Stags boss Evans demands more quality for derby day

Cheltenham Town v Mansfield Town - Brian Graham of Cheltenham Town gives his side the lead - Pic By James Williamson
Cheltenham Town v Mansfield Town - Brian Graham of Cheltenham Town gives his side the lead - Pic By James Williamson

Steve Evans urged his side to up their quality levels when neighbours and leaders Notts County come to town on Saturday.

Stags suffered a surprise 3-0 defeat at Cheltenham Town in midweek which manager Evans also believes was partly down to complacency.

“The roadworks on the M5 on the way home were as exciting as it got for us on Tuesday,” he said.

“It was a performance below-par in every aspect needed to win a football match.

“Our quality needs to go up a level or two. Until Cheltenham I could never fault my team for effort.

“And I think maybe a little bit of complacency came into the trip to Cheltenham with people looking at league tables.

“Cheltenham are always a team that gets up for the big games. They will compete with any of the top sides but probably not do so well against the others which makes them Cheltenham.”

Stags were on a six-game unbeaten run until Tuesday but has not hot top gear recently and Evans admitted: “Defeats often allow you to not paper over cracks and we have said of our performances in recent weeks we’ve got results, which you can always get with endeavour and willingness. But our quality has been a little bit off it.

“It tells you at Cheltenham that if you don’t get either out of the locker then it’s going to be a long night for you.

“We were well beaten in the end but we should have been 2-0 up – we had two good chances.

“We will learn from it and move on It was another sign of how fired up an opposition is when we go to town.”

He added: “Did we deserve to beat Cambridge last week? No. It’s how you want to look at it as a manager. If you want to be negative you can be negative. If you want to be positive you’d have said if we drew against Cambridge you’d have been disappointed but if you got a point on the road at Cheltenham, you’d take it. That could have been two points, but we ended with three. That’s football.”

Evans has told his players what he thinks and said: “They have trained very professionally and looked bright. They will certainly need to be bright on Saturday.”