Port Vale midfielder Michael O'Connor says boss Rob Page has done a "great job" steering the side into play-off contention in League One.
Despite two defeats in their last three games, Vale go into the festive period only four points off the top six.
"It's going to be a really important two or three weeks," O'Connor, 28, told BBC Radio Stoke.
"I think he (Page) has been brilliant. To be four points off the play-offs, I think he's done a great job."
Page took charge at Vale Park after Mickey Adams resigned in September 2014 and won his first game against Barnsley.
He kept the club in League One last season and now has them pushing for a top-six finish this term.
"Look where we were when he took over," O'Connor said, "We were second bottom, three or four points off being safe and now we're four points off the play-offs with not the biggest budget in the league.
"The best thing about 'Pagey' is his man-management. He's been brilliant with me since I came here."
Vale face a test of their credentials when they visit automatic promotion contenders Coventry City on Boxing Day, who have the only unbeaten home record in the division.
"Coventry will be up there at the end of the season, but we need to beat teams like this if we want to be in the play-offs," O'Connor said.
"Hopefully we'll kick on over the next four or five games and be up there."