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6th November 2020 17:23

We deserved to win - caretaker boss
mansfieldtown.net, Tuesday 3rd November 2020

Caretaker boss Richard Cooper was left with mixed emotions after the Stags left the University of Bolton Stadium without a ‘deserved’ three points.

Midfielder George Lapslie headed Mansfield into the lead in the second-half, but despite the Stags being well on top for a large portion of the game, they left Greater Manchester with just a point after Antoni Sarcevic’s late equaliser.

Cooper says that he was ‘proud’ of how Mansfield conducted themselves in the match.

“I think we deserved the three points,” he told iFollow Stags. “We really got about them in the second-half and created chances.

“We asked the players to be brave on the ball and they did that. There was just a moment where a gap became too big and unfortunately we’ve been punished for it.

“We played some good stuff. There was an overload in midfield and we coped with that. Second-half, I was really proud of that performance.


“I’m pleased [with the performance], but obviously disappointed that we didn’t get that win. I was certainly proud of the second-half.”

Reflecting on Bolton’s late equaliser, the stand-in manager added: “I have seen it [Bolton goal] back - I think the gap [between the defence] has got too big, rather than someone losing a man.

“I’m not going to stand here and point fingers at players. We came here as a team and we’ll leave as one.

“We can have a look at it on the training field and try to put it right. I’m just gutted that we didn’t get that win.

“It probably is a concentration thing and a positional problem in that moment. If we see that out, we go on to win the game.

“I’m just gutted for the lads because they have given me and the staff absolutely everything in these last few days.”

Cooper also looked back on the last week, which has seen him steady the ship in charge of the Stags.

“All you can do is try to lift and support the lads. All of the staff have been a constant support for the lads to try and make them believe in themselves.

“I was really proud of the second-half because we put a marker down in the game and I thought it was outstanding.

“It would have been nice to get the win, but hopefully we’ve instilled some belief in the players.

“I saw it as my responsibility to step up when the chairman [John Radford] and David [Sharpe] asked me to [take caretaker charge].

“I’m proud of the work we’ve tried to do, but deep down, I wanted to win a game of football.

“Hopefully [I leave] a group that believes in itself and has belief in everything they do. Those moments [late goal], they have to learn from.

“If that gets improved, we hopefully go and get out first win for the football club. And there is no one that wants to see that more than me.”

iFollow Stags subscribers can watch Richard Cooper’s interview in full by logging into mansfieldtown.net/ifollow later today.


Bolton Wanderers 1 Mansfield Town 1 - Ian Evatt's match reaction
By Marc Iles, theboltonnews.co.uk

IAN Evatt admits his captain Antoni Sarcevic is one of three players “carrying” Wanderers right now.

The midfielder got Bolton out of jail with a 90th minute equaliser against Mansfield Town but the point was not one Evatt was going to write home about.

Disappointed with the second half display, the head coach urged the rest of the squad to raise their game to match the few who were matching his high standards.

“First half we played well, we were fluid at times but probably didn’t create enough,” he said. “We had a half-fit centre forward and were struggling for striker options so we tried to dominate the middle of the pitch.


“Sarce had a great shot, great save, Ali Crawford had a couple of opportunities we didn’t take, but other than that there was nothing in the game.

“Second half we didn’t get out of the blocks at all and got outrun in midfield, physically, and that’s why we made the changes.

“When we conceded the goal we started to play with an intensity and tempo again. It seems like we have to go behind before we show the right intensity again.

“There are two or three who have been outstanding of late and they are carrying most of the team. We all know who they are - Ricardo Santos, Antoni Sarcevic and Ryan Delaney - they have been outstanding, game on game. And I feel for them because some of the others are letting them down.

“We have to keep improving but those messages have to come from inside the dressing. They have to start getting angry with each other and wanting more.

“We are demanding as coaching staff, of course, but sometimes you need to hear it from one of your team-mates.

“The pleasing thing is we kept going and we got a great goal with a great pass.

“We’re getting bodies back and we’re massively short at the top end of the pitch, particularly carrying niggles and knocks.

“Eoin Doyle isn’t far away, Shaun Miller got minutes which will do him the world of good, Lloyd Isgrove is back but they are nowhere near match fit. We need them back and ready so we have got some firepower at the top end of the pitch.”


Post-Match: Evatt on Bolton's Draw with Mansfield Town
burndenaces.co.uk, November 03 2020, by Chris Mann

Ian Evatt insists he will turn the tide at Bolton, despite seeing his side drop to 20th in League Two after a late draw against Mansfield Town.

Antoni Sarcevic scored a late equaliser for the third time in his last five games as Wanderers rescued a 1-1 draw against the Stags, who had gone into the game winless in league competition and without a manager following the dismissal of Graham Coughlan.

Speaking after the game, Evatt admitted he was frustrated by another 'inconsistent' display but retained belief that things will improve as his squad of new players continue to gel.

"I thought we controlled it in the first-half but obviously we're lacking a bit of firepower due to injuries," Evatt told OfficialBWFC on YouTube.


"People are playing half-fit. Nathan (Delfouneso) put his hand up and came and put a shift in for us because we're light on numbers.

"We had control. We forced a good save from Sarce (Antoni Sarcevic), Ali (Crawford) had a couple of well-worked opportunities but didn't take them.

"There wasn't a lot in the game but second-half we didn't start well at all. We were on the back foot and I thought we got overrun a bit in midfield physically.

"Then we conceded a goal from a corner so we made a change to try and get another body up the pitch.

"To be fair to the lads, they kept going which was pleasing. We didn't get beat, which is a positive, but we still need to be playing better than that.

"It's disappointing. We can look at excuses like people being out injured or being half-fit, but it's the same for every team. We have to be better as a group, collectively.

"After Saturday we wanted a reaction. Did we get one first-half? Probably but second-half, not so much. It's that inconsistency again but we'll keep going.

"There were some excellent performances. I think Sarce was great, Rico (Ricardo Santos) was magnificent and Ryan Delaney has really stood up in recent weeks. If the rest of them can have their drive and determination we'll be okay.

"We've got to figure it out and get together quickly, keep working hard on the training pitch and hopefully it will change sooner rather than later.

"It's always disppointing when we don't win because I want to win. This club deserves to win football matches because it's been through some rough times.

"We've now got an ownership group who have taken this club on and want it to be a success again, but they want it to be sustainable and not have any issues like we've had in the past.

"We've hit the reset button, we've got 22 new players.

"We all wanted to be favourites for the league - me more than anyone - and you have to believe that because there's no point entering anything unless you believe you are going to be the best.

"Are we the best at the minute? No. We're very much a work in progress. It is going to take time but we will get it right."


instagram Kellan Gordon @kellan25

Frustrating not to take 3 points last night, but a positive performance now onto Sat

instagram georgelapslie

Enjoyable first few weeks with Mansfield, we go again

Steve Hymas facebook
Richard Cooper and the academy staff have done us proud .A much better all round performance .shame we couldn’t make it 3 points but it gives us some belief .The trip home was a much better feeling .
James perch at centre back has been a master stroke showing his qualities as a player.
Now the week moves on into lockdown with our young footballers laid up for a month.A big setback for everyone after so much hard work .let’s hope it just the 4 weeks (fingers crossed emoji).
And now the wait to see who the new manager might be ??
Let’s see if he can keep coops unbeaten run going ;-)
Never a dull moment .
The life of a Stag