Mansfield Town skipper Krystian Pearce targets 25 clean sheets for the division’s meanest defence

Krystian Pearce wants 25 clean sheets for Stags next season
Krystian Pearce wants 25 clean sheets for Stags next season

Mansfield Town skipper Krystian Pearce has set himself targets of promotion and at least 25 clean sheets for the new season.

The big centre half was on the scoresheet in last night’s 3-1 home friendly defeat by Blackburn Rovers and was delighted to get his first full 90 minutes under his belt.

“It was a good work-out. We were a bit disappointed with the goals we conceded, but it was 90 minutes for myself and a lot of minutes for the boys,” he said.

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“I felt good. Obviously there are a few more pre-season games to go before the season starts. So hopefully I can get some more 90s in and get firing for the season.”

A mistake by Pearce allowed Rovers in for their second, but he smashed home an unstoppable shot seconds later and came close to more from set pieces.“I probably should have had a hat-trick,” he smiled. “For my goal, I saw it drop down and just thought I would get it on target, luckily it went in.”

On his error for the Rovers’ second goal, he added: “I would rather that happened now than during the season, so let’s get the bad one out now and go from there.

“After their second goal I was probably trying to make up for it. I will be trying to score goals this season but I am more concerned with the clean sheets.

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“I have not set a target for goals, but my goal for the season is 25 clean sheets – that’s the main target after promotion.”

As part of a back three alongside Matt Preston and Ryan Sweney, Stags had the meanest defence in the division last season and achieved 18 clean sheets.

“Obviously we all know each other well,” he said. “We played together for the majority of last season.

“So hopefully we can have the best defence in the league again and the most clean sheets.”

With four new faces added to the dressing room so far this summer, Pearce said: “I think everyone has settled in well.

“All of them bring something different to the team and I think they have added a lot of quality.

“The gaffer is trying to implement his style of playing onto the team. It’s still early days and we are trying to iron a few kinks out, but overall I think we are doing well.

“It was important for me to get my first 90 last night and hopefully I can kick on from here.

“As a team we’re still working on the shape and hopefully we will get better with each game.

“Against Blackburn we were trying to focus a lot on the team shape and playing wide rather than through the middle. We did it a bit better in the second half, but we still have a lot of work to do.”