Mal Benning said he and the other Mansfield Town players were feeling fit and raring to go with the new season just two weeks away.
Benning again did well as left wing back in today’s 0-0 home draw with Championship side Sheffield United just four days after that 3-1 win over Derby County.
Now he said the excitement was building and everyone was feeling positive about the campaign ahead.
“It was tough today,” he said. “They moved the ball quicker than Derby did the other day and came at us a bit in the first 15 minutes.
“But I thought we dealt with it well and then caused them problems.
“It was a good team performance. Some of our play today was really good so hopefully we can carry that through.
“We kept a clean sheet, which is something to build on, and we had chances to score a couple of goals.”
On a personal level, he added: “I am feeling good. I’ve had a good pre-season. Everyone is looking sharp and fit and we are ready to go.
“It’s been one of the toughest pre-season I’ve known, definitely compared to last year.
“The gaffer has a work ethic and wants players running as hard as they can.
“I’ve had plenty of minutes and I’m feeling good. We have two more games and two more weeks until the season starts, so hopefully I can get even fitter.”
As the new season approaches, he admitted: “It’s exciting. When it gets to the Friday before the season starts I will be buzzing to get on the pitch – if selected.
“We have just played two top Championship teams and looked good so we are excited for it.”
It will be season number four at Stags for Benning and fellow defender Krystian Pearce.
“It is mine and Pearcey’s fourth season here and we have enjoyed every minute of it to be fair,” he smiled.
“It’s been great, even though there have been ups and downs.
“Now we want promotion and, personally, I want to play as many games as I can and be part of that promotion-winning team.”