MULLINS INTERVIEW, PLUS BUXTON ON RORY BOULDING
MULLINS IS ON ATTACK TO KEEP HIS PLACE
Evening Post, 26 July 2007
Johnny Mullins is promising to be more of an attacking threat this season in a bid to hold down a Stags first team spot.
The right-back made 45 appearances in 2006-2007 after joining the club last summer on a free transfer from Reading.
With Alex John-Baptiste, Jake Buxton and Ashley Kitchen, competition is stiff.
But Mullins, 21, is prepared for the challenge.
"I had a pretty solid season last year, but what I need to do now is to work on the attacking side of my game," he said.
"I want to be overlapping more and getting crosses into the box, supporting the midfielder in front of me.
"You can't ignore your defensive duties and they must come first, but you also have to look at going the other way.
"If I just sit back and don't offer anything going forward then I can't expect to be in the team. And if I do get in the team then I have to keep up the level of play to stay in."
Martin McIntosh is the only new face in the Stags' back division, which shipped 63 goals in League Two last season. Mullins believes the continuity will help Mansfield.
He said: "We understand each other very well now and we can get better as a unit.
"The one player who has come in - Martin - is very experienced and I think he can only help the other lads."
TEENAGER READY TO BURST INTO STAGS TEAM
Evening Post, 25 July 2007
Rory Boulding can force his way into Mansfield's first team this season, reckons club captain Jake Buxton.
The teenage forward came off the bench at half-time with the Stags trailing 1-0 in the opening pre-season friendly at Belper to score a well-taken equaliser.
And Buxton reckons that could be just the start of something special for a player who made only fleeting appearances from the bench in 2006-2007.
"Rory is one of the people who has impressed me in pre-season training. He has come back stronger and fitter and grown up," said Buxton.
"He is a bit more outspoken and confident and he is one of the lads who is going to be knocking on the door and putting pressure on people who start.
"Rory has a habit of scoring goals and now he has to use his head. He has to make sure he doesn't get frustrated when he isn't getting in the team and when he does he has to take his chance to keep his place. He'll be looking to nick his brother Michael's starting shirt."
Buxton is looking for the other youngsters on the books to play their part at first-team level too.
It is a progression the 22-year-old knows well after coming through the ranks himself at Field Mill.
He said: "They need to be putting pressure on the players who are in the side so those in the team know they could be out if they are not doing the business."
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