Vastly experienced goalkeeper Brian Jensen says our home fans will play a huge part in turning One Call Stadium into a fortress this season.
Jensen, nicknamed 'The Beast', made his debut for the Stags in last week’s 2-0 win over Notts County, and kept his place for Tuesday’s defeat at Accrington Stanley.
The former Burnley shot stopper, who has previously played in front of 75,000 fans at Old Trafford whilst in the Premier League with The Clarets, amongst other mammoth crowds, described the Stags’ away following of 2,767 to Meadow Lane as ‘spectacular’ and says the supporters will play a huge part in the team’s success this season.
“The fans were absolutely spectacular but I've said all the way through it's not only that game, we need them all the way through the season. They need to be our 12th man, especially at One Call Stadium because we need to turn this place into a fortress and hopefully they will do that again on Saturday.”
Jensen says that not everything always goes to plan in football, as shown at Tuesday's match at Accrington Stanley. However with games coming thick and fast, Saturday’s visit of Oxford United is an opportunity to build on a opening league record of: won one, drawn one, lost one.
“You try to do your best, you try to win the game but it just doesn’t work out for us [sometimes],” Jensen said.
“Obviously we were really disappointed. The gaffer said our pride has been dented a little bit but there’s nothing better than another game so quickly. We just have to redeem ourselves and just crack on with the game on Saturday.”
After turning 40 years-old in June, Jensen became the oldest ever player to appear for the Stags in Friday’s win against Notts County, beating the record of then-39-year old Tony Ford in 1999. The title raised a smile from the Danish stopper when reminded about the feat, as he says he will keep playing as long as his body let's him.
“There’s still life in the old dog," he quipped. "I’ll just keep it ticking over and working hard and see how it goes.
“I've always said it’s just a number [age], as long as I feel good then that’s the main thing.
“Obviously you don’t know about injuries but you just want to keep it going as long as you possibly can, but I've always said I'll keep going 'until the wheels come off'.
“It's been a tough ride but it's been pleasing and satisfying, to go and be a professional footballer from the area that I'm from is a 'hell of an achievement'.”
The giant ‘keeper is also the Stags’ goalkeeping coach, helping to nurture the next batch of young stoppers, something which he says he really enjoys.
“We’ve got a good bunch of goalkeepers here and I would love to teach them, show them what to do and try to improve them and develop them.
“It's definitely something that I’ve been looking at and something I want to do.”
Hear more from Brian Jensen, on Stags Player.