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Gaffer focussed ahead of Stevenage clash

20 April 2017

Boss Steve Evans has stressed the importance of keeping all of the Stags’ focus on themselves ahead of this Saturday’s big Sky Bet League Two clash with Stevenage.

Stags make the trip to The Lamex Stadium with the aim of closing their two-point gap to the play-off positions as the season nears its conclusion. 

And the gaffer has insisted that at this stage of the season, it is important to not worry about the opposition, and instead focus on what his own side can affect. 

“We’re solely focussed on ourselves, solely focussed on the group here [with] total positivity,” the gaffer said. 

“We believe we can go there and get a positive result but at the same time, I have real respect for the opposition players - there’s a good squad assembled there. 

“With three games to go, you have to look after yourselves and you have to look after your results. 

“I just want to look at us and I want to make sure our sole focus is getting enough from individuals and the team collectively to get a positive result down at Stevenage. 

“Our sole focus is inside; we’re not looking at officials, we’re not looking at Stevenage, we’re not looking up the table, down the table, and the only important thing will be result and the league table at five o’clock.”

After playing two games in the space of four days over the Easter weekend, the gaffer has said the players have recovered properly and are fresh ahead of Saturday’s fixture. 

“We’ve made sure the training loads this week have allowed the players to turn up at three o’clock on Saturday and have lots of energy. 

“They’re a fit group anyway, we’ve got lots of energy. It often doesn’t look like that when you’re protecting a lead and you’re playing the better teams.

“The boys have come in and the spirit’s good. I just spoke to the skipper there and he said the dressing room is buzzing, it’s bouncing. These boys never thought they were going to be involved with three games to go, fighting for promotion.

“We have to focus on ourselves and we’ll put players and a team out there and maybe freshen it up in two or three positions, but other than that, the boys are all champing at the bit to play.”

The former Leeds United boss hopes to see a large Stags’ following in Hertfordshire on Saturday as his side fight for a play-off spot. 

“The message to the fans is: Stevenage isn’t that far away. It's a couple of hours down the road and I know now, we’ll take a good support. 

“I want to give them another day like we gave them down at Wycombe, another day like we gave them up at Morecambe, where we can go there and work ever so hard. 

“We need their support and let’s go and get a positive result and then get seven or eight thousand here for Portsmouth.”

Supporters can login to Stags PlayerHD to view the manager’s full news conference. 

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