Stunned Stags Supporters Association chairman Dean Foulkes described manager Steve Evans’ sudden departure from the club last night as ‘bizarre and selfish’.
Evans stunned the club and its supporters when, with 12 games to go, it was announced that he and assistant Paul Raynor had resigned, the pair expected to be unveiled at managerless Peterborough United.
Foulkes said: “He wanted a promotion and we were all confident that would happen with Mansfield Town.
“So the timing, to leave with 12 games to go, seems very bizarre and quite selfish.
“It was a bolt from the blue and I feel shock, frustration and anger as well. You go through all the emotions.
READ LOMAS ON STAGS ON EVANS’ DEPARTURE
READ MANSFIELD TOWN’S STATEMENT
READ TIM MORRISS’ TAKE ON THE SITUATION
READ CRAIG PRIEST’S THOUGHTS ON EVANS LEAVING
READ WHAT STAGS FANS THINK ABOUT THE MANAGER’S DEPARTURE
“At the minute it’s still quite raw. It’s the morning after.
“I am still quite stunned that they’ve actually gone.
“I think it’s the timing of it more than anything else.”
When Evans arrived in November 2016, the talk was of successive promotions, which he had achieved at two other clubs.
“Our owner John Radford brought Steve Evans in, by all accounts, on a two and a half year deal for ‘Project Promotion’, as it’s called,” said Foulkes.
“We are 15 months into that now and, although we’ve not actually achieved anything, he has brought some good players in. There’s no doubt about that.
“He’s spent a lot of money. John and Carolyn have backed him to the hilt.
“Pre-season was out in Malta. He’s had all he wants by all accounts. The training facilities are there – all the ingredients have been provided to get promoted.
“It wasn’t just promotion this year. He was brought in, we were led to believe, for promotion this year and promotion next year. We were looking at wanting to become a Championship club.
“That can still happen. He is only one man at the end of the day, though a very influential and important man.
“So to walk out with 12 games to go I am very shocked.
“We had players re-sign this week so obviously the gaffer has had a big influence in persuading them to stay at Mansfield Town Football Club.
“He appeared to have everything he wanted to be successful.”
Foulkes added: “There is no doubt we’ve got some much better footballers than we had, though he’s spent a lot of money.
“We have some fantastic footballers and the football has been absolutely outstanding. And there is no real reason why that can’t carry on. It’s one guy and his assistant. “Mansfield Town Football Club is bigger than any one or two individuals. It’s up to John and Carolyn Radford now to bring other people in that can finish the job.”