ROSE SALUTE TO BOYS AT BACK
Striker relishing a Stags party
LAST weekend, Danny Rose netted twice in a game for the first time since signing for Mansfield in the summer.
But it’s performances at the other of the pitch that the striker sees as the main reason why the Stags could be playing League One football next season.
Despite scoring on his Mansfield debut in a 3-2 opening-day win over Newport County, Rose failed to find the net again until November 22.
By that time, Adam Murray had been replaced by Steve Evans in the Stags hot-seat and the former Leeds manager seemed to bring the best out of Rose.
The 23-year-old scored in three of Evans’ first four matches in charge, while ahead of yesterday’s clash with Exeter City he had netted four more times in 2017, incuding last weekend’s double in a 3-1 triumph against Morecambe.
And it’s not just Rose that has been positively affected by Evans. The Stags had kept 11 league clean sheets ahead of this weekend, having racked up just three under Murray.
It is this solidity at the back that Rose feels is the reason Mansfield went into yesterday’s battle against the Grecians just one point outside the League Two play-offs. “It was nice to get on the scoresheet last weekend and it was a very good victory off the back of the Carlisle win (Mansfield beat the Cumbrians 2-0 at home the week before),” said Rose, who signed on a free from Bury in July.
“We have been on a good run since the turn of the year and that has put us right up there and given us a chance, as we still have Doncaster and a few teams above us left to play.
“It was nice to get the two goals against Morecambe and it’s good to get among the goals, but the whole team deserves praise, especially our defence.
“You look at the stats since the turn of the year and we have one of the best defensive records in England, not just in League Two.
“It is nice to have that support, and all the lads deserve just as much praise as I do.
“The back five have been brilliant in recent weeks and we don’t concede many goals.
“If we make ourselves hard to beat, then that is a start. Fair play to them, we are doing really well at the back now and long may it continue.”
Many felt Evans was harshly treated at Leeds last season. He led them to 13th in the Championship, despite turmoil off the pitch, only to be sacked.
And, while Leeds have improved this season and look well set for a play-off place, the job Evans is doing at Field Mill is testament to his abilities.
After all, this is a man who led Rotherham from League Two to the Championship with back-to-back promotions, as well as winning the National League with Crawley and Boston United – and Rose knows how lucky Mansfield are to have him at the helm.
“Steve Evans is a very experienced manager. His CV speaks for itself,” Rose added. “He has been great with the lads since he arrived and we are all buying into his ideas and his way of playing.
“He keeps us on our toes and expects high standards in training. That keeps going over into Saturdays.
“Confidence is high and we will keep working hard to try to get into the playoffs come the end of the season.”
IN IT TOGETHER: Mansfield Town’s Danny Rose applauds the fans