Stags in race to find consistency in topsy-turvy division

Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans - Pic By James Williamson
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans - Pic By James Williamson

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans said finding consistency quickly will be the key to success after another weekend of topsy-turvy results in League Two

After the Stags had seen off Grimsby Town 4-1 at the One Call Stadium, Evans was surprised by some of the results elsewhere.

Ahead of tonight’s home clash with Wycombe on another full League Two programme night, he said: “I think Saturday just demonstrated again what we face every week. Every week is a really tough challenge.

“There were some results that caught my eye straight away.

“You look at Crawley Town. They can go to Swindon and win very easily by three goals, then go to Colchester and they are three down in the first half.

“You then look at the result at Luton. A Swindon team who got well beaten by Crawley go to Luton and emphatically win at one of the most difficult venues in League Two.

“You look around League Two and there is some real competition and some really good sides.

“Crewe Alexandra were on form, lost to Grimsby 1-0, and then go and beat Chesterfield 5-1.”

He added: “There are real inconsistencies and it will be the team that gain some consistency and a bit of momentum that is going to be stealing a march on the rest of them.

“It is still early days. After five or six games the league table bears absolutely no resemblance to what it will be after 46.

“When you get to 15 games and about 30 per cent through a season, it does start to show a little pattern.

“As I’ve said before, after the first 10 or 12 games we must make sure we are in that top group. I firmly believe if we are in it then we’ll be in it for 45/46 games.”

Although delighted with his side’s own victory, Evans watched the game back again and felt the margin should have been ever more emphatic.

“I always watch the games back once or sometimes twice on a Sunday and I think we could have won by more,” he said.

“It could have been three or four more though, granted, Grimsby could and should have equalised at 1-0 after a bit of sloppy play from us.

“But we had a lot of dominance in a lot of areas of the pitch and if we relate it to boxing, Russell Slade would have been throwing the towel in after 55 minutes.

“But when you are 1-0 up the towel never comes in – when you’re 2-0 up it never comes in.

“The one thing we’re always conscious of is that goals change games. But I was really pleased with the boys from 55 minutes through to 80 minutes as we stepped it up a gear and come of the passages of play and the movement around the box was fantastic.

“That’s why we scored four and could have scored more.”

Evans made three changes against Grimsby and said: “We made some big decisions on Saturday for Mal (Benning) to come out as his form had dipped a little but, Paul Anderson’s form hadn’t dipped neither had Will Atkinson. But they had played almost every minute of every game and worked so hard for the team that they had to have a little break and we brought some freshness in.

“To be honest I did try to get Calum Butcher into the team as he is such a wonderful talent. When he is fully settled in he will be one of the best players in the league.”