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Players' character shone in U's win - boss

23 September 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans praised his players' character as they came from behind to defeat a strong Cambridge United side 2-1 at One Call Stadium this afternoon.

After U's skipper Leon Legge put the visitors ahead with a powerful header from a second half corner, Stags hit back through a Jacob Mellis penalty before striker Danny Rose struck the winner two minutes from time.

And the gaffer commended his side's spirit after watching them continue their unbeaten league run to six matches.

"We've got character in the dressing room. The character comes from the coaching staff in Lee Taylor (fitness and rehabilitation coach) and Paul Raynor (assistant manager) and Ian Pledger (goalkeeper coach) and all the people behind-the-scenes," the Stags' chief said.

"We have some excellent people that look after us every day. If we all have the enthusiasm and tenacity as our chief exec (Carolyn Radford) and our chairman (John Radford), then we produce late in games like that. I think once we score, it wasn't in any doubt that we'd win the game."

Stags ultimately came out on top of a closely-fought encounter, but the boss believes his substitutes changed the course of a game which arguably should have ended as a draw.

"I don't think either team deserved to win that and I don't think either team deserved to lose it, that's my reflection on the game.

"I think the turning point was the penalty. I've just looked at it back – it was a clear-cut penalty. If you ask me apart from goals changing things, what would be the turning point? I think Jacob Mellis starting to pass the ball.

"If you ask me apart from goals changing things, what would be the turning point? I think Jacob Mellis starting to pass the ball."

Steve Evans, manager

"He was only on the pitch 15 seconds and he plays Kane Hemmings in on a run at their goal with a fantastic slide-rule pass.

"I think we found some energy levels in the second half and I think the subs made an impact on the game.

"Over the piece, we've got our three points tonight and as I say, in other games we didn't get what we deserve and, possibly, we've got two more than we deserve today. We should never have lost the game but we're probably a bit fortunate to win it."

After striker Danny Rose scored in front of the Quarry Lane End at One Call Stadium to snatch victory for the Stags, the former Leeds United manager says there's 'no better feeling in football' than seeing your side score a late winner.

"[Danny Rose] just said to me when I shook his hand at full-time: 'was I going to take him off?' and the answer is Danny told me when I came in here that he couldn't play beyond 65 minutes because he got tired and he felt his muscles starting to go.

"I just felt that with the week he's had, he might be the one boy that could get us a goal, but you're always going to bring Lee Angol on to the [pitch].

"There's no better feeling in football than when Danny Rose scores and makes it 2-1."

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to listen to the manager's post-match interview.


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