David Ball is delighted to have reached 10 league goals for the season but the Fleetwood striker is convinced he could have doubled that total but for injury.
The Town frontman has been sidelined three times this season – he needed stitches in his face following the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win at Tranmere, dislocating a shoulder at Northampton and injured an ankle against Chesterfield.
Despite so many setbacks, the 24-year-old is back among the goals and believes Graham Alexander’s men are hitting form at the right time.
“I’ve had three months out – that’s a lot of games,” Ball said. “I think I could have had double the goals I’ve got the way I’ve been playing.
“It’s frustrating in that sense. The injuries were through no fault of my own, just challenges.
“I’m just happy to be back playing and at least we are still in with a chance of promotion.”
While the former Manchester City youngster is happy to have reached double figures, he has a team goal at the forefront of his mind.
Town are now just three points behind third-placed Chesterfield with five games remaining, and he Ball wants to see that gap closed and automatic promotion secured.
He added: “I’m buzzing to get to 10 league goals. I’ve got a few in other competitions but it’s more about the result now.
“We’ve got five games left and every one of them is a cup final. We’ve just got to keep going.
“Saturday’s performance at Oxford (where Ball broke the deadlock) was a brilliant and we need more.”
That 2-0 victory followed a win over Bristol Rovers and a draw with League Two leaders Rochdale, results which Ball believes show Town’s promotion credentials.
He said: “We could have won against Rochdale, and then we’ve gone and beaten a team challenging for the play-offs quite convincingly.
“We just have to take that into every game because we know we’ve got players who can unlock doors.”
One such player is Iain Hume, the on-loan Preston striker who has struck up a good partnership with Ball.
“We’ve clicked straight away,” said Ball. “We’ve created a lot of chances between the two of us.
“On Saturday we played a great one-two. Humey’s not put it away but we feel we’re always likely to score.”
n Town will receive a welcome windfall from Leicester City’s promotion.
When striker Jamie Vardy joined the Foxes from Fleetwood in May 2012, a clause in the contract guaranteed Town a significant further payment should the 27-year-old help Leicester win a Premier League place.