Mansfield Town forward Adi Yussuf was thrilled to notch his first goal for the Stags after signing from Oxford City in the summer, thanking his parents for their belief in his abilities.
The Tanzanian striker beat two defenders before sliding the ball past Dagenham goalkeeper Liam O’Brien from an acute angle to secure a dramatic late victory for the Nottinghamshire club, and he had quite a few people to credit in his post-match interview.
“Obviously I’m glad to get off the mark but the main thing is that it was a good team performance and I just want to thank all the boys, all the staff and my Mum and Dad who have always had faith in me,” said Yussuf.
“I just wanted to pay them back and score, all the praise goes to them really, the hard work has paid off and I have to kick on from now.”
The former Burton Albion striker celebrated after the match with his mother and father on the touchline and he spoke about how he was desperate to put a smile on their faces with a first goal for his new club.
“My Mum and Dad have been to every game since I was about 10 so I owe them because they’ve been through thick and thin for me.
“I just wanted to pay them back and everyone here too. The gaffer has always had faith in me and I wanted to pay him back too because he’s been there for me from day one.”
Talking about the moment that settled the match in favour of the Stags, Yussuf stated that he didn’t have the opportunity to reflect on what he was going to do with the ball when he collected it from Matt Green, going on to speak about the team’s ‘never say die attitude’ to clinch the last-gasp winner.
“I didn’t even think about it, I just thought be positive and score and that I could get the win here. I’m just glad I scored and paid back all the people that have put so much faith in me.
“Our team spirit has been brilliant. Everyone goes out together, everyone is friends so the team spirit is wicked, and when you’ve got that there is always a chance. We’ve got the never-give-up mentality and today we have shown it.
“Anything is possible with hard work. We shall just see what happens.”
A humble player with an attitude to succeed, there will be no lavish celebrations in the Yussuf household tonight, with the striker insisting on the ‘same old’ relaxation time with his loved ones.
He continued: “I was playing Conference North last year so it’s good to be back here [at this level] and to score is just a dream come true to be fair. I’ll spend time with my family and girlfriend tonight and just chill.”