2017/18 League Two Preview: Steve Evans and Mansfield

Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews Steve Evans and Mansfield ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 League Two season.

Background

Steve Evans supposedly turned down numerous offers to get back into management before taking this opportunity last November and it’s now abundantly clear why Mansfield proved more attractive than a handful of League One clubs. The Glaswegian has been given an enviable budget to deliver promotion, adding a dozen names of mostly League One calibre to a squad that was already borderline play-off standard on the evidence of his first six months at the helm. Nearly all of their transfer business was completed by the end of May.

Personality

Evans is a man of action, the ultimate impact manager. A restless character who craves to be the centre of attention, he is a thrill seeker, prone to hyperbole and provocation. He has probably made double the mistakes of most other managers during his career, mainly because he has taken twice as many risks. But such personalities tend to learn from their mistakes and make fewer as they get older. His best years are probably still ahead of him.

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Verdict

The list of incoming transfers tells you everything you need to know. It’s a stellar cast of names at this level and Evans can be pretty unstoppable when he has enough options to mix things up and milk the competition for places. He’s been around the block enough to know what’s required on any given day and while the Stags are likely to be the division’s most prized scalp, withstanding their Plan A then second-guessing their Plan B is going to be a tall order for most teams.

Prediction: automatic promotion

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