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Stags' boss hails 'excellent' away performance

22 April 2017

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans credited his players' work ethic after a determined 1-0 win at play-off rivals Stevenage.

Striker Danny Rose rifled a shot home in the final minute of the first half to help push Steve Evans' men closer to the play-off pack.

Stags are now in 8th position in Sky Bet League Two, a point and a place behind Stevenage, who occupy the final play-off position.

The amber and blue have two games to play in an enthralling end of season race for a top seven finish.

Mansfield had to weather an early storm after Stevenage flew out of the start blocks. But the amber and blue grew in strength as the match progressed to seal a deserved win.

Speaking at the Lamex Stadium post-match, the manager said: "We knew they [Stevenage] would 'have a go' in the first 15 [minutes]. But I said to the players 'if we are 0-0 at 20 minutes we'll win the game, we just need to be ready to stand up to the battle'.

"It's another excellent away performance today. We take no gloating here; we've beaten a good side away from home, like we did at Wycombe and if these performances continue then we'll pop in there [to the play-offs] in the next two [games]."

The gaffer believed his side could have won by a greater margin, after creating a string of goalscoring opportunities..

"The pleasing thing is, in the second half for large periods we should have got a second goal, third goal or fourth goal because we've had one-on-ones. Danny Rose goes through, Macca [Alex MacDonald] goes through, Ben [Whiteman] has a good chance from the edge of the box. 

"I think if it goes to two [goals] then the game is very comfortably seen through then but you always know that when you don't take those chances in any game in any league then the home team has good players and they will make you work hard, especially with seven minutes added [of additional time]."

Channelling praise to his charges for the performance, Steve said: "The players deserve enormous credit. It's a good win, it's a hard working win.

"I said to the players before the game 'give our supporters the opportunity to see a very busy One Call Stadium next Saturday [at home to Portsmouth]. and the people of Mansfield need to turn out now don't they? Our chairman encourages people to come through the doors as often as he can and so does the chief executive. They will see what the Town thinks of [us] putting together a promotion challenge.

"All we are trying to do is get in those play-offs. I've said many a time 'if we get in the play-offs, I think we'll win the play-offs' but you can't talk about winning them if you're not in them and we're not in them, we've not been in them for a long time.

"So we need to work hard next week and see if can pop in [the play-offs] next week. People will look after themselves and we will look after ourselves, that's the nature of football."

Briefly looking ahead to next Saturday's mammoth home clash against Pompey, the manager added: "We know Portsmouth are one of the best teams in the league, they've already been promoted but we've been playing all the top teams so we'll be mentally and physically ready for it."

Stags PlayerHD subscribers can view the manager's interview in full later this evening.

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