Tommy Wright praised the character of his Corby Town players as they maintained their promotion hopes with an impressive fightback against Chippenham Town at Steel Park.
After a flat performance for an hour or so, the Steelmen found themselves 1-0 down in the second half.
But they stormed back with Spencer Weir-Daley pulling them level before Greg Mills held his nerve to convert an 87th-minute penalty to secure a 2-1 success.
With leaders Poole Town and fellow high-fliers Weymouth - who visit Steel Park on Wednesday night - both being held, it was yet another crucial win for Wright’s men.
The manager, who led from the front as a second-half substitute, admitted his team started the game too slowly.
But he insists they must continue to do their bit as they target promotion from the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division.
“There were words said at half-time,” Wright said.
“If we don’t start well and drop the tempo then we look like a very average team.
“The minute we pick it up, I think they start realising how good they are as a team. It was a slow start but I thought we grew into it.
“The lads have shown a lot of character. Everything that keeps getting thrown at them they respond to.
“We would rather not be dragging it out in games like this but there is a lot of pressure on the lads and they know what is expected of them now.
“A lot still needs to happen. If we don’t win the games that we should then we are never going to know.
“I expect teams to take points off Poole and Weymouth just like they will be expecting teams to take points off us.
“The brief we have got with our lads is that if we do our bit then we will have a chance.”
Wright, meanwhile, was full of praise for fellow substitutes Ben Milnes and Claudiu Hoban as they helped sparked the Steelmen into life with the latter winning the match-clinching penalty.
Hoban rejoined the club last week to round off a busy spell in the transfer market and Wright believes the club have strengthened at the right time.
He added: I think the two substitutes livened it up a bit. Ben was very good when he came on and Claudiu was a different level.
“The lads we have brought in have massively strengthened what we have already got.
“We haven’t taken any gambles. We have brought in lads we know.
“They have come into the group and all of sudden, we have got game-changers on that bench.
“If you have 30 minutes to go and you can bring on the likes of Ben Milnes and Claudiu Hoban, that speaks volumes. It makes our job easier to have those choices.”