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Boss expects tough test against Stanley

17 August 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans says his side will have to 'earn the right to play' in Saturday's Sky Bet League Two fixture away to Accrington Stanley.

We travel to Lancashire this Saturday (19 August, 3.00pm kick-off) to face John Coleman's Stanley, who have won one and lost one of their opening two league fixtures.

And the gaffer is under no illusions as to how tough Saturday's match will be.

"It'll be a different type of game on Saturday. We have to once again earn the right to play because if you go to Accrington under John Coleman's guise and you don't earn the right to play, it makes it a long day for you," the Stags' chief said.

"We're under no illusions as to how tough it's going to be.

"We need to go to Accrington and we need to try and win the game, we need to compete to win the game. If we do that and if we work as hard as Accrington, with the players we'll travel up with, we'll have a chance.

"They're very strong. I've said before, on record, that they've got an excellent management team and they've picked up players, like John does, really wisely and that's why they'll be contenders.

"We'll take all the players up, like we did at Crewe. I know my team now; I'm just debating on one or two positions on the bench, but I know my starting eleven for Accrington, I knew that on Sunday."

"I know my team now; I'm just debating on one or two positions on the bench, but I know my starting eleven for Accrington, I knew that on Sunday."

Steve Evans, manager

Stags competed in a behind-closed-doors game against Peterborough United on Tuesday afternoon and the former Leeds United boss says that the game-time was 'massively important' for certain members of his squad.

"We had a couple of great opportunities, the goalkeeper made a couple of good saves, as did Bobby [Olejnik].

"We had a penalty which doesn't get given and I think even Barry Fry was having a good old chuckle about it with Grant [McCann]! It was a good exercise, some players got 90 minutes.

"The likes of [Jimmy] Spencer, [Jacob] Mellis and people like that got 90 minutes. It was massively important that we got that into them."

Winger Alex MacDonald played against Posh on Tuesday afternoon and the gaffer has revealed that the former Oxford United winger will make the trip to Accrington this weekend, whilst fellow wingman Alfie Potter has picked up a slight calf strain.

"Alex trained this morning but it was a bit light – for all the lads that played at Peterborough, it was a bit lighter, but he'll train properly tomorrow. He'll be on the coach going up to Accrington. We'll see how he trains tomorrow.

"We've got a little concern with Alfie Potter, who's just strained a little bit of a calf, but we think he'll be fit. We could be going up to Accrington with a full squad and that's what you want as a manager."

The manager is still working hard to add two more players to his squad, but insists he won't sign players for the sake of it.

"We know who we want and we're working hard to do it. When there's anything to tell the supporters, we'll tell them.

"We're hopeful of getting one in each position in (midfielder and striker), there's nothing imminent, nothing will happen today.

"We're not going to sign players for the sake of signing them, that would be the wrong answer. The right answer is to find the right player and believe it.

"All I would say to our supporters is: don't believe everything you read and everything you hear because 95 percent of the names linked with us, we wouldn't bring here."

Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's full news conference later today.


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