Stags aim to heal Luton heartbreak with win at Carlisle
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans believes his side are in the mood to put right the late heartbreak they suffered against rivals Luton last weekend when they travel to Carlisle United on Saturday.
Stags saw two late Luton goals square up a game they looked to have won and there was still time for Jimmy Spencer to miss a stoppage time penalty kick to rub salt in the wounds.
Now Evans believes his players are desperate to put things right at Brunton Park.
“To draw against Luton in the circumstances – to be 2-0 up with five or six minutes to go and also get a penalty to win it, that takes a bit of coming back from,” said Evans.
“So I have to give credit to this group. They have been fantastic in training.
“We have a lot of big characters and a lot of people who hurt when things like that happen.
“You don’t need to go in and give verbal criticisms as everyone was hurting as badly.”
Carlisle were beaten play-off semi-finalists last time around after looking set for automatic promotion at one stage.
“It is a very difficult place to go. Keith Curle has done an outstanding job up there,” said Evans.
“At one stage last season when we were up there I said they would be promoted – and I firmly believed that.
“Of course they sold their striker (Charlie Wyke) to Bradford City and I said if they don’t have that boy it’s a problem – and it became a problem.
“But Keith resurged them and they had a magnificent right go in the play-offs.
“So we know it will be a tough afternoon for us.”
Evans added: “They will be back to almost full strength, apart from the boy (Tom Parkes) who is suspended.
“They will be smarting from a result that was never a 4-1 defeat at Lincoln.
“At 2-1 they missed a couple of golden chances so, as often happens in football, they score a third that gives it a flattering scoreline with another late goal.
“They have some outstanding, talented players. They are a football club from a distance that is run properly and they give Keith every chance of being successful. We love going to try to beat clubs like that.
“They have a boy (Richie Bennett) in from Barrow who cost a few quid – he is a big strong boy who gets a goal. He will be very competitive as will young (Hallam) Hope, who they got in from Bury. “They have a really good squad. Nicky Adams is the best wide player in the division and, arguably, in the division above as well.
“But we will go there planned, meticulous, and we’ll try to add to our points tally.”