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Stags' boss commends players' perseverance

22 November 2016

Stags’ boss Steve Evans praised his charges for fighting until the dying moments after a last-gasp winner saw Stags seal a dramatic 1-0 win at home to Blackpool.

Striker Rose climbed off the bench to score the stoppage time decider after a tightly-fought 90 minutes at One Call Stadium. 

And the new manager, who recorded his second win in as many games as Stags’ chief this evening, highlighted his players' dogged approach as well as the support from the Stags' faithful.

“The wonderful thing is they [the players] have gone right to the end tonight, but what a fantastic support [from the fans]," said Evans.

“Stags’ fans deserve enormous credit and I’m just pleased we’ve had a couple of wins because we know each and every one of them is really hard to get. 

“They’ve (the players) got every incentive to go to the end and they might have been a touch under 3,000 here tonight but it felt like 20,000 when the goal went in – that’s how noisy it was. 

“I’ve been fortunate to manage clubs that have got more than that and because you’re up against them, you hear the noise and whether you’re a Mansfield Town supporter, or Leeds United, [or] Glasgow Celtic like I am, there’s nothing better than your team winning in the last minute. When you walk out and you don’t walk home, you fly home – you use your arms instead of your legs.”

Tonight’s victory brought Blackpool’s six-match unbeaten run to an end and Evans singled out centre-halves Rhys Bennett and Krystian Pearce, as well as goalkeeper Scott Shearer, for praise for their solid performances. 

“The boy [Jamille] Matt (Blackpool striker), I’ve tried to take him a couple of times from the non-league in to the league and he’s a real presence but I challenged Beno and I challenged Pearcey – we know we’re a little bit light [in defence] and there’s players out but we focus on the players we’ve got and I asked them just not to be intimidated, not to be bullied and stand strong. I thought the two centre-backs and the goalkeeper were outstanding. 

“You have to be big and strong, that’s how Gary [Bowyer, Blackpool manager] shapes them up and he does a wonderful job. We’ve got a little bit of good fortune at the end but I’m obviously delighted with the young man who gets the goal because he’s had a difficult time here and our job is to embrace everyone and give them all a chance.”

Supporters can now watch Steve Evans’ post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD. 

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