Derby defeat wouldn’t end Stags’ play-off dream insists Evans

Mansfield Town Manager Steve Evans with assistant Paul Raynor behind.
Picture by Dan Westwell.
Mansfield Town Manager Steve Evans with assistant Paul Raynor behind. Picture by Dan Westwell.

Steve Evans insisted a derby defeat at Doncaster would not necessarily spell the end of Mansfield Town’s play-off dream on Saturday.

“We need to win four from six – I have never hidden that,” he said.

“That is our objective and it helps if we need to win three from five after Saturday. That’s just a simple calculation.

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“We need to keep ourselves in contention over the next couple of weeks. I would go as far as to say if we lost at Doncaster and we lost or only took one point over Easter, it would be time up for the play-offs.

“You have to live in the real world and not be coming out and making statements that people just think you’re bonkers.

“We have to have a points return between now and the end of the Easter period and then it’s up to us.”
Evans maintains Doncaster have been the best team he has faced all season in the 1-1 home draw on New Year’s Eve.

“They are largely the same team and they were the best team we’ve played,” he said.

“ I know we drew the game and they were probably fortunate to only be one down at one stage. But we were very fortunate it was 1-1 at the end when they hit the post.

“Like we saw with Exeter and Plymouth, good teams will always have a spell and you have to make sure, if you are having the bulk of pressure and chances, that you’ve done enough in that period to make sure one goal from them doesn’t change it all round again.”

He added: “If we are still in the game at 70-75 minutes, I will take my chances there on in.

“The boys are in good spirits and we have an idea how we are going to play.

“It will be a wonderful party atmosphere and I love those atmospheres.

“I have to make sure my players continue to play with their hearts but engage their brains a bit earlier.

Striker Yoann Arquin is back in the squad after a slight injury but Stags will take a late decision on right back Hayden White, who is back in training after a hamstring strain.