After receiving the Chad Readers' Player of the Season award, Stags’ ever-present defender Rhys Bennett insists his main focus is to help the club achieve success on the field.
The former Rochdale defender has completed every minute of every game this season and was yesterday presented with the Chad Readers’ Player of the Year award by the paper's sports editor John Lomas.
And although Bennett is grateful for receiving personal accolades, he admits he would swap it all in exchange for a spot in the play-offs.
“It’s nice to be personally recognised but I just want to help the team,” said Bennett, who is joined by only Aden Flint of Bristol City and Walsall’s Jason McCarthy as players who are yet to miss a single minute of this EFL season.
“I like to just be there to help the team but it’s nice to be able to play every game personally. I don’t really think about it too much.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Crawley, the former Bolton Wanderers’ academy man is determined to record a victory to ensure Stags have a chance to finish the season in the play-offs.
“We have to go to Crawley and we have to win. There will be other people keeping an eye on results but us as players, we just have to go there and win.
“As professionals, you want to finish the season well and you want to go on your holidays reflecting back on a good performance.
“I feel like since the gaffer’s come in, we’ve done well as a team and we’ve shown top-end of the play-offs form if not automatic promotion form so we’ve just got to carry that on.
“Confidence is a big thing in football and the gaffer’s come in and he’s instilled confidence in the players and also we’ve got more confidence as a football team.”
Boss Steve Evans will sit down with each player individually next week to discuss their futures but Bennett admits it is a tough time of year for players, who don’t know where they’ll be plying their trade next season.
“I personally don’t really like this time of year, obviously you create friendships with other the players and to be worrying about your future and to see your team-mates possibly leave.
“I don’t really think it’s a nice time of year but that is part of this profession so we just have get on with it.
“The club have an option on me for next season and I’m sure when I speak to the gaffer he will reveal his plans for me so I’m like any player, just waiting to hear what his plans are for me.”
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