Brighton & Hove Albion striker Chris O'Grady felt he had more success in 30 minutes at Brentford, than he did in his initial four months at the club, and now he is relishing a new challenge under new boss Chris Hughton.
Reinvigorated by his loan spell with Sheffield United, O'Grady replaced Mackail-Smith midway through the second half, and helped Albion into round four of the FA Cup.
He saw one effort saved and trickle agonisingly wide, then he hit the post, before finally firing his first goal for the Seagulls in stoppage time to clinch the 2-0 win.
He said, "The gaffer said work hard and put myself about, and that’s what I did. It was a nice feeling to be on the pitch and have multiple chances. I had three shots in half an hour; I probably didn't have three shots in the first four months here.
"Goals are what strikers need and I'd like to dedicate it to Macca. His hard work before I came on allowed me to do what I did because he had worked the centre-halves to the point that the game was open and they were tired.
"He was a bit down because he didn't get the chance to get any shots away, but he's just got to keep going because I know that position: you just need to keep going. He did really well."
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O'Grady says he is now ready to play his part in the club's battle to move away from the Championship drop zone, and hopes the change in manager will also bring a change in fortune for him, having previously believed his future lay elsewhere.
"It's a fresh direction now," he added. "If the team plays to my strengths then that’s what I can do.
"Things are becoming a bit clearer with every game that I play, but as of a week ago I believed my future was back up north.
"But if I'm wanted and utilised here, then I've got something to give – but if people don't believe I've got anything to give then it’s time to go.
"It was the toughest period [in the first half of the season] I've probably had in my life. As well as trying to settle in the area, it was my partner and three babies as well, so it was very tough.
"If it's down to hard work, then I'll be fine. If it's down to playing to my strengths, putting a shift in and contributing, then that's definitely what I can do.
"The style previously didn't suit me, but every manager has the right to have whatever style they want, but it appeared I wasn't really required. If I am required now, then I'm looking forward to the future."