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Gaffer calls on professionalism ahead of cup tie

2 November 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans wants his players to approach Saturday's Emirates FA Cup First Round tie against Evo-Stik Premier side Shaw Lane with the utmost professionalism to secure safe passage through to the second round.

We travel to South Yorkshire on Saturday to face the Ducks in the first round of this year's competition and the match will be shown live on BT Sport 1 (12.30pm kick-off).

And the gaffer – who has previously knocked EFL clubs out of the competition when manager of non-league sides – has warned his players that one lapse of professionalism could cost them a place in the Second Round.

"My word of warning to my players is they need to be very professional on the day - one lapse of professionalism and we'll go out, it's as simple as that," the Stags' chief said.

"Our ambition as we travel is to be in the next round and to be in the draw. If we're in the draw then it means, as a minimum, we're coming back here [to One Call Stadium for a replay]. It doesn't make it any easier, but normally over two games you'd expect to be dealing with it.

"We have to go there and the word is 'professional' on Saturday, from start to finish. I'll be reiterating it to the players today and tomorrow: we [can't] go down one notch with the quality this Shaw Lane side have got."

The Ducks have a number of players who have previously plied their trade in the EFL and the manager is under no illusions about the quality which Craig Elliott's side have in their ranks.

"It's certainly going to be a test. You look at the success they've had, then you look at the players they've got. Eight or nine of these players that will start the game against us on Saturday have played in League Two, League One or the Championship.

"We have to go there and the word is 'professional' on Saturday, from start to finish. I'll be reiterating it to the players today and tomorrow: we [can't] go down one notch with the quality this Shaw Lane side have got."

Steve Evans, manager

"These are good players where you either get to an age where you step back, or it gets to the situation where your manager or your coaching team don't think you're quite right for them and you can easily slip away in this game.

"One thing the gaffer's done up there is he's recruited some top class players and the results speak for themselves."

The match will be screened live to the nation on BT Sport and although the gaffer knows the broadcasters will be hoping for an upset, he's hoping Saturday's match is the beginning of a run in 'the best cup competition in the world' for the Stags.

"They'll be as strong as they can be, as you'd expect, and we'll go and handle what is a real difficult cup tie and that's why the television cameras are there.

"They're there because they believe there could be an upset, they obviously want an upset because that's the thrills and spills of the best cup competition in the world, the FA Cup.

"There will be five or six, maybe more, upsets on the day, so there will be some non-league clubs left in this competition when we go into the draw and we've got to make sure that we're in that draw.

"For us, we have the same prize as them. I've been to the fifth round on a couple of occasions and played Premier League clubs and having all focus in the world with all the media attention.

"It's fantastic for the town that you represent, it's fantastic for the people in it, it's fantastic for the business and fantastic for the fans; everyone gets the buzz of an FA Cup run."

Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's news conference in full later today.

Not got a ticket for Saturday's game? Come and watch the match in the Kevin Bird Suite at One Call Stadium with our brilliant £5 offer!

 


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