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Interviews

Gaffer focussed on completing squad

31 May 2017

After securing the acquisition of versatile midfielder Will Atkinson yesterday, Stags' boss Steve Evans has earmarked a maximum of three more signings to finalise his squad for the 2017/18 season.

Former Southend United midfielder Atkinson put pen-to-paper on a deal at One Call Stadium yesterday as the gaffer increased his summer signings tally to 11.

And speaking at yesterday's news conference, he said: "We're not far away now. The chairman always laughs and says we're a couple short! I think we know we're a couple short in very, very important areas of the team.

"We're trying desperately hard to make sure we get the right type and I've always said if the right type's here now and we have to do it, I'm very confident we can get these things done. But I have to make sure we bring the right type in and it has to give us that balance.

"We've got a wonderful balance now throughout the squad and it's no hidden secret that at both ends of the pitch we've got one more to add and there'll always be room for another central midfield player.

"So I'd say absolute optimum would be three additions from now, it could be two, but the maximum would be three and it would be in the spine of the team."

The former Leeds United manager has his remaining targets in mind and he is working as efficiently as possible to get them tied down to the club.

"If it's tomorrow it would be great, but the chances are it could be a week or two now they know who we want. We're in a running battle with a number of other clubs for the two or three targets who we want.

"We've done some wonderful business. We're popping into June very shortly and we've done most of our business.

"We've done some wonderful business. We're popping into June very shortly and we've done most of our business."

Steve Evans, manager

"We've been able to do some good business, but we're not going to talk them up. They're good players that have come together and it's our job as a coaching staff and management team to get them on the pitch and work with them and find out our best system and shape and team. We've got a plethora of options."

Shifting focus away from our transfer business, the manager says the Stags' pre-season schedule will be revealed soon.

"The pre-season friendlies will be announced soon, I think they're just tying all the details up and confirming the dates. We've got three exciting fixtures here at the One Call Stadium.

"I've seen fixtures that are attributed to the youth team and not us – the first team pre-season programme will come out.

"We come in for two or three days' testing at the university, the whole squad, and we'll have a couple of football training days and then we'll go to Malta for a week.

"We'll have a game or two over there and then we'll come back to a real hot-bed of pre-season, some top, top class clubs here and one or two tasty games away from here that we'll have to go and see the other side of the game and try and perform the same as we do here." 


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