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Boss calls on fans ahead of ‘biggest game of season’

7 March 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans wants the biggest crowd of the season for Saturday’s big home game against high-flying Plymouth Argyle (3pm).

The Stags are in eighth position in Sky Bet League Two - just two points off of the play-offs - after a remarkable turnaround since the appointment of Steve Evans as manager in mid-November.

His men face second placed Plymouth on Saturday and fans who purchase a ticket for the match will receive a FREE match ticket for the Stags’ following home game against Carlisle United (Saturday 18 March), with both fixtures kicking-off at 3pm.

"Can we have the best crowd of the season? This is the biggest game of the season so far," said the manager, speaking at this morning's news conference at One Call Stadium.

"The biggest games for me start with the opening day fixture or the first game at home and then the season [then] has certain pivotal points. The first one for me was when we played Crawley.

"The next most important game was not the likes of Doncaster but this one coming on Saturday. We are at the stage where we need to be putting some wins on the board to make sure we can compete with that top group. It doesn't come any tougher than Plymouth Argyle, so we need our best crowd of the season. Can the Mansfield fans produce? I’m asking them the question. The players need you.”

After an unbeaten week for the Stags, gaining five points from the last three games, the manager said the Stags' performances warranted more.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt from anyone’s point of view, it should have been nine points [from nine]. When you concede four at home to Accrington and go to Grimsby and lose three goals, the first thing you have to do is get back on the training ground and get in good habits and make sure you don’t concede. That only comes with hard work.

“To do this you have to sacrifice some of your attacking prowess to start with and then work a pattern to get back to normal.

“Looking back at the videos of the games, we had five good chances at Yeovil and three at Cheltenham and if we win both of those games 1-0, everybody says ‘what fantastic performances away from home.’ So I’m pleased with the quality of the football at Yeovil and pleased with the battling spirit we showed at Cheltenham.

“It’s a three-game-spell when we’ve gone unbeaten but we’re disappointed we haven’t got nine points.”

Plymouth visit the One Call Stadium next before travelling to Colchester United on Tuesday and welcoming Carlisle to the One Call Stadium the following Saturday.

“March is a big month but it’s not squeaky bum time, which is April. You have to earn the right to turn up at the ground and get them squeaky bum feelings.”

The manager also revealed potential timescales of returns for four players currently sidelined: goalkeeper Jake Kean, strikers Matt Green and Danny Rose, as well as defender George Taft.

“Jake Kean is still 10-14 days away. He’s back at Sheffield Wednesday where they can give him round-the-clock care and spend time with him one-on-one.

“Matt Green and Danny Rose have been training now for the last couple of days. They’ll train today and both will hopefully play in a behind-closed-doors game we have this afternoon and George Taft is back in training so we’ll see how quickly he can get back up to speed.”

In his news conference, the gaffer also spoke about the proposed new training facility at Woburn Lane after the artwork was released by the club yesterday.

“I’ve been involved [in the project] with the chairman, chief executive and Steve Hymas and the plans are quite exciting for the new venture. It’s not just going to be a great training ground for the Stags, but for the kids it’ll be a fantastic facility as well.

“Of course there’s going to be other sports there, including the likes of ladies football that we endorse anyway, which is great.

“We want to make sure we give enough back to the community as a 'thank you' to them because they’re fantastic to the football club.

“It allows Mansfield Town’s integration into the community and it will give so much back.”

Stags PlayerHD subscribers can watch the manager's interview in full on Stags PlayerHD

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