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2nd November 2017 21:16


Stags bolstered by 'two new signings'
mansfieldtown.net, 26 OCT 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans believes the return to fitness of defender Zander Diamond and midfielder Joel Byrom is like having 'two new signings' ahead of Saturday's visit of Exeter City.

Midfielder Byrom made his return to action after six weeks out with a foot injury against Notts County on Tuesday night, whilst Scottish centre-half Diamond hasn't made a first team appearance since the defeat to Accrington Stanley in August after suffering a recurrence of a groin injury in the reserves' victory against Burton Albion last month.

And although the former Northampton Town duo may not be risked against Exeter City on Saturday, the manager has spoken of the positive impact which the pair's return brings to the squad.

"We've had two new signings come into the building this week in Joel Byrom and Zander Diamond. Let's be honest, if the emergency window was open now and we'd gone into the market and signed those two, people would be buzzing," the Stags' chief said.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2017/october/stags-bolstered-by-two-new-signings/

"It showed by the quality in possession and out of possession how much we missed him (Byrom). You're always going to miss a player like Byrom.

"It's still an easier game to come into for that 55 minutes against a Notts County second string, if you like, as opposed to the heat of the battle. Saturday might be a bit early for him.

"Zander will train today. He's a bit like Joel Byrom; he's had a week now, or eight or nine days, of intensive training with the medical team on the grass and you've seen how quickly we expedited Joel into the team.

"We're expecting Zander to come through today and tomorrow with no ill effects and [if he does] the big fella gives himself a chance of being involved at the weekend."

Stags welcome the Grecians to One Call Stadium in Sky Bet League Two this Saturday (3.00pm kick-off), a side who have started 'like a rocket' according to the manager.

"We welcome Exeter City; they've got an outstanding manager, for me. More importantly, he's a good person and we get on really, really well away from football.

"They've had two or three results that have gone against them in recent times, but I think it's all by the odd-goal in games that they've dominated for large spells in.

"I've got too much respect for Paul Tisdale and the players at Exeter City, and I know some of them personally, to think that this is not a big step-up come Saturday.

"It's going to be a tough afternoon for us and we like to think it'll be a tough afternoon for them, but that's the nature of the league we're in."

Our last outing at One Call Stadium ended in a first home defeat of the season against Swindon Town, but Stags are unbeaten in three since then and the gaffer is targeting a return to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday.

"It's time to win some matches. We addressed that with the players. To draw at Newport and to draw at Barnet are two results which are excellent results. They're tough places to go and I think a lot of teams will lose at those two venues. The disappointment was the home one; let's get back to winning at home.

"We need to go back to working hard, closing people down, passing the ball in the right areas and playing how we can play.

"You hear a lot of people around football talk about confidence. How does a team get confident? By winning."

Supporters will be able to login to view the manager's full news conference on iFollow Stags later today.

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Stags aim to end Exeter run and wipe away Swindon misery
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 26 October 2017

Mansfield Town will try to end Exeter City’s eight-game unbeaten run at the One Call Stadium on Saturday and win back the fans they let down against Swindon. Stags slumped to a 3-1 home defeat with their worst display of the season last time out at home and, despite two draws and a win on the road since then, manager Steve Evans knows they still have to put the Swindon disappointment right.

He said: “Our home form this year has been outstanding, but you’re always remembered for the last time you turn up. And the last time we turned up was not acceptable at any stretch whatsoever.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/stags-aim-to-end-exeter-run-and-wipe-away-swindon-misery-1-8826082

“We need to get back to working hard, closing people down, passing the ball in the right areas and playing how we can play. “It’s time to win some matches. The draws at Barnet and Newport were excellent results as they are tough places to go. The disappointment was the home result against Swindon.

“Let’s get back to winning at home. I know we have a Checkatrade game in midweek but we want to be going into next week’s FA Cup tie on the back of a good League victory.”

Exeter have now won their last three games at Mansfield, though last year’s left a sour taste in the mouth. “We have enormous respect for Exeter,” said Evans. “They got two wins against us last year, which left us disappointed.

