The 27-year-old has had to shoulder the goalscoring burden for Vale this season and responded by netting 27 times, form which saw him named League Two player of the year on Sunday night.
"Over the last few years it has been a real struggle for me," he admitted.
"I've had a few injuries, been in and out of favour, and not really had a decent pre-season.
"This year I did get a decent pre-season, got myself up and running and I've been flying ever since.
"When I was at Crewe I showed glimpses of this form, I felt I could score goals.
"Then at Rotherham I supplied Adam Le Fondre and he got 30 goals. So this is the first year I haven't played with an out-and-out goalscorer.
"I've taken it upon myself to be more central and to be a goalscorer."