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Manager given go-ahead for new signings

5 December 2016

New Stags’ boss Steve Evans has revealed that he’s been given the green light to bolster his squad in January following a positive meeting with the chairman and chief executive on Friday evening.

The manager told on Friday that he had a meeting with John and Carolyn Radford to discuss potential transfer targets and, speaking to the local press this afternoon, he revealed the success of that meeting whilst again reiterating the challenge to his current crop of players to prove their value to the club in the coming weeks.

Our boss will now continue his hard work over the next couple of weeks before presenting an in-depth report on potential targets to the board as the club prepares bids to bring players to One Call Stadium. 

“I had a fantastic, that’s the only way I can describe it, a fantastic meeting with the chairman and the chief executive about opportunities to what we’re going to do in January,” the manager said.

“That went as well as what it could have possibly done so the chairman and the chief executive are now really waiting for me to present some details, which will be a couple of weeks away because we’re still just making sure that we have to get January right, as all clubs dream to do. 

“The chairman’s made it clear that there [are] resources available but they’re not unlimited. It’s almost like the old slipper approach with me, from the chairman’s point of view, when I walk in the door I have to present the case that makes it easy for him to say yes. But at the same time, I have to make sure that we’re definitely aiming to be stronger on the pitch, otherwise we shouldn’t be bringing these lads in.”

The new boss has used just 15 players in his first three games as manager and says tomorrow’s Checkatrade Trophy clash against Carlisle United is a good opportunity for the players who haven’t been involved thus far to display their quality. 

“We will be making changes. Of course we’re very respectful of the rules and laws associated with the competition and we won’t be giving the football club a fine. 

“We’ll be ready to play at Carlisle and [it’s] a wonderful opportunity for five or six lads to show they should be in the team that have perhaps not had a lot of football.

“No-one has to leave [in the transfer window]; the chairman or the chief executive have not turned around and said to me that anyone has to leave but of course there will be recommendations – as much as there is about bringing [players] in, there’ll be recommendations that people go. 

“Let me absolutely clear to all Stags’ fans – no-one will go that I can see playing a part, no-one.”

Stags were without a number of players for their last competitive match against the Cumbrians ten days ago and the boss is only expecting midfielder Kevan Hurst to play a part in tomorrow's game from the group of players who weren’t involved last time out. 

“He’s not fully-fit in terms of match fitness, but he’s certainly fully fit in terms of his injury. Kevan’s a wonderful talent but we have to make sure he’s up to speed.

“Probably a lot of Stags’ fans will be wondering why we didn’t introduce him back at Carlisle on the day we lost when it was 4-1 and 4-2. 

"We only had Kevan in training for two days, it wouldn’t be appropriate to put him in on a really cold, damp day having sat about for an hour and a half and perhaps take a risk with a hamstring.”

Striker Darius Henderson is nearing full-fitness after his calf injury however defenders George Taft and Corbin Shires remain long-term absentees with their respective hamstring and knee injuries. 

Centre-half Kyle Howkins is expected to return to training next Monday, new boss Steve Evans revealed earlier today.

“He’s been back for a few days at West Brom getting some treatment but we’ll hopefully have Kyle on the ground next Monday.

“He’s a nice young man as well and that’s important and I have to say this appropriately but I’m very, very good friends with Tony Pulis. Tony Pulis has lots of good things to say about the kid; I’ve not seen much of him but believe me, [it's a positive thing] if Tony Pulis says good things about a centre-back, and he’s famous for signing some of the best."

Supporters will be able to view Steve Evans’ news conference, in full, on Stags PlayerHD later this evening. 

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