Steve Evans has told his player they will need to match Accrington Stanley’s work rate to stand a chance of ending an 11-year hoodoo against the Lancashire Club at the Wham Stadium this weekend.
The Mansfield Town manager knows that in 11 years and 11 games, the Stags have failed to gain a win over ‘bogey’ side Stanley with Stags never having beaten them in a League game since the defunct Accrington were reformed back in 1968.
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“We need to go to Accrington to try to win the game and to compete to win the game,” said Evans.
“If we do that and work as hard as Accrington, with the players we’ll travel up with, it gives us a chance.
“They are a good side, but it shouldn’t be taking Mansfield Town over 11 years to beat Accrington – that’s no disrespect to Accrington.”
Evans is no stranger to ending hoodoos.
“I can remember when I was first appointed Leeds United manager and they hadn’t won at home in eight months,” he said.
“For a club of that stature with that stage and quality of players and, more importantly, their supporters, it was an embarrassing statistic. We stopped that in two games.
“I am not saying we are at embarrassing levels but we should be capable of beating Accrington Stanley.
“Putting that aside, they are very strong and have an excellent management team.
“John (Stanley boss Coleman) picks up players really wisely and that’s why they will be contenders.”
Evans added: “We have played three games and should have had three wins. Arguably we played better against Rochdale than we did Forest Green.
“It will be a different type of game again on Saturday as once again we have to earn the right to play. If you go up to Accrington, under John Coleman’s management, and don’t earn the right to play it makes it a long day for you. We’re under no illusions how tough it’s going to be.
“I am sure we’ll have another good following and when we come off that pitch I just want to make sure every one of those fans thinks their team has given it a right go.
“The result will be in the performances of the players. They win you the games.
“I just want to make sure when we come in afterwards that I can go to bed on Saturday thinking my players gave everything for Mansfield Town.”