Striker Offrande Zanzala has had a week to remember with three goals in two games helping his side get back on track following a sticky run.
The 24-year-old joined the Blues in January, and has had to be patient as he battled back from illness, without once ever losing his own sense of self-belief.
Speaking after the 3-1 win over Bradford, in which he bagged a brace, he said: “This was a result that was definitely needed. We’ve obviously had that spell where we weren’t doing so well, everyone knows that, and we’ve been waiting for a win for what feels like a long time.
“I think that will give us the confidence to kick on now and go and get more points on the board so we can climb up the table and still be in with a chance of getting promoted.”
“We’re all pleased because everyone put in a shift. I’m obviously delighted to get two goals but everyone worked hard and we worked for each other. There was great team spirit from start to finish, the players who came on worked hard, and it’s good to see.
“It was maybe difficult to see that spirit in previous games because we’ve been losing, but we’ve always believed in ourselves. The win on Saturday was massive and we just have to make sure we use it to kick on for the rest of the season.”
On the run of results which had seen the team play well, only to let games slip, he commented: “It’s hard when you aren’t winning games and it’s a shame we haven’t been able to win a game before this weekend.
“That’s how football goes sometimes, so you just have to focus on the next game. The last few weeks have been frustrating, but we’ve been working hard in training on how we can overcome the difficulties.
“It’s a shame the fans can’t be here but I’m sure the ones watching from home were pleased with the performance we put on. We got on the ball a bit more and made a few more passes.
“It felt like we were getting into the final third a bit more often and we were being more creative, and we obviously worked extremely hard. I feel like we worked hard as a team on our patterns of play and that was great to be part of.”
Three goals in two games is good by anyone’s standards, and he admitted that getting off the mark for the club had left him with a special feeling.
“It felt amazing to score against Grimsby,” he said. “It would have been great if the fans were here and behind the goal, but it meant a lot to get my first goal for the club.
“It definitely helped me and gave me that confidence boost to go and score two at the weekend. I think I’ve shown people more of who I am. I’ll just keep working hard and hopefully I can keep doing well and the team keep doing well. I want to get more goals to help the team win more games and climb the table.
“I’ve had to bide my time since I got here, but sometimes in football decisions don’t go your way as a player. The team haven’t had the results we’ve all wanted but I’m just happy to be part of it and contributing with goals and a solid performance.
“It’s been a long time coming. Having got that first one it felt superb to add to it against Bradford. For my first goal, the ball was just on the line with loads of players trying to kick it, but thankfully I got the last touch and it rolled in.
“I was delighted to get the goal as every striker would be, it’s always nice to be in the right place at the right time. It doesn’t matter how they go in, they all count in the end.
“The second was a great ball from Brennan and I managed to head it in. I can’t really put it into words, but it’s what we play football for. Scoring goals and creating good play and getting the three points.
“The build up to the goal was great and hopefully it was good to watch. I thought we made some great passes and the midfielders got onto the ball. The back four was comfortable and able to get it and play forward, and it was just good to be part of it.
“Hopefully we can get some momentum going and see what happens. We needed that win and it feels like we’ll go and kick on now.”
Had he ever doubted himself as he waited to be given the nod to go again over the last few weeks?
“If you don’t believe in yourself it’s hard for other people to believe in you,” he insisted. “I always believe that I’ll play well and score goals, and when you have players doing that within the squad it spreads.
“When your team mates are playing well it bounces through the rest of the lads. We worked hard as a team and that’s how you get three points, which is all that matters in the end. I was delighted to be given the opportunity to be able to display what I’m capable of doing, and I’m pleased it went well for me and the team.
“As a striker it’s always good to score but the main thing is getting three points, so I’m delighted. I’m looking forward to Tuesday’s game already and hopefully I can get more goals.”
“Everyone is obviously buzzing with the three points because it’s been a long time coming,” he added. “It was great to be in the changing room after the game and I think all of the lads have missed that feeling. We haven’t won in a long time so it’s great to have that atmosphere back in the team.
“We have to use this as a turning point and come out of our shells. I think in previous games we maybe haven’t looked ourselves, but I feel like there’s a real belief again now.
“I think it’s good in a way that some teams have maybe written us off. We’ve dropped points and drawn but it’s sometimes good to be the underdogs. We’ve taken a real deep look at ourselves as a group and after that you have the choice to either kick on and prove people wrong, or you crumble and give in.
“We haven’t given in, we’ve shown that in the last two games. Regardless of what other people and other teams are saying, don’t write us off because we’ve still got so many games to go. It doesn’t matter what people think or what they say about how we play, we’ve shown we’re a good team again and we’ll kick on from here.”
And on a personal level, he also insisted that it wasn’t a case of having to prove himself to others, but more a matter of making the most of an opportunity that he’s really enjoying.
“I’m just happy to be given a chance here and I’m very happy at the club,” he confirmed. “The players are great, the staff are excellent with all of us, and I just want to work hard and play my game. What I’ve done this last week is more of who I am and what I can bring.
“Putting myself about and causing problems is definitely what I’m capable of doing. It’s my game, it’s how I play, and I’m proud to say that it’s what I’m about. Sometimes the work I do doesn’t look nice to the eyes, but I don’t mind working at the horrible side of the game if it brings chances for the team.
“This is what I bring to the table and it’s why the gaffer brought me in. It’s about having a strong heart. I believe in myself and with the team not doing so well before I think we all wanted to turn that around.
“I don’t think it’s so much that I have a point to prove to anyone, but I want to enjoy it and play my game. I’m a physical lad and I’ll battle against whoever is marking me. I just want to do what I can to help get three points.
“I’m sure people on iFollow will see that from the way I celebrated the header. If the fans were here I’d have been jumping in the crowd, it was a great feeling. I had a massive smile on my face and it’s a reward for the whole team playing well.
“It’s a striker’s dream to score goals so it means a lot when you do. The only point I really have to prove is to myself, and I can only do that by playing, contributing and scoring.”
We couldn’t let him go without asking about the late chance which could have seen him register what would have been a well-deserved hat-trick.
“I felt the angle for the header was a bit tight, but I could have done better by either not putting it into the side of the net or by heading back across goal,” he explained. “My eyes were fixed on the goal, so I was annoyed with myself, but maybe I’m saving the hat-trick for Tuesday.
“If I’m chosen for that game all I really want from it is another good performance.”
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