Mansfield Town’s Mal Benning is enjoying his ‘licence to thrill’ in his new left wing back role.
Benning has always been an attacking left back and has scored some memorable goals, but ahead of Saturday’s trip to Macclesfield Town he said he was enjoying the freedom offered by his new position.
“Left back is my main position but I am enjoying it out there right now,” he said.
“I have always liked attacking from left back and, as a wing back, you do get more freedom to attack. But you are further up the pitch so have to adapt your game here and there.
“As a wing back, attacking and defending, you really have to put a shift in. I do feel much fitter this year with all the work we have done.
“They are very similar roles, there’s not much different. When I am not getting the ball high up I do tend to drop back into my left back role to try to get onto the ball.
“But if I do get caught high up the pitch I have got players behind me to cover me up.”
Benning had a rare off day in Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw at Tranmere and was eventually replaced by Will Atkinson, but has already put it behind him.
“I have been satisfied with my form. Tuesday night was just one of those nights when things don’t go your way,” he said.
“As a left wing back you need to create opportunities and the gaffer thought I wasn’t really contributing that much, so fair enough. You just have to take it on the chin and move on. Other than that I’ve done well.”
Despite three League Two draws in a row before this weekend, Benning is encouraged by the number of chances they continue to carve out.
He said: “Overall I think it’s a very good point going to Tranmere on a Tuesday night. Having said we did have the chances to get the three points.
“It was a well-contested game we could have nicked. The main thing is we are creating opportunities.
“Obviously you’re not going to score every one, but because we are creating that many of them we know we are going to score goals in games.
“We are still unbeaten, including pre-season, so it’s a good stat to have and we want to keep it up.
“This run all goes back to the training ground. Everyone knows what they are doing.
“The back three looked very solid the other night and I think they are a main part of it. Obviously when they need help from the wing backs we do help.
“We are all frustrated not picking up two wins in the last two games.
“But we are unbeaten so there’s no need to panic. We are playing good football and creating good opportunities. When things click it will be very good.
“We are in a decent place in the table and one of those where a couple more points and we are right up there.”
On Macclesfield, he added: “They were champions last year so they will have momentum.
“It will be a tough away day again but I am confident we can get the three points.”