Benning hails team character at Mansfield Town as promotion bid continues

Mal Benning has been one of the star performers for Stags this season.
Mal Benning has been one of the star performers for Stags this season.

Mal Benning has hailed the character and personality in the Mansfield Town squad and believes they could be crucial factors in promotion being secured.

Mansfield go to Northampton Town on Saturday looking to maintain their top three place.

And as Benning reflected on the season as a whole, he feels consistency has been another key to Stags' success.

He said: “If you go back to the start of pre-season and the signings the gaffer made, he’s bedded them all in well and as a team we are a strong unit.

"It’s about being consistent – even if we’ve lost and had bad performances we’ve kept doing the same stuff and kept going and if we can do that for the next five games then hopefully it’ll pay off.

“We back each other to do well. Everyone wants to play, but those that don’t start are still coming on and making a huge difference.

“It’s a good pressure to be under. There’s a lot at stake but we have to enjoy it and hope the reward will come."

With Benning in his fourth season at Mansfield, he feels going up would be top of his achievements so far not just with Stags, but in his whole career.

He said: “Promotion would be the best achievement of my career but it’s not just for me, as having been here a few years and seen how the club’s progressed I think they’re ready to step up so it would be a great achievement for everyone.

“We’re buoyant at the moment so need to keep our heads down and get the job done.

“It’s nearly four seasons for me here now and hopefully there will be more to come with us progressing up the leagues but we will of course take each year as it comes.

“It’s about doing what we’ve done for the past 41 games. There have been ups and downs and there still will be. Teams won’t lie down as we saw against Cambridge, but we have to keep going and doing what we do best and hopefully the results will come."

Benning feels the experience within the team will be key in the final five games, as well as maintaining the character shown so far.

He said: “There are some big characters and personalities in the squad. The spine of the team has a lot of experience in the team and that’s what we need to push us over the line.

“We also have a lot of past promotion winners in the team so hopefully they can help all of us get over the line.”

The Stags wing back also wants the fans to maintain their great support, with over 1,000 expected to head to Northampton on Saturday.

He said: “It could be a massive difference. Even the game here on Saturday the fans backed us at 0-0 and when we were under a bit of pressure when leading towards the end the fans were helping us get over the line so hopefully they can do similar at Northampton.”