New signing Ricky Miller was the pick of the bunch for boss Steve Evans as Mansfield Town’s behind-closed-doors friendly with visiting Peterborough United proved a huge success.
Miller scored and was the best player on a pitch bursting with experience according to Evans, and his other two deadline signings Matt Penney and Adam King also gave him food for thought as he contemplates his side for Saturday’s big six-pointer at Swindon Town.
Stags were 2-0 up over a strong Peterborough side before Evans withdrew some of his bigger hitters and gave youth a chance, Posh coming back to win 3-2.
“It was an excellent run-out. It was only when the kids came on that we lost the game,” said Evans.
“We were 2-0 up and it could have been four or five. We were in the horizontal position in cruise control after 60 minutes, then we made the changes
“It was a great exercise and I was really delighted with some of the performances.
“When you introduce kids it’s going to change – Peterborough are strong and have good players.”
He added: “Some of those lads have put themselves in the frame for Swindon on Saturday.
“Ricky Miller scored and was very unlucky with another effort, and Jimmy Spencer had a real tidy finish as well.
“There were too many of them who played well for me to be, in isolation, naming people. But I think anyone who was involved could not have failed to have been impressed with Miller. He was in stunning form.
“They had a very experienced back line – nine out of 10 of their team had a lot of League One first team experience – but Ricky for the 60 minutes he was on was the best player on the park.”
On his other new boys, he said: “I thought Matt Penney started a little sloppy for 10 minutes, but then came into the game and was fantastic.
“The boy King was like watching Joel Byrom – that’s the biggest credit I can give him.
“He kept the ball. He was sensible. He won his challenges and went box to box.
“He was like Joel Byrom with younger legs, though we like Joel and he has the experience to offset that.
“They will have found it tough playing against a League One team. The pace of the game was why we booked it. It was two committed teams.”