Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans admitted his side had made hard work of today’s 3-0 home win over struggling Crewe Alexandra at times.
Stags failed to build on taking a fifth minute lead and, even after doubling their lead after the break, Crewe enjoyed a lot of possession and made the home defence work hard until Rhys Bennett’s late third goal finally killed them off.
“If I am being honest we made it a bit more difficult than perhaps we should have done,” said Evans.
Click HERE to read match report
“We had a great start to the game and we got the goal through Yoann, a great striker’s goal.
“But then we probably didn’t do as much in the first half as we should have done in terms of moving the ball quickly.
“I told the lads at half-time if we move it quickly we’ll give them a problem, and we did that.
“I have seen my side score three goals at home and we probably rode our luck once or twice to get a clean sheet, though we could have scored six or seven.”
Right back Bennett was the man who finally sealed the points, making up for two misses earlier in the half when he put far post chances wide.
“I have seen the two worst misses by a full back in the history of football,” smiled Evans.
“But the wonderful thing is six weeks ago this kid wasn’t getting in the box from the full box position.
“We’ve got him arriving him in the box as an extra man.
“Like we’ve seen with CJ Hamilton, if you’re told you’re not very good a lot of the time you’ll end up not very good.
“I think we are the catalyst by saying we have players that make mistakes. Leeds United have players that make mistakes and they have some wonderful talent. “But they make mistakes. We always encourage them to be brave and make mistakes. Although Rhys missed a couple of simple chances, he was prepared to go back in there and scored.”
Evans took off home debutant midfielder Whiteman on 77 minutes to huge applause after his first senior goal had doubled the Stags’ lead.
“Young Ben Whiteman only left the pitch as he was in danger of a second yellow which would have been unfair,” said Evans.
“I thought some of his play, especially at the start of the second half and the end of the first half, was just outstanding.
“He had his family here as well and that will mean more to him. He is from a lovely family and a good foot6ball club in Sheffield United where Chris Wilder thinks highly of him.
“I thought Yoann led the line well today and gets a goal, which is always good.
“Joel Byrom has hardly played a game of football but when we get him fit you will see what he can bring to the team. Some of his execution of passes in the second half had the Stags fans on their feet just from the passing.”
Evans will continue to try to add to his squad this week, and stressed it wasn’t necessarily going to be one in one out.
“We’ve had four in and four out,” he said. “But it’s not about players going out.
“We have a thin squad so if we can add three or four more quality players, people we think can help the group, I have inherited some wonderful players here who just needed some help.”