Mansfield Town are targeting a minimum of four points from their next two matches in a crucial Easter period, manager Steve Evans said today.
Despite slipping to a 1-0 defeat away to promotion-winning Doncaster Rovers on Saturday, Stags still remain just four points off the Sky Bet League Two top seven after other clubs failed to capitalise.
And speaking ahead of our upcoming double header away to Wycombe on Good Friday, followed by Luton at home on Easter Monday, the manager said: “We’re still very much alive and kicking but if we don’t take four from six over the Easter weekend, we’ll not be kicking anymore.
"We’ll still be alive, hopefully, with God’s permission, but we have to take four from six," the Stags' chief said.
“I think we have to take four wins [from our remaining five games]. We’d much prefer to get three on Good Friday and that gives us an opportunity to make it six on Monday.
“We have to take four out of six over Easter weekend, for me, given who we then go to play and who plays us - we go to Stevenage thereafter - if we take four from six it’s game on at Stevenage.
“By Monday, you can be right in the situation and you can be right out of it. If we get six out of six, we’ll be right in it, don’t worry about that. We’ve got five matches left and we have to go and acquit ourselves in every one of them.”
The former Leeds United boss praised the superb away following of 2,010 Stags’ fans at the Keepmoat Stadium on Saturday and is looking forward to a ‘big game’ against Wycombe on Friday.
“I don’t think many people expected us to go to Doncaster and win or get anything, apart from a magnificent Stags’ following, it has to be said, a magnificent following.
“We’re four points off it with five games to go, we know what we have to achieve to get in the play-offs.
“They’re (Wycombe) a good side and we’ll be playing against a good side with a highly intelligent manager (Gareth Ainsworth).
“They’ve got good players. They’ve been in and around the play-offs all season. They’ve stuttered a little bit in recent times but they’re capable of getting into the play-offs, as we are, but it’s a big game for both clubs.”
The manager provided an update on right-back Hayden White, who has missed the last two games with a hamstring injury, whilst also revealing that goalkeeper Scott Shearer is unlikely to feature again this season.
“He (White) had no chance when we looked on Friday. He might have a chance for Friday or Monday, that’s down to the medical team.
“There’s no point me telling anyone here when those boys are going to be fit when I’ve not really got my head round talking to the physiotherapist this morning because if I’m doing his job then I’m not doing my own.
“If you said to me that he was going to be 100 percent post-Easter and we got four out of six and he’ll be ready for Stevenage, which he will be, then we’d grab that too.
“Scott’s probably unlikely to figure at any stage this season. He’s just got different ailments; he’s got injections in knees and elbows and different things. It comes to people who get to that age and it makes it more difficult. If we have to call on him, the big man will be there, of course, but we also remind people that people have a welfare.”
Supporters can login to Stags PlayerHD to view the manager’s news conference, in full.