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Artful Mellis relishing Cardiff test

4 January 2018

Classy midfielder Jacob Mellis believes Saturday's Emirates FA Cup Third Round clash with Cardiff City will be a good opportunity for Stags to test themselves against higher league opposition.

Stags will take on the Bluebirds at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday (06 January, 3.00pm kick-off) with a place in the fourth round of the oldest cup competition in the world at stake.

And Mellis, who has previously reached the quarter finals of the FA Cup with former club Barnsley, believes Saturday's tie will be a chance for Stags to show their quality.

"Ever since I was a little boy, you always watch the third round and fourth round of the FA Cup and I'm just happy to be playing in it," the former Chelsea youngster said.

"We're going up against a higher standard of players, obviously a Championship team, so we'll be looking forward to it, to test ourselves, see how far off we are and hopefully beat them.

"Their quality will be better but we've got a good squad. We're going there with confidence so we'll be looking forward to it.

"You have to enjoy it. You always have to believe you can win, otherwise there's no point turning up. We'll go there, Cardiff have been decent this season, but we'll go there full of confidence.

"They're two divisions higher than us but we've got good players and we believe we've got good players. I think we can go there and put in a good performance.

"You always have to believe you can win, otherwise there's no point turning up. We'll go there, Cardiff have been decent this season, but we'll go there full of confidence."

Jacob Mellis, midfielder

"Hopefully they underestimate us and we can go there and show our quality and show that we obviously deserve to be in the third round."

After picking up 10 points from a possible 12 over the festive period and extending their excellent run of form to one defeat in 18 games, Mellis believes confidence is high in the Stags' camp.

"It's great – it's only getting better as well. The training standard's going up, everyone's fighting for positions, so everyone's buzzing.

"Everyone's buzzing; even in training this morning, the standard was high. The gaffer still wants more, so he's pushing us every day. Even though we're on a good run of form, no-one's 'taking their foot off the gas'.

"Even through training, if you're 'off it' a little bit on say a Thursday, you can't expect to be picked on a Saturday because we've got a lot of players ready and waiting in the wings to step in."

After putting pen-to-paper on a deal at One Call Stadium in the summer, the 26-year-old says he feels 'settled' at the club.

"It's been a bit stop-start, playing-not playing. When you've got a big squad like this, it's going to happen sometimes. I'm enjoying my time here; I love the players, the people, it's a really nice club – I like it and feel settled.

"When we give them (the supporters) the football like we did at Wycombe and [in the] second half at Grimsby, we hear their voice and they roar us on. Everyone's together and it feels good."

iFollow Stags subscribers can login to our premium broadcast service to view Jacob Mellis' full news conference.

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