SCOTTISH SUN: MANSFIELD ON A MISSION
THE TOWN PLANNER Mansfield have a vision and Scottish boss Steve Evans is on a mission to gain promotion to English League One - preferably this season
The Glaswegian was appointed by owner John Radford in November, 2016 and there was no messing about with what was expected off him
thescottishsun.co.uk, EXCLUSIVE, By Derek McGregor, 14th February 2018
DAVID BOWIE and TakeThat tribute acts have been all the rage at the One Call Stadium.
But Steve Evans only ever wants Mansfield Town fans singing and dancing over his team’s performances.
The Glaswegian is making his mark at the unfashionable League Two club which has lived in the shadow of high-profile, two-time European Cup-winning neighbours Nottingham Forest.
Wealthy owner John Radford and his chief executive wife Carolyn have big plans for the club, which enjoys good income from a thriving entertainment scene and could have a hotel attached to the stadium in the coming years.
Evans’ brief is to take the team into League One - preferably this season.
That doesn’t daunt the 55-year-old, who knows what it takes to gain promotion following previous successes at Rotherham and Boston.
He was appointed by Radford in November, 2016 and there was no messing about with what was expected - immediate survival in League Two followed by a step up.
Evans feels he’s on course, with his Stags just three points off the automatic promotion zone, after recovering from a weekend defeat to Swindon Town to thrash Newport County 5-0.
He said: “I had to effectively put a whole new team together back in the summer and do it with a budget which I’d say is in the top ten in the division, not the top three or four.
“At the end of last season there were 17, 18 players out of contract. But none of them were going to stay anyway. So it was about a whole new squad.
Read more at https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sport/football/2226593/steve-evans-mansfield-vision-mission-promotion/
“That was always going to mean time for new players to gel.
“Until October, November we didn’t know what we were getting on a Saturday.
“But since then I think we’ve been motoring pretty well. I give nothing but plaudits to the boys. My only complaint has been with a lot of draws when we’ve dominated games only to lose sloppy late equalisers. With two or three more wins we could be sitting top.
“But when we started out this season we needed a bit more patience and a few more people with us.
“Everyone’s on board and it’s a club that’s galvanised. I’m really enjoying it.
“We’ve only lost about three games in the last 26 and the boys are in a good place although, of course, losing to Swindon was a blow. But we’re on course for promotion.
“I’m working for a very supportive owner, while my chief executive is a smart individual who is doing great things for the club.
“John Radford is without doubt an outrageously wealthy man and as bright as a button. He’s very sharp. He’s a Mansfield boy, born and brought up on a council estate and someone who came through some tough times.
“John’s worked so hard to achieve what he has. He’s told me about his tough times and sleepless nights to get to where he is.
“He found himself in a fortunate position to buy his local club. But he wasn’t just interested in going through the motions. He wanted the club to be successful.
“When he first phoned me about coming to Mansfield Town I have to confess, my immediate thought was I wouldn’t be going.
“But I felt I had to give the gentleman the courtesy and respect of going to meet him. I’m glad I did.
“As soon as I started listening to John my mind was made up. The rest is history.
“Mansfield’s a real working- class town, very proud people and supporters of the football club who are vociferous.
“Coming away from Leeds United, I felt I had to pick my next club carefully.
“I’d turned down some really good League One clubs because I wanted my next one to be about building something, to have genuine aspirations for success.
“I didn’t want it to be a stop-gap option or facing relegation fights. I wanted something positive.
“Mansfield Town stacked up for me after two or three days consideration.
“John has the wallet to back up what he wants to achieve.
“I never hear from him from one day to the next, unless we lose a match - which, thankfully, hasn’t been too often. But if we’ve lost then he messages me within minutes of full-time, just to tell me to stay focused and positive and to say he looks forward to a coffee with me during the week.
“For me that’s always a good chairman. You need them there when you don’t need them, if that makes sense.
“When does Brendan Rodgers need Peter Lawwell and Dermot Desmond? I’ll tell you when - when he’s lost to Kilmarnock.
“He doesn’t need them when Celtic have beaten Aberdeen 3-0 and it could have been five. He knows the team’s played well and the supporters are pleased.
“You need your board when it’s not been so good, you need honesty and integrity.
“I had that at Rotherham and I’ve now got it at Mansfield, that’s for sure.”
You need to go back over 40 years to find the Stags’ glory days - successive title triumphs in the Fourth and Third Divisions.
Evans’ current squad contains a number of familiar Scottish football names - Zander Diamond, Conrad Logan, loan striker Kane Hemmings, loan winger Adam King and former Scotland Under-21 kid Alex MacDonald.
Evans - the third Scottish manager in the club’s 121-year history after Charlie Bell and Dave Smith - added: “John said there were three things he wanted me to do. Save them from relegation, compete for promotion and if not this season, then next.
“The one thing I know, if we don’t go up this year we will do it next season. That’s for sure.”
SCOTS BOSS SEARCH Steve Evans has no doubts he could do the Scotland job - and believes Malky Mackay should be a candidate for the position
The Mansfield Town boss hopes he might one day be considered worthy of leading the national team
thescottishsun.co.uk, EXCLUSIVE, By Derek McGregor, 14th February 2018
STEVE EVANS would love to be considered Scotland boss material.
And the Mansfield Town manager has no doubts he could do the job.
It’s four months since Gordon Strachan was axed following two failed qualifying campaigns and the SFA have missed out on Michael O’Neill and Walter Smith.
Evans believes Hampden performance director Malky Mackay should be a candidate, but hopes he might one day be considered worthy of leading the national team.
He said: “I think there’s enough good players there and whoever goes in, we can do well.
“I think Gordon was beginning to get things right, putting the team on the right path.
“I was very surprised to see how quickly he was dismissed at the end of his contract.
“I think if we’d started the qualifying group as we finished we’d have made this summer’s World Cup.
“But now we’re looking for a new manager.
“Would I back myself for it? Yes, absolutely.
“Do I think there are better candidates? Yes, but there’s a select few.
“I don’t think we should go foreign. I think we had enough with Berti Vogts.
“We need someone to live and breathe it, to have the knowledge to pull the team together.
“I look at Malky Mackay, someone who was overwhelmingly successful with Cardiff City.
“From a football point of view, he did absolutely nothing wrong in England. The whole of the game felt for him after what he went through.
“I’m not overly friendly with Malky. I’m just looking at a man who is already in the building and who was phenomenally successful as a manager.”
Evans worked with former Scotland boss Craig Brown as a player at Clyde nearly 40 years ago.
The 55-year-old added: “I’ve got huge respect for Craig. Like Walter Smith, I don’t think someone of his standing in the game should be overlooked.
“I’m not saying he should be manager. But shouldn’t Craig, with his knowledge and contacts, not be involved in the recruitment process?”
Latest | February 2018