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Interviews

Skipper humbled by 'honour' of leading Stags

5 December 2017

After being nominated for the Sky Bet League Two Player of the Month award, Stags' skipper Zander Diamond has paid tribute to his team-mates and spoken of 'the honour' of captaining the club.

It was announced this morning that the 32-year-old is on the four-man shortlist for the monthly award alongside Forest Green Rovers' Christian Doidge, Luton Town's Dan Potts and Chesterfield striker Kristian Dennis.

And after helping Stags keep three clean sheets during November, in addition to scoring three goals, Diamond has described leading 'a great bunch of lads' as an honour.

"I said before, winning football games breeds confidence," said Diamond.

"It's a great month personally but these awards come along and highlight individuals, but the team's been fantastic collectively as well.

"We've worked tirelessly on the training ground to get the football club up the league standings. You put a string of results together and confidence grows. Everybody champing at the bit to play helps because there's pressure on you from behind.

"They're a great bunch of lads. That's not just on a matchday, it's in training and in and around the changing room.

"There's a lot of experience there. It's taken time to click – there's a lot of new bodies and new players coming in, trying to buy into the philosophy of what the gaffer and Rayns wants.

"It's coming together slowly but surely and it's an honour, not just to lead the team, but to lead Mansfield Town."

The former Northampton Town man has struck up a solid partnership with Rhys Bennett at the heart of the Stags' defence in recent weeks but Diamond insists it's vital to maintain high standards in order to remain in the side.

"It's coming together slowly but surely and it's an honour, not just to lead the team, but to lead Mansfield Town."

Zander Diamond, captain

"Rhys is a good footballer, a good talker but not only Rhys, we've got the whole back four and if you count [Conrad] Logan, the back five chipping in with putting bodies on the line, and it bodes well.

"We know if we're not doing our jobs, there's players on the sidelines that can easily come in and take our positions. We've got to keep our standards high, in performance and in training.

"I always believe in my own ability. You look around the squad and the strength in depth is there, but you've got to believe that you can come in and do a job.

"Lucky enough, I've managed to do that and I've always prided myself on high standards. That's in training and that's on the field of play as well. Hopefully there's more to come. You never stop short of wanting to improve day-by-day and game-by game."

Supporters can login to iFollow Stags to view the skipper's full news conference.


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