Stags’ boss Adam Murray says his side’s solid defence provides them with a good base to build on in Sky Bet League Two.
Murray’s men recorded their third clean sheet of the season in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Hartlepool United and his side have only conceded seven goals in total during their first eight games.
And the manager, 34, believes his side’s resolute defence provides them with solid foundations to be successful this season.
“We pride ourselves on not conceding goals because I think that gives you a base to go on and win games,” Murray said.
“We’ve just got to be a little bit more ruthless. We had chances [on] Saturday to win the game but we’ve got to start taking these now because we’ve got Pat Hoban who’s waiting in the wings – he could jump through my wall any minute now to ask why he’s not playing!
“People like Hendo (Darius Henderson) are match fit now, Danny Rose has been excellent for me so far, so we’ve got goals in the team – I think you saw [against] Barnet, we had chances which we’ve got to do better with. But it’s not something that we’re overly concerned at, we know that once we get the structure right, we’ll build from that – it was the same last year.”
Speaking at this morning’s weekly news conference, Murray says bringing in 11 new players since the end of last season has had an effect on his side’s consistency.
“I think the fact that we have ended up bringing in a lot more players than we wanted to has probably slowed down our progress to be consistent, but we’re on track.
“We’ve had consistency in nothing so far; team selection, preparation, frame of mind, nothing, so we need to try and settle the ship down a little bit, settle the focus down a little bit and once we get that, we’ll be fine.
“We’re in a really good place now. The key this season, I think we’ve seen already with the league, is going to be, more than ever, consistency. You look at Plymouth – they’ve gone on a winning streak and they’re running away with the league!”
Focussing on his squad, Murray revealed that a number of players are approaching full fitness after a spell on the sidelines, whilst also saying that defender Krystian Pearce has been struggling with an ankle injury.
“He’s gone over on his ankle [on Saturday]. He’s having a nightmare at the minute – he hasn’t trained, so at the minute we’re just putting him out for games and I think, in certain instances, you can see that.
“He does look a little bit, [in the] last couple [of games], off the pace but we haven’t got a choice at the minute. We have to keep him wrapped up so we’ll see how he is this morning but we need to get him on the training pitch, that’s where it matters, that’s where it all counts.
“Kyle’s (Howkins) coming on rapidly, quicker than we expected, so we’re hoping maybe before Saturday, but hopefully next week we’ll have him nearly there, I’m not going to say there, but nearly there. [George] Taft’s going to be a while, Taft’s going to be [out for] probably four to six weeks, so no joy on that one.
“[The] likes of Chris Clements [and] Jack Thomas; I think Jack, touch wood, will make some major moves this week and hopefully Chris will be available for the weekend.”
The manager revealed after Saturday's stalemate with Hartlepool United that striker Matt Green is close to signing a new contract at the club and he now believes it is just a matter of time before the striker puts pen-to-paper.
"I think him and the chairman have had a conversation and I think it’s virtually done to be honest with you."
Supporters can view Adam Murray’s weekly news conference on Stags PlayerHD.