday. However, Stags boss Steve Evans said: “We made a decision for the dressing room and squad, but Matt will always be well endeared to the Mansfield Town supporters - and so he should be. “We just felt we needed something different. We needed a group totally focused on football and nothing else. “If Matt plays on Saturday I am sure he’ll be trying his hardest. If he’s on the bench and coming on he will be doing the same. “Off the pitch he is a smashing lad and I got on really well with him. It was a tough decision but managers have to make tough decisions.”
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/green-hopes-to-heap-more-misery-on-former-club-1-8755136
Stags keeper Logan shows his class to silence critics
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 14 September 2017
Mansfield Town goalkeeper Conrad Logan had the perfect answer to his early season critics with his man of the match award in Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Wycombe. The Irish stopper has been given some stick from a section of home fans, which manager Steve Evans said was unfair. But some of Logan’s saves in the first half on Saturday should help silence the jibes. Logan smiled: “I managed to get in the way on Tuesday! “You pride yourself on clean sheets. They add up over the season and thankfully it went our way on Tuesday. “I was very pleased (to be man of the match), though I’m sure you don’t want a goalkeeper to get man of the match too many weeks. “Personally it was a good evening for myself, though I didn’t have much to do in the second half.” Logan is aware he has been under fire but said: “There are always goalkeeping coaches in the stands everywhere you go. “People want you to come 55 yards for a cross in games or make saves you can’t make. “I think I’ve had a decent enough start and, touch wood, I’ve not made many mistakes so far. “I try to give 100 per cent for every club I’ve played for and I have always got on well with fans and had a good rapport with fans. “Hopefully if I can keep up the performances like Tuesday night then it’s all good.” He added: “People always blame goalkeepers or defenders but we’re a big team unit here and we win and lose together. We can’t affect what goes on outside that - people have opinions. It’s part and parcel of football. “You’ve always got to have faith in your own ability. I’m old enough to realise you are the last line of defence and people look towards that when you’re conceding goals.” Logan is currently keeping Bobby Olejnik out the side and said: “He wants to play and I want to play. It’s the same at any club. “Everyone has respect, everyone works hard, and whatever XI the manager picks everyone is totally behind the team.” Manager Evans was upset with the criticism of Logan, saying: “They don’t know about football do they? That’s not me saying anything that’s untoward towards supporters. “Conrad’s performance levels have been very good and that’s why he was sought after by a number of clubs towards the top end of League One. “He came in here to fight with Bobby and that’s what he’s doing. “I was pleased for him on Tuesday. I think he makes big saves - and he’s made big saves. “He made a big save in the Grimsby game but didn’t get much credit for it as we went on to steamroller them and win 4-1. “Supporters can be unfair at times, but they have the right because they pay their money. They can almost say what they like these days. “But I think this was a touch harsh and I think everyone in the camp did.” Evans said Logan’s experience would help him deal with the criticism. “When you’ve had about 10 million Glasgow Rangers fans around the world hating you for saving penalty kicks it demonstrates something,” he said. “Conrad is a big character in the dressing room and the boys absolutely love him. “Some days when it can be a bit down on a Monday when it’s raining,he comes in with a big smile on his face and he’s got his banter going. “It’s the same with Bobby. They are good guys to have around. “They always say with goalkeepers, from the greats to the lesser ones, they all come with a touch of madness. “We have two goalies with that touch of madness. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say that? I will be charged by the FA on Monday!”
Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-keeper-logan-shows-his-class-to-silence-critics-1-8754498
Shotstopper keen to rack up clean sheets
mansfieldtown.net, 14 SEP 2017
After making a string of outstanding saves on Tuesday night against Wycombe Wanderers, goalkeeper Conrad Logan wants to continue his excellent form to help Stags keep as many clean sheets as possible.
The former Rochdale man made what manager Steve Evans described as a 'world class' save to thwart Chairboys' defender Dan Scarr before producing a fantastic triple save later in the first half to keep the scores level.
And now the 31-year-old wants to build on Tuesday's performance to continue his good start to the season.
"People can't like every single player but I think I've had a decent enough start. 'Touch wood' I haven't made too many mistakes so far," Logan said.
"There's always going to be people saying bits and bobs everywhere but I just treat every game on its merit.
