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Archived News from January 2018

29th January 2018 20:56

Gaffer will keep squad together
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 25 January 2018

Stags' boss Steve Evans says he will keep his squad together after rejecting offers for a number of players in this transfer window.

The manager's men are unbeaten in their last seven league outings, and sit 7th in Sky Bet League Two.

Speaking in his weekly news conference to mansfieldtown.net and the local media, the gaffer outlined his plans to keep the squad together and make additions where possible.

“Carolyn [chief executive, Radford], myself, Paul [assistant manager, Raynor] and the chairman sat down yesterday and had a meeting that went very well. We still have the same targets but we understand we may be in a chain where people want to get players in first but we’re still on top of it, there’s just nothing that’s going to happen overnight,” said Evans.

Leading goalscorer Danny Rose signed a new contract with Stags on Tuesday. The energetic frontman extended his stay at One Call Stadium until the end of the 2019/20 season and the gaffer was pleased to have tied him down after the club turned down offers from two League One clubs.

“It’s very clear that John [Radford] wants his football club and team to be successful. We know everybody has a value.


"If the offers for Danny [Rose] had got to a level where the Chairman was considering them, you would always say take the deal but it never got to that stage.

"He made it clear that if it wasn’t going to be an offer in the top end of the values we set, then he simply wasn’t for sale.

“We respect and appreciate the fact that people show interest [in our players] and that’s a testament to how well the lads have done.”

“I said to the chairman back in the summer let’s see how Danny goes towards the Christmas period because we had real high hopes for him. When we came into the club he was playing wide left, wide right, centre midfield and often didn’t even play.

“We loved his enthusiasm. We got him in on the first day and he said I just want to be a part of something and we believed in him. He’s a young man who comes to work every morning with a smile on his face, wanting to improve and help and I can’t get enough of that.

“It made it easy to do the deal, especially when we had a couple of solid League One teams who were not phoning me on a daily basis but offers were coming in with little increases every time.

“It’s fair to say the guaranteed payments were well into six figures [for Danny]. The figures were good but the chief executive and the chairman were very clear from day one that we’re trying to keep the squad together and maybe add to it if we can in the right areas. It wasn’t a case of establishing a value it was a case of saying no to those two clubs.”

The gaffer added offers had also been turned down for other players.

“It’s not just Danny either, there’s four players in total who have attracted offers, and each one of them has been a firm no.”

Stags travel to the Globe Arena on Saturday to face Jim Bentley’s Morecambe who sit 19h in Sky Bet League Two.

“They’ve got, for me a good squad of players” the gaffer said.

“I watched the video of them against Newport the other night and they got themselves back in the game and possibly should have won the game.

“I think this is harder than playing any of the top three or four away. The top three or four away takes care of themselves. A trip up to Morecambe has always been fiercely competitive and always will be for whoever goes there. They have a real willingness and desire because they’re full of good players.

“They play like their manager played. I see strikers who used to play for me and they still have chunks out their legs and ankles from Jim Bentley from when he played against them. He was fiercely competitive and that’s what he’s instilled in his team.

“He has players who can play. You give the ball to [Michael] Rose in the middle of the field and he’ll put it on a toadstool from 60 yards. It’s going to be tough for us but we go there in good spirits, the dressing rooms in good shape.

“We’ve got options in terms of what we’re going to do with the team and we may make one or two changes just to make sure we’re completely ready for a tough afternoon.”

Midfielder Jacob Mellis suffered an injury to his hamstring last Saturday at home to Cheltenham, on which the manager said: “Jacob’s [Mellis] going to be two to three weeks we think. He’s got a slight tear in his hamstring so that’s a loss to us.

"Jacob’s come into the team and really got his fitness levels high. He’s a smashing lad. The medical team are brilliant. We will have him as often as we can possibly get him in so long hours and long days but for the next two or three weeks we’ll miss the kid.”

“I don’t expect to see [defender] David [Mirfin] soon, he had surgery on his knee. We miss David Mirfin he was probably our best defender when he went out injured and we’ve got some really good defenders so it shows you the standards to which he was playing [before the injury].

