ACCRINGTON Stanley striker David Brown is hoping he can be the catalyst for an upturn in fortunes for the relegation-haunted side.
The Reds squad has been ravaged by injuries and suspensions which led to the former Hereford hitman being recalled from his loan spell at Conference promotion-chasers Burton Albion this week.
And he more than played his part in the Boxing Day 1-1 draw with neighbours Bury, winning a penalty.
Now the experienced campaigner is hoping he can help to steer the Reds back up the League Two table as Stanley, in 21st place, are just three points off the bottom after picking up three points out of the last 30.
They face Mansfield at home tomorrow and have a trip to Wrexham on New Year's Day - with both mid-table teams capable of being sucked into the relegation fight and so it is vital for the Reds to secure that elusive win.
And Brown is happy to get his chance at the FES after being largely a substitute this season before his loan spell in the Conference.
"I was pleased to be called back and be playing," said Brown, whose had just started a second month at Albion.
"I am like any player in that I want to play as high as possible and I have scored quite a lot of goals in this league so it was nice to be back playing here and I really enjoyed starting against Bury."
Brown, 28, admits it is hard coming into a team who are out-of-sorts as Conference champions Stanley haven't won a league game in 10 games - going back to 14 October.
"Coming into a losing team has its pressures but, in another way, you do not have anything to lose when we are on such a bad run," said Brown.
"You can see the confidence of the lads is quite low. Against Bury, at 1-0 and 15 minutes left, we were cruising and we shouldn't have to score two goals at home to win.
"It is the responsibility of everybody to make sure we win 1-0 and we haven't been able to do that.
"We should be able to hold onto a lead but that seems to be the way things are going lately here.
"Hopefully we can turn it around tomorrow and on New Year's Day. I would like to get a goal and you have just got to keep plugging away and hope you get your rewards. We got a point against Bury and we have to stay positive and take it into tomorrow and try and win."
The Reds are currently down to the bare bones with TEN of their squad doubts or out of the double header.
Definitely absent are Andy Tretton, Peter Cavanagh, Rommy Boco and Leighton McGivern. Injury doubts are defender Michael Welch, who missed the last two games with a calf injury, midfielder Joel Byrom and Danny Ventre, who jarred his knee in the Bury draw.
Striker Andy Mangan is suspended for both games following his sending off in Saturday's 4-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers while defender Phil Edwards is banned tomorrow and left back Leam Richardson will sit out the Wrexham clash.
Boss John Coleman is already eyeing the transfer market, which opens next week, with Crewe striker Luke Rodgers, a former Shrewsbury player, one he hopes to capture.
"We have made an offer and I think another League Two club has as well so we will have to wait and see," said the Reds chief.
Rodgers has asked for a move as he has had limited first team chances at Crewe this season, scoring three goals in 12 League appearances. But it is believed he would prefer to stay in League One. The striker, 24, has already turned down one move, after Alex accepted the £30,000 offer.
Coleman admitted there is a crisis in terms of numbers at the club but doesn't plan to recall Sean Doherty from South-port and will continue to use the young subs - he has had 17-year-olds Andy Smith, Paul Murphy and James Bell on the bench in recent games.
He said: "We are picking up injuries and suspensions and we might not be able to physically to put out a team in the next few weeks.
"But we picked up a point against Bury and it is another point towards safety.
"We have just got to match teams around us if not do better than them."
And he is hoping it is third time lucky against Mansfield tomorrow after Stanley drew at Field Mill in the league and then lost in the FA Cup.
"We are getting closer to beating them. They battered us in the first game but we shouldn't have lost in the FA Cup. Hopefully it is our turn tomorrow.
"We only conceded one goal against Bury and the next step is a clean sheet.
"And we need that elusive win to take the pressure off ourselves and, if we do it, it will be a different ball game."
The loan deals for winger Gary Roberts to Ipswich and Ian Craney to Swansea are expected to be turned permanent next week.