Flying Mansfield Town winger CJ Hamilton believes he is a better player now than ever before and thanked new manager David Flitcroft for all the extra one-to-one coaching he is now getting.
Hamilton will be hoping to help shoot down Yeovil Town on Saturday and keep the club’s play-off hopes alive at the end of a season the former Sheffield United man has enjoyed.
“This season has been a lot better than my first season here,” he smiled.
“I’ve done a lot more on the pitch, got a lot more game time and cemented my place in the team a lot more.
“I’ve contributed a lot more to the team with goals and assists.
“At the start of the season it was hit and miss for me as I wasn’t playing as much. “But ever since I got in the side October time I’ve kept my place and been doing well.”
He has now noticed the improvements in his game, being helped hugely by new boss Flitcroft putting an arm around him.
“In an attacking sense in trying to pick someone out, I am looking up a lot more now and my defensive duties have got a lot better,” he said.
“I know I still need to work on my end product a lot more as I am sometimes still not hitting the right space or the right man.
“Since the new gaffer has come in he has helped me so much. He has stayed out and done extra one-to-one sessions with me.
“This has happened ever since he came in. He noticed me straight away and wanted to work with me individually two or three times a week.
“I think I have always needed that little bit of coaching to get me where I need to be.
“I have a bit of confidence now and when I am confident I don’t think as much as I do when I am not confident. It gives me a lot more freedom.
“Like most players, when you are confident you don’t even think about what you are doing. You just go along with it and everything just rolls off on its own.”
Now the pressure is on to win at Yeovil and set up a thrilling last day of the season in the chased for the play-offs.
Hamilton said: “It’s a huge game and the boys are all up for it. We still think we have a good chance of getting in there.
“We have to go down there and do what we have to do to get the three points. We have to be ruthless in front of goal.
“These are two massive games now that can define our season, so hopefully we can go down there and get a result. Everyone is confident we can get the six points and see where it takes us from there.
“It’s been a weird season when you look at it as we’ve been in so many good positions this season and have killed ourselves by not getting the results we needed to.”
He added: “It was a very frustrating game up here against Yeovil.
“They kept us at bay and kept everything out. I think it will be the same down there. They’ve got quite a good little team down there and they’ve done it all season.
“They managed to keep themselves during in the week and they are a tough team to beat.
“They went to Coventry and managed to beat them 6-2, so we can’t underestimate them at all. We have to go there and put our game plan into action and beat them.
Hamilton said manager Flitcroft had been trying everything possible to improve results, but a lot of it was simply down to a lack of recent luck.
“The manager has been bringing every player in individually and giving them a little boost to help them out on the pitch,” he said.
“You would think because results haven’t gone our way we’re not still confident. But we are. It’s just no luck’s going our way at the moment.
“When you see some of the chances we have, it’s like someone makes a block and, for other teams, they get ricochets and they go in.
“We have been playing well in some games and it’s been unbelievable how we’ve not managed to get any points at all out of them.”
Lincoln are six points clear of Mansfield and Coventry three and Hamilton said: “We are still trying to catch both.
“Lincoln have one or two tough games and, if they slip up in both and we win both we can even overtake Lincoln as well.
“But we have to focus on ourselves and winning our games.We need to make sure we get our six points and everything else will take care of itself.”