Stags boss Evans excited by Coulthirst signing

Stags boss Steve Evans is excited by today's signing of highly-rated Peterborough United striker Shaq Coulthirst after a wait of almost two weeks.

Thursday, 19th January 2017, 4:48 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th January 2017, 4:51 pm

The 22-year-old is on loan until the end of the season, but Stags have already agreed a fee to make it permanent if it works out.

“We tried all sorts to make it happen and a permanent would have been preferable,” said Evans.

“When we tried to make our move at the outset 10 days ago, the kid had some family health issues that he had to go and attend to. “We totally respected that and we went away really quietly and said let us know when you are ready to chat again.

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“Football agents get a lot of bad press in the game, but Shaq’s agent kept us fully up to date with things as did the director of football down there, Barry Fry.

“I am very familiar to those guys down there, so we knew exactly what was happening, and I got an opportunity to speak to Shaq.

“He said let me come and see what it’s like and if I enjoy it and if it works out. He is good friends with Hayden White, so that obviously helps as well.

“The next port of call was to speak to Barry Fry and Darragh MacAnthony on behalf of our chairman and see if we could strike a deal for it to be permanent – and we got that agreed.

“We got an agreement that says we take him on loan to the end of the season and then we have the option to purchase the player for a fixed amount which is solely down to the Stags and to Shaq himself. From that point of view Peterborough are out of the equation now if we want to take it forward.”

Evans said he had long been a fan of Coulthirst’s talents.

“We have seen this young guy as far back as his time at York and we have always been admirers of him,” he said.

“I have seen him early this season at Posh and I thought he was outstanding in a number of games I have seen him in.

“I can remember going along to do some media work and watching him in pre-season against Leeds United. I think he got two goals on the day and was quite wonderful for a spell.

“He gave them a real problem, and I was looking at the quality of defenders he was playing against.

“Mansfield fans will have seen him many times, of course they will have seen him score against them during his time at York.”

Coulthirst now joins a formidable quintet of strikers all battling for two places and Evans said there are no guarantees for his new signing.

“He gets an opportunity here to come and compete for a place and if he works hard and goes about his business properly he is an asset,” he said.

“If he comes here and thinks he is automatically going to play he will need to go and buy a big coat. It’s where they all are – you need to justify being in the tea.

“But we’re looking forward to working with him. He has trained with the group this morning and has been received really well.

“He has integrated really well. It always helps when young players know you as a player of course. He walked in and right away there was a lot of positivity in the dressing room about who we had added to the group.

“The competition has to be intense. In two or three recent games, although we have managed to get wins, we have been a little frustrated in that we have dominated most if not all of possession, but in the final third just not been as bright as we should be.”