Relief as Potter deal delays left Stags sweating

Steve Evans with Alfie Potter
Steve Evans with Alfie Potter
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Steve Evans said he was delighted to land Alfie Potter and Alex MacDonald on transfer deadline day this week – but he admitted delays to the Potter deal left him sweating.

The Mansfield Town boss had to cancel a planned scouting trip to Luton v Cheltenham to make sure the deal got over the line and said: “I left the reserve game and came back to the One Call Stadium. Everything was agreed and the kid had signed his contract.

“But, of course, you have to wait on the medical as you do with every player.

“But the consultant and the specialists were particularly busy – it’s not just Mansfield Town that use these guys, you’ve got all the clubs locally from Forest and County to the Sheffield clubs and Chesterfield. Everyone is trying to get these guys’ time to make sure the scan reports say you are good to go and you’re clear.

“We were probably done around 4pm but we couldn’t do any more.

“Without the clearance from the medical side, the contract can’t be registered.”

He added: “The kid had signed and gone off to his hotel. But it was about half past eight when we got the news it was all good to go and we could announce it.

“It got more nervous as time went on as you were waiting on the medical side. Thankfully we had players that went though with flying colours.”

On the new pair, he said: “They are winners aren’t they?

“They are both technically excellent, but they both work so hard for the team. That’s always the criteria we’ve tried to adopt as a management team.

“The first thing is we need players who will work hard. If you add that to technical ability and we get them razor fit then we get two guys who have won promotions and two top class players.”

Evans was never in doubt they would improve the squad on Tuesday as he and assistant Paul Raynor saw lots of homework pay off.

He said: “We never woke up like some managers on transfer deadline day and thought who shall we sign or who can we sign as we’ve lost out on this one?

“We have been working on Alfie Potter and Alex MacDonald for days, two or three weeks with Alfie, as you have to get an agreement between three parties.”

That made it eight players in over January, though seven have gone out too with possibly more to follow on loans.

“We’ve tried to balance it,” said Evans. “When we came in the chairman gave me an opportunity to re-write the squad if you like.

“It didn’t need that. It just some quality and some help.

“We’ve not brought any superstars in that will automatically play. We have just increased the quality.

“What we’ve seen with that is that I have inherited some good players that suddenly their levels have come up. That has to happen if they want to play a part.

“We’ve signed eight players and they will all play a part – some more than others as it always the case.”