David Ball believes he could have been making the running with the league’s top scorers but for a five-week enforced absence.
Ball is now joint top scorer for Fleetwood Town, two goals in two games at the start of 2014 giving him a tally of seven for the campaign.
But he believes that number could have been much higher if it wasn’t for the dislocated shoulder he suffered in the defeat at Northampton Town in November, which left him sidelined for more than a month.
“I’m scoring well,” said the former Manchester City academy man.
“I had the setback – five weeks out after that injury at Northampton.
“That’s disappointing for me because I could probably have had a few more and been in double figures.
“But I’m cracking on now and hopefully I can get up there with the top goalscorers in the league.”
Ball’s second of the New Year proved the winner on Saturday at Dagenham and Redbridge, the striker finishing off a neat move started by Antoni Sarcevic, who also has seven goals for the season, after Conor McLaughlin provided the cross.
“I popped it up myself, managed to turn on it and got a pot-shot away,” said Ball
“The pace on it has taken it under the keeper.”
The frontman was first to acknowledge that it hadn’t been an easy victory but he insisted it is results like Saturday’s which make or break a campaign.
“We really had to dig in,” said Ball. “Those are the games which get you up there at the end of the season.
“We managed to get a goal and that was all it was going to take on Saturday.
“Those are the games we need to be winning. Those are the points we need to be picking up.”
Town were lucky at the death, when Rhys Murphy’s effort was cleared off the line by skipper Mark Roberts, though many in the Daggers camp complained a goal should have been awarded.
For Ball, it was the kind of luck which Fleetwood have been badly lacking of late.
He said: “We’ve had some decisions which haven’t really gone for us.
“Maybe that one on Saturday has gone with us.
“You sometimes need that little bit of luck. We’ve maybe been missing that.
“But on Saturday we got it and little decisions like that can shape your season.”
And the striker believes the change of system put in place by Graham Alexander, who has fielded two up front for the last two fixtures, is paying dividends.
He said: “We look solid but we also look like a side which is going to threaten teams. Conor (McLaughlin) and Chaz (Charlie Taylor) are doing great jobs.
“They are natural wing-backs and it’s a system which is suiting us.
“We’re causing teams a lot of problems.
“If we can keep digging in we know we’ve got goalscorers in our team.
“There really is no reason we can’t be up there.”