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Boss praises five star Stags' determination in Exiles rout

13 February 2018

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans typically maintained his composure after tonight's sensational 5-0 victory over Newport County at One Call Stadium but admitted that spells of his side's display were 'as good as we've been' since he took over as manager in November 2016.

Stags started the encounter in blistering fashion, racing into a 2-0 lead inside the opening ten minutes thanks to strikes from top scorer Danny Rose and winger Alfie Potter.

Potter got his second of the game just before the half-hour mark, converting the rebound from Rose's effort which came off the crossbar, before midfielder Alex MacDonald crashed the ball home from 12 yards out to make it 4-0 before the break.

Former Northampton Town man Potter then completed his evening of wizardry in the second half, rifling the ball home to complete his hat-trick and seal an incredible 5-0 win for the Stags.

And after seeing the his side record their biggest win since he took over as manager 15 months ago, manager Steve Evans commended his players for playing on the front foot and taking the game away from their Welsh counterparts.

"I thought it was a lot of hard work. There was a lot of good work and there was a lot of on-the-front-foot performances," the Stags' chief said.

"It's about the boys having determination, having the ability to live properly and if you live properly and you display it in training, we'll put you in, as we've seen tonight.

"Many times a manager will stand here at five and say it could have been ten; it should have been, not could have been.

"I certainly think that we played very well but I give credit to the opposition. I think, sometimes, you see opposition fold, especially when the fifth goal went in.

"My players get a lot of plaudits; I think they played on the front foot. It was a team that probably none of them expected to be named an hour or so before kick-off.

"We said to them a few weeks ago that the players who produce the performances are going to play and not the players with reputations. If it means that they've got both, like [Danny] Rose, then that helps.

"I think in spells in the first half, it was as good as we've had here."

The boss handed a start to hat-trick hero Alfie Potter after seeing him 'sparkle' in training but the gaffer commended midfielder Alex MacDonald for typifying his recent performances with his third goal of the season this evening.

"If I'm being totally frank, I like Alex MacDonald's goal because he's forced himself into the box but how can you take anything away from the wee man, Alfie. He comes in and nobody would've picked him tonight but we see him sparkle in training and we thought he could get at them a little bit.

"I've always maintained when this time of the season comes, big players normally come to the fore. MacDonald's come to the fore a month or six weeks ago and it's a good job he did because we needed the wee fella."

Steve Evans, manager

"I'm delighted to see Macca get on the scoresheet because I think his performances in recent times have been fantastic for us.

"I've always maintained when this time of the season comes, big players normally come to the fore. MacDonald's come to the fore a month or six weeks ago and it's a good job he did because we needed the wee fella."

MacDonald was partnered in central midfield tonight by loanee Adam King, who made his debut after what the former Leeds United manager describes as a 'stunning' two days of training.

"King's been stunning for two days but I'm not foolish as a head coach, a lot of that credit goes to Paul Raynor (assistant manager), who's been pushing his case for three or four days now. I thought to give us his debut and play in there like that with Alex was fantastic to see.

"You come in from the training ground yesterday and if Paul Raynor says anymore to me about Adam King and MacDonald playing as a partnership, I'm going to choke him because it's all he spoke about for 24 hours. That's why I value Paul so highly, he got it right."

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

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