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Boss won't let standards slip after Stanley draw

14 February 2017

Stags’ boss Steve Evans says tonight’s incredible 4-4 draw at home to Accrington Stanley should act as a wake-up call for some of his players.

Accrington scored three goals in the first half to take a 3-2 lead into the interval after goals late in the half from defenders Rhys Bennett and Hayden White had reduced the arrears. 

Penalties from Stags’ frontman Shaq Coulthirst and Accrington striker Billy Kee further enhanced the scoreline in the second half, before forward Yoann Arquin climbed off the bench to rescue a point for the Stags with a stunning volley. 

And the boss was clearly disappointed with his side’s defending in tonight’s draw, and said that it should act as a wake-up call for some of his players. 

“You can't always see it when you score four goals at home but defensively, [we were poor],” the Stags’ chief said.

“Why we've taken a point tonight when there's three at the door, I don't know. We've taken lots of plaudits, and I've just said to them in the dressing room, take lots of plaudits but you can't go out and have days like that.

“If you score four goals, you should win the game anywhere in the country, home or away. But if you defend like that, you deserve to concede 20.

“We've huffed and puffed and we've lacked a lot of quality tonight so there's a lot of wake up calls for the dressing room.”

The former Leeds United manager says it’s now important for his side to work hard on the training ground ahead of Saturday’s game away to Grimsby Town. 

“We go back on the training ground and we work hard; we won't go too high or too low. 

“They'll have a rest tomorrow and come back in on Thursday and get ready for Grimsby, but we need to be back on our front-foot defensively. 

“We were 4-3 down [after conceding] four bad goals from terrible defending, and we go again and get the 4-4 and we're unlucky not to win. So we've turned a defeat into a draw, unfortunately it wasn't a win. 

“We’ve [given] ourselves a difficult task of going to Grimsby to try and get three points and that's to make up for the two points tonight. 

“The process here is to try and win at home and draw away, so this has been a bit of a fortress for us and it remains that but we did it through good fortune rather than good play.”

Finally, the manager paid tribute to striker Yoann Arquin, who has been nursing a groin strain recently, after he scored a brilliant volley to equalise late in the game. 

“It takes a special goal from a young man who's been fighting off a groin strain but you know young Arquin, he's come up with a great goal. 

“When CJ Hamilton forces a wonderful save from the goalkeeper, we could have probably won it and I'm not so sure we did deserve to win it.

“It's a wonderful goal from Yoann and you can see what it meant to supporters and I even thought that we were going to win the game with the half chance to win it, but it was not to be.”

Supporters can view Steve Evans’ post-match interview on Stags PlayerHD. 

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