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Stags begin 'big week' with Yeovil trip

27 February 2017

Boss Steve Evans says the Stags will travel to Somerset this afternoon in preparation for our clash with Yeovil Town tomorrow night ahead of a ‘big week’ in Sky Bet League Two.

Saturday's 2-1 victory over Newport County ensured we remained level on points with seventh-placed Colchester United and we face the Glovers at Huish Park tomorrow night before making the 230-mile round trip to Cheltenham Town on Saturday. 

And the manager says it’s imperative to ensure the players’ recovery and preparations are managed appropriately to emerge successful from the away double-header. 

“We’re preparing as anyone outside of the big boys in the Championship and the Premier League does,” the Stags’ chief said. 

“It’s five or six hours on the coach but the boys will train this morning, we’ll be nice and relaxed, we’ll go down there early and really it’s about recuperation. We’ll go down there in fine spirits.

“It’s a big week ahead of us but we can only concentrate one at a time and Yeovil’s a difficult place to go. 

“Huish Park, the supporters get behind them there, they play some good football. I know Darren [Way] – he’s come up against my teams as a coach and as a player so we’ll know what they’re all about.

“We’ll look at the recovery schedules that Lee [Taylor, fitness and rehabilitation coach] gives us after training today and after the cool down. We do a lot on the technical side now to understand where the players are in terms of inside their bodies.”

The former Leeds United boss revealed that goalkeeper Jake Kean’s X-ray on the injury he sustained against Newport County on Saturday has come back all clear in regards to structural bone damage, but he will undergo a further scan today to determine if there are any muscle or tendon injuries. 

“The swelling was up yesterday but it’s gone down a bit overnight, which is a good sign being 48 hours after the game. We’ll certainly, by tea-time, know the complete thought process of the consultants. 

“He won’t play tomorrow night, he’s out. There’s no point me trying to blag it, he’s out. He’ll be left at home but we’re hopeful that it’s less [serious] than we thought on Saturday because when you see someone like him come off, you know there’s something not right.”

Furthermore, the gaffer told the assembled media at this morning’s news conference that defender Kyle Howkins’ injury-scare isn’t as bad as first feared, and the West Bromwich Albion loanee is back in full training at One Call Stadium. 

“Kyle came back and trained with us on Friday and on Friday morning when he came in to the building, he looked in fantastic shape. 

“I think he’s telling us he’s lost five kilos but he really looks awesome. We shaped up with him in the team – we were going to bring him in [for the Newport mach] – but he just looked a little bit short. 

“We’ll have another look at Kyle today and then we’ll make a decision as to whether he’s in the squad for Yeovil. If not, we fully expect him to be in the squad for Saturday.”

Meanwhile, the Stags’ boss says that defender George Taft is continually getting stronger in training and he is expected to be in contention for Saturday’s match against Cheltenham Town. 

“We’ve had two practice matches now with George in both of them. One, you could see he was a bit like we described with Kyle and we had a bit of a session again here on Friday with two teams and I don’t think ‘the big fella’ broke sweat.

“Tafty’s just about [getting] minutes on the training pitch now and getting around the pitch, getting sharp and getting more touches of the ball.”

In other news, striker Danny Rose is likely to miss tomorrow's match after picking up a knock last week.

Supporters will be able to view Steve Evans’ full news conference on Stags PlayerHD later today. 

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