Mansfield Town’s talisman striker Matt Green is feeling as sharp as he has done since his two-year injury lay-off and gelling well alongside his new strike partners.
It’s great news for the Stags and bad news for League Two defenders as Green eases back towards being the player who shot Stags to promotion and made a big move to Birmingham City before a bad knee injury halted his progress.
Green, who scored 16 times last season, notched another after only five minutes in Saturday’s physical 1-1 friendly draw at Alfreton Town and said: “I feel a lot sharper going into pre-season compared to last. So hopefully it will be something to build on.
“It’s just about getting the fitness and the minutes on the pitch and getting run-outs at tough places like this (Alfreton). It was a good work-out.
“It’s more about getting your fitness pre-season, but it’s always good to score goals.
“It was a not very complicated one today, but I’ll take it. We had a lot of chances and got the ball in decent areas, so we’ll be looking to make them count over the next couple of weeks and press on to the first game of the season.
“Last season was very important for me personally and I’m sure it was good for the gaffer and the staff to see that I could get through 47 games and knock in the odd goal last season.
“It was great for me and also very helpful for the team. It’s something I’ll be looking to improve on this season.”
Green added: “I’ve never been a person to put targets in. If there is a goal there to be scored I try my best to score it. Hopefully that tally will add up to a total everyone will be happy with plus some success as well at the end of it.”
Green is impressed by the rise in standard of the squad and the new strikers brought in to play alongside him like Danny Rose and Pat Hoban.
“The squad is definitely a lot stronger and quicker,” he said. “We have a lot more pace in the team. We are playing a lot better standard of football, with more patience, and we’re a lot more organised.
“You’ve seen that in the last few games we’ve played and I am really excited by it.”
Against Alfreton, Green was again partnered by Danny Rose and Green said: “ “He’s a talented lad.
“You can see he’s got experience in League football and he plays the percentages of the game very well.
“So whether it’s me or one of the other strikers, we will benefit from him and I think we all compliment each other at the moment.”