To view the manager's news conference, log in to http://www.mansfieldtown.net/ifollow


Boss Steve Evans still hopeful Mansfield Town can add to squad
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans remains hopeful that he can bring in new faces before the January transfer window slams shut on Wednesday. The Stags have found themselves in buying chains as other clubs look to secure replacements before letting players go. But Evans is staying patient and said there may ever be one or two deals completed before the weekend, though it would be too late to include the players at Morecambe on Saturday. “Paul (assistant Raynor)and I had another long meeting yesterday with Carolyn (CEO Radford) and the chairman (John Radford) and it went very well. Our targets are still the same targets,” said Evans. “Of course we understand we might be in a little bit of a chain if people want to get players in first and other scenarios like that. “We’re well on top of it, but nothing will happen overnight. “There is a chance one - maybe two - will come in before the weekend. But they won’t start at Morecambe as the team is being worked on from today.” He added: “We are now just on the end of as phone call and things could happen. But I’d be honest with those players coming and I’d be honest with their managers, who I have spoken to on the phone. “If we are right for them and they can do some business that allows those players to come here, they know they won’t start at the weekend. What happens thereafter will depend on what they show in training.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/boss-steve-evans-still-hopeful-mansfield-town-can-add-to-squad-1-8980498


Mansfield Town to be without Jacob Mellis for at least two weeks
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 25 January 2018

Mansfield Town will be without midfield ace Jacob Mellis for at least two or three weeks after he limped off injured last weekend.

The player was sent for a scan this week and manager Steve Evans said: “Jacob is going to be two to three weeks we think. He’s got a slight tear in his hamstring.

“That will be a loss to us. Jacob got himself into the team and got his fitness levels really high and he’s going to have that challenge again.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-to-be-without-jacob-mellis-for-at-least-two-weeks-1-8980429

“He is a smashing lad. The medical team are brilliant and will have him in as often we can possibly get him in. “He will work long hours and have long days for the next two or three weeks.”


Mansfield boss Steve Evans full of admiration for Morecambe’s Kevin Ellison
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Steve Evans admits he’s full of admiration for Morecambe’s Kevin Ellison ahead of bringing his Mansfield side to the Globe Arena. The Shrimps veteran has eight goals so far this season and continues to be a key figure of Jim Bentley’s side a month shy of his 39th birthday. “I love him,” Stags boss Evans said. “When I arrived at Rotherham, Kevin had just been allowed to leave. “I couldn’t believe they’d let someone like him go as he moans. I love players that moan! “When they are moaning they want things to be better. “They are frustrated with themselves. They maybe want something different on the coaching side. “I love Kevin Ellison as a person as well. “He ran the length of the pitch to celebrate a late winner against my Rotherham side - and I hated him! “That night he texted me saying sorry about the celebration and good luck in the run-in - and he meant it. That’s the type of lad he is.” Despite the Shrimps being 19th and their visitors seventh in the table, Evans believes a trip to the Globe Arena remains one of the toughest games in League Two. “At home they win games against good teams,” he said. “If we are still sitting on the same points differential to the top boys when we leave Morecambe we will be really pleased as I see it as one of the tougher games of the season. “I’d rather go to Luton or Notts County than go to Morecambe. But you have to go to everyone over the season.”

Read more at: https://www.thevisitor.co.uk/sport/football/shrimps/mansfield-boss-steve-evans-full-of-admiration-for-morecambe-s-kevin-ellison-1-8980104


Mansfield Town boss backs FA decision over Cheltenham Town red cards
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 25 January 2018

Cheltenham Town’s hopes of getting their two red cards overturned from last weekend’s ill-tempered battle at Mansfield Town were dashed by the FA when their appeals were rejected. And Stags boss Steve Evans believes that was the right decision after reviewing the incidents that saw Taylor Moore and Danny Wright dismissed along with Stags defender Hayden White and Cheltenham boss Gary Johnson.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/mansfield-town-boss-backs-fa-decision-over-cheltenham-town-red-cards-1-8980322

The Robins announced earlier in the week that they had appealed to get the cards rescinded.

But a club statement yesterday read: “Cheltenham Town Football Club can confirm that its appeals against the red cards shown to Taylor Moore and Danny Wright during the Sky Bet League Two fixture with Mansfield Town have been rejected.

“Both players will now serve a three-match suspension with immediate effect.

“The club is extremely disappointed that the appeals have been dismissed and has requested full written reasons from the Regulatory Commissions to the decisions made.

Mansfield boss Evans said: “The referee got every big decision right. We didn't appeal our red card. It was a red card.

“They had two red cards - both elbows whatever way you want to look at them.

“We have the good fortune of being able to look at them on footage from both where the main cameras are on the far side of the ground and from our analyst on the near main stand side of the ground.

“I saw Cheltenham were appealing, and that's always their decision, but it was clear the two players had to go.

