Mansfield Town defender Ryan Sweeney is hoping to ‘build’ on last week’s clean sheet against Stevenage ahead of the trip to Sky Bet League Two leaders Exeter City on Saturday.
Sweeney made 46 appearances last season as the amber and blue reached the play-offs.
The defender is targeting more victories after a hard-earned clean sheet against The Boro in last Saturday’s 0-0 draw at One Call Stadium.
“We could do a little better if I’m honest, it’s still early days and we’re still trying to find our feet.
“On the whole we’d like a few more wins, but we’ve only played five games. Hopefully on Saturday we can go and put on another good away performance and build on the win at Carlisle.
“I’d have liked to have had more clean sheets. We’ve had two so far this season, hopefully we can build on the one we got against Stevenage last week.
“There have been patches in games where we’ve played well and it’s about putting into a 90 minute performance in. Once we get that I’m sure we’ll be a challenge for anyone in this league.
“I don’t think we’ve played too badly, it’s just small things. In this league if you want to be successful you need to do the basics right and I’m sure when get that right we’ll be fine, especially with our attacking options.”
Stags’ backline has been disrupted with injuries and suspensions this season, and although Sweeney feels that Mansfield have a strong enough squad to cope these issues, he reflected on how last season’s defensive record was achieved.
Mansfield conceded the fewest goals in the league last campaign and the defender feels a settled defence was key to that form.
“In the first game we played a three and since then we’ve changed to a four. Pressy [Matt Preston] got suspended and Pearcey [Krystian Pearce] got injured, but we’ve got the squad to deal with that.
“I know we’ve a lot of injuries recently and hopefully we can get a few players back soon. We’ve got other players who are more than capable who can step in if required so I don’t think it’s a huge problem.
“Last season the defence was pretty settled and we had a good defensive record In the league. We’re a flexible group and we can chop and change between formations. We’d like a settled defence and hopefully we can get that in the next few weeks.”
The Stags travel to Devon on Saturday to face unbeaten league leaders Exeter City and Sweeney knows the team need to bring their ‘A-game’ to get a result.
“It’s always a tough place to go. I think we all saw when they came down to our place and beat us last season that they’re a really good side.
“We went down there at the back end of last season and put on one of our best performances, so it’s going to be a tough one. I know they’ve started the season well and we’ll have to bring our ‘A-game’ if we want to take three points.”
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