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Gaffer praises subs' influence in Carlisle draw

2 September 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans was pleased with the impact of his substitutes in today's Sky Bet League Two clash with Carlisle United as his side came from behind to draw 1-1 at Brunton Park.

The home side went ahead in the first half when Cumbrians' frontman Hallam Hope converted whilst one-on-one with goalkeeper Conrad Logan, before debutant Calum Butcher's exquisite second half finish earned Stags a point, despite striker Kane Hemmings' 53rd minute penalty miss.

And the gaffer has lauded the impression made by Deadline Day signing Butcher, along with winger Alfie Potter and striker Danny Rose, after they were introduced from the bench in the second period.

"We said we were going to make changes early in the second half and we did that and I think they changed the game for us.

"I thought the substitutes influenced it, obviously. [It was] a fantastic goal from a very gifted young player that we need to get up to a level very quickly and I thought he made a huge difference. I think after that, the game could have gone either way.

"We changed it just before half-time – they were getting a lot of good balls in wider areas – probably because people in the first half were not working smart enough.

"I think our supporters driving home will recognise that their team gave it a good go today, but we didn't work smart enough in the first half and we weren't at it and we weren't on the front foot."

The boss believes that, in isolation, today's draw was a 'good point' at a difficult ground in the form of Brunton Park.

"I think our supporters driving home will recognise that their team gave it a good go today, but we didn't work smart enough in the first half."

Steve Evans, manager

"I just said to Paul Raynor [assistant manager] at the end of the game: if we beat Luton last week, this is a great point. We don't think it's such a great point tonight when we've not taken care of our home business.

"In isolation, it's a good point because it's a difficult place to come to.

"That was the first time that I've had to 'wake a few up' at half-time. We finished it, the half-time talk, with an inspirational and positive talk.

"I spoke about the supporters really and how much they would be running about and trying to win if they were fortunate enough to wear the shirt.

"I think to be fair to the players, they gave the fans a [good] second half, especially because they were at that end of the ground; they saw a lot of action, they saw a lot of good play and if it was just based on the second half, we're very unfortunate not to win the game."

Stags missed their third penalty of the season when frontman Kane Hemmings had his spot kick saved by Carlisle stopper Jack Bonham, but the former Leeds United manager has backed the 26-year-old striker to soon hit the goal trail for the Stags.

"These are good players and when you miss three or four as a team, it becomes a little bit more pressured because your team-mates want someone to stick one in.

"We worked last week on the training ground, we did quite a bit, and Kane Hemmings never missed a penalty in training, all week. He put them in different angles, different points in the goal and never missed one, but it's not the best penalty he'll ever take in the world today.

"I'll tell you what he did afterwards: he worked his socks off for the team and he'll be a tired boy tonight and he'll be a goalscorer for us going forward, I'm sure of that."

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


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