“Gary Johnson also had to go for his conduct towards Danny Rose plus his push on Paul Raynor.”


Steve Evans feels its two from 12 for automatic promotion in League Two
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town knows a win at Morecambe on Saturday could propel them into the top three automatic promotion spots if Accrington lose at Crawley. But Evans admitted League Two was a wide open race between up to a dozen clubs with only leaders Luton Town looking certain of going up. “It is still taking shape,” he said. “There are 10-12 clubs that rightfully believe the can make promotion, whether that’s automatically or through the play-offs. “I said in June/July it’s a marathon not a sprint. “League Two is the tightest league of them all and it’s testament to the players clubs have got and testament to the investment that’s going on in the league.” Evans added: “I look at Forest Green, who are fighting relegation, and they are, pound for pound, probably spending more money than any other club in League Two at the minute. “But they are fighting for their Football League survival under who I think is a great chairman in Dale Vince.” He concluded: “The top nine or 10 clubs have all invested in their squads this season and, for me, it will be that top 10 or 11 teams who fight for promotion - either for two of the automatic places or a play-off place. “I think we’ll all accept Luton are going to be champions and probably win it comfortably.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/steve-evans-feels-its-two-from-12-for-automatic-promotion-in-league-two-1-8980792


Extended contracts could be offered to more Mansfield Town players
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Mansfield Town were delighted to secure top scorer Danny Rose on a longer contract this week - and more extended deals could be offered to other players in the coming weeks. Rose - a target for some big League One clubs - was rewarded for a great season so far with a new contract on Tuesday that will keep him at Mansfield until at least the end of 2019/2020 with a one-year option after that as well.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/extended-contracts-could-be-offered-to-more-mansfield-town-players-1-8980479

On tying up other players, boss Steve Evans said: “I think there is an opportunity as we go through the window for Carolyn (CEO Radford) to sit down with three or four of the squad and have a conversation.

“We're not in a desperate rush to tie anyone up. The one things we have here is lads that are very focused.

“Most of their deals are well into next year anyway - some with options on top of that.

“I said to the chairman back in the summer, let's see how Danny (Rose) goes towards the Christmas period because we have really high hopes for him.

“So there's no big demand that we have to do it, though it's always nice to show your support to your playing staff who, for me, have been terrific all season.”

Evans was happy to extend Rose's stay with the Stags.

“We were delighted,” he smiled. “I said to the chairman back in the summer, let's see how Danny goes towards the Christmas period because we have really high hopes for him.

“When we came in he was being played wide right, wide left, centre midfield, and often didn't even play.

“We knew of the kid and loved his enthusiasm and we believed in him.

“The figures were good. But the chairman and CEO were very clear from day one that they were trying to keep the squad together and add to it selectively if we can. The player (Danny Rose) was not for sale.

“It made it easy to do the deal, especially when we had a couple of good League One clubs - solid League One clubs - who were phoning me, not on a daily basis, but often enough with little increases every time I spoke to them.”

Evans said the offers were very good ones and he was delighted to see the Radfords agree to turn them down after so many years of Stags being a selling club.

“The offers were comfortably into six figures, and when I say comfortably I don't mean £150,000,” he said.

“The figures were good. But the chairman and CEO were very clear from day one that they were trying to keep the squad together and add to it selectively if we can. The player was not for sale.

“That's brilliant as in the past, Mansfield Town supporters know players like Danny Rose would have been lost to them.

“So we got it done and it's great news for Stags fans. He is a young man who comes to work every day with a smile on his face and wants to improve.
“It's very clear John Radford wants his club and team to be successful.”

Evans added: “It's been the same for three other players who have offers made on them. Each one has been a firm no.

“We respect and appreciate the fact that people have shown interest. It's probably testament to how well the lads have done.

“But you can never say never as we know everyone has a value.”


No fringe players to leave Mansfield Town before Tuesday
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Cautious Mansfield Town will not be letting any of their fringe players go out before Tuesday just in case of any mishaps this weekend. Stags are expected to allow some of their squad to go out on loan, including centre half George Taft, who is just back from spending the first half of the season at Cambridge United.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/no-fringe-players-to-leave-mansfield-town-before-tuesday-1-8980916

Taft scored and impressed for Mansfield reserves on Tuesday, but boss Steve Evans admitted: “We have plenty of cover there.

“We still have Zander Diamond and we have Paul Digby, who has played in the Championship at centre back.

“But I have never been anything other than impressed with George Taft whether that be attitude or in training.

