Stags striker Rhead ready to reinvent himself

Matt Rhead -Pic by: Richard Parkes
Matt Rhead -Pic by: Richard Parkes

Mansfield Town’s man-mountain striker Matt Rhead has endured a frustrating start to the campaign after finding himself a more heavily marked man.

And he admitted he may need to reinvent himself to create some space and get himself on the scoresheet.

He said; “It has been difficult. Last season I was a bit of an unknown quantity in the Football League.

“Teams have now done their homework and I get a few more bodies around me which makes it hard to find the space. It is something I’ve got to overcome.

“But I have had a few obstacles in my way throughout my career and I am sure it won’t be long before I start to get a few goals.

“Players are getting a bit closer to me. So it is important to reinvent yourself and maybe make a different run to free up a bit more space for everyone else.”

Equally frustrating for Rhead was missing the first three games of the season through completing a four-game suspension from last season for a second red card. The striker admitted he, and the rest of the small squad, need to stay on the right side of referees this campaign.

“It is important to stay on their good side,” he said. “We can’t afford any suspensions. It is important we are competitive but mindful of not getting any stupid red cards.

“It was tough through pre-season knowing I was going to miss the first three games. It plays with your head a bit. It was so frustrating as no one wants to be watching football matches. Now it’s important for me to get a good run in the team and creating a good partnership with whoever is up there with me.”

Last Saturday Rhead rarely looked like scoring as Stags turned in a poor display that saw them lose 2-0 at Dagenham & Redbridge.

“It wasn’t like us not to put a performance in,” he said. “We let ourselves down a bit which is uncharacteristic. We didn’t really offer anything during the game and I think the goal just before half-time killed us. We are now just looking forward to the next game.

“Since I have been here we have very rarely had matches like that. We didn’t do anything all over the pitch and I didn’t get many chances. We need to bounce back this weekend and get a result.

“Looking at our fixtures, I don’t think two wins is too bad though it would have been nice to pick up a couple of draws away from home.

“Any team who wants to do anything in this league has to have good home form. You can’t rely on winning away. I hope we can keep doing that and picking up a new more points away as well.”

Now Rhead is preparing to face unbeaten Burton, who knocked QPR out of the Capital One Cup last night, saying: “Last season they were a very tough side, very disciplined in their 4-4-2 formation and difficult to create opportunities against.

“But they played in midweek which gives us the advantage. I hope there are a few tired legs in there. We are at home as well so, with the fans behind us, I am sure we can a result.”