Mansfield Town: Lee Stevenson hopes for his big chance
MANSFIELD Town's Lee Stevenson still feels he has everything to prove after a frustrating 18 months at the One Call Stadium.
But the 28-year-old now hopes to finally be given the run in the side he has craved since joining the Stags in the summer of 2011.
The goalscoring midfielder was one of Paul Cox's first signings when he took him with him from Eastwood to join Mansfield on a two-year deal.
But he has never reached the goalscoring heights he displayed with the Badgers and at Belper.
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However, that is mainly because his chances have been limited, with his start against Stockport on Tuesday night just his ninth in total and only third this season.
He has also only come off the bench five times as well in the last year and a half.
But after scoring in the 3-1 win at Stockport – his second strike in three starts this season – he hopes Cox will finally keep the faith and give him a run of games in the first team.
And Stevenson admits he would be bitterly disappointed if he did not keep his place in the starting line-up at Southport this Saturday.
Stevenson said: "I was nervous at the start but I always feel confident I can do a job in there and I have something still to prove after 18 months here.
"I have had one shot, realistically, and scored it and I have grafted in the middle of the park. I was put in there to do a job and feel like I have done it.
"I feel like I have been doing well in training, doing well in the reserves and fitness wise I have felt good so to get a goal was great as well.
"The gaffer told me I would get my chance and the other night, I hope to have taken that chance.
"It was a tap in for the goal but you have to be there in the right place and I feel I am good at reading the game."
The victory in midweek closed the gap to the play-offs to six points, with two or three games in hand on teams in the top five.
And Stevenson said it does not matter how they get the points, but they have to chalk up maximum returns.
"Had we beaten Kidderminster 1-0 and played terrible, we would have taken that," said Stevenson. "But we didn't, we lost and we went to Stockport and did a job on them to get the three points. Now it is about doing that in every game starting with Southport."