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Stags working hard for consistency ahead of three away trips

16 October 2017

With three away fixtures scheduled for the next seven days, Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans insists his side are working hard to increase their consistency levels.

Stags tasted defeat at One Call Stadium for the first time this season when they lost 3-1 against Swindon Town on Saturday, but they still sit 11th in Sky Bet League Two, just four points off the play-off places.

The gaffer will now prepare his side for the trio of away matches against Barnet tomorrow (8.00pm kick-off), Newport County on Saturday (21 October) and Notts County in the Checkatrade Trophy next Tuesday (24 October).

And the boss reiterated his belief that the current campaign will be full of ups and downs, but insists Stags will continue to work hard to find the consistency required for a promotion push.

"I had a fantastic meeting with the chairman (John Radford) and the chief exec (Carolyn Radford) yesterday and once again, they wouldn't wish for anyone else to lead this campaign forward," the Stags' chief said.

"If someone goes back to the summer, they'll remember what I said; there will be inconsistencies, there needs to be time for the team to settle, there'll be ups and downs, it will be a rollercoaster.

"We just need to concentrate on working hard. Less talking by everyone, there's no more hype anymore.

"[Saturday's defeat] makes it tougher because I said before the game on Saturday that if someone gives me six points from the three games – an average of two points per game – then you would gladly take it.

"It doesn't need to be a mathematician to work out the calculation [we need] to get six. We have to focus on Barnet. I watched the full game, but anyone who watches the extended highlights of their loss at Notts County at the weekend realises that they should've won that game if not drawn it."

"If someone goes back to the summer, they'll remember what I said; there will be inconsistencies, there needs to be time for the team to settle, there'll be ups and downs, it will be a rollercoaster."

Steve Evans, manager

The manager revealed that winger Alfie Potter came through two training sessions unscathed over the weekend, and is therefore in contention for tomorrow's encounter, however defender Zander Diamond and midfielder Joel Byrom are still sidelined.

"We're hoping that Joel Byrom will train today. He's not going to be available for tomorrow but he'll certainly hopefully be on the grass today and stepping up his period of work.

"Alfie Potter has trained on Friday with no ill effects, trained on Saturday so when you've got one or two days under your belt, players always come into consideration.

"Alfie comes into consideration, Joel's not quite ready and Zander's not there yet."

Midfielder Jack Thomas' loan spell with National League North side Boston United came to an end on Saturday and the gaffer will decide whether the 21-year-old will return to the Pilgrims this afternoon.

"The only focus is what's best for Jack and what's best for Mansfield Town, there's no other consideration. He played very well in a 0-0 draw on Saturday away to Chorley. Our focus is not whether he's involved in the second part (the replay) of that.

"Our focus is whether he's ready and right to come back and play a part for the Stags. Jack will train with us today as he does most days so we have a first-hand look at him. There's no point in us bringing Jack Thomas back to sit for 85 minutes on the bench."

The draw for the first round of the Emirates FA Cup takes place at 7pm this evening (live on BBC2 and BT Sport) and the boss spoke of his adulation for the competition.

"Every round in the FA Cup is always special. It is the best cup competition in world football. I've been very fortunate, as a manager I've been to the fifth round twice. It's a magical competition.

"If you're asking me what I would like: first and foremost, [I'd like] a home draw, second of all, who would I like? The lowest ranked team in the competition. That doesn't mean we'll beat them, because that's the magic of the competition.

"I've been the lowest ranked team in the fourth round and the third round and gone through by a good performance."

Supporters will be able to view the manager's full news conference on iFollow Stags later this afternoon.


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