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Boss planning changes for Exeter test

15 February 2018

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Despite recording the biggest victory of his Stags' tenure in Tuesday’s 5-0 thrashing of Newport County, boss Steve Evans has insisted he will make changes to his side for Saturday’s trip to Exeter City to deal with the threat posed by the Grecians.

Stags blew away their South Wales counterparts with a stunning display on Tuesday and we now face our longest trip of the season on Saturday with the 225-mile journey to St James Park, Exeter.

And speaking about Saturday’s clash with the Grecians, the manager maintains a different combination of players will be required to combat Exeter’s style of play.

“I have to be saying this in the right way: I think Exeter’s a better team than Newport County, just as a team, but they’ve got totally different attributes," said the Stags' chief. 

“Exeter’s a footballing side under a man who I’ve said before I hold in the highest regard of many managers in football (Paul Tisdale).

“It’s no surprise to me that Exeter’s in the shake-up. It won’t be a surprise when they’re in the top three or four at the end.

“As a manager, we’re afforded the luxury of being able to assess the opposition in great depth, courtesy of the analysis we have working for us now. That picks the team. You have to consider the opposition.

“Our job is to make sure we analyse the opposition properly, make sure that we pick the team properly to affect the game in a positive way.

“There’s no point you going in there [to battle] with your rifles and they come overhead with the big aeroplanes; time up. You have to be prepared to get that right.”

Steve Evans, manager

“We’ll change things from what beat Newport 5-0 and we’ll change things because we’re playing a different type of opposition and it will demand a different type of player for us.

“There would be no point going into a battle on the beaches with two armies if you don’t have an idea of what they’re all about. There’s no point you going in there with your rifles and they come overhead with the big aeroplanes; time up. You have to be prepared to get that right.”

Just 14 games remain of the 2017/18 Sky Bet League Two season and the boss is determined to keep standards high in a period where there will be ‘twists and turns’ as teams vie for a spot in the upper echelons on the division.

“The standards must be high; we’re at a key stage of the season now. The games are reducing very quickly.

"We’ll come out of this month and we’ll almost be very close to single figure games. There’ll be twists and turns all the way through this.

“There’s going to be twists and turns; when someone does the analysis, which happens more when you come to single figure games, everyone plays each other.

“We’ve got five or six of the top group to play home and away as a mixture, and they all have [to play each other].

"Some weeks, people will think they’re nailed on for promotion and other weeks it’ll be doom and gloom but I don’t think this is going to unfold itself until certainly a couple of weeks before the end of the season.”

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view the manager’s news conference in full. 

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