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Gaffer to manage Stags' focus with potential City clash looming

9 January 2018

Interviews

Gaffer to manage Stags' focus with potential City clash looming

9 January 2018

Stags' boss Steve Evans says the incentive of a home tie with Manchester City in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup is 'wonderful', but is refusing to look beyond next week's third round replay against Cardiff City.

We held the Bluebirds to a 0-0 draw in the Welsh capital on Saturday, meaning we will welcome Neil Warnock's men to One Call Stadium next Tuesday (16 January, 7.45pm kick-off), with the Premier League leaders awaiting the winners in the next round.

Supporters can read the ticket information for the replay here.

And despite admitting that supporters and directors are 'allowed to dream', the gaffer has spoken of the need to remain focussed on the Stags' immediate matches; the Sky Bet League Two clash with Cambridge United on Saturday before the replay with the Bluebirds next week.

"We're not in the fourth round; we still have to earn that right against quite a formidable Championship side club in Cardiff City. Obviously the prize for both teams that will play here is just wonderful," the Stags' chief said.

"Manchester City are the best team in English football and if my opinion from the start of the season is proved right that they'll be the best in Europe, then it will be fantastic.

"Supporters can dream, our chairman and chief executive can dream, our directors can dream but the players and the staff, led by myself, have to be really focussed when they come to town.

"We've got too much respect for Cardiff City to think too much about Manchester City, but the prize is wonderful for both."

Steve Evans, manager

"More importantly, we need to be really focussed when we go to Cambridge because those who don't perform at Cambridge have got 'Bob's hope' of playing against Cardiff. From that point of view, we need to be focussed on our next game.

"We've got too much respect for Cardiff City to think too much about Manchester City, but the prize is wonderful for both."

The former Leeds United manager said that work is still ongoing behind the scenes to add to his squad during the transfer window, whilst also revealing that defender George Taft will be embarking on another loan spell after his stint with Cambridge United came to an end.

"If they're not in the building to train on Thursday, then the answer [to whether there will be additions before the weekend] would be no. We're not going to let them train on Friday and be starting them in a game on Saturday, that's not going to happen.

"My understanding of the FA rules is that if you're not registered for the first game then you can't play in the replay. I don't know how true that is; if it's not true then let's sign Messi and get through!

"I think that's the rules so it's a case of if we don't get it done for tomorrow to get them in on Thursday to train with the group, then it will probably be the following week.

"We've got a fantastic squad of players here; we want to improve, we want to bring in players who can help us but we don't want to bring in any player. Any player doesn't make us better.

"He's a fantastic lad, George [Taft]. A great professional, we had real high hopes for him back in the summer. He's gone to Cambridge and done really well, we're not saying that Cambridge aren't looking at doing something going forward but at this minute in time, they're not.

"I've had a couple of managers come on about him so we'll see where that goes."

Frontman Kane Hemmings was forced off just before half-time in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Cardiff and he will undergo a precautionary scan today, however the gaffer will welcome three players back into training today.

"We'll get a scan on Kane this morning, just to see how his hamstring is. That's precautionary more than any symptoms the player's got this morning and then we'll look at the scan and see if he trains tomorrow.

"[David] Mirfin's still out. He's going to be a little while because he obviously had the operation. So Mirfin will be due back in the club next week after he's recuperated at home after you've had an op.

"The other three are on the training ground today. [Zander] Diamond's back in, [Joel] Byrom's back in and [Danny] Rose is back in; they're good players, they help the group but it doesn't mean they come in to play. Let's see how they train."

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

 


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