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Modest midfielder staying level-headed after plaudits

11 February 2017

In-form midfielder Ben Whiteman is determined to maintain his impressive run of form after an incredible start to life at One Call Stadium.

The Stags' faithful are heaping praise upon the 20-year-old since his loan signing from Sheffield United at the turn of the year and his performances in January earned him a nomination for League Two Player of the Month.

And after netting a brace in this afternoon's comprehensive 4-0 win at home to Hartlepool United, Whiteman emphasised that nothing had yet been accomplished, despite his magnificent start at One Call Stadium.

"You can't get too carried away with yourself, I've only been playing for a month," said Whiteman, who now has five goals for the Stags in seven appearances.

"There's a lot of the season to go yet but I'm doing alright. My main focus is on helping Mansfield Town and helping the boys get results. I scored two but more importantly we got the three points so I'm delighted."

However, even though Stags defeated the Pools in fully-deserved fashion, Whiteman still saw room for improvement: "We were a little sloppy in the second half and the gaffer has reminded us of that. We won 4-0 [though] so we can't really complain. You have to do the ugly side of the game, get back in and help your team-mates out. That's what football is about."

A crowd 4,309 witnessed the spectacle, with Stags' supporters in fine voice throughout the victory.

"They were really loud," said Whiteman. "The fans who made it to Barnet last week for different class as well. They were different class today so we can't really ask for more. It gives you a bit of a boost when things get flat and aren't going your way."

Whiteman said post-match that the team's spirit is a big factor in the Stags' excellent current form which has seen us extend our unbeaten run to eight matches in Sky Bet League Two with six clean sheets in that period. 

"We're a close-knit group. I think that's showing on the pitch. We've only conceded one goal in the whole of January and I think it's showing. The back four and Keano [goalkeeper, Jake Kean] have been different class." 
Reserving special praise for boss Steve Evans, he said: "I can't thank the gaffer enough for bringing me here, and I'm getting regular game time so that's the most important thing."

To watch the full interview with Ben Whiteman, login to Stags PlayerHD

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