Evans expects to make several changes for Shaw Lane tie

Steve Evans
Steve Evans

Steve Evans says he expects to make several changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Exeter last weekend when the Stags head to non-league Shaw Lane in the FA Cup on Saturday.

The match will be live on television at the home of the Evo-Stik Premier Division frontrunners, with Evans well aware of the dangers the Barnsley-based side will pose.

But he still anticipates shaking up his squad to include a mixture of those who started against Exeter and those who played in the match with Everton under-23s in the Checkatrade Trophy onTuesday night.

He said: “We’re considering making changes from the Exeter game, potentially five or six. As always we’ll have a look at two or three different options in training and advise the lads on the day of the game.

“Some of the lads that played on Tuesday gave themselves a real chance of being included at Shaw Lane.

“The only player we know will definitely be missing is David Mirfin. I could rush him back if I wanted to but there’s no need to risk him so we’ll give him a bit more rest.”

Shaw Lane sit second in the league having won several promotions through the divisions in recent years. The club is well backed financially and includes several players with Football League experience including ex-Barnsley defender Neil Austin and former Portsmouth and Leeds midfielder David Norris.

Evans said: “Eight or nine of the players that will start on Saturday have played in the levels right up to the Championship, so we’re in for a tough test.

“Sometimes players drop down the levels with age, or sometimes they fall out of favour and struggle to get with a team in the higher leagues so go and get some football lower down.

“Rather than preparing for a game against a side three levels below us, really we need to treat them like a side from the National League as I think they’d fit in quite comfortably there.

“The TV cameras are there for a reason - everyone wants to see a shock and it’s felt that Shaw Lane can provide it.

“There will be several non-league clubs left in the draw and some will probably get as far as the fourth or fifth round, so we have to make sure we’re in there with them. The absolute minimum is that we get them back to the One Call Stadium for a replay.”

Evans believes complacency is something his players can not afford to suffer from, adding: “One lapse and we could be out, and the players know that.

“Professionalism is key and failure to apply that could leave us embarrassed.”