OPINION: Good Evans! A season that keeps on giving

Mansfield Town manager 'Steve Evans.
Mansfield Town manager 'Steve Evans.

The 2016-17 campaign has been a season that keeps on giving — and I don’t want it to end after four points from the two Easter matches.

Steve Evans’ breath of fresh air and positivity that has blown through the club since he took over in November means Mansfield Town remain firmly in the play-off race.

Just when many fans were resigned to missing out on a place in the top seven after unlucky defeats against promotion rivals Exeter and then Doncaster, the Stags have bounced back in style.

The 1-0 victory at Wycombe Wanderers on Good Friday followed by the 1-1 Easter Monday home draw with Luton Town, both promotion rivals, met Evans’s four-point target from the holiday weekend.

Yes, everyone was disappointed by Luton’s debatable penalty equaliser on Monday — the second successive home game when a crucial spot-kick decision has gone against the Stags and cost them vital points.

But the point meant that since Evans took charge the Stags have taken 43 from 27 matches — in other words, promotion form.

If they can repeat that in the last three matches, they could still make the play-offs, although it won’t be easy.

The Stags, two points outside the play-offs, have trips to Stevenage, on Saturday, and Crawley sandwiched by the visit of Portsmouth left.

They are one of six clubs outside the top seven still with a realistic chance of making the promotion shake-up.

What an amazing end to the season it is — one that seemed light years away when Evans arrived with the Stags 18th after winning just once in 11 matches.

Evans — with the backing of equally-ambitious owner John Radford through initiative like ticket offers — has given the fans an exciting rollercoaster ride over the past five months with many thrilling matches at the One Call Stadium.

The finale on Easter Monday as the Stags fought back to press for a late winner was another action-packed, nailbiting occasion as Evans delivered on his promise from day one to play football on the front foot and be positive.

MATCH REPORT: Mansfield Town 1 Luton Town 1

That spirit of adventure has brought the fans back and Mansfield Town Football Club has its supporters believing in better times.

On the day Evans arrived in November, I remember immediately telling friends we would make the play-offs.

I was laughed at because of the Stags’ poor league form and position in the table.

I will stick by my prediction — and would love to be laughing at Wembley in May.