Best yet to come, says Mansfield Town’s Andy Cook

Picture Gareth Williams/AHPIX LTD, Football, Sky Bet League Two, Forest Green Rovers v Mansfield Town, The New Lawn, Nailsworth, UK, 19/10/19, K.O 3pm''Howard Roe>07973739229''Two-goal hero Mansfield's Andy Cook applauds the away fans after the draw against Forest Green Rovers
Picture Gareth Williams/AHPIX LTD, Football, Sky Bet League Two, Forest Green Rovers v Mansfield Town, The New Lawn, Nailsworth, UK, 19/10/19, K.O 3pm''Howard Roe>07973739229''Two-goal hero Mansfield's Andy Cook applauds the away fans after the draw against Forest Green Rovers

After finally making his first League Two start for Mansfield Town, summer signing Andy Cook believes the fans will now get to see the best of him if he can get a run in the side.

Cook, who heads back to Walsall with the Stags tomorrow after signing from the West Midlands club in the summer, has had to bide his time after an early injury set him back.

But two goals as a sub at Forest Green and a first full 90 minutes in midweek against Salford have the big striker looking optimistically to the future.

“I thought I did all right for my first game since signing. It was good to get it under my belt and hopefully there’s many more to come,” he smiled.

“It was massive for me to play the 90 minutes on Tuesday. I have played in a few reserve games and the game against Crewe the other week, and I just need to keep building my fitness up so I can keep lasting games.

“It’s only one game. I need to get a run of games going to get my match fitness back. I am doing extra in training to keep my fitness up but it’s not the same as match fitness.

“I can do it in training but after playing 90 minutes my body hurt and was aching a bit. I just need to get used to that feeling again.”

On his early season injury, he added: “It’s been frustrating. It was in my first game and my first start in the cup and I’ve landed on my knee. But you just have to keep your head and keep going.

“For me this style is easy to play in once I am in there. They are a great set of lads and we can push on.”

Cook is enjoying his new partnership with Nicky Maynard, saying: “He is a good player to play with. He has great experience and is a great finisher. He has played in the Premier League and he’s someone I like to look up to and play off him.”

On his first full League Two game for Stags on Tuesday, which ended in a 2-1 defeat to Salford, he added: “It was frustrating – we had chances to win the game and we didn’t take them.

“As a team we’ve got to improve on that and defend better with the sloppy goals. If we can cut that out we will start winning games. We played quite well so there’s no point in beating ourselves up – we just move on to Saturday.”

Cook went over near the end in the box to no avail, but said: “It was a stonewall penalty. I was 100 per cent expecting the whistle.

“He pushed me two-handed in the back when I went up. I am centre forward and I am not going to go down when we are losing the game and there is a chance to get the equaliser.

“He’d been giving them all over the pitch but he’s not given it in the box.”