“They won here last season in unusual circumstances in the 97th minute with a penalty that was evidently not a penalty afterwards. But it’s happened and it’s part of football.”

Evans is a big fan of Exeter boss Paul Tisdale, the second longest serving manager in the country behind Arsene Wenger. “We welcome Exeter City,” he said.

“For me they have an outstanding manager and, more importantly, he is a good person. We get on really well away from football.

“We have had chats when opportunities have come our way and I think he loves that football club and that club loves him. I think he was afforded to be at or near the bottom of the table for periods at the start last year with not one piece of criticism to him and his players. That is top class supporters who can see a bigger picture.

“Paul would be openly welcomed by a lot of clubs at higher levels if he wanted to go. “It’s going to be tough afternoon for us but we’d like to think it will be a tough afternoon for them. That’s the nature of the league we are in.”

Evans is hoping three games unbeaten in a week after that Swindon disappointment will restore confidence in his players. “People talk about confidence. How does a team get confidence? By winning,” he said.

“They talk about great team spirit in the dressing room and they’ve just won four out of five. That’s where the team spirit comes from.

“The hardest thing is to keep team spirit when you’re not winning. That’s the job of the manager and the staff to keep everything on a level keel.”

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Steve Evans could leave returning Joel Bryom out of Exeter City match
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 26 October 2017

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans is delighted to have key midfielder Joel Byrom back from injury - but he may leave him out against Exeter City on Saturday. Byrom made a superb return from his six week lay-off with a foot injury in Tuesday’s 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy win at Notts County, coming through 55 minutes with no ill effects afterwards.

“I though he was terrific first half,” said Evans. “The quality he showed both in and out of possession showed how much we’ve missed him.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/steve-evans-could-leave-returning-joel-bryom-out-of-exeter-city-match-1-8826277

“You’re always going to miss a player like Byrom. Before we brought him into this football club last January we kicked more balls out the park than we kept in it. “He has a bit of class and that’s why we only lost out on the last day for the play-offs last season - a lot of it was to do with Joel.” However, Evans warned: “It was still an easier game to come into for that 55 minutes against a Notts County second string as opposed to the heat of the battle, so Saturday may be a bit early for him. “There is a difference playing against a side with the qualities that Exeter have got. That’s not demeaning players the other night, it’s just what we see this Saturday coming. “It’s a team that started like a rocket in League Two. Two or three results have gone against them in recent times but by the odd goal and in games they have dominated for large spells. “I have too much respect for Paul Tisdale and the players at Exeter, and I know some of them personally, to think this is not a big step up from Saturday.”

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CJ Hamilton impresses Steve Evans with Notts County display
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 26 October 2017

Winger CJ Hamilton reminded boss Steve Evans of his talents in midweek as he bagged his first goal for the club to secure a 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy win at Notts County. Hamilton roasted former Stags full back Nicky Hunt throughout and on Hamilton’s showing, he said: “It was his overall contribution to the game. From the first minute to the last minute I don’t think the County boy knew where he was at times.

“CJ’s work rate and getting back to help Mal Benning was admirable as well. That was the CJ we all loved last season. He played the majority of games for me and he only went out the team when he got a little bit sloppy and inconsistent.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/cj-hamilton-impresses-steve-evans-with-notts-county-display-1-8826279

“It was nice to see him in that type of form and what a wonderful way to see him celebrate a goal. I love to see my players score a goal and look happy.” Evans added: “The nice thing is he’s a very honest young man and he knows when he’s been inconsistent or not at it in training and reserve games. “Some player you could say that to and they’d look at you as if you were Donald Duck. CJ looks at you in a very thoughtful way and can understand it. “Over the last week we’ve worked on getting him into certain positions and working on his quality and he showed that on Tuesday, though once again it’s not against the quality we’ll face on Saturday.”

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Loan plans shelved as Thomas makes his mark for Stags
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 26 October 2017

Plans to send Jack Thomas out on another loan have been shelved after his fine performance as a second half substitute against Notts County in Tuesday’s 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy win. The midfielder’s career has lost its way since he was player of the year of the year as a fresh-faced teenager and he had recently been out on loan at Boston United.

