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Rhead looking to add more strings to his bow

28 August 2014

Rhead aiming to stay one step ahead of his opponents.

Mansfield Town striker Matt Rhead is aiming to stay one step ahead of the opposition by adding more facets to his game.

The 30-year-old frontman believes that his maiden season in the Football League last year has helped him to mature as a footballer and add different aspects to his game.

He said: "When you play in the league and people know what you’re about then people counteract what you do, so it’s important to re-invent yourself and make a different opportunity elsewhere.

"For instance, maybe I’d make a different run, because obviously they [the opposition] watch videos, so it’s important that we try and free up a bit more space.”

“Last season, I was a bit of an unknown quantity with it being my first season in the Football League. However, this year it seems like teams have done their homework and they’re trying to put a few more bodies around me."

The burly frontman also intends to keep in the referee’s good books this term, after missing the first three games of the 2014/15 campaign through suspension.

Rhead continued: "It’s important that I stay on his [the referee's] good side, because I don’t want to be missing any more games.

"With the squad that we’ve got it’s important because we can’t afford anymore suspensions. It’s important that we’re competitive, but also mindful of not getting silly red cards.”

“Going through pre-season knowing that I was going to miss the first three games was frustrating. Now it’s important to hopefully get a run in the team and create another partnership with whoever plays up front as well."

Rhead also had words of encouragement for team-mate Ollie Palmer, whom he formed a good partnership with towards the tail end of last season.

“I think me and Ollie played quite a lot of games together towards the end of last season," added Rhead. "He’s a big physical lad and he puts himself about, similar to myself.

"Hopefully he can get a few goals and Fish [Alex Fisher] can chip in with a few as well as myself, then hopefully we can push up the league and give a good account of ourselves.”

After our inconsistent home form hindered our progress at times last season, Rhead is hoping that we can improve on that this time around.

"Any team that wants to do well in this league has to have good home form," said the forward. "We can’t rely on winning games away, but if we can continue that and keep doing well at home then that’ll do us.”

Rhead hopes to make a good impression this weekend when we lock horns with high-flying Burton Albion - opponents who we haven't scored against in our four previous competitive meetings.

He said: “Last season, Burton were a tough side. They were very disciplined and they were structured in the 4-4-2 that they played.

"It was difficult to create opportunities, but they played in midweek so hopefully that will give us the advantage. We’re at home as well and if the fans get behind us I'm sure we can get a result.”

Matt Rhead's full interview will be available on Stags Player later today. To subcribe, click here.

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