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Posh friendly influences gaffer's team selection for Swindon clash

8 February 2018

Stags' boss Steve Evans has suggested that certain players have forced their way into his team for Saturday's Sky Bet League Two trip to Swindon Town with stand-out displays in our behind-closed-doors friendly earlier this week.

The manager revealed that Peterborough United travelled to One Call Stadium on Tuesday afternoon and Stags were dominant in racing into a 2-0 lead, before the manager introduced a number of young players in the second half, at which point Posh took over and eventually won 3-2.

Goals from frontmen Ricky Miller and Jimmy Spencer saw Stags take a commanding lead against Posh and the manager revealed that the 'great exercise' has allowed him to already decide his team ahead of Saturday's clash with the Robins.

"It was a great exercise. We were 2-0 up, it could have been four or five and we were delighted with some of the performances, really delighted," the Stags' chief said.

"Then we introduced some of the kids and it's going to change. Peterborough were strong, they've got good players, but it was a good exercise for the manager at Peterborough, Grant McCann, and myself. We sat together during the game and our chairman and Carolyn got the opportunity to watch it as well with Barry Fry.

"It was a real good exercise and some of those lads have put themselves in the frame for Swindon on Saturday.

"I have to say too many of them did very well for me to be in isolation naming people. I think anyone who was involved in the game couldn't fail to be impressed with [Ricky] Miller.

"They had a very experienced back line and I think nine or ten out of their team have got a lot of League One experience.

"I have to say too many of them did very well for me to be in isolation naming people. I think anyone who was involved in the game couldn't fail to be impressed with [Ricky] Miller."

Steve Evans, manager

"I think Ricky had a good day; we played him for 55-60 minutes and only when we made the changes in bringing some of the youngsters on that we wanted to look at did the game swing in favour of Peterborough.

"I thought [Matt] Penney started a little bit sloppy for ten minutes but then came into the game and was fantastic just before half-time and after it.

"The boy [Adam] King, it was like watching Joel Byrom, that's the biggest credit I can give him."

Frontman Lee Angol recovered from a slight groin strain to play a part in the friendly and the gaffer is hoping to receive more good news on midfielder Jacob Mellis, who could return to training today.

"As of today, we'll have Hayden White although he's suspended for Saturday, but he'll train fully after a slight knock. The news I'm waiting to hear on is whether we've got Jacob Mellis out there or not, another 'son' of mine.

"He's so talented, I love him, and every day we've got Jacob Mellis in our group, we're better.

"If he trains today and certainly if he comes through with no ill effects after tomorrow, he'll be on the coach going down to Swindon.

"David's [Mirfin] not available, Hayden's suspended and Zander's [Diamond] due back in today after becoming a dad and all the excitement that goes around that.

"We'll have a look at Zander in the next day or two. It might just come a day early in the sense that all his focus, quite rightfully, has been Nadine (Diamond's wife) and the new addition into the family.

"Zander's been telling me he's been getting [best wishes] from everyone – I think the big man's just waiting on the Pope! He's got one from everyone else he loves apart from the Pope!"

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

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