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Gaffer delighted after tying down 'top striker'

18 January 2018


Gaffer delighted after tying down 'top striker'

18 January 2018

After coming to an agreement with Oxford United to keep striker Kane Hemmings on loan at One Call Stadium for the rest of the season, Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans wants to get the former Rangers man 100 percent fit to help Stags' promotion push.

The gaffer swooped to bring Hemmings to the club in the summer transfer window from Oxford United, however a clause was put in place whereby his parent club can recall the frontman in January if they wish.

However, after speaking to U's boss Pep Clotet, the gaffer came to an agreement for the former Dundee striker to stay at One Call Stadium until the end of the season, and the boss now wants to get Hemmings on the pitch as often as he can following his recovery from a hamstring strain.

"Kane is staying at Mansfield Town until the end of the season so we're continuing the loan through," the Stags' chief said.

"Kane's delighted, we are, Oxford are because they've got their own thoughts and plans so we go forward and nothing's changed.

"It's been a little stop-start for Kane, first and foremost we had to get him fit and then he's been subject to a niggly calf and a niggly hamstring but Kane Hemmings is a top striker and not only in League Two but, in my opinion, League One.

"Oxford are blessed with who they've just signed and who they've got so from our point of view, it's about us trying to make sure that we keep Kane in the best condition that we possibly can and get him on that pitch as often as we can but he's got to be on there at 100 percent, not 70 percent or 80 percent."

"He's been subject to a niggly calf and a niggly hamstring but Kane Hemmings is a top striker and not only in League Two but, in my opinion, League One."

Steve Evans, manager

Stags play Cheltenham Town on Saturday (kick-off 3.00pm) and will be hoping to return to winning ways in Sky Bet League Two after the valiant performance in the Emirates FA Cup against Cardiff City.

Reflecting on Tuesday night's game, the gaffer revealed that he has received an apology from the EFL regarding the decision not to send off Junior Hoilett, who went on to score a second half brace for the Bluebirds, for the challenge on midfielder Alex MacDonald in the first half.

"Junior Hoilett is not the type of player to commit that type of challenge on a normal basis but every player is capable of a challenge in a one-off situation. I thought it was without a question a straight red. The video vindicates that.

"The head of refereeing at the [English] Football League David Allison has rung me this morning to apologise for the yellow card being issued when it's clear it should be a red card. He's also apologised that the referee's report indicated the player slipped and there was 'no intent'.

"David Allison informed me that the word 'intent' had been removed from the laws of the game back in the summer.

"I understand the player has tried to get the ball but the reality is he's out of control and it's dangerous and it should have been a red card.

"It doesn't mean we would have won the game but I would suggest that Cardiff down to 10 men under severe pressure at that time with the game finely tuned, we possibly might have had a different result."

The boss revealed that Kane Hemmings, who has been missing for a fortnight with a hamstring injur, could be in line to return to the team on Saturday and also gave an update on injured defender David Mirfin.

"Hopefully Kane will train today, we'll see how he looks in the two days of training. It'd be good to have Kane back available and it would give us everybody back bar David Mirfin.

"I'm due to get a full assessment of him [David Mirfin] tomorrow. They're going to run a series of tests on him but David's in a good place mentally."
Speaking about Saturday's opponents Cheltenham, the gaffer spoke is expecting a physical threat from the Robins.

"It's going to be tough for us, this is the team that in their last away game went to Colchester and won 4-1, when it could have been seven or eight and when Cheltenham play like that, they're formidable to play against.

"Cheltenham it's a real tough place to go and even on the road now they're starting get the type of performances and results that show the hard work Gary and his team have put in is coming to fruition. We've got a tough test on Saturday."

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

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