Checkatrade not a priority, but Stags boss Evans wants to progress

Mansfield Town's Manager Steve Evans - Pic Chris Holloway

Mansfield Town's Manager Steve Evans - Pic Chris Holloway

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Mansfield Town’s Checkatrade Trophy round two clash at Carlisle United on Tuesday is far from top priority on Steve Evans’ list.

But the new Stags boss admitted he still wants to win and progress.

Without a game this weekend, Stags head straight back up to Brunton Park on a revenge mission after last weekend’s 5-2 defeat up there in League Two saw the home side move top.

Evans’ predecessor Adam Murray was not a fan of the Checkatrade Trophy and Evans said: “I want to win. I want to win every game.

“But if I have got seven priorities here in the week before the game it’s probably not in the top seven.

“We will make some changes for that game. That will be reflected in the team.

“Of course we want to win. As soon as we start preparing Thursday/Friday for the match for the match at Carlisle, we want to be in the next round of that competition.

“But if I am being honest, losing there and beating Colchester a week on Saturday is more a priority.

“I will certainly make changes, I think Keith will. He has just gone top of the league so I don’t think it will be high in his priorities, though come game day or the day before and you start preparing, every football match a player should want to play.”

Despite the result on Saturday, Evans said the return to Brunton Park held no fear for his side.

“I had a chance to look back at the full game yesterday and there’s nothing in the game for 55 minutes. If anything we’re probably disappointed not to be in front,” he said.

“But there are no excuses, we have to defend the box better. There were lots learned and lots to learn.

“If you look at the players in isolation from the second half on Saturday at Carlisle, there wouldn’t be many here involved with us post-January.

“But you can’t look at it like that. You have to look at it in the context since we came in. Six points out of nine and two and half very good performances.

“You’re always disappointed when you lose, but lots more was learned.

“We’re not hiding the fact that when we get to January, we need to be in contention for the play-off group, not necessarily in it. Then we can have a look at who we are going to be taking forward with us and perhaps who we are going add.”