Stags aim to end Exeter run and wipe away Swindon misery

Mansfield Town's Manager Steve Evans with Exeter's Manager Paul Tisdale - Pic Chris Holloway
Mansfield Town's Manager Steve Evans with Exeter's Manager Paul Tisdale - Pic Chris Holloway

Mansfield Town will try to end Exeter City’s eight-game unbeaten run at the One Call Stadium on Saturday and win back the fans they let down against Swindon.

Stags slumped to a 3-1 home defeat with their worst display of the season last time out at home and, despite two draws and a win on the road since then, manager Steve Evans knows they still have to put the Swindon disappointment right.

He said: “Our home form this year has been outstanding, but you’re always remembered for the last time you turn up. And the last time we turned up was not acceptable at any stretch whatsoever.

“We need to get back to working hard, closing people down, passing the ball in the right areas and playing how we can play.

“It’s time to win some matches. The draws at Barnet and Newport were excellent results as they are tough places to go. The disappointment was the home result against Swindon.

“Let’s get back to winning at home. I know we have a Checkatrade game in midweek but we want to be going into next week’s FA Cup tie on the back of a good League victory.”

Exeter have now won their last three games at Mansfield, though last year’s left a sour taste in the mouth.

“We have enormous respect for Exeter,” said Evans.

“They got two wins against us last year, which left us disappointed.

“They won here last season in unusual circumstances in the 97th minute with a penalty that was evidently not a penalty afterwards. But it’s happened and it’s part of football.”

Evans is a big fan of Exeter boss Paul Tisdale, the second longest serving manager in the country behind Arsene Wenger.

“We welcome Exeter City,” he said. “For me they have an outstanding manager and, more importantly, he is a good person. We get on really well away from football.

“We have had chats when opportunities have come our way and I think he loves that football club and that club loves him. I think he was afforded to be at or near the bottom of the table for periods at the start last year with not one piece of criticism to him and his players. That is top class supporters who can see a bigger picture.

“Paul would be openly welcomed by a lot of clubs at higher levels if he wanted to go.

“It’s going to be tough afternoon for us but we’d like to think it will be a tough afternoon for them. That’s the nature of the league we are in.”

Evans is hoping three games unbeaten in a week after that Swindon disappointment will restore confidence in his players.

“People talk about confidence. How does a team get confidence? By winning,” he said.

“They talk about great team spirit in the dressing room and they’ve just won four out of five. That’s where the team spirit comes from. “The hardest thing is to keep team spirit when you’re not winning. That’s the job of the manager and the staff to keep everything on a level keel.”