Brian Jensen beats Mansfield Town club record in first game

When giant Danish keeper Brian Jensen made his Mansfield Town debut at Notts County on Friday, he immediately broke the club record as the club’s oldest ever first team player at the age of 40.
Brian Jensen.Brian Jensen.
Brian Jensen.

The club’s previous oldest player was Tony Ford, who played against Cardiff City in 1999 at the age of 39 years 359 days, while oldest debutant was former manager Carlton Palmer, who was 39 years 244 days when he played at Stockport County 10 years ago this month.

But vastly experienced former Burnley and West Brom stopper Jensen has no intention of hanging up his boots as yet.

Jensen was drafted in on Friday when Scott Shearer was ruled out with an ankle problem caused by a virus and more than played his part in the superb 2-0 derby win.

However, since then he was beaten by a deflected shot in the 1-0 defeat at Accrington on Tuesday night and said: “I have to say it’s been a tough start to have a local derby and then go away to Accrington.

“But to get something out of the big one and then go to Accrington and not get anything, that was a really, really disappointing thing.

“It was a great atmosphere on Friday and to drag nearly 11,000 over there in League Two is spectacular. The fans were absolutely magnificent. But I’ve said all the way through, it’s not only that game, we need them all the way through the season. They need to be our 12th man, especially when we are here at the One Call Stadium. We need to make this a fortress and hopefully they will start doing that again on Saturday.

“We apologise that we had to disappoint them at Accrington, but we are as disappointed as they are. It was a little bit of a kick in the teeth but it’s a great game to get into here again on Saturday to redeem ourselves and show what we can do.

“There’s no magical word. Why did we do this, why did we do that? We tried to win the game and it just didn’t work out for us and we are really disappointed. Our pride has been dented a little bit but there is nothing better than another game coming up so early and so quickly, so we just have to redeem ourselves and kick on on Saturday.

“But why that happened at Accrington, we don’t know. It could be Accrington played better and tried to stop us from playing as, of course, they must have seen us against Notts County. Stuff like that, it’s a combination between the two.”

On the winning goal, he said: “It was going the opposite side and the deflection killed it a little bit. But when you shoot, anything can happen. What goes around comes around and hopefully it will happen for us soon.”

Jensen is proud to break a club record by playing his first game and said: “I can’t really keep it quiet when I am walking around with a squad number of 40 on my shirt, so what can I say? There is still life in the old dog. It’s all good. I will just keep it ticking over and see how it goes.

“I have always said it’s just a number (age). As long as I feel good, that’s the main thing. As long as the body keeps going. I am still hanging in there.

“I’ve said all the way through that, obviously you don’t know about injuries – touch wood – and all that kind of stuff. But you just want to keep it going as long as you possibly can. I always said I would keep going until the wheels came off, so that I am here now to do this is pleasing.

“I am not finished yet. Obviously from the background I am from it’s been a tough ride, but it’s been pleasing and it’s been satisfying to go in.

“It was only my hobby at the time, so to go in and be a professional footballer from the area where I am from, it’s a hell of an achievement I have to say.”

Jensen is doubling up as the club’s goalkeeping coach and hopes to bring through the next generation of stoppers at the One Call Stadium.

“Yes, 100 per cent. We’ve got a good bunch of goalkeepers here and I would love to teach them and show them what to do, try to improve them and develop them,” he said, “It’s definitely something I’ve been looking at and want to do.”

As he spoke to the press, Jensen’s two sons were kicking a ball outside and he smiled: “They are here again today. Yes, that’s the pension.

“I need to keep them ticking over, they are doing really well football-wise, one a keeper and the other a striker.

“I need to please both of them, I can’t say I have got a favourite just because one of them is a goalkeeper! Though we did say to Sebastian that when Kasper (Schmeichel) finally retires, it’s your slot. We have said that to him a few times.”

Now Jensen has the jersey, he has no intention of letting Shearer get it back and is relishing the battle.

“Obviously Scotty has loads of experience as well and we clicking well already,” he said. “We stand by each other – the little GK union – so it’s going well at the moment.

“It always has to be like that or there would be issues. I’ve never come across it being otherwise. I wouldn’t change anything, regardless of who is playing.”

Although he respects the side Saturday’s opponents Oxford United have put together, Jensen said he felt the players in his own dressing room were more than a match for them.

He said: “We have a good bunch of lads and there is an absolutely huge amount of quality in there, so like the gaffer said, Oxford have quality and have signed some good players, but we have as well, so we can hurt them.

“They can hurt us as well so it’s going to be a very good game on Saturday. We need to do something about our performance at Accrington as we set the standard last Friday, so we need to get back to scratch again.”