Stags to make changes for EFL Trophy tie

Steve Evans. Pic by Dan Westwell.

Steve Evans has made no secret he will make changes to his Mansfield Town side that faces Oldham Athletic in the EFL Trophy.

The Stags boss will be without the cup-tied Ben Whiteman and Joel Byrom on Tuesday night from the 3-0 League Two win over Crewe.

But has challenged those players that will take to the field in the third round tie to stake a claim for a start at Notts County.

He said: “This competition has always been one where if you go through, you say it’s good for the players that are playing. If you go out, you say it’s the last thing on your priority list.

“Many managers use that for the cups if they don’t progress. We’ll make changes, we have to make changes. We have some cup-tied and I want to freshen the team up but there are rules to be respected in the competition.

“We know we’ll play against a full strength Oldham side. I’m very fortunate to speak to the chairman, Simon Corney, regularly up there. They’ll be at full strength.

“I don’t think whether we progress in this competition will depend on what Oldham Athletic do, it’ll be about how we play and what we do. Players have the chance to stake a claim for a place in the team for Notts County on Saturday.”

Oldham have lost three of their last four games - not scoring in any of them - with their last win coming in the second round of this competition.

“They need a win,” said Evans. “The manager needs a win and the players need a win. We aspire to be in League One so we have to be very respectful. I almost took the Oldham Athletic job. I had a detailed analysis of what they had.

“They’ve got some very good players. We need to be at our best to make progress, we need them to be slightly down, and it’s just about levels in football - as many clubs find.

“There’s a gulf from League One to the Championship in what you’re trying to achieve. It’s the same from League Two to League One. It’s the same as what Rochdale did at Barrow, they won 2-0 but it could have been nine looking at the highlights.”

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