FOLLOWING a breathless first season as a senior professional, Cristian Montano could be forgiven for feeling dizzy, but the livewire winger is loving every minute of Oxford United’s play-off push.
Less than ten months ago, the West Ham youngster had not made a first-team appearance, but he has since had five loan spells at four different clubs, scoring ten goals.
It has all been something of a blur, but the 20-year-old is delighted to reach double figures and is keen to play a key role in helping the U’s into the npower League Two play-offs.
“When I’m at home I’m always thinking about what’s happened this season,” he said.
“My target was to score double figures which I’ve done now – but the way I’ve done it, with four different clubs, makes me really happy.
“It’s not like I’ve been stable somewhere, I’ve moved around between clubs so I’ve had to be mentally strong.
“At the start of the season I didn’t think I’d be in this situation with a team trying to get into the play-offs.
“I want to be able to score a couple more goals and help the club get promoted by giving that extra little push.”
After a shaky start to his stay with the U’s, Montano has begun to make an impression.
Goals against Northampton Town and Torquay United over the Easter weekend showed what he is capable of, although the emotion of scoring took even the Colombian-born forward by surprise.
He said: “I’ve never celebrated my goals like that, by going crazy.
“Looking back at it I went wild, I was so happy to be back scoring and being able to help the team – it’s something I want to keep doing and hopefully there’s more to come.
“Every game is like a final at the moment and every goal means so much to the players.”
Montano and West Ham agreed an extension to his loan this week which will cover the rest of the season and, if necessary, the play-offs.
With so much at stake, leaving was not an option.
Montano said: “Everyone here has made me really welcome, it’s made me feel like I’m at home.
“The team plays good football as well and there’s a lot of ambition, we’re capable of winning promotion and I’d like to be a part of that.
“Hopefully we can achieve it all together.”