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Dominant Stags worthy of win - boss

5 August 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans believes his side's dominance in this afternoon's 2-2 draw away to Crewe Alexandra was deserving of all three points.

The new-look Stags' first competitive fixture ended in stalemate and they twice came behind after striker Danny Rose and defender David Mirfin cancelled out Crewe frontman Chris Porter's brace of headers.

Stags dominated for large spells in the game and while the boss was pleased with certain passages of play, he admits the performance should have yielded three points.

"I don't think there's any doubt we deserved to win it in the quality of play and the dominance of play. Crewe Alexandra scored twice against the run of play," the Stags' chief said.

"It's quite interesting, you hear some of the shouts from their bench and their players about going to a five at the back and they couldn't cope with the movement and the passing.

"I think we played really well in spells, but if you don't defend properly in your box, you're going to concede.

"It's a shame when the Crewe goals came because they came totally against dominance in play but that's when you're at your weakest, when you've got dominance of the ball.

"I don't think there's any doubt we deserved to win it in the quality of play and the dominance of play."

Steve Evans, manager

"We started really well, we were dominating the ball but we probably didn't have enough in the final third in terms of that movement or that little pass or that little control of the ball but when they scored just before half-time, I think it's a surprise to most in the ground."

The boss was pleased with the play in the lead up to both goals scored by his side this afternoon and saw some of his training ground work translate onto the pitch.

"We went across the pitch three or four times, into the striker, back out, it's a terrific cross in and Danny Rose gets across the defender and it's a great finish.

"The second goal, we've been working so hard with Joel Byrom but he's got fantastic delivery. We score from that one and we should probably score from two more later in the game but it's hard place to come, we take the point.

"We take no plaudits; we said we wanted a clean sheet, we've not achieved that objective. We said we wanted to be off and running with points and we've done that."

Stags' travelling support totalled 1,392 and the former Leeds United boss was gratefully surprised by the numbers in which the faithful travelled to Cheshire this afternoon.

"I came out the tunnel before kick-off and I was really surprised, but thank you to everyone. I think they've seen, when I first came into the club, I said I'd build a team that becomes a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions.

"We try to win. We were trying to win in the 96th minute of a game when we're pushing midfield players forward. We understand that there's going to be counter attacks against us, teams are just going to accept it."

When asked about potential new signings, the gaffer said chairman John Radford and chief executive officer Carolyn Radford are still working hard behind the scenes.

"I've not caught up with the chief exec and the chairman – they're working hard. We'll be doing some business whether it takes to the end of the window, but we're going to try and strengthen. What I'm not going to do, I'm not going to go and sign players for the sake of them, that's not me."

Supporters will be able to watch the gaffer's full interview on iFollow Stags later this evening.

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