Now he has his first League goal under his belt, Mansfield Town manager Adam Murray is convinced summer signing Adi Yussuf will now blossom.
Although his first team chances have been limited so far, the 23-year-old bagged a late winner in Saturday’s thrilling 4-3 win at Dagenham & Redbridge to underline the goalscoring instinct that served him so well at Conference South Oxford City.
Yussuf had missed a couple of good chances when coming on as a substitute already, but Murray puts that down to lack of match action and has complete faith the club have a real gem on their hands.
“He has missed a couple of chances, partly due to the fact he hasn’t had much game time,” said Murray.
“He’s been a little bit rusty with his instincts. Forward players are always best when they are not thinking and playing off instinct.
“I have always said Adi will build into this football club and I was over the moon for him on Saturday. Before the goal he was causing problems.
“We made the decision to get him on early and he was a constant threat. Him and Greeny (Matt Green) worked really well together and I think you look at his goal, to be fair, Greeny created it with his hard work and he won the battle that allowed Adi to get the final piece.”
After scoring the late winner on Saturday, Yussuf ran to the crowd to celebrate his first ever League goal with his parents, who have watched him play since he was 10, and Murray added: “It sums up the atmosphere we’ve created in this group.
“We went to games last year and you get a certain amount of complimentary tickets from the opposition team and at home games here. Last year it was very rare all the tickets got used up.
“This season we need more tickets because people’s families want to come and watch them, their friends want to come and watch them. There is a real unity about everything we are doing at the minute and it bodes for a good atmosphere.”
Stags fans have already seen one Conference South goalscorer with a big reputation, Ollie Palmer, fail to hit the mark two levels above. But Murray promised: “For me there is a difference between Olly and Adi, I will keep that to myself.
“You look at the amount of chances Adi gets when he plays, even in pre-season friendlies, every time he’s come on the pitch as a sub, he gets chances. The only reason he’s not taken those chances is game time.
“When he gets that game time consistently, he will score goals. We are really confident in Adi. He is someone that we had a lot of faith in when we signed him.
“I think that’s the scary thing for supporters, when you sign someone that has come from non-League, you can’t see faith. It’s something you have to believe in and know that the faith you have in someone, in the end it will you ultimately give you the rewards you believe in – and Adi will do that.”
Murray had a final word of praise for striker Green, who bagged a penalty and played a big part in the winner.
“Again Greeny’s selfless performance was superb on Saturday and the boys behind him played with a lot of freedom and pace and we created a lot of problems,” said Murray.