Grimsby Town forward Charles Vernam puts his recent good form down to the freedom given to him by manager Ian Holloway at Blundell Park.
The 23-year-old scored his first ever professional hat-trick in the Mariners’ 3-2 win at Colchester United in Sky Bet League Two on Tuesday.
And Vernam, who’s scored five goals in his last four appearances, is enjoying the freedom given to him by Town boss Holloway.
He said: “I said after the Stevenage game that that one was probably the best of my career so far.
“But the one on Tuesday night to cap off my hat-trick was such an amazing feeling, and it’s something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
“I’ve got a lot of freedom – I’ve been given a role on that left-hand side where I’m free to take people on and move across the front three.
“I think it’s the same for all of us forward players – we’ve been given a licence to move, and if we end up on the other side of the pitch it doesn’t matter because someone will fill in for us.
“We’ve got a really nice, fluid system, and one that really suits me.
“I’m really happy with how it’s going – the manager has shown a lot of faith in me to play me.
“I’m getting some results on a personal basis – scoring some goals and getting some assists as well.
“And if I can keep doing that then it will ultimately help the team so that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Vernam hailed the importance of his Town teammates, and revealed that Elliott Whitehouse claimed the assist for his third goal on Tuesday.
He said: “Elliott said to me after the game that he’ll take the assist, but I think it’s probably the easiest assist he’ll ever get!
“It’s not going to be on his highlight reel, but he said ‘As long as it shows on the stats that I got an assist.’
“It’s something we’re trying to do – we’re all working as a team to create chances and goals, and I couldn’t be scoring the goals that I’m scoring without my teammates.
“And even with the third goal, you see the run of James Hanson – he takes a defender out the way for me, and clears the space.
“Unselfish runs like that don’t go unnoticed, by myself and everyone, so I’m really grateful for my teammates for how they’re helping me.”
And Vernam, who signed from Derby County in 2018, hopes Town can show their positive mind-set against Morecambe at Blundell Park tomorrow (3pm).
He said: “It was a really positive result and a good performance from everyone on Tuesday, especially when we had players who haven’t had as much game-time as others.
“It shows where we’re going as a group – that we’ve got people who can come in and out of the team and they’ll do a really good job, and fit in seamlessly – and what the manager wants to bring to us.
“He wants us to be positive and brave even when we go behind, and not to change our philosophy or what we do.
“It’s a real sign of the positivity around us that if we go a goal down, we’re not fazed – we keep doing our stuff and playing our football, and we focus on getting back into the game.
“And it showed twice when we went down on Tuesday – we came back into it and won the game.
“A few months ago, maybe when we weren’t in this frame of mind, we might have lost the game 1-0 or 2-0, so it’s a really good sign of where we’re heading.
“When we went 3-2 up there were still 21 minutes to go, and five minutes of added-time.
“We were under a bit of pressure and we relied on James McKeown to pull off a really good save, which he always does.
“But, other than that, I don’t think we really looked like conceding – everyone stuck to the task really well.
“We’ve developed a real resilience, and that’s a mind-set and something that we keep building.
“It’s a really good result for us and I think everyone can see a lot of progress from where we started, so it was a really positive game.”