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Boss impressed by individual performances in County win

24 October 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans says there were 'a number of good performers' in this evening's 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy victory over Notts County at Meadow Lane.

Striker Lee Angol struck after only 47 seconds to give Stags the lead, before veteran frontman Alan Smith equalised for the Magpies just after the half-hour mark. Winger CJ Hamilton then scored his first goal in Stags' colours after 73 minutes to secure the victory.

Stags made 10 changes to their starting XI from Saturday's draw at Newport and although the gaffer recognises that the Magpies weren't at full strength, he was impressed with the level of performance from a number of his players this evening.

"I just said to the players in there: the credit they get is that we have real thoughts for Saturday. There were big performances and I love saying to players: go and show me why you should be in the team.

"Too many players talk cheaply in an office and don't deliver it on the pitch. I thought we had a number of really good performers but at the same time, we do recognise Kevin made changes as well.

"When you look at the quality of the individual performances, I think we've had, just from memory, ten or 11 efforts on target and dare we say it, we could've won here [by] five or six. We were disappointed to be one-each at the interval."

The manager said Stags 'attacked at will' in the first half and the scoreline could have been even more emphatic.

"We laid siege to their goal and we attacked them at will really. We had one that we think is over the line from Rhys Bennett's header. We've had Jimmy [Spencer] when he's brought down, which is a penalty. Jimmy Spencer hits the post and Lee's [Angol] unfortunate with the spin of the ball to not be touching it and tapping it in.

"We laid siege to their goal and we attacked them at will really."

Steve Evans, manage

"In the second half, we came out and we said it pass it and move it around and let's create one-on-ones. I thought Omari [Sterling-James] and CJ [Hamilton] gave them real problems one against one and I thought my front two covered every blade of grass."

Midfielder Joel Byrom made his comeback from a foot injury in this evening's game, completing 57 minutes, and the former Leeds United manager commended his performance, as well as that of the match-winner, CJ Hamilton.

"We had to get them in at half-time and we said we were really pleased by the effort and the performance by everybody. I asked my boy Byrom how he was and he said he was good to stay on so we made a decision with the medical team to give him another ten minutes. That's the big plus.

"In the first half, I thought he was simply sensational and that's an easy word but again, he might not get that time if you're playing against players that play every week for County.

"He's (CJ Hamilton) a young man that we've been saying for weeks we should find a way to get him in the team but he's been a little bit up and down in training games and reserve games.

"We love the kid, we gave him a new lease of life when we first walked in here. We had cash offers for him in the summer and we said no. He's given himself every chance of being involved on Saturday."

Supporters will be able to login to iFollow Stags to view the manager's post-match interview later this evening.


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