Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans admitted he may have to upset some of his players who were outstanding in the midweek battering of Newport County when he picks the side the big six-pointer at Exeter City this weekend.
Anyone dropped from the starting XI at promotion rivals Exeter on Saturday will feel hard done by after the 5-0 win and high quality performance they put together.
But Evans said Exeter are a very different proposition to Newport and it would be horses for course selection-wise.
“Our job is to analyse the opposition properly and make sure we pick the team properly to try to affect the game in a positive way,” he said.
“It would be no good going into a battle on the beaches with two armies and you don’t have an idea what they are all about.
“There no point in you going in there with your rifles and they come overhead with their big aeroplanes. You have to get that right.
“We will change things from the Newport game as we are playing a different type of opposition. It demands a different type of player for us.
“We tell players never be surprised when you play and never be surprised when you get left out. We do our homework and pick a team to try to win a game.
“We have no friends in the dressing room. We don’t need to pick people just because we like them. We pick them against certain teams because they’re going to do a job.”
He added: “I think Exeter are a better team than Newport County. They have totally different attributes. Exeter are better technically.
“Newport are a very physical team. They are a team set up to put it straight on you and hurt you. It’s a good way to play.
“Them and Lincoln are the two teams that play route one. They go off the big striker and there is not a lot of football played.
“But it’s effective. They win games so you can’t knock it.”
Evans again praised the work at Exeter of boss Paul Tisdale, England’s second longest-serving manager.
“Exeter are a footballing side under a man, I’ve said before, I hold in the highest regard as a coach, a man and a friend,” said Evans.
“He is having another fantastic season. It’s no surprise to me that Exeter are in the shake up and it won’t be a surprise when they are in the top three or four at the end.
“If they win their games in hand they go back into the top two or three, from that point of view it’s a difficult place for us to go.”
City have not lost at home since October 21st and Evans admitted: “They have a great support right behind them down there – that’s a factor. But they also have good players who play the right way and get on top of teams.
“The last game they drew at home to Wycombe but should have been three or four nil up and then conceded a goal.
“They move the ball around, they are intelligent, they have good way of playing, they press teams high, they’ve got lots of energy, and they have a lot of youth. So it’s tough to compete against.”