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Players obtain first full pre-season match

18 July 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans says tonight's pre-season friendly against Stocksbridge Park Steels was 'invaluable' as nine members of his first team squad completed 90 minutes.

A brace in either half from striker Danny Rose and winger CJ Hamilton ensured Stags recorded a dominant victory over the Evo-Stik outfit.

And speaking post-match, the gaffer higlighted the importance of nine players completing a full match for the first time. 

"I think it was excellent for us. More importantly, we got 90 minutes into nine players and that was invaluable," the boss said.

"We only really took Jimmy [Spencer] off and young Jack [Thomas] off to get the other lads some time because they've prepared to play today so that was good. The other guys have trained before it and hopefully we've come through [unscathed].

"It's a good place to come in pre-season, the big Sheffield clubs come for a reason because you get a little test and it's quite physical. It's a big pitch and we've got a lot of pluses tonight."

The players who weren't involved in tonight's fixture took part in a training session prior to kick-off and the gaffer reiterated his desire to rotate his squad in the remaining friendlies.

It's a good place to come in pre-season, the big Sheffield clubs come for a reason because you get a little test and it's quite physical.

Steve Evans, manager

"We're going to chop and change it over the four games. I addressed the guys on Monday and said to them they'll be coming to Stocksbridge and of course Middlesbrough and down to Stamford and against Forest it'll different players playing in different games."

Despite admitting that he expected Stags to dominant their non-league opponents, the former Leeds United manager highlighted a number of individual performances for praise.

"[David] Mirfin was like a lighthouse in the dark ocean and Jacob Mellis with his passing was Championship class.

"[CJ] Hamilton goes and gets two goals, Alfie Potter's come back in great condition and produced a superb performance but we expect it.

"When you go down the levels, you expect a dominant performance; we dominated the ball, we kept a clean sheet and we worked incredibly hard and they'll be tired tomorrow. It doesn't matter who you play when you work as hard as that."

Trialist Jordan Slew came on as a second half substitute during this evening's game and the gaffer explained that a decision will be made on his future after the weekend's games.

"With all due respect to Jordan, he's missed a little chance at the end but so has Rosie (Danny Rose), so has Jimmy [Spencer] and so has Alfie, we missed a lot of chances tonight but he brings something that we've not got but whether that'll be enough, we'll decide by probably Monday morning.

"We'll make a decision in fairness to him because he's got other offers from clubs in our league and a couple from above but he lives 25 minutes from our stadium – it's a good move for him but whether it's a good move for us, we'll decide on Monday."

Supporters will be able to watch the manager's full post-match interview on iFollow Stags shortly. 

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