New signing Nicky Ajose has been given a clear directive from Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft: ‘Help us get over the line’.
Ajose signed for the Stags this week on loan from parent club Charlton Athletic in a deal which will keep the striker at the One Call Stadium until the end of the season.
The 27-year-old has been on the periphery of the Addicks’ first team this season under Lee Bowyer and is hoping to reignite his own fortunes, as well as fire Stags to promotion.
When asked what the manager has said to him, Ajose replied: “He’s said ‘help get us there, help us get over the line’.
“Whether that be helping Tyler [Walker] or helping some of the other young lads.
“When new players come in, it raises the levels in training for the boys that are already here.
“Obviously for me and Granty [Jorge Grant], we’re going to try and push to get game time. That’s only going to be better for the manager.”
Ajose has much-experience of the Football League with his best goals return coming in 2015/16, scoring 25 for Swindon Town in League One.
“I’m a goalscorer and I want to score goals,” he said.
“I want to assist my team-mates and work hard. You can’t always be the one to score, but if I’m not scoring, I want to be affecting the game somehow.
“When the team’s scoring, I want to either be the one scoring or creating chances. I feel that when I get the service, I know I’ll score goals.
“I know how to win and what it takes, so I’m just going to try and bring that to the team.
“I feel like I was the third choice striker at Charlton, so I was just an injury away from getting in.
“I feel like I’m better than that. I didn’t want to wait for someone else’s downfall, because I’m not that kind of person. I wanted to try and do it on my own.
“We have CJ [Hamilton], Tyler, Rosey [Danny Rose]. All the boys are doing well. I’ve just come here to try and help that.”
Ajose has a promotion on his CV with Bury in 2010/11 and believes Mansfield have what it takes to not only make the step up but survive in League One.
He said: “The way Mansfield are playing, with two games in hand, it’s 20 games to get promoted.
“These are the kind of things that, as you get older, you realise don’t come around every season.
“I was lucky enough to get promoted in my first professional season, and at the time you think it comes around every season.
“I want to try and win something meaningful and be remembered somewhere, so it was a no-brainer for me.
“The lads have done brilliantly to put us in the position where we are and the manager has brought me and Granty in to try and help get us over the line.
“If I can do so, which I’m sure I can, that would be brilliant.”
He scored against the Stags in the FA Cup earlier this season but was impressed by what he had seen of Flitcroft’s side.
“There are some really talented players,” he said.
“There’s more than enough quality here to be in League One. If this team was in League One this year, they’d be very comfortable.
“When this opportunity was given to me to join a team which is pushing, that really was key for me.
“I don’t want to be playing [for a team] that’s direct. I’ve watched a few games here and the football has been brilliant at times, and I thought it would really suit me.”