Midfielder Fergus Bell believes Mansfield Town’s line-up of high quality pre-season opposition will benefit them greatly when they begin their League Two campaign.
Stags have already put in impressive performances against Notts County, Aston Villa and Leeds United and will entertain League One side Walsall in their final pre-season game on 2nd August.
And although the former Monza player says pre-season results count for little, he is delighted with how his new side are shaping up.
“We have put in some good performances against some big name teams,” said Bell.
“We have had some great friendlies and whoever arranged them deserves a lot of credit.
“The matches have got a lot of fans through the door and provided us with a good test.
“When we play in the league we will not face teams of the quality of Leeds and Aston Villa, so it is excellent preparation for us.
“It is important that we do not get carried away with results. We have had good results but you cannot read too much into that. What you can look at is the way that the team is lining up.
“There is an excellent shape to us and we are all working really hard and covering the miles as a team. Fitness levels are very good and we have looked solid defensively and have got good options up front.
And the London-born midfielder, who started his career at the iconic Wallsend Boys Club in Newcastle, is confident Mansfield can prove the bookies wrong and have a good season.
“There is a real sense of excitement as the season gets nearer,” he said.
“We are not setting ourselves any targets as to where we might finish, but we are quietly confident for the season ahead. I think we are going to cause a few shocks.
“I speak to a lot of players around the League and they were impressed by how we beat Leeds.
“People are tipping certain teams to do this or that, but at this stage you simply cannot say any team is better than another.
“I just cannot wait to get going. There is nothing like ending the game having won all three points.
“I am buzzing to be playing back in England again in front of some brilliant fans. You cannot beat the passion and excitement generated by fans in this country.”
After his spell at Sunderland AFC youth academy, Bell signed for Hibernian FC, where he was a member of the Hibernian Under 19s side that won the Under-19 league and Scottish Youth Cup double in the 2008–09 season
Mansfield Town kick off their League Two campaign away to Northampton Town on 9th August.