Alan Goodall is ready to battle for his place at Fleetwood Town having been given a stunning new lease of life by boss Graham Alexander.
The defender was thrown into action as a barrier between midfield and Town’s centre half pair in the 3-1 win over Accrington Stanley.
And it’s given the 32-year-old hope he can have a future at Highbury - his contract due to expire at the end of the season.
It is believed the former Rochdale man might have been looking for another loan move in January, but his inclusion against Stanley may have made him think again.
“I’d like to play every week but it doesn’t always happen.” said the full back, who spent the early part of the season on loan at Grimsby, making seven appearances.
“I’ll keep working, hopefully we’ll keep picking up the results and the gaffer will keep picking me.”
Goodall, whose loan spell at Blundell Park was cut short by a groin injury, was named on the team-sheet for the postponed game at Wycombe, might have been forgiven for thinking his chance had gone.
But Alexander’s decision to switch his system against Stanley, playing with wing-backs and two strikers, paid off for Goodall, who played a key role in the victory.
He said: “You’re always thinking it is meant to be, or is that my chance gone but thankfully I was put in against Accrington and got my first game my first win.”
“It’s been frustrating at times.
“I’ve just tried to do the right stuff, be positive and luckily the chance has come.
“The changes the manager made worked against Accrington and hopefully it will continue to do that.
“We just need to keep going, keep working hard and good things will happen.”
It was an unfamiliar role for Goodall, who has filled in at centre half for Fleetwood in the past but has never been pushed into a more advanced position.
But he believes his presence helped Fleetwood present a more attacking front and end their three game goal drought.
Goodall explained:”I think the gaffer wanted me in there to help the boys out a little, have someone in there who is a little more defensively minded.
“But it’s helped the three in front of me, Antoni Sarcevic, Steven Schumacher and Jeff Hughes to push on more.
“They’ve got that little bit of insurance in behind them.
“It’s allowed them to go and attack.”
And there was plenty of help and support for Goodall from Fleetwood’s centre half pairing – old pal Nathan Pond and skipper Mark Roberts.
“Pondy and Robbo were moving me about, using me, putting me where they wanted which was good,” said Goodall.
“I think we worked well together.
“It’s something which would be great to build on.”
After a packed December schedule Fleetwood now have a 10 day break, courtesy of their FA Cup exit.
And Goodall hopes it will give his team-mates a chance to recover ready for a fresh assault on the League Two promotion spots.
That starts with a trip to Dagenham and Redbridge a week tomorrow.
“Sometimes it’s good to get a break, sometimes it’s not,” admitted Goodall
“We’ve won on New Year’s Day but it was a hard game.
“Maybe the break will give the boys time to re-charge because they’ve played a lot of games.
“We need to get ready for the next game, we’ll have a good week of training and we’ll be ready for that.”