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Raynor impressed with Wednesday workout

15 July 2017


Raynor impressed with Wednesday workout

15 July 2017

Assistant manager Paul Raynor says this afternoon's pre-season friendly against Sheffield Wednesday acted as 'a good stepping stone' to where the Stags need to be ahead of the Sky Bet League Two opener against Crewe Alexandra next month.

Premier League hopefuls Wednesday snatched a last-gasp victory thanks to substitute Lucas Joao's strike, but the new-look Stags impressed in large spells at One Call Stadium.

Defender George Taft had cancelled out Owls' striker Jordan Rhodes' early opener, before right-back Rhys Bennett made it 2-2 after Wednesday skipper Tom Lees headed Carlos Carvalhal's side into the lead for the second time.

And assistant boss Raynor says it was a 'fantastic workout' against a Sheffield Wednesday side packed full of quality.

"Obviously the quality of the opposition was there for everybody to see but I thought we dealt with them well," Raynor said.

"I thought we imposed our game for periods as well and I'm slightly disappointed to be on the losing side if I'm honest.

"[It was] a sloppy late goal from them, which should have been avoided that gave them the victory, but on the whole, these pre-season games are about getting ready for the fifth of August at Crewe and it was a good workout for us.

"We're working towards the fifth of August. There'll be good performances, there'll be ones we're slightly not happy with, but that'll come and go. On the whole, all it is is getting ready for Crewe Alexandra away. That was a good stepping stone to where we want to be."

"These pre-season games are getting ready for the fifth of August at Crewe and it was a good workout for us."

Paul Raynor, assistant manager

The former Preston North End striker was impressed with some of the Stags' play going forward and also thought they contained the threat of the Owls.

"We tweaked a few things after 20 minutes, they were having far too much possession, but we tweaked one or two things and we seemed to impose ourselves on the game.

"We were more of a threat and for the last period before half-time, we were really pleased with some of the attacking play.

"You see what they've got on the bench – they can bring the likes of [Gary] Hooper on, Steven Fletcher, Premier League strikers.

"They started with Jordan Rhodes, who was a £9m striker, it's absolutely frightening, the quality they had on show, but I thought we held our own and we were a good threat going forward."

The only player not to be involved in today's pre-season fixture was midfielder Alex MacDonald, who reported a minor issue this morning.

Raynor said: "Everything today was geared towards getting everybody 45 minutes. Obviously Paul Digby played a little bit longer as Alex MacDonald just felt something this morning, so it's a no risk [situation] at the moment.

"Omari's (Sterling-James) the same; he's had a little hamstring [issue] while we were away so the plan was always for him to play 30 minutes. Everybody's where we wanted them in terms of game-time.

"We're hoping it's just a little niggle there but this time of the season, in pre-season, you don't take any chances whatsoever. It was the same with Omari today and the same with Alex, we're not taking any chances but when that settles down, we'll know a little bit more."

Supporters can view Paul Raynor's post-match interview by logging in to iFollow Stags.


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