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Interviews

Gaffer contemplating changes for Wycombe test

11 September 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans may freshen his side for tomorrow night's visit of Wycombe Wanderers in Sky Bet League Two.

We take on the Chairboys at One Call Stadium tomorrow evening (7.45pm kick-off) in our second home match in four days after Saturday's convincing 4-1 victory over Grimsby Town.

And although no decisions have yet been finalised, the boss hinted that he could alter his line-up for the game against Gareth Ainsworth's side.

"It's not a case of rotating it, it's a case of picking the best team to deal with Wycombe Wanderers," the Stags' chief said.

"As we sit here today, and I've not really discussed it with Paul [Raynor] – we're just about to go into that meeting – I've certainly got it in my mind to be changing it around a little bit from where we were on Saturday. We've got some good players.

"We made some big decisions on Saturday; for Mal [Benning] to come out because his form had dipped a little bit, Paul Anderson hadn't dipped and neither [had] Will Atkinson, but they've played in almost every minute of every game and they've worked so hard for the team that they had to have a little break.

"The integrity of this management team has been there for years and we pick the team that we believe can win the game."

Steve Evans, manager

"The integrity of this management team has been there for years and we pick the team that we believe can win the game.

"The nice thing is that now our dressing room, after the team selection on Saturday and leading up to it, saw that integrity.

"If they perform well in training and they have that belief and want to keep trying to improve, when others drop their standards a little bit, they go in [to the team]."

The Chairboys have won 11 points from their opening five games and the boss is expecting another tough test for his side against a club who he believes will be fighting at the top end of Sky Bet League Two at the end of the season.

"He's a good friend of mine, the manager Gareth Ainsworth. He's a man I have enormous respect for; I really like him as a person and I read his words very carefully in pre-season when he said after he made a couple of very astute signings, that he expects his team to challenge at the end of the season and I see in the early season no reason why that won't be the case.

"When he says challenge, that will mean the top three for Gareth and the chairman (Trevor Stroud), who I know very well as well down at Wycombe.

"Players give you promotion challenges and Gareth's put a good squad together and he's the leader of that orchestra."

The former Leeds United manager should have a full squad to choose from for tomorrow's contest and hopes that the virus which he suffered with last week doesn't affect the squad.

"We're in good shape. We're obviously worried about a virus in the camp, which has seen me off for a day or two and Paul Raynor was ill at the back end of last week and our goalie coach (Ian Pledger) has been down and one or two of our players have been wheezing a little bit.

"Hopefully, in the main, we keep that away and we have everyone to choose from. It's a wonderful position to be in."

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

 


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