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Rainworth squad to be decided tomorrow

31 July 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans says supporters will discover tomorrow afternoon the type of squad to face Rainworth Miners Welfare in our final pre-season friendly later that evening.

Our nine-match pre-season schedule comes to a close at Kirklington Road tomorrow night (7.30pm kick-off), just four days before the beginning of the 2017/18 Sky Bet League Two campaign.

And the boss told earlier today: "We're going to decide in the morning. We've trained them really hard today. Before both of our games at Gainsborough and Matlock, we trained in the morning really intensely and then went out and played in the evening," the manager said.

"We'll train in the morning and then have a look at it, but by mid-afternoon, we'll put our squads up on the official website and no doubt they'll be copied into the Chad and then our supporters can see for themselves.

"What I don't want to do is lead the fans to say there is [first team players involved] and then there's not – I won't do that to the Mansfield supporters. I have to take care of the squad here and I have to take care of the game at Crewe more than I have to take care of the game at Rainworth, but I have a lot of respect for the people up there."

"We'll train in the morning and then have a look at it, but by mid-afternoon, we'll put our squads up on the official website."

Steve Evans, manager

The former Leeds United boss believes he has eight players in his mind who will start against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday, but admits that all could change between now and the season's curtain raiser.

"I think we're almost there now. I'd be lying to our supporters if I said we're not almost there. Myself and Paul Raynor probably have the same eight players on a piece of paper that we're thinking and it's done neutrally.

"I don't lead him and he doesn't lead me. There's probably eight down there [on the team-sheet] and three competing, but I won't be frightened to change it if people go down the standards later in the week."

Looking ahead to Saturday's match at The Alexandra Stadium, the manager expects the Railwaymen to pose a tough opening day test for his side.

"I think the boys have come in today with what seems to be a little bit more focus. There's always a great atmosphere but it's a little bit quieter than normal, and that's because they know that the big opening day is coming soon and it's a very tough one at Crewe.

"We know how tough our opening day is, but we know how tough our opening 10 is. I've already said if we're in that top group after 10, we'll get promoted – I don't hear any other manager saying that but I believe that.

"The challenge is to be in that top group after 10, because it's going to be really, really tough."

The gaffer also provided the club's supporters with an update on the bid which was submitted for a new striker over the weekend.

"The chief executive's in the building so I'll be having an update shortly, but as of this morning there was nothing further to what I reported over the weekend. We're trying to do something and we'll try very quickly now if we can.

"We'll know in the next 24 hours if we can. Any offer that we have accepted, we then get permission to talk, and that has a little chain behind it. We really need to be doing something by tomorrow."

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to watch the manager's interview in full.


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