Andrew Davies reckons James Hanson has stepped up a gear since committing his long-term future to City.

Hanson has been back to his dominant best in the successive home wins that have revived their League One campaign and scored the decider against MK Dons on Saturday.

It was his fourth goal since Nahki Wells left for Huddersfield last month – and his performance reminded Davies why it was so important that the club had tied down the targetman for another three years.

The influential defender said: “I’ve always rated Hans very highly and getting him signed was a massive bonus for everybody.

“He’s a handful on his day and causes every centre half problems, especially when his confidence is flying like it is now.

“When he is on top form, he’ll win all his headers and his hold-up play is also so good. People underestimate just how good his control is with the ball at his feet.

"After he signed his new contract, everyone was saying he would go into the comfort zone because he’s playing for his hometown club and has all his family here.

“But he knows it’s important for him to keep improving as a player. Keep doing that and he will get himself a big move one day and go as far as he wants.”

Hanson took his goal tally to double figures when he panicked MK Dons goalkeeper David Martin into missing a backpass.

“It must be a scary sight to see him charging towards you at 100 miles an hour,” said Davies. “It was a mistake from the keeper but full credit to Hans for putting him under pressure.

“We deserved that little bit of luck for all the hard work we’ve put in.”

City’s clean sheet at the weekend was their third in the five games since Davies returned to the heart of the back four after his knee operation.

But he acknowledges the crucial role that Hanson plays in helping out the team defensively on top of his normal attacking duties.

Davies added: “It’s easy to overlook how much work he does in our penalty area when we’re defending corners and free-kicks.

“When I was injured, I watched a lot of home games and I saw for myself how many headers he wins in our box. He must have headed loads.

“Not a lot of strikers are willing to come back and do that and it’s a massive help for the rest of the team.”