"I've given 100 percent for every club I've played for, I've always got on well with fans and had a good rapport with fans so hopefully if I can keep putting in performances like I did on Tuesday night then it's all good.
"You've got to have faith in your own ability. I'm old enough to realise that you are the last line of defence and people always look towards that if you're conceding goals. You back yourself, back the players you're playing with and especially in recent weeks, we've done quite well.
"As a 'keeper, you pride yourself on clean sheets and I'm just grateful whether you make saves or not, clean sheets are what you want to get. At the end of the season, they can add up."
Logan is competing with former Exeter City shotstopper Bobby Olejnik for a spot in the Stags' team and the former Hibernian man believes the entire squad are behind the team, regardless of who is picked on a matchday.
"[Bobby] wants to play, I want to play and that's the same with any club and any goalkeeper.
"Everyone's got respect, everyone works hard and whatever 11 the manager picks, everyone's totally behind the team.
"We're a big unit here, a big team unit, and we win and lose together and that's the way we see it."
Looking ahead to our Sky Bet League Two clash with Lincoln City, Logan hopes Stags' 'unbelievable' opening day support at Crewe Alexandra is replicated at Sincil Bank on Saturday.
"The first game of the season at Crewe was unbelievable. When you came out and saw how many fans we had, they took up the whole stand when you came out from the tunnel!
"I'm sure they'll come in their numbers on Saturday and get behind the boys and make it a good atmosphere.
"I'm sure we'll take a big following there on Saturday. They'll get a big crowd and it'll be a great atmosphere and if you can't get yourself up for a local derby, there's something wrong with you."
Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags later today to view Conrad Logan's full news conference.
Steve Evans makes wild claim about how much Lincoln City paid for Michael Bostwick
Danny Cowley says midfielder will be flattered by comments
lincolnshirelive.co.uk, BY MARK WHILEY, 14 SEP 2017
Claims by Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans that Lincoln City paid in the region of £300,000 for midfielder Michael Bostwick are wildly inaccurate.
The controversial Stags boss made the claim ahead of his side’s visit to Sincil Bank on Saturday.
The highly-rated Bostwick, who was also wanted by Blackburn Rovers, joined the Imps from Peterborough in the summer for an undisclosed fee.
Speaking to the Mansfield Chad, Evans said: “Lincoln have recruited very well. They spent almost £300,000 on Michael Bostwick from Peterborough. That was a signing that caused everyone in League Two to raise an eyebrow.
“You don’t just pay that type of money for Michael, you don’t give him £2.50 a week in wages either. So that was a big signing.
“But they have spent their money really wisely and I am impressed with them.”
However, Imps boss Danny Cowley says while Bostwick is worth that amount and much more, the club paid nowhere near that figure.
“To me he is worth double that,” said Cowley. “But the reality is that we didn’t pay a quarter of that figure.
“I’m pleased Steve rates him, it will mean a lot to Michael.”
Cowley Proud Of Superb Support
redimps.co.uk, 14 SEP 2017
Manager Danny Cowley has paid tribute to the City supporters, both at home and on the road, as he prepares for Saturday's local derby against Mansfield Town.
Writing in his programme notes ahead of the game against the Stags at Sincil Bank Stadium, Cowley was full of praise for the City fans who over the past couple of weeks have once again turned out in force, whatever the weather.
"The support in the Luton Town home match and both our away games has been outstanding," writes Cowley.
"We now sit on top of the attendance table in this division and that is something that I think we should all be immensely proud of.
"As for the 300 plus fans that supported us at Forest Green in the open terracing in the most horrendous conditions imaginable, simply thank you. You would have left the game soaking wet and no doubt freezing cold on the outside but I am sure, like me, you would have had a really warm feeling inside off the back of the players’ efforts."
As for Saturday's game and Cowley is urging all fans to soley concentrate on supporting the boys in red and white.
"All I ask of you... is to support us," he adds. "Don’t get caught up with the opposition, direct all of your focus and energy towards driving our intensity."
You can read more from Danny in Saturday's official match programme - which is packed full of features and photos - on sale around the stadium price just £3.
More thoughts from the City boss, meanwhile, will be available through our social media channels and on iFollow Imps in the build-up to the game.
Supporters are also advised that Saturday's game will kick off at the earlier time of 1.00pm.
