Steve Evans could leave returning Joel Bryom out of Exeter City match

Notts County vs Mansfield Town - Joel Byrom of Mansfield Town - Pic By James Williamson
Notts County vs Mansfield Town - Joel Byrom of Mansfield Town - Pic By James Williamson

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans is delighted to have key midfielder Joel Byrom back from injury – but he may leave him out against Exeter City on Saturday.

Byrom made a superb return from his six week lay-off with a foot injury in Tuesday’s 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy win at Notts County, coming through 55 minutes with no ill effects afterwards.

“I though he was terrific first half,” said Evans. “The quality he showed both in and out of possession showed how much we’ve missed him.

“You’re always going to miss a player like Byrom. Before we brought him into this football club last January we kicked more balls out the park than we kept in it.

“He has a bit of class and that’s why we only lost out on the last day for the play-offs last season – a lot of it was to do with Joel.”

However, Evans warned: “It was still an easier game to come into for that 55 minutes against a Notts County second string as opposed to the heat of the battle, so Saturday may be a bit early for him.

“There is a difference playing against a side with the qualities that Exeter have got. That’s not demeaning players the other night, it’s just what we see this Saturday coming.

“It’s a team that started like a rocket in League Two. Two or three results have gone against them in recent times but by the odd goal and in games they have dominated for large spells.

“I have too much respect for Paul Tisdale and the players at Exeter, and I know some of them personally, to think this is not a big step up from Saturday.”