Defender Mark Ellis picked up the man-of-the-match award for his no-nonsense performance against Mansfield Town on Saturday and manager Keith Curle was quick to sing his praises after the game for playing his part in a solid team defensive display.
“The back four as a unit refused to take a backwards step and I think that was the best game Mark has played for me,” Curle said. “He relishes that sort of challenge and he’s building a good relationship with his wide defenders on top of that.
“Today was a game which suited him. They were putting balls into his area and we asked him to be competitive. He showed his value and he enjoyed his football.”
Looking back to his loan spell with Forest Green Rovers last season, he said: “Sometimes when a player goes out on loan, and this was the same with Mark Ellis, they need to go out to get their confidence back.
“He went and played games and he came back ready to face a challenge. He didn’t want to take the easy option and be farmed out again.
“I told him the door wasn’t shut and I spoke to him about what I needed from him. It’s difficult to give a player confidence other than by identifying things he needs to work on. Mark has bought into that and he’s got an individual programme which simplifies his game.
“He knows his strengths and he knows where we feel he can still improve. He’s determined to play his part and that’s showing in the performance levels he’s giving us.”