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Gaffer ready to pounce should rivals falter

5 May 2017

Stags’ boss Steve Evans is focussed on making sure his side secure a victory at Crawley tomorrow to ensure they can to sneak into the top seven if any of their play-off rivals slip up.

We currently sit 12th in Sky Bet League Two but still lie just two points off the top seven in an incredibly tight race for the play-offs. 

In order for Stags to snatch a play-off place on the final day of the season, we will have to beat Crawley and at least four of the following five results will need to occur: 

Blackpool lose at home to Leyton Orient 
Carlisle lose at Exeter 
Stevenage lose at home to Accrington 
Wycombe draw with Cambridge 
Colchester lose or draw at home to Yeovil

And although the Stags’ fate is in the hands of other clubs, the manager says his side will be ‘ultra-professional’ in their approach to tomorrow’s game. 

“It is a slim chance but we’ve got to take that chance if others don’t look after themselves,” the Stags’ chief said. 

“I don’t think the top seven in the league table today will be the top seven come nine o’clock on Saturday evening when we’re all done and dusted. We’ve just got to go and look after ourselves [and] put in a good performance. 

“The boys have done marvellous to keep us in the situation to go right to the last day. 

“It would be unthinkable and probably unbearable in my head if we didn’t look after ourselves and results went saying if we’d have won at Crawley, we’d have been in the play-offs and we didn’t look after ourselves.”

Although tomorrow’s hosts have won just once in their last 13 games, the gaffer believes it will be a tough game at a club where he won back-to-back promotions.

“I had a lot of success at a good club with great people, but a lot of the people have changed now. There’s probably only two or three people there, in the whole club, that was there when I was there. 

“The supporters are great people, they’ve given me a wonderful reception the times I’ve been back there and I’ll give them a wonderful reception on Saturday. 

“We have to do our best but they’ve got some good players.”

Once the season ends, clubs are required to release their end-of-season retained lists and the former Leeds United boss has revealed that he will sit down with his players next Wednesday to discuss their futures after speaking to chairman John Radford and chief executive Carolyn Radford. 

“We need to go through all the things that are important – a review of our time here, a review of the playing staff, our recommendations and proposals for who gets contracts, who gets options taken up, who gets let go etc. 

“That dialogue has been going on week-by-week anyway with the chairman and chief exec so it’s not as if they’re going to sit there, we walk in and they suddenly get a shock.

“There’s some players here who have been outstanding since we came in. A few we inherited, a few that we’ve signed and I think there’s some big performances still to come from the likes of [Alex] MacDonald, who’s only getting better, [Alfie] Potter, who’s getting fitter and [Joel] Byrom [who] I think has been terrific for us. 

“The loan players will obviously go back to their parent clubs because they have to go back and discuss with their respective managers where their future lies and what they do.”

To view the manager’s full news conference, login to Stags PlayerHD. 


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