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First team players to feature in reserves match

19 February 2018

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans has revealed that a strong Stags' side will face Grimsby Town in the Central League tomorrow.

Our second string will take on Grimsby at Rainworth Miners' Welfare on Tuesday (1.00pm kick-off) and with no first team match scheduled for this mid-week, the boss will utilise the fixture as a first team game.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's clash with the Mariners, the manager expressed his desire of wanting to get more playing time into some members of the first-team squad.

"We've always said it, those that have been on our bench, those that have been trying to break into the first team, and those that have been in slightly and then gone out of the team – they will all play," the Stags' chief said.

"I would expect our captain [Zander Diamond] to play because he needs some minutes on the pitch.

"I would expect the likes of Hayden White to play, John Hunt for sure, [Paul] Digby, [Joel] Byrom – I could keep going. We'll certainly have Lee Angol and [Omari] Sterling-James out there, and Matt Penney will need some minutes.

"We'll decide on Will Atkinson and Jimmy Spencer later."

The manager has insisted that any sort of game is good for his players, regardless of whether it is a first-team fixture or not.

"We need to get minutes into a few of them, so the reserve game on Tuesday comes at the right time.

"I've always said that it doesn't matter who plays against us, it's just important that our players play competitive games.

"We're not one of them to wrap them up and say 'you don't need to play', because if they want to get into the first team, they have to play – and more importantly – they have to play at a certain level to get into the group."

 

Away from events on the pitch, the gaffer heaped plenty of praise onto the 224 travelling Stags' fans who made the 450-mile round trip for the 1-0 win over Exeter City at St James Park on Saturday.

"It's a wonderful commitment, but to see them down there and to hear the noise was brilliant.

"At Exeter I've always found the home supporters fantastic. It's tremendous there and they're normally in full voice, but they were silent, and the only noise that was coming for long, long periods was the Stags' supporters. So thank you to every single one of them."

The former Leeds United manager also looked forward to 'An Evening with Steve Evans and Paul Raynor' on Monday 26 February, which will give the opportunity for supporters to hear from the manager and his assistant, as well as posing questions to the pair.

"Myself and Paul have always looked forward to those occasions. Supporters get the opportunity to be direct, and they get the opportunity to get straight answers back.

"I've always said that if you ask the question, you may not get the answer if we don't know the answer, or if we're not sure, or if we can't say it for the sake of the dressing room, but we're very honest in these situations.

"Hopefully it's a positive evening and another opportunity for us to meet a few more Stags' fans in person."

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


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