Stags give trial to Forest keeper Evtimov

Stags boss Paul Cox -Pic by: Richard Parkes
Stags boss Paul Cox -Pic by: Richard Parkes

Mansfield Town gave Nottingham Forest’s Bulgarian keeper Dimitar Evtimov 90 minutes of action in today’s 3-1 friendly win over Notts County.

But manager Paul Cox, while impressed, will cast an eye over two or three other keepers before committing himself to a loan deal.

Uncharacteristically, Cox also declined to name the other trialists who took part in the game.

“It’s nothing personal. But everyone is looking for something special and I just want to keep names under wraps at the moment,” he said.

“There were some good performances today. But there are massive question marks for me. I have to bring in the right players and they have now all had 90 minutes over two games for us.

“We will have more trialists in later in the week.

“With Fergus Bell coming in, who I thought had a very good second half, we are up to 18 players and that means just two to four maximum to come.

“I may go with one keeper and just rely on loans.

“I thought Dimitar was excellent today apart from that early lapse of concentration. Forest regard the boy very highly.

“We had a boy in from Wolves against Huddersfield. You will see another keeper against Villa and another against Birmingham, a Swiss lad who we have had to wait for coming in.

“We do have a number of irons in the fire.”

Stags had hopes they might be able to get last season’s Palace loanee Lewis Price back in with Palace paying the bulk of his wages, but Cox said: “The Lewis Price thing looks dead in the water to be honest. It’s finance.

“I know some people are throwing themselves off bridges because we don’t have a keeper, but the situation is under control.

“I will leave the panicking to everyone else. I know supporters are anxious and want everything yesterday and I understand and appreciate that. But I have to stay patient and make 100 per cent sure it is the right keeper I bring in.

On the game and result overall, he summed up: “It was exceptional and it was what we needed.

“I was happy with fitness levels and sharpness will ultimately come the more minutes the boys play.

“It was a competitive game which is what we wanted. I go back a way with Shaun Derry and know his teams are nothing less then competitive.

“To be fair, results pre-season don’t ultimately matter. But we went out there today to win a football match like we always do.

“I am contradicting myself but winning is always important as it becomes a habit. Today I wanted to see the sharpness coming on and see the new boys fitting into a structure and organisation.”

Lee Beevers and Liam Hearn will sit out the games until the visit of Leeds United to give them a little extra time to recover from their serious injuries.

Luke Jones was rested as a precaution on a slight Achilles injury.