Stags ‘very, very close’ to hitting top gear again

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

Steve Evans knows if his side had seen off Swindon Town in their last home game, the two subsequent away draws would have looked far better results.

But he believes the Stags are ‘very, very close’ to hitting top gear again.

Mansfield were held again on Saturday in a 1-1 draw at sixth-placed Newport County and boss Steve Evans said: “If we had dealt with the Saturday fixture here and you get a point on the road from Barnet and another at Newport, you’d be saying it’s been a really good week.

“We only ended up with two points from the six we said we’d wanted to keep up a two point average.

“Winning brings momentum and confidence. If we’d done better on the Saturday we’d have gone to Barnet and Newport with more confidence.

“But we have a terrific group. They proved their point to me at Barnet and again at Newport with how hard they worked. It’s a dressing room that knows we’re not on top of our game but it’s a dressing room that knows we are very, very close.”

Evans admitted he would have taken a point before the game against a Newport side who have started the season well.

“You would have taken a draw before kick-off,” he said.

“But when you go 1-0 in front and having the best spell of the match, hitting the post and one or two other good breaks, you sometimes come away reflective of being disappointed.

“But on the balance of the whole game no one would dispute a draw was fair.

“Credit to the Newport supporters, I thought they were brilliant. I got plenty of stick and they were willing their side on.

“I thought they were the most direct team I’ve seen for a long time. They have come upon a formula to win football matches. It works for them and credit to them.”

Stags remain in touch with the pack in 13th, just four points off the play-offs.

“It’s all very tight,” said Evans. “You only had to look at Saturday’s results to realise how tight this league is.

“Bottom can beat top and top can destroy anyone. It’s a really tough league.

“We don’t look at positions, we look at points differentials and we are still very much in the mix.”