Manager Paul Simpson was full of praise for the character shown by his team at Grimsby as they mixed a first half of playing football with a second half that was all about grinding it out, with some excellent game management thrown in along the way.
“Winning like that shows character,” manager Paul Simpson said. “That’s the biggest thing. They’ve shown that in abundance, every single one of them, the way they’ve worked.
“Kristian Dennis absolutely ran his socks off as that lone striker, getting support from Jack and Gibbo. Hunts and Corey were outstanding in the middle of defence. Tomas has hardly had anything to do, in terms of shot-stopping.
“He knows he should have been better with his kicking, but I’ve told them, they shouldn’t have kept going back to him on his left foot. We should have been turning and going forward. There were a lot of things we can improve on, but that’s always the case.
“I told them that maybe the things that didn’t go our way came from nervousness because we knew we hadn’t had that away win yet.
“They all really wanted that. We didn’t get it on Saturday, we’ve had to wait a game longer. There is that, that’s inevitable when you haven’t had that first away win. We have to build on it now.
“I know we’ve had some really good points away from home, we have to build on this now – take it into Saturday, then the next week, and keep building and getting better.”
Speaking more about the experience at the heart of the defence, he said: “Hunts was outstanding. He’s a handful, Taylor, but Paul was outstanding.
“Him and Corey, they both led from the back really well. The two full backs joined in as well, Jack Armer’s had two excellent games, Saturday and today, I’m really pleased with Jack.
“Fin was a bit under the weather but it shows the character and personality that you would never have known. He stuck at it, got through it. We’ve just got to get him right for the weekend.”
As for what he learned from the manner of the win, he told us: “I don’t think I’ve learned anything new. I’ve seen that they stick together on numerous occasions and I’ve seen a few times the character they have to come back from being a goal down.
“It was about trying to see the game through and trying to look to deal with the good spell they had and come out of the other side of it.
“Unfortunately we didn’t help ourselves because we weren’t able to retain the ball enough. But I think it’s reminded us all that they’ve got a right good spirit and a real desire to do well.
“It was a different type of football performance from us. It was a night to roll your sleeves up, put your head on things, defend for your lives and stick in there. That was all of the second half, and in the first half it was more about doing things properly.
“It’s a game going forward where we can look back on the three points, but I probably won’t look back on the performance too favourably.
“We know we’ve got to do this kind of thing if we want to achieve something, but we’re in an ok position at the moment. I still think we can massively improve and I do think we got a bit nervous when we perhaps didn’t need to.
“That could be because we hadn’t won a game away from home so we’ve got that weight off our shoulders now, we can move on. People can’t talk about that particular stat any more, but we have to make sure it’s the first win of a few more.
“And it would be brilliant to do it front of a big crowd on Saturday. That would be absolutely brilliant. It would be a reward for everybody.
“I know the board have paid for the busses for the fans so it would be a brilliant gesture if we could get a really big crowd to give us the support we need. That’s what keeps us moving on at a club like ours.
“The more we get in through the gates over the number we budget for the better it is for us. We’re still at the start of a journey that I want to be on for a good few years and hopefully with the support and everybody backing us, as they have done for months now, it’s just absolutely magnificent.
“I make these journeys because I have to, it’s my job, these 144 people have come because they follow the football club.
“That’s brilliant, so let’s get loads in this weekend, make sure we put on a performance that gets a result and cements the place we have in the top half.”
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