Stags fully focused for ‘tasty’ Cheltenham trip, says Evans

Mansfield Town's Manager Steve Evans - Photo by Chris Holloway
Mansfield Town's Manager Steve Evans - Photo by Chris Holloway

Mansfield Town tomorrow begin a mouthwatering March with this weekend’s tough trip to Cheltenham Town followed by a potential make or break week of Saturday home games against top three clubs Plymouth and Carlisle sandwiching a midweek trip to play-off rivals Colchester United.

“Every one is tasty, but they are tasty in August and they are tasty in March and April,” said boss Steve Evans.

“I have always been a manager that says on the opening day of the season this could be the three points that earns you promotion.

“That tells you that you’re confident of winning promotion, but it’s often the case it could be the three points that costs you promotion.

“From our point of view we have an opportunity to go into March playing against teams at different ends of the table with different objectives.

“We can only focus on ourselves and one game at a time.”

Before Stags’ 0-0 draw at Yeovil Town on Tuesday, Evans said he wanted four points out of the two trips down the M5 this week, increasing pressure on the side to win at Whaddon Road.

“Every point is crucial,” he said. “When I said we needed four points, that was to make sure we stayed in contention with the play-offs as we came out of Cheltenham which I said four week ago.

“When I sit down with my chairman and the chief executive here I don’t talk a game at a time, that’s too short-sighted in football, especially in this league and probably all the way up to and including the Championship where bottom can beat top on any given day of the week.

“We just need to go there, make sure we work as hard as we can and, if we take the chances when they come, which we didn’t do on Tuesday, and defend properly, it gives us a chance to leave Whaddon Road with something.”

Evans is hoping his side can continue their impressive second half showing from Tuesday night, when they could have had five goals.

“It was certainly two points dropped, but another one nearer where we want to go at the same time,” he said.

“I’ve got a track record that says I win at Yeovil and we should have won this time.

“Whether it’s the journey and going down the day before, there is a lot of sitting about for your players which is unusual, but we didn’t start right.

“But second half we were fantastic and some of the football was a pleasure to watch. You make five or six clear-cut, golden opportunities and you have to take one of them. We will play a lot worse than that and win.

“The players here know the prize and the journey home on Tuesday night was a bit quiet as they know we left two points behind in Yeovil.

“Talking about the evening I don’t think John Radford told me I’d work night shifts coming here, getting at home after 5am!”

Evans fully expects to be in the dug-out tomorrow, despite an FA charge hanging over him following his ‘dismissal’ at Grimsby Town two weekends back.

“I am still waiting to hear from the powers that be,” he said. “I’ve done my bit so no doubt we’ll go and have a hearing - and I do expect a full and fair hearing.

“We will answer that when the Football Association set a date.”