Cultured midfielder Joel Byrom wants to put his recent spell on the sidelines behind him and help the Stags climb the Sky Bet League Two table.
The 31-year-old made his comeback in Tuesday's 2-1 Checkatrade Trophy victory over Notts County after a six-week lay-off with a foot injury.
And after admitting his frustration at being forced to watch recent matches from the stands, the former Northampton Town man now wants to force his way back into the side and start contributing on the pitch.
"It's been a frustrating time and it was brilliant to get out there with the lads [on Tuesday]," Byrom said.
"Watching from the stands and not travelling to away games is tough but it was great to get back out there. It feels like forever because it was a frustrating one.
"I don't really like watching games when I'm not involved so I did quite a bit of work with you (Jason Harrison, Mansfield 103.2) and Stevo (Mark Stevenson, head of media & communications) on the radio and that was good because it was good for my university degree and also I saw the game in a different light and I enjoyed doing that.
"It's not nice being out of the team and I'm not normally one for getting injured but as I said, it's been a frustrating time and I just want to put that behind me now and help the team push up the table."
Stags currently sit just four points off the play-off places and eight off the automatic promotion spots and Byrom is aiming to string a run of positive results together to break into the top seven.
"It's been a frustrating time and I just want to put that behind me now and help the team push up the table."
"We're 13th but it's well within a shout of the play-offs and the automatic spots if you go on a good run. Once you get on a decent run at this level, it's tough to stop teams.
"Apart from the top couple of teams, no-one's really put a decent run together yet. We just need to get back to basics and just win games.
"The thing with this league this year, everyone's beating everyone. No-one's really running away with it. You see teams slipping up against teams you don't expect them to."
Manager Steve Evans' men face high-flying Exeter City on Saturday and former Stevenage man Byrom believes the clash should be a good spectacle.
"You know what Exeter are going to be about. They're always a good team, always a strong side and they play nice football and it should be a good game on Saturday.
"The fans are always decent at home and hopefully they can bring a few as well, I know it's a long way. We just need to go and put some performances in on the pitch now and get some wins."
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