However, he was recalled this week and thrown on for the final half-hour against Notts and reminded everyone of his abilities.

Boss Steve Evans said before that game that he was planing to send him out on loan again. But today Evans said: “Jack is in the group today so we’ll see how he trains.

“If he doesn’t play a part on Saturday he will certainly play a part on Tuesday. Then we’ll have a look at it. But if Jack is playing like that Jack will stay in the building.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/loan-plans-shelved-as-thomas-makes-his-mark-for-stags-1-8825592

“We are delighted with him. I think it’s the best we’ve seen him play for us, while reminding ourselves of the opposition. “We brought him back and put him out there to get a few games in a short space of time. “He was going to have to be working so hard every week as they were under pressure most weeks. That midfield engine under Adam Murray was going to have to work extra hard.” Evans added: “You don’t need to tell Jack Thomas he’s a good player. He got all those plaudits 18 months ago and it nearly sunk him. “So let’s just tell him he’s got a fighting chance of being in the squad every week and we might get the best from him. “Not by talking but by performing he gives you something to think about. “His performance was good and I couldn’t come away thinking I’m going to put that player out on loan next week as if that had been a Butcher or an Atkinson we’d say he’d played really well.”

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Evans admits Premier League academy sides have devalued Chackatrade Trophy
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 26 October 2017

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans believes the inclusion of Premier League U21 sides has devalued the Checkatrade Trophy. The Stags will take on Everton U21s at home on Tuesday in a bid to try to progress out of the group stage. But fans continue to vote with their feet against this much-maligned competition and Evans said: “In my personal opinion I think people knock it because - here comes the Football League on to me tomorrow - I think it was devalued by bringing Academy sides in, 19/20-year-olds from Premier League elite level.

“You only have to look at some of the consistency of results around that. “You had Middlesbrough going for a Carabao Cup tie down to Bournemouth and they are playing in the Checkatrade on the same evening. Is that right for the competition? I don’t think it is. That’s where the devaluation comes from.”

With 10 changes per team made, Stags gave themselves a chance of progress with a well-deserved 2-1 win at neighbours Notts County on Tuesday, though County boss Kevin Nolan may feel differently. “It is surprising what we all see in football,” smiled Evans.

Read more at: http://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-admits-premier-league-academy-sides-have-devalued-chackatrade-trophy-1-8826072

“In his post-match comments Kevin thought Notts County were the better team - then we wake up and see what really happened! “It was a good win for us because we wanted to win a game. “I thought the boys on duty were terrific from start to finish. The only sad aspect from our point of view is that we didn’t get a few more goals. “We recognise that Kevin made some changes like we did, so therefore it wasn’t a full-on derby battle. But Kevin and his staff were very committed on the side, as we were. “It was nice to catch up with him afterwards and we shared the same thoughts about what is happening around League Two at the minute in that it’s a very difficult competition.” Evans was delighted with the quality of play from his second string, putting themselves into the frame for Saturday’s visit of Exeter City. “I’ve often said to some of the lads who come into my office - talk is cheap. The best way to do your talking is do it in training and do it in games,” he said. “You can play in all the reserve games in the world but there’s nothing better than playing against the likes of Notts County or any club around our level where it’s a proper game with spectators and people have to step up. “I am delighted we have some options today in a positive way about what we do on Saturday.”

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Byrom raring to go after injury lay-off
mansfieldtown.net, 26 OCT 2017

Cultured midfielder Joel Byrom wants to put his recent spell on the sidelines behind him and help the Stags climb the Sky Bet League Two table.

The 31-year-old made his comeback in Tuesday's 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy victory over Notts County after a six-week lay-off with a foot injury.

And after admitting his frustration at being forced to watch recent matches from the stands, the former Northampton Town man now wants to force his way back into the side and start contributing on the pitch.

"It's been a frustrating time and it was brilliant to get out there with the lads [on Tuesday]," Byrom said.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2017/october/byrom-raring-to-go-after-injury-lay-off/

"Watching from the stands and not travelling to away games is tough but it was great to get back out there. It feels like forever because it was a frustrating one.

