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Hunt determined to repay gaffer's faith

5 October 2017

After plying his trade in the National League for the last three years, left-back Johnny Hunt wants to repay the faith shown in him by Stags' boss Steve Evans for giving him a chance to play in Sky Bet League Two.

The former Wrexham man joined the Stags in the summer from National League side Chester and the full-back has subsequently made seven appearances for the club.

Hunt has been an ever-present since breaking into the side for the 4-1 victory over Grimsby Town and the 27-year-old wants to continue working hard to show the gaffer why he was right to believe in him.

"I've just got to take this chance now, grab it with both hands and not look back," Hunt said.

"As soon as I heard they (the Stags) were interested, I wanted it to happen straight away and as soon as I spoke to the gaffer I was like: 'when can I sign and where?'.

"I came up and got it done and I want to prove [myself] and repay the gaffer and the people here for believing in me and actually giving me a chance.

"Stepping up from last year, I want to prove that I can play at this standard and especially in a team that's challenging."

“I always knew it was going to be hard to break into the team, Mal’s a very good player and he keeps me on my toes every single day."

Johnny Hunt, defender

The former Cambridge United left-back is vying with Mal Benning for the left-back berth in the Stags' side and Hunt knows that his performances must remain at a high standard to stay ahead of Benning in the pecking order.

"I always knew it was going to be hard to break into the team, Mal's a very good player and he keeps me on my toes every single day.

"It's the same all over the team, everyone's got a position to fight for and if you're not at your best in training every day, then you're not in the team on Saturday. You've got to perform in training and in the games.

"Obviously I want to play – every player wants to play – but I had to wait for my chance and I've had my chance but now I've got to stay in the team.

"I've got to keep training well and performing well because I know it's 'one slip' and the gaffer can change his mind again and I'll be waiting again because Mal's a very good player."

The Liverpool-born defender has previously been part of 'good squads' at former clubs, namely Welsh side Wrexham, but Hunt is in no doubt that the current Stags' squad is the best he's been involved in.

"I've been in good squads, challenging in the Conference. At Wrexham we had some very good players there and it was good and I learned a lot from them but this has stepped up a level. I say it every day to my friends and my family, the quality in the squad is unbelievable.

"I think we've got a team and a squad that's challenging for promotion and I'm happy to be a part of that. I want to keep playing games and play as many games as possible."

Supporters will be able to view Johnny Hunt's news conference on iFollow Stags later today.


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