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U's clash has gaffer's entire focus

5 October 2017


U's clash has gaffer's entire focus

5 October 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans says he has a 'tremendous affinity' with the people of Mansfield and is fully focussed on Saturday's Sky Bet League Two clash with Colchester United.

League One side Gillingham approached chairman John Radford earlier this week to ask for permission to speak to the gaffer regarding the vacant manager's post at the Priestfield Stadium, but the request was swiftly denied by the Stags' owner.

And speaking to the local media this morning, the Stags' gaffer said that he is 'happy and content' both in his private life and as manager at One Call Stadium.

"My full focus has been on Mansfield Town. My full focus has been on the couple of games we played in mid-week and then obviously we've got Colchester," the Stags' chief said.

"I'm very focussed on the job here. I've got a tremendous affinity with the people and the town. I think they've seen that with the number of little projects I'm involved in; the charity side of it as well. I'm very happy and content; both in my private life and in my business life.

"You can never stop football clubs wanting to approach you, whatever the level. It's part and parcel of the business we're in. What I would say is we've got a big game on Saturday, that's the only focus."

A mixture of first team and under 21s players defeated Rainworth Miners' Welfare 2-0 on Tuesday evening whilst the gaffer also oversaw a behind-closed-doors game against Sheffield Wednesday earlier that day.

"I'm very focussed on the job here. I've got a tremendous affinity with the people and the town."

Steve Evans, manager

And the boss was pleased with the outcome of the two friendlies, the latter of which gave him the opportunity to experiment with different formations and systems.

"They're (Rainworth) full of good people – the chairman came up and had a chat with me the other night – and we wanted to send players that would be recognised as first team players.

"Some of them played 45 [minutes], some of them played 60 or 75 and one or two played all the way through and then we got some youngsters on the pitch.

"It was a good exercise, we intend to be back in the summer of next year, but we'll see where that goes.

"We also had a game up at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday, and a number of players were involved in that in a behind-closed-doors game at Hillsborough. We got the option to look at one or two things in terms of patterns of play, shape of play and a little change in formation.

"Everyone's come through unscathed, that's the first thing. There's people fighting for places and we'll have a look at them today and tomorrow and then we'll pick a team for Saturday."

The former Leeds United manager hopes to have right-back Hayden White available for Saturday's contest at the Weston Homes Community Stadium, but defender Zander Diamond, midfielder Joel Byrom and winger Alfie Potter will all miss the clash with the U's.

"[Hayden White's] been out yesterday and he's got through that session. We'll make a judgement when we see him on Thursday and Friday. If he's fit and available to be in the squad, he's a big asset to us. If he's not, then we'll give him another week.

"[It will be] too early for all of them [against Colchester]. There's a real chance for the following week; I would say especially Zander and Alfie. Joel would probably be 50/50 at this stage; he probably needs another seven days.

"The medical department are working so hard – Dan [Kett] and Lizzie [Read] are often the unsung heroes and they get no credit publically but to Dan Kett and Lizzie Read – thank you. They're working around the clock and the players are responding. We've got a real dedicated team here."

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


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