“Of course he had a bad injury when we came in as someone took him for a big running session the day after a game, not under me.

“The kid struggled to come back from that.

“But he was outstanding at Cambridge and they are one of a number of clubs who have enquired about taking him on loan.”

However, the U's do have competition.

“There are two or three in our league who have come in,” said Evans.

“Whether we deem it right for George to go, we'll make that decision on Tuesday morning.

“We are just going to let our squad settle over the weekend and then make decisions that suit Mansfield Town. Isn't that a wonderful position to be in? Us doing what we want to do? That's just careful planning and direction from our CEO.

“We are just going to let our squad settle over the weekend and then make decisions that suit Mansfield Town.

“Paul (assistant Raynor) and I sat down with John (chairman Radford) and Carolyn Radford (club CEO) and we went through all the potential injuries and situations we could find ourselves in and we will leave ourselves covered in every position.

“On Tuesday we will give people the opportunity to do their business or the players to go if they want to go.

“The brilliant thing is no one wants to go. That's not people saying I won't go. That's people saying have I got a chance of getting in the team here and playing?

“Unlike some other managers, what we've shown since August is we don't have favourites. Maybe our opinion is wrong at times, but we pick our team based on whether it's good for the Stags or not.”


Versatile midfielder hitting tip-top shape and form
mansfieldtown.net, Thursday 25 January 2018

Athletic midfielder Alex MacDonald feels as ‘fit and sharp’ as ever after losing a stone in weight since the end of last season.

Last summer, the in-form fans’ favourite made it his mission to return to the Stags’ camp in peak condition.

And he is now reaping the rewards for tireless work off-the-pitch, becoming a key player in a side which are unbeaten in their last seven league matches.

“I feel fit. I feel good,” said the 27-year-old, speaking to the local media this morning at One Call Stadium.

“I’m in a new role in the team as well [playing in behind the striker] which I’m really enjoying. Long may the form continue. I’m feeling so good on the pitch."


Impressively, the ex-Oxford man has decreased his body fat from 16.5% to 9% in the past ten months.

“Body fats are really important in the modern-day game. I’ve worked with Lee Taylor [fitness and rehabilitation coach] in getting that [body fats] down for quite some time. My performances are starting to show [that it has come down].

“I bought a bike for home. Lee Taylor said I needed to do it twice a day for a long period of time. The diet part of things is also a real big thing in the modern day game.

“It’s not like I was eating kebabs every night [previously]. I tweaked little things. It was something I needed to concentrate on in the summer months. Instead of being in Marbella for two weeks eating and drinking I was on the bike most days and looking after myself as well as enjoying a family holiday.

“When you’re not looking after yourself, as I am now, and have been for the past eight to ten months, you get to 60,70, 80 minute mark in games and can’t fully make that burst forward or are tired on the ball and things like that.

“Compared to what I was [like] eight to ten months ago, it’s in the latter stages [of a game][ where I’m really feeling my strongest.”

Speaking about the spirit in the camp ahead of Saturday's trip to Morecambe, MacDonald added: “It’s brilliant. The results are showing that. It’s a joy to come to work every day.”

View Alex MacDonald's news conference in full later today on iFollow Stags.


MacDonald reflects on thrilling win and dressing room spirit
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS, Thursday 25 January 2018

Mansfield Town star Alex MacDonald says spirit in the dressing room at the One Call Stadium is making it a pleasure to come to work every day.

The Stags' fine run of form has coincided with MacDonald also playing well in a new, more attacking role, afforded to him by Steve Evans, something he also says is making a big difference to his own game. And MacDonald, who his team-mates often cite as being a huge influence on the dressing room in terms of keeping spirits high, says it's a great time to be part of the Stags setup as they continue to prove a very hard team to beat.

He said: "“The spirit is brilliant at the moment. When you’re winning games and the spirit’s like it is, it’s a joy to come to work every day and it’s something we want to continue.