"I don't really like watching games when I'm not involved so I did quite a bit of work with you (Jason Harrison, Mansfield 103.2) and Stevo (Mark Stevenson, head of media & communications) on the radio and that was good because it was good for my university degree and also I saw the game in a different light and I enjoyed doing that.

"It's not nice being out of the team and I'm not normally one for getting injured but as I said, it's been a frustrating time and I just want to put that behind me now and help the team push up the table."

Stags currently sit just four points off the play-off places and eight off the automatic promotion spots and Byrom is aiming to string a run of positive results together to break into the top seven.

"We're 13th but it's well within a shout of the play-offs and the automatic spots if you go on a good run. Once you get on a decent run at this level, it's tough to stop teams.

"Apart from the top couple of teams, no-one's really put a decent run together yet. We just need to get back to basics and just win games.

"The thing with this league this year, everyone's beating everyone. No-one's really running away with it. You see teams slipping up against teams you don't expect them to."

Manager Steve Evans' men face high-flying Exeter City on Saturday and former Stevenage man Byrom believes the clash should be a good spectacle.

"You know what Exeter are going to be about. They're always a good team, always a strong side and they play nice football and it should be a good game on Saturday.

"The fans are always decent at home and hopefully they can bring a few as well, I know it's a long way. We just need to go and put some performances in on the pitch now and get some wins."

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view Joel Byrom's news conference in full.

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Byrom so happy to be back after injury nightmare
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 26 October 2017

Influential Mansfield Town midfielder Joel Byrom is delighted to be back from a six week injury nightmare. It seemed so innocuous when Byrom completed the home game with Wycombe with a pain in his foot. But it has ended up sidelining him much longer than he thought and in that time the Stags have slumped without his passing and set piece deliveries.

Byrom successfully came through 55 minutes of Tuesday’s 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy win at Notts County and is now hoping to be in the squad for Saturday’s visit of Exeter City.

“It’s been a frustrating time so it was just brilliant to get out there with the lads on Tuesday,” he said. “Watching from the stands and not travelling to away games is tough.” On the injury, he said: “It felt like forever. It was a frustrating one as it was a muscle in the bottom of my foot and ended up being a slow one.

Read more at: http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/byrom-so-happy-to-be-back-after-injury-nightmare-1-8826092

“It took a bit longer than I thought it would, but the phsyios probably said it would be six weeks at the start so they were right. “It happened during the Wycombe game. I was chasing a guy and I felt a little pop under my foot. “I got through the game in pain and next day it was sore. I went for a scan and they said I had a grade two tear under my foot. “I was out for quite a while when I was younger but in the last few seasons this has been the longest.” He continued: “I am not normally one for getting injured. I just want to put it behind me now and help push the team up the table. “I don’t really like watching games when I’m not involved so I did quite a bit of radio work in the press box which was good for my university degree and also seeing games in a totally different light. I enjoyed it. “When you’re just sat at home you miss football.” Byrom hoped he may get to play on Tuesday but wasn’t counting his chickens. “I’d only trained with the lads for one day,” he said. “I was half-hoping I would get some minutes though I thought it could be a bit early. I was happy to play in the end and come through unscathed. “The gaffer spoke to me at half-time and asked how I felt. I said I felt fine and he offered me another 10 minutes. “I felt surprisingly good yesterday and I feel good again today, so I will just push on to the weekend.” On the win, he said: “I thought we looked comfortable from the start and they scored against the run of play. “That’s something we need to cut out. When we are on top of games we need to start putting teams to bed. “We showed great character to go on and win it. CJ Hamilton scored a great goal and I thought we looked comfortable near the end.” Now the Stags prepare to face high-flying Exeter and Byrom said: “They are a good side. On Tuesday a lot of changes were made and we had a positive result, so all that goes into the manager’s head. “We now have a good squad for the manager to pick from for a team that can beat Exeter. “It was just good to get back and even better to get a win. Hopefully that can kick us on now until the end of the season. “Everyone is beating everyone and no one is really running away with it in League Two. We know what Exeter will be about. They are always a strong side and they try to play nice football. “That suits us as we might get a little bit more time on the ball and a bit more time to play. I think it will be a good game. “We are still well in with a shout of the play-offs and the automatic spots if we go on a good run. Once you get on a decent run at this level it’s tough to stop teams. “We need to get back to basics and win some games.” One of manager Evans’ first signings, Byrom has already been with the club almost 11 months. “It’s gone fast,” he said. “It doesn’t seem like two minutes ago when I was stepping out at Blackpool last year. It’s been a good year really.”

