Stags' boss Steve Evans says he is excited to share his thoughts and tell some stories at ‘An Evening with Steve Evans’ which will take place later this month.
The manager will take to the stage in the 1861 Suite at One Call Stadium on Monday 20 February (7.30pm start) for the exclusive Q&A evening, which is free to attend for all supporters.
And the Stags’ chief says he relishes opportunities to share opinions with the club’s fans and is looking forward to meeting some of the Stags’ faithful.
“The precious people to all of us are the supporters, they’re the lifeblood of any club. It’s good to go along and have a beer or two and share an evening with them and a few stories and open up on a few things.
“That will include the direction of the team; they’ll want to know the direction of the team and the players etc. It’s an evening we look forward to, we can’t give enough back to the supporters.
“I’ve done a number of community visits recently with Mark Stevenson [head of media and communications] to hospitals and, dare I say it, to meet some of the elderly and things like that, and the ill.
“We keep doing our bit and if we give a fraction of our time, and that’s in reality what we give, then it means so much to people and we want to be part of that.
“I think wherever I’ve been – Crawley, Rotherham, Leeds – I’ve always made it clear that I want to speak to supporters. I want to get opinions, some are not always complimentary, but you want to get opinions. You want to be part of a city and part of a town and you want to live and breathe it.”
As the season moves into its final third, the gaffer says now is the time to remain calm under pressure as teams look to sustain their promotion challenge.
“We’ve got a good dressing room, that’s absolutely paramount in any stage of the season but more importantly as you get in to February and March. This is the business end of the season and probably two or three weeks down the line it’ll be ‘squeaky bum time’.
“I know at first hand that some of the people in the shake-up at the minute don’t handle squeaky bum time well, they go to pieces and do different things.
“My job is to make sure that we can handle it, as a group, not as individuals because it’s always about the group and fortunately, we’ve got some big characters in that dressing room. [We’ve got] probably seven or eight big characters that will ensure that happens.”
The boss named a very strong bench for Saturday’s victory over Barnet and the former Leeds United manager says the competition for places enhances the players’ performances.
“You look over [at the bench] and you just seen an array of talent. You see the likes of Matt Green sitting there, Yoann Arquin sitting there, [James] Baxendale sitting there, [Alfie] Potter sitting there, [Alex] MacDonald sitting there, [Scott] Shearer sitting there.
“It really is a fight for your shirts and if you can get that in your dressing room and you can get intensity in your play and a real focus, then it normally, at the level we’re at, produces a winning team.”
Defenders George Taft and Kyle Howkins are this week stepping up their training regimes following their respective injuries and the boss hopes to have them both in contention for a place in the matchday squad in the next couple of weeks.
“Young Howkins will play in a game this week, so he’s a bit further forward than George. George will really be back and up to full speed next Monday; he’s back in the group today for quite a bit of it but he’ll need a week of intense training before he goes right into the group.
“I just want competition to be in the team and competition to be on the bench.
“Kyle will play a game for West Brom, for the [under 23s]. And the reason I’ve chosen that – I had the choice from Tony Pulis to do either [that or our under 21s vs Hartlepool], but the reason I’ve chosen that one is because he’s going to play against a better opposition than Hartlepool reserves, it’s as simple as that.”
Supporters can log in to Stags PlayerHD to view the manager’s news conference, in full.