Dan Nlundulu praised the backing of boss Ian Evatt as he capped Wanderers’ record-breaking win, writes Pete Oliver.
Nlundulu’s first league goal for the Whites since his permanent summer signing rounded off a stunning 7-0 victory over Exeter City as Evatt’s men racked up the club’s biggest ever league success at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.
The striker came off the bench to notch his third goal of the campaign and first since a double in Wanderers’ 8-1 thrashing of Manchester United’s U21s in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy.
And the former Southampton frontman – who also spent the second half of last season on loan with the Whites – said the support of Evatt had been vital in helping him deal with a tough few months.
“Words can't describe what that goal meant. It felt like I scored the winner! Today's a good a good day,” said Nlundulu.
“Today was emotional. I've been waiting for it. I felt I've had a rough start. Of course, there were expectations, but I put that pressure on myself as well as a player. There's not once I go out there not meant to score or to perform and I'm glad I hit the net today.
“I have to give it to the gaffer and how much patience he has had in me. It's got to the point where he's more than a manager to me. In tough times I'm one of those players who needs an arm around me and he's had that since the start of the season.
“He's never lost faith in me and I can only thank him for that and that's why every time I go out there I work as hard as I can for the team and for him as well because he's the one who brought me to the club.
“He has always said forget the outside noise and as long as I still believe in you and care for you, you're all right. He has given me that peace of mind and today I played with that and I was happy to get a goal and an assist.”
While Nlundulu has had to endure some criticism – and worse – since his switch from the Saints, the 24-year-old has also had the support of his team-mates to help him through.
And after playing his part in Wanderers’ current eight-match winning run, which has lifted them to the top of League One, he is looking forward to more good times ahead.
“I've never been in a changing room like it,” he added. “Before being good footballers, we’re are good human beings as well. That starts from the top of the top and it comes down to the gaffer and brings that energy and that environment for us as well.
“You can see that on the pitch with how we're performing and it's a good place to be. Winning 7-0 is good for confidence for all the players, for the players who starting and the players coming on, and hopefully we can keep that run going.
“Everyone wants the shirt. The bench is quality, the 11 is quality and that's what you need to win week-in, week-out. I feel we've got that in our team, that it doesn't really differ when players are coming on or players are starting. It's a bit tough for a gaffer to choose a team but it’s a good problem to have.
“The togetherness is there and we're looking forward to what we can continue doing. The competition is healthy and we're here as a team. We've only got one mission and we're all on the same page so it's great.”
Watch the post-match interview with Dan on Wanderers TV HERE