Bassala Sambou has credited Alex Morris with giving him the confidence to play in a wide attacking role for Crewe Alexandra.
The 24-year-old admitted he was initially unhappy when he didn’t get the nod to play down the middle, with first Dan Agyei and then Courtney Baker-Richardson being selected there.
But the former Everton man says a chat with the manager has given him a new purpose, and now he is enjoying the challenge of a different role.
Sambou explained: “I had a little moan because I wanted to start down the middle. But the gaffer has shown so much belief in me, he told me I can play in various positions and, to be honest, I probably didn’t have that belief in myself.
“He has opened my eyes and showed me that I can still create and have the opportunity to score from there. So I’ll give it everything I can and I’m enjoying it.
“The belief he’s shown in me is something I really appreciate because he gave me the confidence that I can play that role.
“To start in the team is such a big thing. As a professional, you always want to give your best.
“I feel we have done quite well so far and we’ve got big plans for this season. I feel good about the whole situation. We are quite a new team and we have gelled well, we have a good squad and we can push on now.”
Sambou, who signed from Dutch club Fortuna Sittard in January, has made 23 appearances for The Railwaymen.
He scored twice in the second half of the last campaign and has gone close to opening his account for 2022-23 on a number of occasions.
But the forward, who says his sending off at Salford was ‘out of character' and a ‘learning curve’, will not put pressure on himself to get off the mark.
Sambou added: “I know the goals will come. I’m not putting too much pressure on myself about that now because if you focus on yourself too much you can mess up your game.
“The team winning and succeeding is the most important thing, I just want to keep doing enough to be in the team and utilise my strengths to help Crewe be successful.
“The manager has told us good teams don’t lose twice on the bounce, so we are using that to inspire us to go and get a result at Grimsby. We know we have good players and can go and do a job.”