Now approaching the end of his debut campaign as a Football League player, striker Ollie Palmer admits his confidence has continuously grown since he joined us.
The 22-year-old put pen-to-paper on a deal to join us from Havant & Waterlooville the day before the start of the season and has since netted five goals in all competitions.
Palmer has been in good form in recent weeks, scoring in our 1-1 draw at Northampton Town and also playing key roles in our winning goals against both Hartlepool United and AFC Wimbledon.
“My confidence is growing and hitting strikes from anywhere was what I was doing at my previous clubs,” said Palmer.
“I think I’ve grown up a lot and I understand the game a little bit better. I’ve still got a lot to learn and I know I’m not the finished article, but this season has been a fantastic learning curve.
“I didn’t have a pre-season with the club and I got chucked in straight at the deep end, so the gaffer has had to nurture me through and play me at different times, but it’s been a fantastic season for me and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.
“If I can get better and bring it into next season and have a great season with the club, who knows what’s going to happen.”
He continued: “I was gutted not to score [against Chesterfield] as it would have been fantastic to have taken all three points. I would have had nice accolades from it, but it’s about the team.
“We played well against Chesterfield and then went away to Hartlepool and won 4-2 and it was 11 fantastic individual performances from the boys.
“That’s the most important thing at the moment and if we can finish the season on a fantastic run, the better it is for the club.”
The youngster has also praised the contribution of team-mate Matt Rhead, whom Palmer has formed a good partnership with since he came back into the starting line-up in March.
“He’s a very strong, unique centre-forward,” said Palmer.
“He wins most of his headers, he holds the ball up very well, he’s a got touch and he’ll nick you the odd goal too. He’s fantastic at what he does and that’s a massive credit to him.”
Meanwhile, Palmer also defended our direct style of play, insisting that it has been effective on many occasions this season.
“I watched Manchester United the other night and they were playing ‘long ball’ football against Bayern Munich. Sometimes that’s the way you’ve got to play,” said the forward.
“There have been times when we’ve played some fantastic football and played well, but maybe not got a result. So we’ve shown that if we play ‘direct’ we get better results and that’s important at this stage of the season.”
Our team could take another step towards achieving mathematical safety in Sky Bet League Two if we win what Palmer’s expects will be a tough match at Morecambe on Saturday.
“If we can go to Morecambe and pick up three points, that would be fantastic, but the boys know that we can’t afford to get complacent,” said the striker.
“I don’t think they’ve won in a couple of weeks, so they’ll be desperate to pick up all three points at home. We know it’s going to be a tough game, but if we can put in the same [level of] performance like we have been of late, hopefully we’ll take all three points.”
An interview with Ollie Palmer will be available to watch on Stags Player later today. To subscribe, click here.