Evans looks to freshen it up as Green and Rose return

Matt Green
Matt Green

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans says he wants to freshen the team up for the arrival of Plymouth Argyle to the One Call Stadium, after revealing he has a near full squad to choose from for Saturday’s League Two clash.

Strikers Matt Green and Danny Rose played 60 minutes in an inter-squad match behind-closed-doors on Tuesday, as they look to build their match sharpness ahead of a run of fixtures which sees Stags take on Colchester and Carlisle next week.

Danny Rose

Danny Rose

Both came through the run out unscathed and Evans said the pair are in contention for the visit of second-in-the-table Plymouth. While defensive duo Kyle Howkins and George Taft are also available again after recovering from respective injuries.

Evans said: “They (Green and Rose) played a practice match for an hour. Both were involved and both did really well so providing they train properly today and tomorrow they’re in contention. The concern you have is about starting the game. I think you understand as a coach if you start them the chances of them playing the 90 are remote.

“It’s either you accept they are going to play for a period in the game and the way football is now, it’s all science and you can probably guess where they’re going to be and when, or do you say they’re going to make a big introduction later in the game when it becomes stretched a little bit.

“When you’ve got Matt Green and Danny Rose becoming available to you, you’re bringing in two strikers who could play in any team in this league, never mind Mansfield, any team in this league. And probably half or three quarters of the teams in the league above.”

Manager Evans said he was pleased with the strength in depth of his squad and the options he has at his disposal once more, following the return to training of the four players with only keeper Jake Kean sidelined.

“As a manager the first thing you do is you when the game is not going well is you look behind you and the options you’ve got on your bench,” he said. “In some weeks, particularly in my early reign here, I looked behind me and I could probably have seen one or two punters in the crowd who could have helped us.

“I’ve said since I strengthened the squad I’ve been fortunate when I look behind that I’ve got some real options. Last couple of games we’ve had less options because people like Rosey and Greeny weren’t available to us and Kyle (Howkins) wasn’t available to us and (George) Tafty was never available to us.

“When we look behind us on Saturday - and the lads laugh at me when I say it in the dressing room - we see the cavalry. When the cavalry comes round the mountain we’ve got a chance. When we introduce our substitutes we’ve got a chance with that quality of player coming on the pitch.”

And added: “We want to freshen the team up on Saturday and we will freshen the team up. We’ve got a big week and when we’ve got another big week we want to keep it fresh again. It tends to settle down out of Colchester and then it’s 100 per cent ‘do you deserve to keep your shirt?’.”