Jack Blake is looking forward to his first taste of the FA Cup tomorrow when the on-loan Nottingham Forest midfielder travels down to St Albans City as part of Mansfield Town’s first round squad.
The teenager believes the game offers a great chance for Stags to quickly wipe away the misery of last Friday’s 3-0 defeat at Southend.
He said: “The FA Cup can work both ways. But I think this is a good game for us and I am looking forward to it. It will be a different experience going down there with a different environment and different stadium.
“I have played in the FA Youth Cup at Forest, but this is my first time in the FA Cup. I think it’s a great competition. Any club can play any team in the league if you get through the early stages and this is an example of that. I am sure St Albans will be fired up.”
Blake, who only made his Football League debut with Mansfield less than three weeks ago, is enjoying every minute of his first tastes of senior football.
“Any first team experience I can get is fantastic, especially at my age. I have just turned 19 so I couldn’t ask for more,” he said.
“Every game is a different experience and I think I have learned something from every game and taken something away from it. I feel stronger mentally and physically.
“There were nerves, but I think that just gets the adrenalin going and you know you will remember it for the rest of your life.
“From the first day I came in, the players and the management staff have been fantastic with me. This is a great club with great fans and the players have made me feel welcome which has helped me settle in with the group.
“The supporters have been fantastic, especially away, and I can only thank people for that.”
He added: “I think we deserve to be higher in the table. We have been playing some really good stuff and creating chances. I think we’ve been a bit unlucky to be honest.”
“Friday was a tough test and we didn’t play very well.
“There were a lot of things going on in the game and a sending-off can change a game. But we didn’t particularly play well as a team and maybe effort levels were not too high either.
“We got punished for it and we have to look forward now and put things right next game.”