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Mansfield Town vs Exeter City: Match preview with Paul Tisdale
Grecians boss wants to focus on what happens next
devonlive.com, by David Byrom, 26 OCT 2017

Paul Tisdale says it is a case of what happens next for Exeter City as they attempt to get back on track following two defeats in a row.

The Grecians make the trip to Steve Evans’ Mansfield Town this weekend looking to bounce back following losses to Luton Town and Port Vale last week.

Tisdale is anticipating a difficult game and has warned his side that they need to earn anything that comes their way.

He said: “We expect a very difficult game at Mansfield. We obviously need to get our form back on track after last week, so we’re all very determined for a result.

http://www.devonlive.com/sport/football/football-news/mansfield-town-vs-exeter-city-684110

“You can’t have it all your own way and we’ll be doing our very best to get a result at Mansfield, there’s no doubt about it, but I’m sure Mansfield are particularly motivated also.

“So we’ve got to earn it and we’ve got a long season ahead of us, so it’s all about what happens next in the next 30 games.

“I think we’re all pretty focussed on what we have to do but you just can’t predict too many things in football, you’ve got to go out in each game and earn the victory, or the draw, that’s what we have to do on Saturday.”

Tisdale and Evans have faced each other a number of times over the years and, whilst Tisdale feels the Scot’s sides have always had similar characteristics running through them, he says that, with both sides having had comings and goings over the summer, they cannot look back on previous results against the Stags too much.

He said: “You begin to see personality trains in a team that’s probably more from the manager in charge. Steve Evans always creates a very competitive team and will always push his players to the maximum and I see no reason why this week will be any different.

“Of course we need to reflect on previous encounters with Mansfield, or the other teams he’s managed, but this Saturday it will be two different teams, albeit there will be similarities, this is a new game, a new start, two new 11s and it’s a blank canvas, really.

“We are, as always, respectful of the opposition but cannot let that affect our own game - we have to focus on what we do and do it well.”

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Tis: 'I’d be surprised if they (Mansfield) are not there come the end of the season'
exetercityfc.co.uk, 26 OCT 2017

Exeter City manager Paul Tisdale praised the work Steve Evans is doing at Mansfield Town and says is expects the Stags to be battling for promotion come the end of the season.

City travel to the One Call Stadium on Saturday fourth in the League Two table, eight points and nine places above their rivals in the table. However, Mansfield Town were a side Tis picked out as one of the candidates at the start of the campaign and he has not changed his view on that.

“They have got some good players,” he said. “Their results so far at home have been strong and they have got a manager who drives his team and maximizes their potential and has done with every team he has had.

https://www.exetercityfc.co.uk/news/2017/october/tis-mansfield-v-city/

“I think I made the point when I was asked before the season started which two or three clubs would I expect to be pushing towards the top end of the table and I said I thought they would be one of them.

“Maybe they are not there at the moment, but I’d be surprised if they are not come the end of the season. They have got a manager who knows what he is doing and who will get the very best out of his team.”

City go into the game on the back of a couple of disappointing results. They lost 4-1 at home to Luton Town on October 17 and followed that up with a 1-0 loss to Port Vale last Saturday. It is also just two goals scored in the last four games for City, so is that a concern for the manager?

"No, it happens,” he said. “The ball doesn’t go in the net sometimes and sometimes it does. We are doing the right things and practicing the right things. We haven’t really changed a lot since the days, a month or so ago, when things were going in. It will go in the net sooner rather than later, I’m sure.”

Tis welcomes back Craig Woodman and Lee Holmes into the side for Saturday’s trip to Mansfield for the match.

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