Stags look to keep up pressure on top three with win over Coventry City

Picture by Howard Roe/AHPIX.com;Football; EFL SkyBet League Two;'Mansfield Town v Barnet'03/02/2018 KO 3.00pm; ;Field Mill'copyright picture;Howard Roe;07973 739229''Mansfield's Danny rose climbs on the celebration pile
Picture by Howard Roe/AHPIX.com;Football; EFL SkyBet League Two;'Mansfield Town v Barnet'03/02/2018 KO 3.00pm; ;Field Mill'copyright picture;Howard Roe;07973 739229''Mansfield's Danny rose climbs on the celebration pile

For a second successive game Mansfield Town face promotion rivals this Saturday when Coventry City visit the One Call Stadium.

In-form Stags’ outstanding 1-0 win at Exeter City last weekend put them fourth, three points off the automatic top three places with 13 games to go.

But, although Coventry have just lost four on the bounce – three in the League – Stags manager Steve Evans warned of their class and quality.

And, with his old club Crawley Town steaming up the table after eight wins in 10 games, Evans said there were still up to 10 sides competing for promotion.

“In isolation at any stage of the season, this weekend’s game would be a tough one,” said Evans.

“We are looking forward to it. We will freshen up this week and make sure we’ve got lots of energy to play.

“Then we’ll go and try to get a point, which would be good, and if we can get all three it will be great.

“I still think there’s nine or 10 teams competing.

“You only need to look at the run Crawley have been on for example. They come from 18th or 19th so well done Harry (boss Kewell).

“I think beating us was a big day for them. Since then they have been fantastic – and they’re not alone.

“I am expecting the likes of Colchester and, 100 per cent, the likes of Lincoln. So it’s never going to be about a certain four or five teams.”

On Coventry’s four game losing streak that has left them 10th, Evans said: “It is a ‘wobble’ in football terms, but I watched 60 minutes of their game against Brighton and I thought they were terrific, considering the quality of their opponents.

“You look at the likes of Marc McNulty and Michael Doyle, and they’ve just taken on Jonson Clarke-Harris, who scored for them at Brighton, who I signed in my time back at Rotherham. They are full of good players all around the pitch.

“The boy Doyle, would he get into every team in League Two? Yes, absolutely. Would McNulty get in? Absolutely.

“Jonno himself was in touch with me directly on deadline day, but we’d done our business.

“If we hadn’t he was someone you’d have been looking at straight away. He’s a talented boy and a wonderful kid. He gave me some great moments when I signed him.

“It will be really, really tough. Coventry are a fantastic club with some excellent players – some outstanding players – and brilliant support. They will come here in good numbers.”