Mansfield Town midfielder Jamie McGuire is confident we can build on our good start to the league campaign which has so far seen us pick up six points from a possible nine.The next test for the Stags is away to Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday (3pm) and McGuire said that the team will aim to keep improving: “[We’ve got] six points on the board, two home games - a good start - especially at home.
“We were unlucky against Northampton in the first game but we got the six points from the two home games so going there [to Dagenham] and getting the three points would be great but at the end of the day if we pick up a point [it would be satisfactory] - the main thing is that we don’t lose the game and [that we] give a good account of ourselves.”
McGuire believes that Dagenham will pose a similar threat to Oxford United - who Stags' overcame at One Call Stadium last week. “They [Dagenham] like to play the ball out from the back. They know it’s going to be competitive, they know they’ve got to work hard [against us]. They’re doing okay but it’s all about us going down there and even if we pick up a point it’s not the end of the world.”
After Tuesday’s combative performance against Newport County, the midfielder has hailed the Stags’ grit and determination. He said: “We like to go all-out, we like to defend, we like to attack. We’re competitive and I think you do need that in League Two. When we played Sheffield United they let you have the ball but in League Two it’s more 'in to your face'. They’re right up against you, but I don’t mind to be honest as long as we’re winning games, that’s the main thing for us.”
The 30-year-old said that the competition for places in central midfield is rife, and he is enjoying playing with summer signing, Simon Heslop: “Hessy’s been there and done it. He knows League Two well, he knows League One well, and he’s been a breath of fresh air. We are vying for our places. Whoever the gaffer chooses on a Saturday or a Tuesday, everyone knows what to do and you’ve just got to keep hold of your place.”
The ex-Fleetwood Town man said that when he was thrown the captain’s armband for the Capital One Cup tie against Sheffield United, he had no qualms about taking it, he said: “I’d always take it and try and lead the troops and we did well.”
“I encourage the lads; keep them working hard because that’s what you’ve got to do in this league because it’s a competitive league. You’ve always got to be on your toes, you’ve always got to defend which you’ve seen as a team lately we’ve done really well. There’s a good vibe at the moment between everyone.”