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Gaffer wants high performance levels in home friendlies

11 July 2017

After landing back on British soil from the pre-season trip to Malta yesterday, Stags' boss Steve Evans is now excitedly looking ahead to the trio of home friendlies next week.

The boss oversaw a 5-0 victory over a Malta Players Association XI in addition to a number of intense training sessions on the Mediterranean island and the hard work is set to continue now the squad has returned to north Nottinghamshire.

And Saturday's home match against Championship side Sheffield Wednesday will give supporters the chance to see the new-look Stags' side in action for the first time at One Call Stadium, and the gaffer has outlined what he hopes to see in the fixture.

"I want to see us being comfortable in possession, organised and almost like effortless – that's how it looks but with plenty of effort – out of possession and just for us to be competitive," the Stags' chief said.

"If we're competitive in the three games against those types of opposition, then we fear no-one in the season ahead.

"It's going to be tough for us on Saturday. This is a Sheffield Wednesday squad who only went out on penalties in the play-offs. They're a wonderful club; they're one of the top seven or eight clubs in British football and they'll bring a healthy support but Carlos [Carvalhal] will want his team to come here and, before they go away for a little while, to put on a good performance.

"We're undecided if [we'll give the players] two 45 minutes or whether it's a 60 and a 30 but certainly all the players will be on the pitch at some stage.

"If we're competitive in the three games against those types of opposition, then we fear no-one in the season ahead."

Steve Evans, manager

"I think the plan is that we'll have the whole group here on Saturday for Sheffield Wednesday, then the plan would be that we'll probably send four or five [first team players] to Stocksbridge Park on the Tuesday, and the same again to Stamford on Friday with the bulk involved against Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest.

"We're back and we're ready to work. It's still a fitness programme. We're looking forward to playing again at the One Call Stadium."

The manager has also provided fans with an update on potential further additions to his squad.

"I've got four decent strikers here at the football club with Jimmy Spencer, Danny Rose and the two other guys, Lee Angol and young Omari [Sterling-James] – they're talented boys and I think there's goals there, for sure.

"We're trying to do something positive but we have to make sure that when we go to the market, first and foremost the player wants to come, but secondly, we get value for money.

"[Goalscorers] are a sought-after commodity, they're hard to get, and we know who our targets are. That one is maybe going to fall a little bit short because people don't want to sell, that's their prerogative, but we don't just have one name on that list, the chief executive (Carolyn Radford) has three or four names and we're exploring that as we speak.

"[We're looking for] a central midfielder, we've got enough lads that can do jobs in wide areas for us. We're very solid across the back and I just want a different type of central midfield player and a striker – and it has to be a striker that gives us something [different] to what we've got, not more, but something to give us another option."

Supporters will be able to view the gaffer's full news conference, in full, on iFollow Stags later today.


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