New trio are a shot in the arm for Stags

Steve Evans
Steve Evans

Manager Steve Evans believes his three new signings are the perfect shot in the arm as Mansfield Town stay in the hunt for automatic promotion.

Evans maintained he would have been happy with his squad’s promotion chances, even if he had been unable to add anyone before last week’s deadline.

But Swansea midfielder Adam King, Sheffield Wednesday winger Matt Penney and Peterborough goal ace Ricky Miller all arrived on loan and Evans smiled: “It was wonderful.

“I wanted to get all three on the pitch on Saturday, but Rhys Bennett stopped that with his mistake.

“But one thing we know from three or four days training is that we have brought three very good players in. They are capable individually and collectively of helping the group.

“They will get an opportunity to play in a game this week to stake a claim for Swindon on Saturday.

“We didn’t bring them in just to be fillers and back-up. We already had players that have been fillers and back-up.

“So we needed players that were capable of coming in and pushing what we’d got to a higher level of performance. That’s what it’s about. So we were delighted to bring these three in.”

Evans continued: “The new signings have been a shot in the arm to the dressing room. We’ve seen a real focus in intensity in training last Thursday.

“We went into training on Thursday probably thinking Rose and Miller against Barnet.

“Then Hemmings was stunning on Thursday and Friday and carried that on in the game on Saturday.

“So even Kane gets a little jolt in the side – and he’s been good for us. He has been exceptional in games.

“You look at Joel Byrom. King can play that role. We have good options going to Swindon. But I have always been a believer if you deserve to keep that shirt, you keep it.

“It’s wonderful for the dressing room. The message coming to me from the captain and others is that we have a real togetherness in there and those three new lads are part of it.”

Stags are fourth, a single point off the top three and Evans maintains they can break into it and stay there.

“I’ve been confident since the 1st June,” he said. “I said it would be a rollercoaster. You’re always going to get inconsistency in performance, suspensions and injuries. But we are covered now for every eventuality bar something extreme.

“We have good options. As Graham Wesley said on Saturday we are bringing Jimmy Spencer and Ricky Miller off the bench. I’d have loved to have seen his face if we’d been able to bring Adam King and Matt Penney off the bench.

“They might make us better. They certainly won’t weaken us.

“We have good strength and we have good numbers. We are positive, but we know how tough this challenge is. Look at all the top teams at the weekend. They all did their jobs apart from those who played each other.

“We are going to lose games. We are going to lose a number of games between now and the end of the season. We’ve just got to lose fewer than the rest.”