Tommy Wright revealed he had to use the “harshest words” to get the reaction he needed from his Corby Town players as they moved to the top of the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division.
The Steelmen were staring down the barrel of a shock defeat when they trailed rock-bottom Burnham 1-0 at half-time at Steel Park on Saturday.
But a much-improved second-half display saw them battle back to win 3-1 thanks to goals from Spencer Weir-Daley, Greg Mills and Wilson Carvalho.
With leaders Poole Town having a blank weekend, Corby moved a point clear at the summit although Poole now have four games in hand, the first of which is at Biggleswade Town on Tuesday night.
Wright was pleased his half-time team talk got the reaction he was after as he admitted he was almost reduced to threatening his players.
“That was the worst I have had to be at half-time and I had to use the harshest words I have had to use, so much so that they were bordering on threats,” the Steelmen boss said.
“It was quite simply a case of make or break for that second half and I wasn’t going to stand there and let the boys throw it all away with nine games to go.
“We are in a good place but if we hadn’t come back and done what we did in the second half then it would have been over as far as the title was concerned.
“You always worry that players read things during the week and they would have seen all the stats about Burnham’s form.
“We were not good enough in that first half and I was just desperate to get them back in the dressing-room.
“The half-time team talks can be so crucial at times and this was one of those occasions.
“They won’t always work but this time we got the reaction we were looking for.
“The second half was a lot more like it and, in the end, we got the job done.”
Poole’s games in hand mean they could still pull well clear of the Steelmen and everyone else in the coming weeks.
But Wright is now intrigued to see how the title favourites react after his team took over pole position.
“Poole have got four games in hand and if they win them all then fair play,” the Corby manager added.
“Can they go and win all four matches? We will see, it’s the business end of the season.
“We have set our players a points target to finish on and if Poole go above that and break through 100 points then they will be the champions and deservedly so.
“What we have to do is stay with them for as long as we can and see if we can even take it to that last game of the season down there.
“We have been saying it for weeks but all we can do is keep winning and keep playing with the cards we are dealt.”