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/macdonald-reflects-on-thrilling-win-and-dressing-room-spirit-1-8980289

"I’ve always tried to keep spirits up. It’s important not to get to low when we’re losing nor too high when we’re winning. It’s part and parcel of the person I am in that I try and keep everyone happy in the dressing room, keep them together and maybe try and play a few jokes here and there. “As a team we’re so together and have a base target for every game that’s first of all to keep a clean sheet and then to try and affect the game attacking wise. We’ve always tried to be hard to beat first of all and solid at the back, then anything that comes on top of that is a bonus. “Attacking-wise we’ve been putting together some really good passages of play in recent months and if we can put all that together and make sure we’re more ruthless in front of goal then I think we’re in for a good second half of the season.” On last week's thrilling 3-2 win over Cheltenham Town, MacDonald says that picking up the three points left everyone on a huge high. He said: “It was a weird game that was full of red cards, good tackles, bad tackles, controversy on the sidelines - all great to watch if you’re a neutral but to come away on the winning team was a great feeling. “It’s a great way to win a game. When you’ve not been at your best and steal it like that it’s always a thrill." MacDonald has been used in a new role in recent weeks, playing just off striker Danny Rose, and it's a position he is enjoying playing in. He added: "I was playing central midfield for a few games but then the manager played me off Danny against Cardiff and I really enjoyed it. I’m enjoying my football wherever I am on the pitch at the moment and it’s a pleasure to be part of this team and as long as I’m on the pitch I’m happy to play wherever the manager wants me. “I get a bit more freedom in this role and have to make sure I get higher up the pitch and make sure Danny isn’t isolated. It’s enjoyable and not as much of a disciplined role like it is when you’re one of the two in midfield. It’s good to be able to get up there, use a bit more energy and try and make things happen at the top end of the pitch. “Now I’m fully fit I’m enjoying playing 90 minutes which is so different to when I first came and wasn’t fit enough, as it’s frustrating not being able to affect the game from the stands.”


MacDonald: I'm no 'wee fat boy' anymore!
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Stags star Alex MacDonald says he's worked hard to regain full fitness after being labelled a 'wee fat boy' by boss Steve Evans when he arrived at the One Call Stadium. The attacking midfielder admits he wasn't in best shape when he signed for Mansfield, using the light-hearted jibe from Evans as inspiration to get fit. And it worked, with MacDonald now a star performer for the in-form Stags. He said: "I feel good and fit, and am in a new role in the team which I’m really enjoying and long may the form continue. “When I first came the gaffer was probably quite accurate in the ‘wee fat boy’ comment, but I worked hard on it and feel back to my best now and a lot sharper. Fans don’t often see what difference things like body fat can make but it’s a big thing, especially in the modern day game, and now mine’s come down the performances are starting to show. “I did a lot of extra work in the gym and also got a bike for home that I had to use twice a day for a long period of time. The diet side of things is a big thing too, and although it wasn’t like I was eating kebabs every night or anything like that, I just needed to tweak what I was eating a bit and know when the time was right to enjoy myself. “I especially had to concentrate on it over the summer. Rather than being in Marbella for two weeks drinking and doing what I wanted, I was at home, on the bike most days and looking after myself and enjoying a family holiday. “It’s all about aiding the fitness. When you don’t look after yourself as I have done, you get to the 60/70/80 minute mark and you start feeling like you can’t make that burst forward or you’re tired when you’re on the ball, so it’s now at the point where in the latter stages I’m feeling at my strongest compared to how I was.”

Read more at: https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/mansfield-town/macdonald-i-m-no-wee-fat-boy-anymore-1-8980488


MacDonald unfazed by transfer talk as Stags prepare for Morecambe
chad.co.uk, by JOHN LOMAS

Alex MacDonald says being linked with other clubs is part and parcel of football and that he's fully focused on helping Mansfield Town to promotion. The midfielder has put in some fine displays in recent weeks which manager Steve Evans revealed have, along with his team-mates, seen MacDonald attract offers for his services. But MacDonald is happy to continue his role at the One Call Stadium. He said: "It’s part and parcel of the game and nice to be recognised when you’re doing well, but as far as I’m concerned all I’m bothered about is going out there and doing whatever I can to help the Stags get a positive result. “It’s not a distraction, I think if it was it would reflect in my performances but they’ve been pretty good through January and just accept that speculation is part of the game.” Looking ahead to this weekend's game against Morecambe, MacDonald is expecting a physical encounter. He said: "Each game in this league is unique in its own right; some teams have various strengths and weaknesses that others don’t. Morecambe are a very tough team and the guys there have done a fantastic job since they came into the league. You know whenever you play them home or away you’re in for a tough test. “We weren’t at our best when they came here but we managed to get the three points. I spoke to some of their lads after the game and they couldn’t believe they hadn’t got something out of the game. “You have to be strong and win the battles to earn the right to play and that'll be the case this weekend."

Read more at: https://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/sport/football/macdonald-unfazed-by-transfer-talk-as-stags-prepare-for-morecambe-1-8980305



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