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Stags' challenge excites newest recruit

17 May 2017

Stags’ latest signing Paul Digby says he is excited by the challenge ahead of him after putting pen-to-paper at One Call Stadium earlier today.

The 6ft 4in midfielder became Stags’ second signing of the day after we announced the acquisition of striker Jimmy Spencer, following his departure from Plymouth Argyle.

Digby has joined the Stags from Championship side Ipswich Town as manager Steve Evans continues his recruitment during the close season. 

And Digby, 22, is relishing the challenge of helping the club to launch a promotion bid in the 2017/18 season. 

“I think it’s a great challenge and they’re ambitious,” Digby said. 

“They (Stags) want to win every game, that’s what I’ve been hearing, and they want to get promoted straight away so I think the challenge is a great challenge to have. 

“As soon as the season finished I was contacted straight away and was told of the club’s ambitions and how optimistic they are of the season ahead and excited me and really motivated me to want to come here. 

“I spoke with a lot of players who played [in] League Two and I’ve played [against] League Two teams as well and it’s a tough league. 

“You’ve got to work hard and you’ve got to be at your best every game, every single game. That motivates me to be at my best every week and I can’t wait to get going.”

The Barnsley academy product was utilised mainly as a centre-half by Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy and although he admits he didn’t play as much as he would have liked, he used his time there to educate himself by learning from members of the Tractor Boys’ excellent squad. 

“Even though I’ve not been playing as much as I would have liked, I’ve still gone in every day and given 100 percent and been 'like a sponge' really.

“[I have] learnt a lot off the great players there and I had a good chat with the gaffer there and we thought it was right that I go out now and play games. 

“Coming here, it’s a great platform for me to play games, have real influence at the club and give my all for Mansfield.”

The 22-year-old has played both in the centre of defence and the middle of midfield in his career so far and manager Steve Evans is expected to deploy him in the Stags’ midfield, a proposition that enthuses the Sheffield-born man. 

“I went to Ipswich off the back of a trial at Man United when I played centre-half and there has been different things between different managers; who sees me as a centre-half, who sees me as a centre-mid. I feel comfortable going in and playing either.

“I’ve done it at Championship level where I’ve played at centre-mid and at centre-half and I feel comfortable doing that but I feel here, I spoke with the gaffer and he said straight away ‘centre-mid’ and I was delighted with that. 

“I feel that’s where I can add more to the team and that’s where I think I play my best football as well.”

Supporters can watch Paul Digby’s first club interview exclusively on Stags PlayerHD.

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