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Graham sets 10-game target after enjoying Mansfield Town debut

Mansfield Town v Wolves U21'Jordan Graham gets close in the first half.
Mansfield Town v Wolves U21'Jordan Graham gets close in the first half.

Young striker Jordan Graham has set himself a target of a minimum of 10 first team appearances for Mansfield Town this season after enjoying his full debut on Tuesday.

The 20-year-old started the home Checkatrade Trophy win over Wolves U21s, earning the praise of boss David Flitcroft – and he loved every minute of it.

READ WHAT DAVID FLITCROFT THOUGHT OF GRAHAM’S DEBUT

“The tempo of it is great – so much better than playing U21s football,” he said. “That’s what I want to be involved in every day.

“Id’ like to play at least 10 games in the first team this season, whether that’s starting or off the bench.

“The manager has been very supportive. He brought me in at the end of last season and put me on the bench a few times and then this season into the first team and it’s just been good.”

Looking back on his 65 minutes on the pitch, he said: “It was all right to be fair.

“First half I thought I did okay, then second half they had a bit more possession and it was a harder game. I think overall I did okay.

“I would have liked to score, but it was good to get minutes in the first team and my full debut – I’m buzzing.”

Graham is used to playing against other U21s but said the Premier League youngsters were a class above his usual opposition.

“They were lot better standard,” he said. “Their two midfield players were exceptional on the ball and hard to mark.

“Their defenders were strong as well. It was hard playing against them.

“I got a bit tired just before I came off as I haven’t played as many minutes as certain people, but it was good.”

Graham said he had guessed he was starting before he was told.

“In training on Monday when we were doing a shape session I worked out for myself I would be starting,” he smiled.

“I was confident before the game. I wasn’t too nervous as obviously I have come on a couple of times this season so it was just another game.”

On the senior players around him, he added: “They are very helpful and guide me through training and the game, they were all being supportive.”