After Joe Garner had picked up his second man-of-the-match award against Grimsby on Saturday boss Paul Simpson once again praised the experienced forward for his attitude and application - an approach which has seen him get the nod to start the last two games.
“Joe was excellent on Saturday,” he said. “He’s doing the things that I thought he would do. He’s showing real nouse in terms of how to play that role.
“I said this a few weeks ago, I don’t know what Joe needs to do to get fouls given when he’s clearly being impeded. He gets battered from pillar to post and he just gets up and gets on with it.
“I thought he was excellent and unfortunately for Kris Dennis he’s going to have to be patient and wait. I know what he can do, I know he’s a goalscorer, and I know what JK [Gordon] can do as well. Joe and Omari are certainly doing the business for us at the moment.
“The amount of work he puts in and the extra edge he brings to the team is excellent. It’s what I thought I would get from him and what I wanted to bring into the club.
“Unfortunately for Kris Dennis, who has scored a load of goals for us, Joe has earned the right to be in the team. Denno will now have to be patient, and his chance will come. He will get more goals but as long as the team is winning that’s all that ever really matters.”
The goals, of course, came from Alfie McCalmont and Jordan Gibson – both excellent finishes.
“Alfie is a really good footballer and a really good character as well,” he said. “I like him as a lad and the goals he’s been bringing are really valuable. It was such a calm finish, a great execution, and it shows what technical ability he has.
“It’s his work ethic as well. He has a real desire to get about the pitch and we saw a couple of times that he wants to break forward, like he did last week at Crawley.
“He’s getting forward but just not finding that extra little pass. One of the things I’ve criticised the group about is that we weren’t ruthless enough when we got into good areas.
“That’s something we have to be better at. The transitions are giving us good overloads and if we get the finishing them off part of it right, we could end up with a proper bag full of goals.”
“Jordan’s was another great finish,” he continued. “He worked really hard, and that’s probably one of the criticisms I’ve had of him when I’ve left him out of the side this season.
“He produced it last Saturday, he competed for headers, he tracked and tackled, he got smashed a couple of times but he got up and got on with it. I’m really pleased for him and for the whole group because we kept ourselves ticking along.
“It was a new role for Gibbo and he certainly hasn’t started for me there, but it was a needs must situation. I wanted to be front foot and positive and I had a choice between Corey and Gibbo to play that role.
“I didn’t think Joel was going to have the energy to start the game, but I thought after the change to a back four, with Jordan pushed higher, I thought he was excellent. I thought he caused problems and he ran himself into the ground.
“He had chances, and he’s one of those players where we know what he’s got. He’s probably one of the most creative players in the division for making chances for players and assists for goals, and he’s been unfortunate like Kris Dennis and JK that others have come in and have gone on to do a really good job.”
Patrolling the midfield was one of the squad’s real in-form players, Callum Guy.
“Callum is doing really well,” the gaffer agreed. “I think we’ve got a good mix in there with Alfie and Mox, who are two really good footballers. They can see a pass and they’ve got legs about them.
“They’ve also got goals in them. Callum is giving us that little bit of security and with him being there it allows our wing backs to get forward. It allows Jon Mellish to make runs forward as well, because we know we’ve got that little bit of cover.
“The way the team is playing means that we’re getting goals from everywhere. We talked about the need to spread the goals way back in the summer. A successful team has to spread goals about.
“We didn’t know if we were going to have a 20 or 25 goal a season player, and thankfully Kris Dennis is getting there. We’ve got to get goals from defenders, we need them from set plays, we need them from midfield, and you want your strikers to be contributing as well.
“I’m still saying that even though Joel got one last week, I want goals from our wing backs. They need to add that. We are getting the group chipping in, and we’ve got to make sure that continues for 12 more games.”