Having extended his loan spell to the end of the season, Sheffield United defender Darryl Westlake is now looking forward to regular games and helping Mansfield Town move up League Two.
Ahead of the trip to Portsmouth, he said: “I am pleased to stay. My main reason for coming here was to get games and that’s what I have been doing, so I hope that carries on.
“It was a tough test over Christmas with all those games. But I now feel the fittest I have felt all season and I am feeling sharp.
“Against Scunthorpe last weekend we had a couple of early chances and, if we’d taken them, it would have been a different game. Then Hayes scored a great goal and it turned the game.
“We were all up for the game at the start and we were on top. But when a goal like that goes in, there isn’t much you can do. But we still dug deep and could have maybe got a point. We had a couple more chances but couldn’t take them.”
Now he is ready for today’s long coach journey down to Fratton Park to take on fellow strugglers Portsmouth tomorrow in a big ‘six-pointer’.
“This is an important game for us. We need to pick up points and get up that league,” he said.
“Exeter (the last away game – a tense 1-0 win) was a great game and all the lads dug deep. Hopefully we can do the same at Portsmouth.
“They will have a lot of fans there and it will be a tough test for us though it should be exciting.
“The league is very tight from top to bottom and we are only something like 12 points off the play-offs. We can’t keep looking over our shoulders. We need to focus on our game and go on another run.
“Since I have been here the games we have lost we should have got something out of and we don’t go into games fearing anyone.”