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EVANS, MACDONALD, NEIL WARNOCK REACTION
11th January 2018 21:23


Stags should have beaten Bluebirds - gaffer
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 06 January 2018

Stags' boss Steve Evans believes his side created enough good chances to attain a victory in this afternoon's 0-0 draw with Cardiff City in the Emirates FA Cup third round, but warns there's still a lot of work to do to cement their place in the fourth round.

A gritty performance in the Welsh capital ensured Stags secured a well-deserved replay against the Bluebirds, who currently occupy third place in the Championship - 51 places above the Stags in the English football pyramid.

And after seeing his side go toe-to-toe with their higher division opponents, the boss commented that his side's chances were worthy of winning the cup tie.

"We should have won today. The two big chances that we create through some wonderful football in the second half could lead to goals," the Stags' chief said.

"We worked so hard against a very experienced Championship group which Neil [Warnock] selected. He started with big guns and he was bringing even more big guns on near the end.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/january/evans-post-cardiff/

"I thought we were in control for long periods of the game in the second half but if somebody had said this morning 'you can take it back home to the One Call Stadium' then we'd have said 'yes'.

"Without a doubt Paul Anderson has the best chance. If Lee Angol, he's a striker, so he's going to take a touch and try and score a goal, but if he leaves it, probably [CJ] Hamilton's running onto it, that's how it looks at first sight.

"Both are good chances. Paul Anderson's gone 80 yards to get into that position, [Alex] MacDonald's won two challenges and gone through the middle and it's a sublime pass. We were well on top at that stage."

Stags will now welcome the Bluebirds to One Call Stadium in a replay, provisionally scheduled for week commencing 15 January, and the gaffer is under no illusions as to how tough it will be for his side to book their place in the fourth round.

"I said to the players at half-time 'you've had a good look at them now, they're good players and they're to be respected but when you respect someone, you have to work hard and smart against them'.

"I thought we did that in the second half and we were the team, certainly for the mid-20 minutes in the second half, we were driving at them and they were hanging on a bit. Neil made some changes to shore it up a bit, as you saw, and then we took 'a point' comfortably. The question was can we win the game?

"We know it's going to be so tough in the replay, let's not get carried away thinking anything than more than Cardiff's going to be really tough.

"I'm not interested in the draw, I won't watch it, I would if we won, but we'll worry about that when Cardiff come to Mansfield."

The former Leeds United manager, who has previously reached the fifth round of the FA Cup twice as a manager, praised the travelling Stags' faithful for their fervent support throughout the encounter.

"We've come to a stadium where we're back by 1,100-1,200 Mansfield fans - they're right behind us from kick-off. They were giving words of encouragement all day, not words of doom and gloom and that spurred the boys on.

"The boys just remarked on it when they came in the dressing room - wasn't it wonderful to be backed by a support like that? I'm the first to echo it; I'm the first to say when it's not right but I'm the first to pay a tribute to those supporters."

The gaffer also revealed that striker Kane Hemmings, who was forced off just before half-time, 'felt his hamstring tighten up' and he was substituted as a precaution.

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's full post-match interview.

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Evans: ‘We should have won’
chad.co.uk, Saturday 06 January 2018

Mansfield Town should have booked their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup today, according to boss Steve Evans. The Stags held Championship high flying outfit Cardiff City to a 0-0 draw away from home and will look forward to a replay at the One Call Stadium.

Evans believes they shouldn’t need a second bite at the cherry, however. “We should have won today. The two big chances that we create through some wonderful football in the second half could lead to goals,” he said.

“We worked so hard against a very experienced Championship group which Neil [Warnock] selected. He started with big guns and he was bringing even more big guns on near the end.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/evans-we-should-have-won-1-8943813

“I thought we were in control for long periods of the game in the second half but if somebody had said this morning ‘you can take it back home to the One Call Stadium’ then we’d have said ‘yes’. “Without a doubt Paul Anderson has the best chance. If Lee Angol, he’s a striker, so he’s going to take a touch and try and score a goal, but if he leaves it, probably [CJ] Hamilton’s running onto it, that’s how it looks at first sight. “Both are good chances. Paul Anderson’s gone 80 yards to get into that position, [Alex] MacDonald’s won two challenges and gone through the middle and it’s a sublime pass. We were well on top at that stage.” Evans has no interest in Monday’s draw because his side still have so much to do to progress. “We know it’s going to be so tough in the replay, let’s not get carried away thinking anything than more than Cardiff’s going to be really tough. “I’m not interested in the draw, I won’t watch it, I would if we won, but we’ll worry about that when Cardiff come to Mansfield.” He was delighted in the backing given by the huge travelling support in Wales. “We’ve come to a stadium where we’re back by 1,100-1,200 Mansfield fans - they’re right behind us from kick-off. They were giving words of encouragement all day, not words of doom and gloom and that spurred the boys on. “The boys just remarked on it when they came in the dressing room - wasn’t it wonderful to be backed by a support like that? I’m the first to echo it; I’m the first to say when it’s not right but I’m the first to pay a tribute to those supporters.”

