No complacency at Stags says boss after defensive lapses

Mansfield Town Manager Steve Evans with assistant Paul Raynor behind.
Picture by Dan Westwell.
Mansfield Town Manager Steve Evans with assistant Paul Raynor behind. Picture by Dan Westwell.

Stags boss Steve Evans has dismissed any suggestions of complacency after his team’s magnificent defensive record collapsed spectacularly after they conceded seven goals in two games.

Stags had conceded just one League goal all year in their seven games, but a 4-4 thriller at home to Accrington, followed by a 3-0 defeat at Grimsby at the weekend, ended that run.

Evans said: “You can look back and say is there complacency? But I don’t think for one minute with this group that there is.

“I think it’s just the fine lines and fine margins.

“Cambridge had gone one up against the run of play, but we get a bit of good fortune with the own goal and we are back in the game, that never happened at Grimsby on Saturday.

“I don’t think there is any one specific reason. Even at 2-0 you are still in the game, when you go 3-0 down and the referee puts a young man off the pitch for a second yellow, which was incomprehensible for the reasons given by the referee, it’s goodnight Vienna.

“We have no excuses. Saturday was a performance in many respects that was not like us. But I have always maintained that results come down to certain things that happen in games that create differences.”

Evans continued: “I can remember recently at Barnet where Jake Kean made a good save from Campbell-Ryce and we got up the park and scored to go one in front.

“It was a pivotal moment for me. And I look at a couple of chances Matt Green had in the first half on Saturday, normally one or two of those he would bury without a shadow of a doubt.

“Shaq Coulthirst, too, early in the second half after Hayden White had a great run and stood it up to him - that should be 1-1 and it’s a different game then.

“It’s fine margins but we have no excuses as if you take the whole game into context at Grimsby we were a yard off it all over the pitch.

“When you are like against a team that’s probably focused on a little bit of a cup final for them, then you have to take it.

“I heard a supporter say on Saturday night to a member of my family who was watching the game that we’ve taken one point out of six this week so how can we be in the play-offs? It shows you how tough it is.

“We have had 16 games as a management team here and we’ve taken 30 points. That would be top of the league if that had been all the way through, but we’re not. We are where where we are fighting for where we need to be.”

Stags now have to get back to winning ways against bottom club Newport County at the One Call Stadium on Saturday.

But, with Hayden White suspended this weekend, Stags will have one enforced change at the back.