Harrogate Town boss Simon Weaver believes former Leeds United defender Matt Heath’s arrival at the CNG Stadium kicks-tarted their recent upturn in form.
Heath joined Town as a free agent earlier this month and since, Town have picked up seven points in their last three Skrill North matches.
The form has helped Town pull within four points off the play-off zone in eighth.
And Weaver believes the 32-year-old has brought much-needed leadership qualities to the squad.
Weaver said “He’s a big organiser.
“When Whitey (Alan White) left we missed that experience on the pitch. It’s that experience you can only get when you are that little bit older.
“He has been a tower of strength for us and he’s getting better and better with each game.”
In centre-back Leigh Franks’ injury absence, Heath has struck up a strong partnership alongside club captain Shane Killock.
The pair have shipped six goals in the four matches they have played together, also including the 3-1 friendly victory over United earlier this month.
Town held onto a 2-1 victory over Leamington on Saturday and Weaver acknowledged Heath’s performance as the key contribution at dealing with the hosts aerial threat.
Town’s supremo also feels the centre-back has helped Dwayne Samuels rediscover the sort of form that has classed him amongst the best full-backs in the league.
“Leamington had a big centre-forward but Matt won every header,” Weaver said.
“He’s helping us when games get tight towards the end.
“Leamington kept trying to find the equaliser but I thought Matt and Shane worked excellently together.
“Dwayne is having the best spell of form for a long time and Matt is having a massive influence on him.
“You can see Dwayne is bursting with energy to get forward but Matt is always talking to him, telling him to stay and then when is the best time to go forward.”
Town host Bradford Park Avenue this Saturday, before attempting to reach the West Riding County Cup final on Tuesday night when Ossett Albion arrive at the CNG Stadium.