Stags’ boss Steve Evans wants his side to produce the same type of ‘energetic and disciplined’ performance against Colchester United tomorrow as they did against Plymouth on Saturday.
The gaffer has dubbed Saturday’s showing as the best performance since he took over as manager in November, despite seeing his side slip to an undeserved defeat against Argyle.
And the former Leeds United manager has called on his players to replicate Saturday’s performance in order to create some luck in front of goal.
“We’ve got to go down there and put in the same type of energetic and disciplined performance that we did here on Saturday,” the Stags’ chief said.
“Then we’ve got to rely on some players, not just strikers, there’s midfield players missing chances and centre-backs from corners.
“The performance, in my opinion, was the best since I’ve been here, by a long way. If we get those levels of performance between now and the end of the season, I’ve said to the players I will always stand by results. I’ll stand by them with results if they’ve got that type of endeavour and they produce that type of quality.
“You have to run with it and help create that little bit of luck that gets you some goals.”
Goalkeeper Jake Kean is the only Stags’ player ruled out of tomorrow’s Sky Bet League Two fixture with his knee injury and the gaffer has taken the time to compliment Scott Shearer, who has performed well in between the sticks in Kean’s absence.
“I spoke to Jake this morning and he’s hoping to be back in training at the back end of this week, so we’d probably say a realistic objective is Saturday week to be out on the pitch.
“I have to say Scott Shearer’s been excellent. Perhaps because of mistakes in the past, he doesn’t get the credit that the big fella deserves.
“He’s come in and he’s got absolutely no chance with the two goals on Saturday and other than that he’s conceded one goal in the previous three, so he deserves enormous credit.”
The squad will leave for Colchester tomorrow morning and the manager says he will assess the best way to tackle the U’s after training today before deciding whether to make changes to his starting XI.
“The lads that started will be hoping they get the nod and the lads on the bench or maybe sitting in the seats next to the chairman or whatever are sitting thinking ‘maybe I’ll get my chance’.
“We’re going to pick it with Colchester in mind, with the fact we’re away from home in mind, do we deploy two strikers? Maybe three; we’ll have a look at it and we’re going to look at different things this morning and then firm our decision up as we go down tomorrow.
“There are people chomping at the bit to get into the team so we’ll look at training today and we’ll go down nice and early to Colchester tomorrow and we’ll be ready, hopefully, to produce another performance.”
Supporters will be able to view the manager’s full news conference by logging in to Stags PlayerHD later today.