Defender Malvind Benning is relishing his ‘fresh start’ at One Call Stadium and hopes to keep working hard to cement his place in the side.
The left-back joined the Stags during the summer from boyhood club Walsall, and wants to keep learning in order to improve as a player.
“It’s up to me to put steady performances in each week, carry on working hard on the training ground and keep my place in the team, and hopefully I can do that and play as many games as I can,” said Benning, speaking at yesterday's news conference, previewing our match away at York City this Saturday.
After being at Walsall since the age of eight, Benning is thankful to them for giving him an opportunity in the professional game, but says he is by no means the complete package.
“I can’t thank them enough to give me that opportunity to make my debut and get into professional football and I did have good times there, but I’m happy to be at Mansfield now and hopefully I can kick on.
“I think there are plenty of parts [of my game] I can improve on. Defensively I think I can get more alert and stay more alert during the game and I think there’s a lot more to give from me, attacking-wise, as I don’t think I’ve shown much of that so far.”
Benning is of Asian heritage and he hopes that more players from a similar background to himself get the chance to ply their trade in the professional game.
“It’s a hard profession to get in to,” he said. "But I would like to see a few more Asians in the game.
“There are a few that are involved in the first-team squad [across the country] but haven’t quite got the breakthrough but hopefully there will be more in the years to come.”
Looking forward to this Saturday’s Sky Bet League Two fixture against York City, where Benning spent two months on loan last season, he said: “They’re a good side with a good manager but we’re going there to get three points and that’s something which I’m confident we can do.
“They’re a disciplined team, they’re quite organised and their defensive record is quite good so we’re going to have to be on top of our game.
“I think as a team we’ve done well, we’re gelling as quickly as we can and as the gaffer said, we probably should have more points than we [currently] have but that will come in time.”
You can hear more from Benning on Stags Player.