Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans said confidence was sky high in the dressing room ahead of Saturday’s derby showdown with Chesterfield after a 4-0 romp at Port Vale extended their unbeaten run to nine games tonight.
A brace from skipper Zander Diamond either side of half-time saw Stags take control at Vale Park with Danny Rose and Kane Hemmings completing the scoring as Mansfield also chalked up a third successive clean sheet.
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“Confidence in a dressing room is always a big thing – it comes from getting points, winning and not getting beaten,” smiled Evans after a third win in a row.
“We have a lot of big characters in there. They are all positive and they all want to work hard.
“All the group are working hard – the boys in the team, the boys on the bench, the boys back at home – the result is for all of us.
“We will chop and change again on Saturday as we did tonight and as we did last week as this is a squad of men and not individuals.
“We have picked up a few knocks and have a few doubts for Saturday but the medical team will deal with that tomorrow.”
Evans admitted it wasn’t the best of starts to the game for his side.
“It was dogged and resilient performance tonight,” he said.
“We won the battle in both boxes and we won the battle box to box in terms of energy. It was a very polished performance
“We have to accept that Port Vale started better than us and were on the front foot.
“But we got the goal just before half-time and were probably fortunate to turn in front.
“In the second half we got the second and third goals in quick succession and after the second I thought we’d broke that spirit Port Vale had got from their magnificent games they have had under Neil Aspin and his staff.
“When we got the third I knew it was going to be a case of whether we scored four or eight.
“But we had to keep our discipline and our shape to make sure we protected that valuable asset which is called a clean sheet as, if you can keep those and score a goal or two, you’re always going to win a game.”
Skipper Diamond bagged his first two League Two goals for the club and Evans said: “Xander is a big fellow who can always get up into the box and get a goal.
“I can remember him doing it for Aberdeen in the Scottish Premier League but it’s taken us a while to get him firing. Now he’s got himself fiiring.”
Top scorer Rose then smashed home a spectacular 11th goal of the season and Evans said: “Danny never surprises me. He has worked so hard this week while he’s been suspended and I thought he got battered all over the pitch tonight.
“But he answered in the best way all strikers do, and all players do, by performance and striking a goal. He took it away from the defender on his chest and it was a beautiful finish.
“Let me tell people who see this goal it’s something Danny does regularly in training.”
Evans added: “The last goal was a great ball from Alex MacDonald for Kane Hemmings to break the offside and what a wonderful finish. I am pleased for him as he’s worked so hard for the team.”