NICKY Wroe believes his spectacular late winner for Oxford United on Saturday can provide the spark to ignite a charge up the table.
The midfielder pounced on a half-volley from 20 yards out and found the corner of the net with the purest of strikes at Wycombe Wanderers.
It came just three minutes from the end of normal time, breaking the resistance of the home side who had played with ten men for well over an hour.
The precious 1-0 victory ended a run of four Sky Bet League Two games without a win, which had seen the former leaders slip to seventh place.
Wroe was delighted to show the U’s fans what he can do in only the second game on loan from Preston North End.
And he is now focused on making more valuable contributions to boost the side’s promotion hopes.
He said: “I’m not here to make the numbers up, I’m here to try and stake a claim for a regular start.
- Match highlights
“The gaffer brought me in and said he really wanted me to affect games.
“(At Wycombe) I have and hopefully I can keep doing that in the coming weeks and we can go on a really good run to get back in the mix.”
The numerical advantage meant United were in total control for long spells, but lacked the moment of quality to go in front - until Wroe’s stunning effort.
It was the 51st goal of the midfielder’s career and the ex-Barnsley trainee admitted few, if any, were better efforts.
- Nicky Wroe unleashes the strike to give Oxford United victory
“I’ve not struck many as nicely as that,” he said.
“It’s probably right up there with it being a winner, they are always a lot more special.
“When I hit it I thought ‘I’ve struck it too well’ to be honest.
“It was heading for the post and it looked like I was out of luck, but I managed to cut across it just enough and the ball sneaked inside the post.”
It was only the midfielder’s second appearance after joining on loan from Preston North End until the end of the season.
The balance of the game was similar to Wroe’s debut a week earlier, when United had been unable to break down Portsmouth in a goalless draw.
- James Constable goes close with a first-half effort
But the 28-year-old insisted they had not given up hope of finding a winner on Saturday.
He said: “Especially against ten men you always think you’re going to get a chance and it’s a case of taking it.
“We had a couple of other chances that maybe we could’ve done better with, but credit to them for getting good blocks in.”