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Gaffer will keep squad together

25 January 2018

Stags' boss Steve Evans says he will keep his squad together after rejecting offers for a number of players in this transfer window.

The manager's men are unbeaten in their last seven league outings, and sit 7th in Sky Bet League Two.

Speaking in his weekly news conference to mansfieldtown.net and the local media, the gaffer outlined his plans to keep the squad together and make additions where possible.

“Carolyn [chief executive, Radford], myself, Paul [assistant manager, Raynor] and the chairman sat down yesterday and had a meeting that went very well. We still have the same targets but we understand we may be in a chain where people want to get players in first but we’re still on top of it, there’s just nothing that’s going to happen overnight,” said Evans.

Leading goalscorer Danny Rose signed a new contract with Stags on Tuesday. The energetic frontman extended his stay at One Call Stadium until the end of the 2019/20 season and the gaffer was pleased to have tied him down after the club turned down offers from two League One clubs.

“It’s very clear that John [Radford] wants his football club and team to be successful. We know everybody has a value.

"If the offers for Danny [Rose] had got to a level where the Chairman was considering them, you would always say take the deal but it never got to that stage.

"He made it clear that if it wasn’t going to be an offer in the top end of the values we set, then he simply wasn’t for sale.

“We respect and appreciate the fact that people show interest [in our players] and that’s a testament to how well the lads have done.”

“I said to the chairman back in the summer let’s see how Danny goes towards the Christmas period because we had real high hopes for him. When we came into the club he was playing wide left, wide right, centre midfield and often didn’t even play.

"It’s not just Danny either, there’s four players in total who have attracted offers, and each one of them has been a firm no."

Steve Evans, manager

“We loved his enthusiasm. We got him in on the first day and he said I just want to be a part of something and we believed in him. He’s a young man who comes to work every morning with a smile on his face, wanting to improve and help and I can’t get enough of that.

“It made it easy to do the deal, especially when we had a couple of solid League One teams who were not phoning me on a daily basis but offers were coming in with little increases every time.

“It’s fair to say the guaranteed payments were well into six figures [for Danny]. The figures were good but the chief executive and the chairman were very clear from day one that we’re trying to keep the squad together and maybe add to it if we can in the right areas. It wasn’t a case of establishing a value it was a case of saying no to those two clubs.”

The gaffer added offers had also been turned down for other players.

“It’s not just Danny either, there’s four players in total who have attracted offers, and each one of them has been a firm no.”

Stags travel to the Globe Arena on Saturday to face Jim Bentley’s Morecambe who sit 19h in Sky Bet League Two.

“They’ve got, for me a good squad of players” the gaffer said.

“I watched the video of them against Newport the other night and they got themselves back in the game and possibly should have won the game.

“I think this is harder than playing any of the top three or four away. The top three or four away takes care of themselves. A trip up to Morecambe has always been fiercely competitive and always will be for whoever goes there. They have a real willingness and desire because they’re full of good players.

“They play like their manager played. I see strikers who used to play for me and they still have chunks out their legs and ankles from Jim Bentley from when he played against them. He was fiercely competitive and that’s what he’s instilled in his team.

“He has players who can play. You give the ball to [Michael] Rose in the middle of the field and he’ll put it on a toadstool from 60 yards. It’s going to be tough for us but we go there in good spirits, the dressing rooms in good shape.

“We’ve got options in terms of what we’re going to do with the team and we may make one or two changes just to make sure we’re completely ready for a tough afternoon.”

Midfielder Jacob Mellis suffered an injury to his hamstring last Saturday at home to Cheltenham, on which the manager said: “Jacob’s [Mellis] going to be two to three weeks we think. He’s got a slight tear in his hamstring so that’s a loss to us.

"Jacob’s come into the team and really got his fitness levels high. He’s a smashing lad. The medical team are brilliant. We will have him as often as we can possibly get him in so long hours and long days but for the next two or three weeks we’ll miss the kid.”

“I don’t expect to see [defender] David [Mirfin] soon, he had surgery on his knee. We miss David Mirfin he was probably our best defender when he went out injured and we’ve got some really good defenders so it shows you the standards to which he was playing [before the injury].

To view the manager's news conference, log in to www.mansfieldtown.net/ifollow


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