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Steve Evans told BBC Radio Nottingham:

"It's nice to be backed by support that was totally positive from quarter to three to time up, the players were remarking on it, and it's amazing if you encourage technically good players how they can rise and work hard for you."

"If you smash them, they go down a hole."

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Stags 'gutted' to only draw with Bluebirds - MacDonald
mansfieldtown.net, Saturday 06 January 2018

Energetic midfielder Alex MacDonald believes Stags had their Championship opponents Cardiff City 'on the ropes' as they secured a 0-0 draw in this afternoon's Emirates FA Cup third round tie.

There are 51 places between the two sides in the English football pyramid but Stags created the better chances against the Bluebirds, who are flying high in third place in the Championship.

The outcome will be widely-regarded as a good result for the Stags within the footballing world, but MacDonald admits he and his team-mates are 'gutted' not to have snatched a victory at the Cardiff City Stadium.

"We're in [the changing room] a little bit gutted," said the former Scotland under 21 international.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2018/january/stags-gutted-to-only-draw-with-bluebirds---macdonald/

"We thought we had them 'on the ropes', especially in the second half for twenty minutes. We had a real good spell, we were opening them up and on another day we take one of our chances and we come away [with a win].

"[Cardiff] are where they are for a reason. Although they're on a bad patch at the minute they're still right up there and they've got a great manager and a great squad here.

"[The result] breeds confidence into our lads and our team that we've gone toe-to-toe with them today and probably on another day, should have nicked it.

"We really came here and wanted to express ourselves, play good football and I think we did that."

The former Oxford United man was full of praise for the Mansfield faithful, with over a 1,000 Stags' fans braving the cold January weather to travel to Wales and display non-wavering vocal support to their team all afternoon.

"[The fans were] magnificent. I've said it a few times now, Coventry away was one and the list goes on to how good their support's been.

"We heard them from start to finish and it was just unlucky we couldn't repay them with a winning goal."

The draw means Stags will be in the hat for the fourth round draw on Monday evening and MacDonald says he'll be watching in the hope that Stags can get a big name to help spur them on in the upcoming replay.

"It's the best cup in the world and [the draw] is something we'll all look forward to and you never know, if we pull a big name out of the hat it could give us that added extra [incentive].

"Obviously we've got a big game to take care of in the first place but Liverpool away for me has always been one I've been desperate to pull out of the hat."

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view Alex MacDonald's post-match interview.

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Stags gutted not to have pulled off FA Cup upset win
chad.co.uk, Saturday 06 January 2018

Mansfield Town midfielder Alex MacDonald said the Stags were gutted not to have pulled off a major FA Cup upset after a fine goalless Third Round draw at Cardiff City. The Stags are 51 places behind Championship high-flyers Cardiff, but MacDonald said the League Two promotion contenders had their hosts on the ropes at times and could have snatched victory at the Cardiff City Stadium.

“We’re in [the changing room] a little bit gutted,” said MacDonald.

“We thought we had them on the ropes, especially in the second half for 20 minutes. We had a real good spell, we were opening them up and on another day we take one of our chances and we come away [with a win].

“[Cardiff] are where they are for a reason. Although they’re on a bad patch at the minute they’re still right up there and they’ve got a great manager and a great squad here. MacDonald said the result would breed confidence into the Stags after they went toe-to-toe with Neil Warnock’s side, who are third in the Championship.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/stags-gutted-not-to-have-pulled-off-fa-cup-upset-win-1-8943963

“We really came here and wanted to express ourselves, play good football and I think we did that,” said MacDonald. The former Oxford United man was full of praise for the Mansfield faithful, with over 1,000 Stags’ fans cheering on the visitors. “[The fans were] magnificent. I’ve said it a few times now, Coventry away was one and the list goes on to how good their support has been,” he said. “We heard them from start to finish and it was just unlucky we couldn’t repay them with a winning goal.” The draw means the Stags will be in the hat for the fourth round draw on Monday evening for the first time eisnce 2008 and MacDonald said he would be watching in the hope that they can get a big name to help spur them on in the upcoming replay. “It’s the best cup in the world and [the draw] is something we’ll all look forward to and you never know, if we pull a big name out of the hat it could give us that added extra [incentive],” he said. “Obviously we’ve got a big game to take care of in the first place but Liverpool away for me has always been one I’ve been desperate to pull out of the hat.”

