Stags supporters begin to dream after home cup draw

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

Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans admitted supporters will start to dream of a fairytale third round tie now Stags have a home tie in round two of the FA Cup.

Stags have a home tie in round two of the FA Cup.

After overcoming minnows Shaw Lane 3-1 away from home before the live TV cameras on Sunday, Monday’s draw paired Stags at home to the winners of next Tuesday’s replay between League Two rivals Accrington Stanley and National League Guiseley.

Accrington remain Stags’ bogey side after 12 games unbeaten against Mansfield while a Guiseley win would see a return for ex-Stags boss Paul Cox.

But Evans knows his side have a lot to do before they can start dreaming of a plum third round tie and need to focus solely on Saturday’s tough League Two trip to Coventry City.

“I think every owner or chairman of a football would love to go to one of the big Premier League clubs,” he said.

“Often our chairman talks to me about my experience of going to Manchester United and what it involved. I think after about 10 seconds he has to stop me talking about it as he gets that wee green man pops up on his shoulder.

“Every club wants to get into the third round. Ideally you draw one of the top three or four in English football away from home.

“Our supporters would be able to experience it – how about Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley with about 60,000 or 70,000 on a regular basis? What a day that would be.

“If if we can’t get one of them give us anyone else at home.”

However, he admitted: “There is no point in us dreaming yet.

“Supporters can dream, but we have to be professional and go and do the job against whoever wins the replay.

“It’s irrelevant as we don’t even know who we play yet, though I think many people would tend to think it’s going to be Accrington. If it is we will do battle with them.

“We lost up there earlier in the season and thought it was undeserved. I think they thought a draw was fair and they’d nicked it. But it would be a quality cup tie.

“If it’s Coxy coming back then I have come up against old clubs and had old managers coming back to play against my clubs, and it makes no difference at the end of the day.

“We don’t stick it in at the far post, we don’t cross it in to score a goal. We pick a team and it’s nonsense to say managers are coming back to get one over on their old club. You just want to go back there and be professional.”

Evans continued: “Whoever wins the replay, we’ll do our homework and our aim is to be in the third round. By winning at Shaw Lane we have an opportunity to do that.

“Once you’ve got through you say give us a home tie. I don’t want to go away to a non-League club, playing on 4G.

“So first and foremost we are at home. That saves travelling and you can prepare a little bit better.

“I have a lot of respect for the people at Accrington and a lot of respect for the people at Guiseley.

“It doesn’t matter who wins the replay, we will be ready for early December.”

Stags saw Shaw Lane hit back to level and hit a post before the break on Saturday after Krystian Pearce had fired Stags ahead. But a Danny Rose brace after the break did the trick.

“It was professional,” said Evans. “We spoke to the players all week about approaching the match in a really professional way.

“Looking back at the game on Sunday, apart from a 10-minute spell in the first half we probably should have gone on to win the game six or seven.

“We’re just pleased to get through. Credit to Shaw Lane. They have built something really special there.

“We should be able to go there and deal with it, though when you look over the weekend and see upset after upset, you realise how tough these games are and emphasise the magic of the FA Cup.

“Never has a football match been won on a piece of paper. It’s always been on the pitch who should win.”