Time for back-to-back League Two wins for Mansfield Town says Benning
Mansfield Town star Mal Benning believes it's high time the club chalked up back-to-back League Two wins for the first time this season.
Stags are on a sparkling 13-game unbeaten run and saw off Grimsby Town 2-1 in their last League game.
But back-to-back wins have eluded them so far ahead of Saturday’s visit of Port Vale.
“In all my time here I think the most we’ve won on the bounce in the League is three,” said Benning, who has been outstanding on the unbeaten run at left wing back.
“We need to progress to back-to-back wins now as any wins on the trot will get you straight up the league.
“It’s about building on that and I am sure it will come.
“This has been one of the best unbeaten runs we’ve been on since I have been here, even though we may not have won as many as wanted to.
“It’s still very early, being mid-November. It’s all about getting that consistency, not getting too carried away and keep working hard.
“It’s been a steady season. We’ve only lost two though we had a few too many draws.
“But we are turning those draws into wins now which is a good thing and hopefully we can keep climbing up the table.”
Stags are in the middle of a crazy schedule of playing twice a week for seven weeks in a row.
“As a player you want to play in every game and with playing Saturday/Tuesday every week it’s been a very busy schedule,” he said.
“It’s been tiring to be fair. But it’s been good to be involved in and, as a team, we’re doing well. It does feel like it’s getting me fitter.”
Benning believes the upturn in results is down to improvements at both ends of the pitch.
He said: “We have been keeping more clean sheets. They are three of the best defenders in the league and it’s been good to play in front of them.
“Up front we’ve had a lot of chances in games all season and we are now finishing a few more then we did.”
On next opponents Port Vale, he said: “We are anticipating a physical battle up front with the strikers they have got.
“From playing them at home last year they are not a bad team and it will be tough, but I think if we are on our job on the day we’ll get three points.
“It’s nice to be home again in front of the fans. The atmosphere the fans are creating stems from the form we are in as a team and the good feeling around the club at the moment.
“When we step on the pitch we don’t feel we are going to get beaten.
“I think this is the best squad I’ve been involved in in my four seasons here.”
On his own season, he added: “I think I’m doing okay. I’ve had a consistent run of games now and hopefully I can build on them and get more assists and goals.
“As a wing back I have more of a licence to get up there and attack. As a left back I still had that licence as that’s the way I play, but as a wing back you are further up the pitch already.”
In Tuesday’s Checkatrade Trophy win over Scunthorpe, Benning came on as a sub to get his first ever taste of playing as a central defender.
“It was a bit different, but it was a good experience,” he smiled.
“It was the first time I have played there and it felt a bit weird.
“Playing in the middle gave me a different perspective of the pitch.
“You have to be a bit more switched on to strikers’ movements. I am always ready to do a job if needed – and I did.”