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Warnock: Having lads back is a huge positive
Morrison and Richards come through Cup clash unscathed...
cardiffcityfc.co.uk

Neil Warnock looked ahead to a third round replay, following the Bluebirds’ 0-0 draw with Mansfield Town on Saturday afternoon.

City will go into the hat as ball number 22 on Monday evening, though they’ll have to overcome a stubborn Stags outfit at Field Mill if they are to feature in the fourth round.

Despite dominating Saturday’s encounter, the Bluebirds were unable to break down Steve Evans’ side who were satisfied with a job well done in the Welsh capital.

“We take positives from this one, that’s for sure,” said the Manager.

“Seeing Sean Morrison back out there is a big plus for us - our medical staff thought he’d be another two weeks. To see him come through without feeling anything is fabulous.

“I was pleased to see Jazz Richards come through okay too, while I thought Rhys Healey did well again, as he did at QPR.”

City now have a week to recover before the visit of Sunderland in the Sky Bet Championship next weekend, with players able to rest and recuperate following a difficult spell of injuries and illness.

Reflecting on the situation, Neil added: I thought the game served its purpose today.

"We've had so many problems, with [Joe] Rallsy pulling out and [Sol] Bamba with a sickness bug. You've got [Joe] Bennett who wasn't going to play and he's ended up playing the full game.

"We had to play a bit of a mix and match in the midfield area and I just felt we lacked a bit up front.

“After 80 minutes I was quite happy with a draw as I wanted to be in the hat for the next round. It’ll be a good night up there at the Stags, I’m sure. That’s what the FA Cup is all about really.”

Watch Neil's post-Mansfield reaction in full, later tonight on iFollow Cardiff City

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Neil Warnock explains why Cardiff City's frustrating FA Cup draw with Mansfield served its purpose
The Cardiff City boss wasn't despondent despite his team failing to break through the Stags' defence
walesonline.co.uk, By Dominic Booth, 6 JAN 2018

Neil Warnock believes Cardiff City's 0-0 FA Cup draw with Mansfield 'served its purpose' and is relishing a replay with the Stags.

A quiet third round tie played out in front of a small crowd at Cardiff City Stadium saw Cardiff nearly score through Rhys Healey, Lee Tomlin and Callum Paterson, while Mansfield defender Krystian Pearce almost put through his own net in the last minute.

But Mansfield had chances of their own, leaving Warnock determined to take the positives out of the result.

They included returns from injury for defenders Sean Morrison and Jazz Richards, though Warnock admitted Joe Ralls and Sol Bamba didn't feature after suffering from illness.

"I thought the game served its purpose today," he said.

"We've had so many problems this week, (Joe) Ralls and (Sol) Bamba pulled out this morning with a sickness bug, (Joe) Bennett shouldn't have played but ended up playing the full game, but Morrison coming back is a massive plus.

"He said half a game so we gave him 65 minutes and he's not felt anything, which is a massive plus, because the medical people were talking another two weeks."

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/neil-warnock-explains-cardiff-citys-14122112

With striker Kenneth Zohore again looking short of fitness and Healey missing a trio of chances to open the scoring, Warnock accepted his strikers aren't firing at the moment.

Zohore scored against Fulham on Boxing Day but has struggled against Preston, QPR and now Mansfield with Warnock determined to get the Dane back to form.

"We had to play a bit of a mix and match in the midfield area but we lacked a bit up front," he added.

"You're only as good as your front three and we're struggling, it's a bit like extracting teeth at the minute!"

"You can see (Zohore) has not got the sharpness that he had. I think he's got more of the stamina but it's that sprinting, going past defenders, he hasn't got that at the minute.

"But it's not for the lack of trying. I can't fault his effort.

"I thought Rhys did alright but it's scoring a goal.

"But at 80 minutes, I was quite happy with a draw if I'm honest. I thought 'let's get back up to the Stags' - it will bring back a few memories for me (of being kicked by their full back Sandy Pate)"

The replay is expected to come on the Tuesday or Wednesday between Cardiff's home clash with Sunderland on January 13 and the visit to Sheffield Wednesday on January 20. The fourth round draw takes place on Monday.

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