Mansfield Town goalkeeper Alan Marriott is riding a wave of confidence after keeping two consecutive clean sheets.
Marriott successfully shut out Exeter City and Wycombe Wanderers as Stags recovered from shakey defensive moments in their first two games of the season.
The experienced shot-stopper had been particulary disappointed with the way the goals were conceded but says Mansfield have worked hard to cut out the ‘silly mistakes’.
“It is really pleasing having two clean sheets and gives me a big confidence boost, especially after the first two games,” said Marriott.
“If you make mistakes you work twice as hard to put things right and we have all worked hard in training.
“The new formation is working really well and the three central defenders looked really solid against Wycombe. We have got good strength in central midfield and central defence, which suits this formation
“Once you get a clean sheet your confidence returns back to normal and you start to relax again.”
And, after picking up four points in their last two games, the former Lincoln goalkeeper believes Mansfield have an excellent platform to build on as they prepare to host fallen Premier League giants Portsmouth on Saturday.
“We have nothing to be afraid of in this division,” added Mariott. “We are just playing teams with bigger names, in front of bigger grounds and more fans.
“The lads were saying how it was windy at Wycombe and things like that, but it could have been worse, we could have been at a place like Braintree.
“We saw last season that we can mix it with big teams when we gave Liverpool a run for their money. We have got our first win and two clean sheets, it’s an excellent platform to build upon.”
And, despite playing more than 500 games, the former Lincoln goalkeeper says he is as hungry as ever to play football.
“It is great to be back playing in the Football League and gives you a great buzz going to the places we are going,” he said.
“When I was playing in the Conference I was determined to get back into the Football League, just to see if I could still do it.
“To play a team like Portsmouth is a great feeling and will be a great game for the fans. It will be a great atmosphere on Saturday.
“I just want to keep playing for as long as I can at as high a level as I can. I would love to test myself at League One level.”
Stags go into the game virtually free on injury worries with only goalkeeper Ian Deakin and Keiran Murtagh ruled out of the match.