Stags need to react well to wobble on Saturday

Steve Evans.
Steve Evans.

Mansfield Town players have been told to forget Saturday’s 3-0 defeat at Grimsby and get back to winning ways after only one point from the last six rocked their play-off ambitions.

“It’s now how we react to last weekend,” said boss Steve Evans.

“We are so proud of what we’ve achieved. To get 30 points from 16 games is championship form and if we can get as near as damn it that again in the remaining games we will deliver a play-off place.

“Then I don’t care who we play in the play-offs. Bring the biggest, bring the smallest, if we get in the play-offs I think we’ll win them.”

“But we need to get back to winning ways and we need to do it sooner than later. We have 14 games left and we play I think it’s eight or nine out of the top 10. That’s wonderful.

“That’s not a disadvantage to us. We fancy ourselves against those teams. Our fate is in our hands. We are not looking at other results around the country.

“When we get into the last single figure games of the season we are suddenly playing all the teams around us. And single figure games come thick and fast and go very quickly and people are squeaking all over the place.

“We won’t be squeaking, we will be trying to win the games.

“If we take the same points difference as we have done since we joined the club, we’ll be in the play-offs. It’s as simple as that. We have that objective focused in our mind.

“But if we take the same points return since before we came in, we’ll be nowhere near it.”

He added: “We didn’t have a good December and everyone had wrote us off by Christmas Day. But this group has achieved far more than anyone expected.

“I think the reality is, in only mine and Paul Raynor’s opinions, is that this team would have been fighting relegation if we’d not come in - the team that was, not the team that is now.”

Evans will not even accept his side are in the top seven until everyone has played as many games.

“There is a big game in League Two tonight when Colchester host Wycombe,” he said.

“If one of them win they go above us, if they draw it will be the first time I as a manager at this football club recognise we are in the play-offs.

“I have always said you have to take games into account.

“Whatever happens, we can’t affect it tomorrow, but we can affect what happens with Newport. What I do know is that if we beat Newport on Saturday we’ll be in the play-offs.”