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Gaffer looking to add finishing touches to squad

24 May 2017

Stags boss Steve Evans has targeted ‘a maximum of four’ further signings as he adds the final touches to his squad ahead of the 2017/18 season.

The gaffer, alongside chairman John Radford and chief executive officer Carolyn Radford, have worked prudently and efficiently in the weeks following the end of the previous season and have acquired 10 summer signings so far. 

Goalkeeper Conrad Logan was the first to commit his future to the Stags, whilst defenders Zander Diamond, David Mirfin, Hayden White and Johnny Hunt have also signed on a permanent basis. 

Midfielders Jacob Mellis, Paul Digby and Paul Anderson have penned deals at the club, in addition to frontmen Lee Angol and Jimmy Spencer. 

And with a group of 19 senior players in place ahead of next season, the boss is now looking to fit together the final pieces of the jigsaw to complete his squad. 

“We’ve got a couple of players that are within the system and we’re going to see how they come back and how they equip themselves in the new season and pre-season as to whether they’ll go forward with us but we don’t want too many players here," the manager said.

“22-23 is the perfect optimum number and we’re a maximum of four, probably two or three, players short of where we need to be. 

“If it’s four, I don’t think the chairman and the chief exec have got too many concerns where we are. If it’s two or three it’ll be the same answer. We’re just trying to add some good players to what we’ve already got in the building, and it’s great.”

The former Leeds United manager is aiming to bring in some much-needed competition for shot-stopper Conrad Logan, as the former Rochdale man is the only senior goalkeeper currently at the club. 

“We’re talking to a couple of options. There’s different options; there’s the older, more experienced guy, there’s the young and hungry guy – well, there’s three options – or there’s the one that’s just direct competition. 

“At the minute, I’m preferring just direct competition – ‘go on Conrad, get in the team because we’ve signed this boy and he’s good as well’.”

The gaffer revealed that an enquiry for ‘one of the leading goalscorers in the league’ was turned down by the player’s club, but the Stags are still in the market for ‘a striker or two’. 

“Everyone knows that if you’ve got three or four strikers, you really need to be getting between 35 and 45 goals between your strikers to give you a real chance of promotion.

“I think Lee Angol’s destined to get 20 goals [next season]. I think he’s got everything. I think he’s probably going to play in a team that does make a number of chances and is dominant. 

“Danny Rose, people forget he hardly scored a goal before we came in, he finished on 10 goals and if you take away the penalty kicks, he probably finishes as our leading goalscorer. From that point of view, I think he’s got a point to prove and I’m excited to work with Jimmy Spencer. 

“He’s a top talent, I don’t think there’s many clubs in League One that wouldn’t have him in the door but he’s got points to prove.

“There’ll always be a gem of a player who pops up at the end of June. We’ll always be in the market for a gem.”

Supporters can login to Stags PlayerHD to view the gaffer’s news conference in full. 


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