Stags ready to stand strong against physical Stevenage

Mansfield Town Assistant Manager Paul Raynor and Steve Evans - Pic By James Williamson
Mansfield Town Assistant Manager Paul Raynor and Steve Evans - Pic By James Williamson

Steve Evans will pick a side to stand up to a big, physical Stevenage side at the One Call Stadium on Saturday.

Already without 10-goal top scorer Danny Rose due to a one-match suspension, Evans said it was likely there would be other changes needed, despite the superb 1-0 win at Coventry last weekend.

“Stevenage are well-organised. They are big, strong and physical,” said Evans.

“We know what we will get, so we will make some changes to make sure we are right for that game.

“It will be a stern test, but if I get the same type of performance as at Coventry last week I will take the result that comes.”

Stevenage have been inconsistent so far, but showed in a 1-1 home draw with leaders Notts County last weekend that they are capable of worrying the best.

“They should have beaten Notts County,” said Evans. “They went in front and then missed a couple of good chances to put it away. But we have been guilty of that ourselves.

“Saturday is an opportunity for us to get three more points and push us a bit closer to that top group.

“Momentum is a wonderful thing in football and we’ve not been able to gain any due to the inconsistencies in results and sometimes performances.

“We’ve not been able to get the steam train fully loaded and away we go. We have still got half the coal missing at the minute.

“But the consistency is coming and the performances on the training ground are coming. The desire to be in the team is getting greater.”

On Rose being out, he said: “He would be a loss to any team – he’s a terrific kid. He will be hurting missing this weekend.”

Jimmy Spencer is favourite to replace him, though fellow striker Lee Angol has not been ruled out as he and defender David Mirfin try to shake off injury in time.

“Both are very close now,” said Evans. “They will be back on the training pitch today but whether we deduce they are fit enough to start for us on Saturday we’ll have to have a look at them.

“They’ve been out a few weeks now so we must make sure they are right to play.

“I have taken different views with players. Joel Byrom trained for about five minutes and went straight in against Notts County as we were desperate to get him back in the team and David Mirfin and Lee Angol are two big players for us.

“But we do have lots games ahead after Saturday so we will take a professional opinion from the medical department.

“Without them we wouldn’t play them anyway.”