Stags have faith in manager’s ability ahead of Barnet trip

Shaq Coulthirst scores for Mansfield Town last season.'Picture by Dan Westwell
Shaq Coulthirst scores for Mansfield Town last season.'Picture by Dan Westwell

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans still has chairman John Radford fully behind him as his side head to Barnet tomorrow (8pm) after a run of three defeats in four games.

The Stags slumped 3-1 at home to Swindon Town on Saturday and Evans said: “You evaluate after every game and I had a long chat with Paul (Raynor). We both went home hurting after the game and into Sunday.

“But I had a fantastic meeting with the chairman and chief executive yesterday and once again they wouldn’t wish for anyone else to lead this campaign forward.

“I said in the summer there would be inconsistencies, ups and downs and time for the team to settle, and it would be a rollercoaster.

“You keep the belief and work hard on the training ground – that’s how you turn things. You don’t turn things by talking to the media or allowing yourself to get distracted with other things that may be around you. You have to keep the focus.

“I firmly believe in this group of players and the staff and I certainly believe in the football club and the chairman and chief executive.

“I pick the team so it’s my fault. We got the team wrong on Saturday and perhaps got the shape of the side wrong on Saturday. Some players were way off it.”

With the game at Barnet followed by a potentially even tougher trip to Newport County at the weekend, Evans said: “The Swindon defeat makes it tougher as I said before Saturday’s game if someone could give me six points from the three games this week, averaging two points per game, then you’d gladly take it.

“It doesn’t now take a mathematician to work out the calculation on what we now need to do to get the six.”

He continued: “We have to focus on Barnet. Anyone who watches the extended highlights of their loss at Notts County at the weekend realises they should have won that game or at least drawn it.

“A couple of chances they missed in added time were probably chances those boys would normally have tucked in. They had a real go.

“Comparing Swindon and Barnet, tomorrow we go to a team that recently beat Swindon 4-1. That’s how tough our task is.”

Barnet are hoping to welcome back last season’s Stags loanee Shaq Coulthirst from a tight hamstring tomorrow and Evans admitted: “He is a great kid. I loved him when he was here and the players knew that.

“We would all have loved him to come back and be a part of this but it never happened.

“Shaq is a London boy and the Barnet opportunity came up and he took it. I look forward to giving him a hug before the game.”

Barnet have gone eight games with a victory, sit 21st, and Mansfield have won there the last two seasons.