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Defender excited to return to ‘bouncing’ One Call Stadium

19 September 2023

Defender Lewis Brunt says he ‘really enjoys playing at home’ in front of a ‘bouncing’ atmosphere at One Call Stadium, ahead of Stags’ return to home soil this Saturday against Barrow.

The 22-year-old, who joined the club this summer on a season-long loan from Leicester, has impressed with his calm performances at the back so far this campaign.

Speaking in a news conference this morning ahead of the weekend’s match, Lewis said: “The ground does get bouncing.

“I really enjoy playing at home. In under-21s’ football there are no fans.

“Playing at home in front of thousands and thousands of people is a good feeling.”

On life at Mansfield, he added: “I’m loving it. When I first came, I knew it was a great club to come to but since I’ve been here, all the lads have settled me in well and I’m enjoying it.

“It’s a lot different to what I have experienced before playing week-in, week-out, Saturday, Tuesday.

“I think I have done okay. I’m settling in well and playing on the left of a centre-half partnership with Flinty [Aden Flint].

“I think I have done okay but I can always improve so hopefully there’ll be many more positive games going forward.”

The defender admitted Sky Bet League Two has proved more challenging than perhaps first anticipated, despite his fine displays.

“It’s tougher than I expected,” he said.

“Physically, it has been tough – dealing with long balls and balls in behind.

“The main difference [to under-23s football] is that it is non-stop.

“You’re heading a ball and then a ball is being played over your head and then down the side.

“There’s no real respite in the game. It’s been tough but it’s been good.”

The ball-playing defender has partnered the experienced Aden Flint in Stags’ backline.

“I have only played with him for four or five games, but I have learned so much just having that constant experience next to me – talking to me throughout the game,” Lewis added.

“It’s been valuable.

“It has been good to learn off of him these last few weeks.

“Having him next to me is a real positive.”

The defender also had positive things to say about working with manager Nigel Clough.

“He helps young players.

“The way we try and play and the communication he [the manager] gives you in training and at half-time [has made it] a good experience playing under the gaffer.”

On Saturday’s game, Stags’ number 24 said: “We [will] prepare our normal game. We try and keep the ball and create lots of chances.

“I don’t think we try and look too much into the opposition, we try and focus on ourselves.

“We’ll go out and put a performance on like we know we can.”

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