Mansfield Town defender Hayden White believes Otis Khan can be a game-changer this season.
As Stags prepared to head to Yeovil Town tomorrow, from where they signed Khan, White said the young midfielder’s two-goal five-star showing in Saturday’s opening 3-0 home win over Newport was no surprise to him.
He said: “We signed Otis from Yeovil, so their loss is our gain. Hopefully he can some more of what he was doing on Saturday.
“He and all the boys the manager has brought in are quality and Otis does that every day in training, so it wasn’t a shock to me.
“He is one of several game-changers here and I think we’re in for an exciting season.”
Last season Stags twice came from behind to win 3-2 in a thrilling game at Yeovil and White said: “I’d be happy with any kind of thriller that contains us scoring all the goals this Saturday.
“We are not taking any games for granted this year – it’s another three points we can put on the board.
“We drew too many games last year which is something we’re definitely looking at changing this year.”
White said the opening win over Newport simply underlined all the hard work done in pre-season and he emphasised how thorough boss David Flitcroft has been in preparing them.
“It was a very good start for us. Everything we’ve done in pre-season really came through for us,” he said.
“We had a very thorough pre-season with a lot of hard work which the players really took on board and that showed on Saturday.
“It was tough. But the manager told us at the start if we all commit to the project we’ll all get the rewards.
“There is a big respect level in the dressing room at the moment that the boys are prepared to work as hard as possible.
“The manager has instilled that respect level and the boys are showing how together we are at the moment. It’s something the manager is big on and it’s really helping us.
“He has different ways of doing that – the Portugal trip, how thorough he is in training sessions. Nothing is by chance. We’ve been working very hard and the things we are doing on the pitch are things we’ve been doing on the training field.
“He doesn’t leave any stone unturned – that’s one thing I can say about the manager.”
White, a right back last season, has started the campaign on the right of a back three.
“It’s a position I played a lot when I was younger and a position I enjoy,” he said.
“Wherever the manager asked me to play I am happy – right side, left side or wing back. I am enjoying it.
“You always have to concentrate but you have to stay switched on a lot more in a three. But I’ve got Pressy (Matt Preston) and Pearcey (Krystian Pearce) and they are really helping me through.”
With Stags 3-0 up near the end last weekend, White came up with a heroic last ditch goalline clearance to preserve a clean sheet.
“I can’t say it was luck,” he said. “I just thought I’d try to make the effort to help the lads out.
“Sometimes they end up hitting you and going in, but luckily it stayed out.
“I didn’t think I would actually get there, but I started running and I had a slight feeling he might not hit it as hard as he should. It was a gamble that paid off.”