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Boss devotes Bees win to fans and owner

4 February 2017

Stags’ boss Steve Evans has dedicated today’s 2-0 victory over Barnet to the club’s fans and hierarchy as his side stretched their unbeaten run to seven games.

Midfielder Ben Whiteman opened the scoring for the Stags with a cool first half finish, before striker Shaq Coulthirst won and scored a second half penalty, ensuring Stags moved to within two points of the play-off places.

And speaking post-match, the manager devoted the victory over the Bees to the excellent travelling support of 391 fans, as well as the chairman and chief executive following a successful transfer window which has seen eight players leave One Call Stadium and eight join the club. 

“That win today is for the travelling Stags’ supporters and to our chairman and chief executive (John and Carolyn Radford), who have been absolutely to a toe with us," the Stags' boss said.

“They live and breathe it and perhaps the Stags’ fans don’t always see that because of the wealth of the people, but they live and breathe it and I can’t spend enough time talking to them because they’re infectious too.

“I came in here and all I said was we’ll be stronger when we come out of the transfer window than when we inherited it and I think there’s no doubt we are. 

“It’s a long way to come, I’ll never, ever forget financially how tough it is and it was wonderful to see how many kids that were here today with the Mansfield shirts on as well because it means there’s a future generation of Stags’ fans.”

After seeing his well-organised side claim their fifth clean sheet in their last six league fixtures, the gaffer says the hard work on the training ground stands them in good stead to succeed when it comes to competitive fixtures. 

“We don’t just turn up and take a chance – these boys are drilled day-in-day-out to work hard. 

“I said to them: in the last ten minutes, we probably gave the opposition a couple of half-chances today to get back in the game and that’s not been like us in recent weeks. 

“We get on the training ground every day and we demand a lot from the players in the week.  

“We tell them they have their time when they come in and they’re having their rubs and their breakfast and that sort of stuff, but we have our time on the training ground and they have to listen and they have to learn.”

Deadline Day signings Alfie Potter and Alex MacDonald made cameo appearances towards the end of today’s victory and the Stags’ boss says the duo will work hard to improve their match fitness of the next few weeks. 

“The boys have been left out of it for the best part of five or six weeks at their previous clubs and sometimes, mentally as well as physically, it takes you down a notch. 

“That lies at the hands of Lee Taylor (fitness and rehabilitation coach) and Dan Kett (head physiotherapist), this is a team. It’s not just about the manager, this is a team of staff and they’ve got their programmes and the boys will be working really hard over the next two or three weeks.

“What I do know is when we get to the business side of the season, which is towards the end of February and into March and April, then both of these lads will be magnificent signings for us because the two of them are top, top players.”

Supporters will be able to view Steve Evans' post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD later this evening.

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