'Don't worry about Mansfield' - Danny Cowley wants fans to focus on Lincoln City in derby
Imps boss says he has learned from stormy Checkatrade Trophy clash
lincolnshirelive.co.uk, BY MARK WHILEY, 14 SEP 2017
Danny Cowley has urged Lincoln City fans to focus on roaring the Imps to a derby victory against Mansfield Town.
A sell-out crowd is expected when Steve Evans’ Stags travel to Sincil Bank on Saturday (1pm kick-off).
The rivalry between the two clubs has been ramped up by the Imps’ 3-1 victory in the Checkatrade Trophy last month.
Cowley was sent to the stands following a touchline altercation with the controversial Scot, who then refused to shake hands with the Imps’ coaching team at the final whistle.
The former Boston United boss is likely to receive a hostile reception from the home fans but Cowley has urged the City faithful to focus on backing their side, rather than barracking Evans and his players.
“Support us, don’t worry about Mansfield,” said Cowley.
“Don’t get caught up with Steve Evans or his players. Put all of your energy, like you do week in, week out, into supporting us because that will make us better.
“That is what we want and what will be the biggest help to us on Saturday.
“Let’s keep conducting ourselves properly and representing this wonderful football club in the best possible way.”
Cowley maintains he was harshly sent to the stands in the Checkatrade Trophy game as it was Evans who had encroached into the Imps’ technical area in an aggressive manner, but has vowed to learn from the incident.
“As a young management team we are always learning and we took a lot from our previous encounter,” added Cowley.
“We intend to be really focused on our players’ and our team’s performance and not let any distractions affect this.
“We’ll have to stand up for ourselves because you have to do that against a Steve Evans team but we’ll do that in our way.
“We’re determined to be really focused and professional and to give a really good account of ourselves.
“To do that we’ll need everyone, the players and management, to be focused if we are to get a positive result against a very good Mansfield team. It should be about the football.
“People come to watch 22 players, 11 v 11, and watch what happens between the paint in the 90 minutes. It’s certainly never been about me.”
Striker Matt Green will be available to face his former club after serving a one-match suspension during Tuesday’s 1-0 win at Forest Green.
Danny Cowley regards criticism from rivals clubs as a compliment to Lincoln City
Imps boss doesn't see the benefit of criticising rivals
lincolnshirelive.co.uk, BY MARK WHILEY, 14 SEP 2017
Lincoln City boss Danny Cowley insists he regards criticism from rival clubs as “back handed compliment”.
The Imps were criticised again by Forest Green Rovers following their latest victory over the village side on Tuesday night.
Rovers boss Mark Cooper, who has previously knocked the Imps’ style of play, claimed Cowley’s had triumphed despite having “virtually no chances at all”.
Defender Scott Laird went one step further with a scathing attack on City’s approach, saying “they weren’t very nice” and claiming that Matt Rhead was “30 stone”.
Cowley insists he sees criticism as a positive for his side.
“We’re quite happy when managers are critical of our style of play,” said Cowley. “We think that’s a backhanded complimented.
“Very rarely do managers come out and say your team is brilliant. They sometimes do when their team has won but I don’t like hearing that.”
Meanwhile, Cowley is also not concerned by Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans’ comment ahead of Saturday’s League Two derby at Sincil Bank.
Evans this week claimed that the Imps paid Peterborough United almost £300,000 for Michael Bostwick earlier in the summer.
Cowley insists City paid “less than a quarter” of that figure for the midfielder but has no qualms with Evans’ attempt to gain a psychological edge ahead of the game.
“We’re all competitive and we’re all looking to get an edge,” said Cowley. “Steve Evans will rightly be looking to get an edge for his team.
“If he thinks the way to get that edge is by exaggerating how much we’ve spent on players, then that’s his prerogative, that’s what he’s got to do.
“But for us, I don’t think my players improve by me being disrespectful about the opposition or the way they go about things. I don’t that see the point of that.
“We’ve all got to work within the restrictions we have at our football clubs. We’re just going to put all of our focus on us.
“We’ll be respectful of Mansfield and we’ll do our work on them technically, tactically and mentally so we know exactly where their strengths lay and how we can combat that.
“We’ll also look for areas we can expose. I don’t ever want to get involved in a tit-for-tat anyone in a public domain because I don’t see that being beneficial to my players.”
Latest | September 2017