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Lincoln derby should be 'fantastic' encounter, says Stags' chief

14 September 2017

Stags' boss Steve Evans believes Saturday's Sky Bet League Two clash with Lincoln City has 'the hallmarks of a fantastic local derby'.

We take on the Imps in Saturday's early kick-off (1.00pm) at Sincil Bank, which is expected to reach capacity.

Stags' allocation of 1,409 seats was snapped up by supporters, whilst the home side had just 100 tickes remaining yesterday. 

And the gaffer is looking forward to a match which has all the makings of a high-octane local derby. 

"It'll be a full house, I assume, with a fervent home support. We'll have a passionate away support and it's got the hallmarks of a fantastic local derby," the Stags' chief said.

"I think they're a wonderful football club. I was a rival manager to them for a few years and I went there on a couple of occasions. They're fantastic supporters.

"I've got nothing other than good words about a good football club. They've (management duo Danny and Nicky Cowley) done a wonderful job. The FA Cup run was special to every manager who's ever been in non-league. I applauded and messaged Danny on a number of occasions as they popped through rounds."

The former Leeds United boss says he won't prepare for Saturday's clash any differently to how he's approached any of the Stags' previous games. 

"We'll have a passionate away support and it's got the hallmarks of a fantastic local derby."

Steve Evans, manager

"We'll go there and we won't prepare for Lincoln any differently at all to how we prepared for Grimsby or away at Carlisle or any other games, well prepare in a very professional manner.

"I think expectation comes from looking at the playing squad, looking at everything around the place and we are right to have high expectations. We have high standards in the camp.

"We can look at our season to date and I'll use the word I used a couple of weeks ago – it's frustrating. But I'll still be sitting frustrated on Christmas Day. It takes a little bit of time to gel what's virtually a new team.

"We kept nine or ten from the previous group, the rest had to go because we didn't think they could take us where we needed to go, or they didn't live right. We want players to live right to be successful and I've said many times now, we've got a fantastic dressing room."

Stags could be missing a couple of players for Saturday's trip, but the gaffer wouldn't disclose which players picked up knocks in Tuesday's 0-0 draw with Wycombe Wanderers.

"We've got one or two knocks, but we're going to keep them in-house. We've got a couple of knocks from Tuesday. There's no reason for me to help the people at Lincoln and say who may be under pressure to start the game.

"We don't know if they'll be fit or not. There's an opportunity for the guys to still train today and tomorrow. They know the rules here; if they don't train for a couple of days, they don't get included."

Furthermore, the manager revealed that some players could still go out on loan to non-league clubs, with the loan window now open for National League clubs and below.

"There's a couple of clubs that are interested in taking a couple of our players and my words to the players yesterday was that they have to go out and play some football. In the short term, they're not going to play here.

"We don't need any player to leave the football club. We're not putting them out on loan because we need to pull some salary back or anything like that. We're very comfortable and well within the budget, supporters should know this."

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

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