Steve Evans was full of praise for Mansfield Town’s noisy army of supporters in today’s 1-0 victory at Coventry City.
A huge following of 1,565 saw their side snatch a late 1-0 win through Alex MacDonald to make it seven games unbeaten and manager Evans said he was genuinely surprised by the number who turned out and the atmosphere they created at the Ricoh Arena.
“If that was our best away performance and win today then that was by far the best Mansfield Town support I’ve ever seen,” he said.
“If the fans can create that atmosphere from today at home next weekend, that’s the atmosphere that promotion teams get.
“The win today was their reward. I have been saying for weeks they’ve been tremendous.
“I’d said how good they were at Shaw Lane last weekend.
“When you are 55 as a manager you don’t often get surprised, but I was surprised with the volume of support today and thank you to every one of them who were in full voice at the end to the players.”
On the game, he said: “It is a great win. I think we started second best for the first 15 minutes.
“But after that there was one good team on the pitch and that was us, We were unfortunate not to be in front.
“Some decisions went against us, we felt, and we hit the post.
“We were still adventurous and tried to play our football when we got into the last third, and the goal was a wonderful piece of football.
“Then we had to see the game out which is never easy against a Coventry City side.
“To see the referee not give a penalty to Kane Hemmings near the end was quite distasteful. It really does make you wonder about decisions.
“Then the goalkeeper has made a good save from a free kick in the last seconds.”
Evans said Stags would not get carried away by what was an important win.
“It is still only three points,” he said. “You don’t get any more for beating Coventry than you do any other team in our league. But it’s a tough place to come.
“We have had some really good performances and we are playing well. In that run of six unbeaten I think anyone who watches us will know we should have won five of them.
“We have let ourselves down as we have not punished teams or defended poorly. But today we were good in both boxes.
“A point here would have been a good result. They are a quality side, but we did need to win some games. We won’t get carried away.
“It was a great strike from Macca. I felt sorry for their goalkeeper. I have just watched it back and the ball moved twice in mid-air. Thankfully for us it went in.
“The biggest compliment I can give us is did they make a chance? I don’t think they made a real chance in the whole 98/99 minutes. That tells me it was a good performance.”
Danny Rose had hit a post in the first half as he rode a challenge and Evans said: “At the time we thought it was a penalty.
“But Danny tried to stay on his feet and it was a wonderful effort off the inside of the post. It shows the integrity at this club when he told me in the tunnel it wasn’t a penalty.”
However, Rose was shown his fifth yellow card of the season during the game and will now be suspended next weekend.
Evans said it was simply an opportunity for someone else.
“We have got other good strikers,” he said.
“We have got good options. We are a good team as we have a good squad. It’s never about one player.