Vadaine Oliver is hoping Tuesday night’s thrilling 1-0 win over high-flying Luton Town can be the turning point in Mansfield Town’s season of struggle.
As the Stags prepared to face fellow strugglers Oxford United away tomorrow, the on-loan Crewe striker said: “That was a huge three points for us.
“After Saturday when we ran the game only to have it taken away from us right at the death, to bounce back with another great performance and get the result was massive for us. It’s put us five points clear now.
“We have had a hell of a lot of games and it has taken it out of a lot of the boys, myself included as I am quite tired.
“But we have stuck together and shown that togetherness on the pitch. We have not been winning every game but we have put in some great performances.
“This is the turning point for us now and we can go on and get a few points and move up the table.
“Two or three weeks ago we were making defensive errors, not as a team, just individual things. Set pieces were killing us massively. But we now look stronger defensively. On Tuesday the boys did really well at the back and we need to keep that going.
“This next run of games is even bigger as we are playing teams around us who are also struggling. We need to continue the performances we have been producing and get more results.”
Oliver felt the arrival of experienced loanee keeper Lenny Pidgeley had been a huge factor in the club’s upturn in fortunes.
Said Oliver: “He has made a massive difference, no disrespect to the other keepers, who are youngsters. Lenny is experienced and a big presence. He is a massive guy who commands his back four.”
Oliver’s goal in the 1-1 draw with Northampton last weekend took him to six in 16 games for the Stags, and he said: “I would like to keep that ratio going and get into double figures, but we need to keep getting the results. I get personal accolades when I get on the scoresheet which is good for me.
“But there are games like Tuesday when I have to be selfless. I didn’t get any chances but the three points were huge.
“I don’t mind playing as part of a two or a three or playing up there on my own. I can adapt. I wasn’t getting any chances on Tuesday but I was holding the ball up.”
Oliver is clearly enjoying regular football on his loan spell, saying: “The main thing I came here for was to enjoy my football and get back to playing again. That has happened, especially under Adam Murray, and it’s been a new lease of life for me.
“He has given me confidence in my ability again and putting his trust in me has been massive.
“Crewe doing well has been a good thing for me. It has enabled me to stay here and that’s perfect for me.”
He also believes he is the only Vadaine in the game right now!
“I think I am the only Vadaine in English football,” he said. “I believe it’s French but I am not too sure. I would have to research it.”