Stags pair pledge to stay and fight for a shirt after loan offers

Mansfield Town Manager Steve Evans'Picture by Dan Westwell
Mansfield Town Manager Steve Evans'Picture by Dan Westwell

No more of Mansfield Town’s senior players will now be heading out on loan.

Manager Steve Evans said last week that he had offered three fringe players the chance to go out and play more football than they may get under his current pecking order at the club.

Young midfielder Jack Thomas took the opportunity to link back up with former boss Paul Cox as National League Barrow for the rest of the campaign.

But Evans said today the other two had elected to stay and fight for a shirt.

“The players came back in and said if I see a way that they could fight and get in the team they wanted to stay,” he said.

“Both of them said that to me individually, not jointly. And of course I can see a way as I don’t pick a team further ahead than the next game.

“I am not going to think of my team for Accrington before we’ve dealt with Hartlepool. It’s unprofessional.

“I pick a team based on performances and what I see in training. I don’t let my eyes tell me lies.”

He added: “I never pick it on favouritism. If there was a criticism when I walked in it was perhaps that some players were playing that didn’t deserve to be getting the shirt.

“I am not going to get involved in that debate as everyone sees football in different ways.

“But no one in this stadium will want to beat Hartlepool more than me. Therefore I know when it comes to picking the team, to picking the bench, to making the substitutions, you have a real responsibility to get that right for yourself, the players and the fans.”

Evans said chairman John Radford was happy with the outcome of the players’ decisions too.

“I had a good meeting with the chairman, as I always do,” he said.

“I had an option of giving the opportunity to one or two lads to move out but the chairman is quite keen to see everyone around which is quite unusual.

“We have to take some credit as a management team and we have balanced the numbers out and the finance, so it’s almost level, and we’ve sold a player during that period. So we’ve done the business side well for the chairman.”