ALEX Baptiste hopes lighter days will mean brighter times at Wanderers.

The experienced defender believes some canny transfer business means Ian Evatt’s side are now well placed to finish the season strongly, and perhaps even revive some of the promotion hopes that were abundant back in the summer.

Saturday’s win against Stevenage was hard-fought, if not the most fluent, but Baptiste feels the team is starting to show it can peak when it really counts.

“I always say as soon as the clocks go forward it’s business time,” he said. “You have to win in March and April, that’s when the big games come.

“That’s when experience helps. We didn’t play that well in the second half but we got the job done and that’s what we need in the games coming up.

“There’s belief we can do it, one million per cent. We’re 13th now and we play Saturday-Tuesday. If we get on a run, who knows what can happen?

“With the people who came in during January we have full confidence we can get on that run, get in the play-offs and higher.

“The confidence is there. It’s seven out of nine points at home now and we have two big away games coming up to get some momentum.”

Baptiste returns to his first professional club on Wednesday night also looking to extend his own run of personal good form.

It is nearly 18 years since he first broke through for the Stags, making his debut against Barnsley in the old Division Two. He went on to play nearly 200 games for his hometown club before climbing the league ladder and playing Premier League football with Blackpool.

Wanderers have twice been frustrated by late postponements at Mansfield this season but Baptiste will nevertheless be pleased to return once again.

“It’ll be great to play there. It’s just such a shame there will be no fans,” he said. “We win there and we’re flying, so it’s a big game for the club.

“It’ll be nice to play back in Mansfield because the years I had there were unforgettable. They gave me my big chance and I love the place.

“My mum, my family are all still massive Mansfield fans and go to the games when they could – they’ll have season tickets again, I’m sure. It’s a special place for us."

The chances of victory at Field Mill will be improved if Wanderers can maintain the defensive improvement shown against Stevenage, especially at set pieces, which have so often been their undoing.

“On Thursday we looked at that as a group and tried to get to the bottom of it, changed a few things,” Baptiste said.

“My man had a chance (against Stevenage) but I think we looked a lot more solid on set pieces. We need to start scoring some as well.

“The gaffer gave us a stat that we’re scoring more than anyone else from open play but it’s about one in 60 from corners and that’s not good enough. We know how much set pieces count and we need to be better.”