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Gaffer hails subs' impact in Morecambe win

23 December 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans lauded the positive effects of his substitutes after an injection of energy catapulted Mansfield Town to a 2-1 victory against Morecambe at One Call Stadium this afternoon.

Frontman Kane Hemmings marked his return from injury with a well-taken first half finish to put Stags ahead in the first half, before Morecambe striker Callum Lang equalised for the Shrimps six minutes into the second period.

The gaffer then introduced midfielder Jacob Mellis, forward Paul Anderson and midfielder Will Atkinson as Stags went in search of a winner, and it was Anderson who provided a pinpoint cross for top scorer Danny Rose to head home the winner in the 88th minute.

And speaking post-match, the gaffer lauded the positive influence of the trio as Stags moved to within a point of the play-off places.

"I thought the substitutions had a real good impact. Will had one sloppy pass, other than that I thought he was great," the Stags' chief said.

"We made the subs, it changed the game positively for us. We had our best 20 minutes of the game, we got the goal and then it's always because the goal comes late, you're going to have to see it out resiliently.

"[It was] brilliant play by Paul Anderson for the goal and I wouldn't wish anyone else, outside the likes of Chris Wood and people like that, on the end of the cross; Danny does what Danny does.

"Paul Anderson's movement gives the defender a problem; he doesn't know whether to twist or stick, if it's a card game. He decided to stick so Paul got the opportunity to pinpoint a cross.

"If you give him time and space, it's why we love him, he's capable of doing it and to be honest, from the moment it left his foot, as a manager, like the supporters, you see the whole picture and you see Danny Rose coming up at the back post, I had no doubts he'd score."

After scoring what turned out to be the winner, Stags had to defend resolutely as Morecambe threw bodies forward in search of an equaliser and the gaffer was pleased with his side's resilience to hold onto their lead.

"All victories are important. I said to the players before the game in the team meeting that this festive period starts the reality of how the league then takes shape. We've won one game; we've got three follow-up games in very quick succession, so we'll be back on the training ground tomorrow.

"We'll recover some that have gone to the end for us today, who had to go to the end against a [strong] Morecambe team.

"When you talk about character and passion and players that want to perform for the cause, and it is a cause, then they did that with great pride."

Steve Evans, manager

"We've had to put our bodies on the line; you talk about bravery, you talk about resilience, you talk about spirit, our teams have always had it. We had it today.

"When you talk about character and passion and players that want to perform for the cause, and it is a cause, then they did that with great pride. They deserve to sit down tonight and just be pleased with how hard they've worked today."

Stags are next in action on Boxing Day when they face Grimsby Town at Blundell Park and the former Leeds United manager will make the decision as to whether his squad will train on Christmas Day tomorrow.

"We know this is a big period so we'll look positively on it. We're a family club led by a great family here, that's a fact.

"Our chairman said to me when he popped in yesterday – well, he flew in yesterday – and he said to me: 'look kindly on Christmas Day for them, because football's massively important to all of us but really what's important is family'.

"They're in great form. We go to Grimsby, we'll freshen the side up completely and we'll try and get a win."

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's post-match interview in full.


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