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Stags' boss set for Exeter test

16 December 2016

Stags’ boss Steve Evans is expecting a difficult match against an in-form Exeter City in Sky Bet League Two this weekend, but feels his side 'can exploit one or two things'.

The manager will travel with his squad to Devon early this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s match as Stags look to close the gap between themselves and the Sky Bet League Two top seven.

Stags sit in 13th position, four points from the final play-off spot. Exeter, meanwhile, are in 17th, three points behind Steve Evan's team.

And the boss is fully aware of the threats that the Grecians will pose, and also praised the club’s boss, Paul Tisdale, who is the longest-serving manager in the EFL.

“We’ll train this time before we go and we’ll be nice and relaxed on the journey on the way down and make sure we’re ready for a difficult game,” the manager said.

“Exeter have won their last couple of games but we’ve had a good look at them now and we feel as if we can exploit one or two things, but it’s going to be tough.

“I think he’s a successful guy (Paul Tisdale), I think he deals with a lot of the business side on behalf of the football club as well, and directly gets involved in that. So he probably deserves a knighthood from the people down at Exeter City! 

“It’s always a difficult place to go. Wherever I’ve been, I’ve had mixed results down there over the years. It’s a difficult place to go, supporters get behind the team that they love and it makes it a difficult fixture for us at an important time, leading up to the Christmas period.”

The former Leeds United manager revealed at Thursday night’s ‘Christmas with Steve Evans’ event at One Call Stadium that he had clinched a deal for two players, who will be unveiled once the January transfer window opens. 

However, he has praised his current crop of players for their hard work as the boss tries to implement a new style of play.

“They’ve come in every day and they’re trying to adapt to [a new] style of play and that takes a little bit of time. 

“I think Jurgen Klopp took four months and we’re trying to do it in four weeks. We’re trying to implement a style of play that sees you win league matches in a difficult league. 

“We’ve got some very, very good players here, this isn’t going to be a complete overhaul but I would say anyone who’s got a car – if you take two of the piston heads out and you take the gearbox out, you have a problem. But if you put good stuff in, then you expect better to come out.”

The Stags’ under 18s face Fulham this afternoon in the third round of the FA Youth Cup and the gaffer says it will be an experience that our youngsters can educate themselves from.

“What a terrific place for them to go and play their football. What a terrific place to go down to Fulham and I think I’m right in saying the game’s at the training ground but it’s a wonderful place, it really is. 

“It’s a Premier League training ground and the kids will learn from that, they’ll benefit from.

“I think the youth team staff have done a terrific job. I think they’ve assembled a group of young men that are very enthusiastic.”

Supporters will be able to view Steve Evans’ news conference on Stags PlayerHD later today. 

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