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Stags to field strong side in Central League clash

4 September 2017

Stags' assistant manager Paul Raynor has revealed that a 'strong squad' will travel to South Yorkshire to take on Rotherham United in the first Central League fixture of the season tomorrow (2.00pm kick-off).

We will compete in Central League Group B in the 2017/18 season and we get our campaign underway against the Millers at the Roundwood Sports Complex tomorrow afternoon, for which entry is free for Stags' fans.

Since arriving at the club in November 2016, Raynor and manager Steve Evans have used the Central League games to increase the competitive game-time for members of their squad, and Raynor told the local media this afternoon that tomorrow's game will be no different.

"We've always liked to play a strong squad, keep the game time up there and that's important to us. It's an opportunity for a lot of our senior guys to put positive thoughts in the manager's mind," said the Stags' assistant boss.

"It'll be an experienced squad that will go to Rotherham tomorrow and will be looking to put positive signs in the gaffer's mind before Saturday."

The former Preston North End midfielder expects defender Zander Diamond to be involved against the Millers now he has fully recovered from the knock which kept him out of the matches against Luton Town and Carlisle United.

"It'll be an experienced squad that will go to Rotherham tomorrow and will be looking to put positive signs in the gaffer's mind before Saturday."

Paul Raynor, assistant manager

"We could have pushed Zander into service at the weekend but he'd only had one full training session.

"Obviously with the ability and quality we have in these areas, we don't want to take a risk with anybody but he's trained this morning and he'll probably have a run out in the reserves tomorrow just to make sure everything's fine and top his game time up."

After securing their second successive draw on Saturday, Raynor believes Stags need to be more ruthless in both boxes to turn draws into wins.

"We're not always happy with conceding goals; no-one likes conceding goals but we need to pick the bones out of our defending and as I say, when we do get these opportunities, be a bit more ruthless.

"We've also only lost one game, so there's two ways of looking at everything.

"It's going to take time to gel and we're still very positive that we'll have a positive outcome.

"After 10-12 games, the league starts to take shape and pans out and you've got a pretty good idea of where you're going to be and at what end of the table you're going to be competing at.

"Hopefully by the end of September, we're up there in and around the upper echelons of the table and that's certainly where we believe we'll be and where we're hoping to be."

One Call Stadium will play host to England men's under 19s vs Germany men's under 19s tomorrow evening and Raynor thinks The FA's decision to host the game in Mansfield is credit to the improvements made by the club.

"It just shows the updates that the club have done to the stadium, the upgrade to the pitch and you can see now that it's changing.

"You've got to give the chairman (John Radord) credit for doing that and for them (The FA) to come and invite us to host the game is fantastic. I shall certainly be an interested spectator as well."

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view Paul Raynor's full news conference.


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