Stags striker Matt Rhead enjoying life in the League, but wants to shed ‘super sub’ tag
Rhead, who gave up a good job two summers ago to become a full-time player, is living his dream after Stags gained promotion and opened his account last weekend after making a massive difference when coming on at half-time.
Ahead of tomorrow’s tough trip to Newport County, he said: “It was great to get a goal early doors after only a few games. It couldn’t have come any easier really after a great backheel from Calvin Andrew, it was just a tap-in more than anything. Calvin did brilliantly to get the ball across between so many players.”
Rhead is enjoying every minute of being a League player and added: “It all feels a bit strange, staying up on Saturdays to watch the Football League Show, but this is a great experience and I am will cherish every minute of it.
“I hope next year we will be in League One too. I want us to keep going and going. This is a brilliant experience and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
“There feels more atmosphere in the ground with more away supporters.
“We have already played quite a few of the teams expected to be up there and we haven’t got to fear anyone. It’s something we can build on. This first month has been a real eye-opener and I hope we can carry it on.”
Manager Paul Cox has now challenged Rhead to become a 90-minute player and start games rather than just be a second half impact player.
“Super sub is not the best tag to have as obviously you want to be starting,” said Rhead. “But if I can come on and help the team in any way I will always do my best for Mansfield Town.
“But I want to start as many games as possible and will keep pushing for the team. I will keep coming on and trying to do well until the gaffer wants me to start.
“A lot of teams don’t know what to expect when I come on as they’ve not done their research.”
Rhead has no regrets about quitting his job to go full-time in the game, adding:“It was now or never to be fair, but I made that decision and we went on to win the league last year which made it all worthwhile. I hope we can now push on and get promotion again this year. It’s been something of a fairytale.
“This team is able to push on to the next level and I hope to be part of that, whether it’s play-offs or promotion. There is everything to play for.”