RUSS Penn believes Cheltenham Town's performance against Port Vale on Saturday has set them up nicely for a fruitful festive period.
Penn was moved into an unfamiliar right midfield role and he set up two of the best chances of the match with crosses to Chris Zebroski and Jake Taylor.
Dominant Cheltenham took the lead through Darren Carter, but Micky Adams' side hit back through Louis Dodds to leave the Abbey Business Stadium with a point.
The failure of Mark Yates' side to make their dominance pay denied them the chance to leapfrog Vale into second place in the table.
But Penn said there was a mixture of disappointment and encouragement in the dressing room after the final whistle.
"Sometimes you get games like that and we played really well, but one defensive lapse cost us two points," Penn said.
"We'll take full confidence from the performance going into the Christmas period because we created so many chances.
"As long as we are doing that the gaffer will be happy and we had enough to win a couple of games on Saturday."
Cheltenham travel to Rochdale on Friday night before back-to-back home fixtures against Wycombe Wanderers and John Ward's Bristol Rovers on Boxing Day and December 29 respectively.
They start 2013 with a trip to Oxford United before their televised FA Cup third round tie with Premier League Everton on Monday, January 7.
"We are ticking along nicely ahead of a busy period in the season," Penn said.
"On Saturday you could see it was two really good sides, but we dominated really and that has got to be a positive sign."
Normally used in an attacking central midfield role, Penn was happy with his contribution on the right.
He was on the receiving end of a heavy challenge at Hereford in last week's FA Cup second round replay victory, which he initially feared was a serious injury.
But he was determined not to miss the promotion clash and dosed himself up on painkillers to get him through to the 75th minute, when he was replaced by Jermaine McGlashan.
"As long as I am on the pitch I am happy, but it was enjoyable and one of my better games on the right," Penn said.
"I managed to put a few crosses in and gave Zebs a golden chance to score, but he headed it back to me so that's another assist I've missed.
"I sank about 20 painkillers to make sure I could play, but I should be fine for Friday night."