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Gaffer lauds prospective new training facility

6 April 2017


Gaffer lauds prospective new training facility

6 April 2017

After planning permission was granted earlier this week, Stags’ boss Steve Evans has dubbed the club’s prospective new training facility as ‘wonderful’ for the town of Mansfield.

The multi-purpose sports facility will include three full-sized grass pitches, a mini-pitch and a full 3G floodlit pitch, in addition to eight dressing rooms and a main pavilion. 

And the gaffer believes the new facility will be a huge boost to the town, and also praised owner John Radford and chief executive Carolyn Radford for their generosity in funding the project. 

“I don’t think people in the town realise how important that decision is. First and foremost, thank you for the council for passing it," the manager said.

“It’s wonderful for the football club. The football club is such a major part of the community of Mansfield and such a major part of the town. 

“For our kids and our futures, it’s a facility that they’ll have many hours of pleasure at and let’s hope it produces one or two Stags’ youngsters or Mansfield, as a town, youngsters, that might end up playing in the Premier League.

“You need someone to pay for it. We’re very fortunate that we’ve got John and Carolyn Radford. They can afford to say ‘we want to build something and we’re going to pay for it’. 

“I know there’s some supportive grants and some initiatives to help with that, but the principal funding comes from two people. 

“[They’re] a wealthy family but it has to be said a very generous family. They’re not only generous to this football club – I spend a lot of time with them, I’m absolutely flabbergasted with what they give to charity.”

Shifting focus to Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two clash away at Doncaster Rovers, the manager is among to spoil a potential promotion party at the Keepmoat Stadium.

Rovers will be promoted if they win on Saturday, regardless of results elsewhere in the division and if they draw, they will be promoted if fourth placed Stevenage fail to win. A defeat for the league leaders could also see them promoted, but both Stevenage and fifth-placed Luton Town would also need to lose.

“We have a way that we need to play on Saturday to win the game. It’s going to be tough for us, we don’t kid ourselves. They’ll have lots of the ball so we need to make the most of our opportunities when we’ve got the ball. 

“We need to, first and foremost, defend properly when we’re out of possession, and when we‘re in possession, we’ve dominated most if not every game since the turn of the year. 

“We’ve not always had the results that the performances deserve but we now need to go and put in another one of those decent performances and hope in the end of that comes the result that merits those efforts.

“It’s a great game for us to be involved in. We know that the prize for us is to stay in contention for the play-offs, and the prize for Doncaster Rovers is to be promoted to League One.”

The gaffer says he will assess his squad today and tomorrow and is hopeful of having right-back Hayden White and striker Yoann Arquin available for selection after their respective hamstring and groin injuries. 

“We’ll look at all the lads today and tomorrow. We’ve got different options, we’ve got different permutations. Yoann will be back in the group, we’ll look at Hayden and we’ll see where we go. 

“I think the first thing to be said is for 55-60 minutes on Saturday, George Taft was exceptional, I think he was outstanding in spells. 

“When you’re 6ft 4in/6ft 5in, and you’ve not played for a while, it takes its toll when you get into the heat of the battle. 

“Tafty’s very much in our thoughts, but so is Kyle [Howkins]. Kyle came on and did well, I’ve got no problem if Rhys goes back in and plays central defensively, he’s played every minute. 

“If Hayden comes back in at full-back, it gives us a more natural look but we’ll have a look at Hayden and probably Hayden being fit will make us decide what we’re going to do.”

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

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