IAN HUGHES was on the field for less than 90 seconds as a substitute against Doncaster, but it was enough to whet his appetite for the rest of the season until injury took its toll.
Joking that he had made a `fantastic contribution' to the 3-1 McAlpine win, the experienced defender was hoping to put knee problems behind him until a specialist decided on an operation today.
Hughes has endured the ups and downs of Football League life in six years each at Bury and Blackpool and he knows how important the Christmas and New Year programme can be.
That's why he was delighted to watch Town take their holiday haul to nine points from nine before preparations for today's trip to Cambridge.
"Results over Christmas and New Year can either make or break your season, and ours couldn't have been better," said the 29-year-old centre-back.
"Over the three games you can either be down or you can get on a roll and push right up the table, which we have done.
"It's all really good for the confidence of the lads, too, and we are all just looking forward to the next game and planning on getting another win."
Sitting on the bench until stoppage time at the end, when he was sent on to replace Anthony Lloyd in a time-wasting measure, Hughes had plenty of time to assess how things went.
"It was a fantastic performance, we played well to put Doncaster out of their stride and right from the word go, I think we set the perfect tempo to go on and win the game," he said.
"The difference between Saturday and the Bury game was unbelievable and yet they were only a few days apart.
"The great thing is that we've won three on the bounce, and that makes a big difference when you look at the table.
"We didn't play particularly well against either Darlington or Bury but we picked up the points, which is the main thing. On Saturday, though, I thought the whole team performance was fantastic and we now have to keep that going."