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Club News

Benning enjoying education under Stags' boss

26 January 2017

Club News

Benning enjoying education under Stags' boss

26 January 2017

Stags’ left-back Mal Benning says he is relishing life under boss Steve Evans since the Glaswegian took the reins in November last year.

The 23-year-old has become a fans' favourite at One Call Stadium with over 60 appearances since his arrival at the beginning of last season.

As he continues to work under new manager Steve Evans, Benning says the change in boss has meant a different perspective on the game, and it’s one that he’s enjoying.

“It has been a good change. Obviously the philosophy is a bit different, so we have to adapt to that.,” Benning said.

“But it is the first time for me that this scenario has happened, so it has been a good experience for me and I am learning from it.

“Everyone gets along in the dressing room and it is a tightly-knit group. But in training, there is a bit more passing going on – we are trying to play a bit more in getting out [of defence], with the gaffer trying to get his philosophy through.

“He wants us to dominate games, and try and play a bit more. Instead of trying to find that killer pass with the first ball, he wants us to build up play though the midfield and going around it that way.”

Evaluating his personal journey through the campaign thus far, the ex-Walsall full-back says he is focussed on continuing to keep his place in the team as competition for a starting berth hots up.

“I think I have been alright. I have had some poor games, but I have had some good games as well.

“But the main focus is to keep my place in the team really; as we know there is a lot competition now [with the new signings] – there are a lot of bodies in the building. So you need to put in a performance to keep your place.”
The Stags have already made six confirmed signings this month, all of whom have made an instant impact in their respective debuts.

And Benning agreed that this has upped the intensity and the focus of the group to maintain high standards. 

“As you know you cannot lack too much because if you do, then you are coming out of the team and you could be in a scenario where you are in the stands.

“So, you have always got that pressure. But obviously this will help bring the best out of you and hopefully keep you sharp.”

Shifting focus to this weekend’s Sky Bet League Two fixture against Leyton Orient, Benning refused to look too much into the two sides’ contrasting run of form.

“Anyone can beat anyone in this league, as many results have already proven.

“It is one of those [games] where we just focus on ourselves really, and with [us sitting] just three points off the play-offs, we need to keep focus and take each game as it comes and hopefully climb the table.
“I think they (Leyton Orient) are a good team. Whenever we play them, I know it is going to be a tough test. So we will be expecting that.”  

Supporters can view Mal Benning’s full news conference on Stags PlayerHD.

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