Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray wants to finish the season on a high after his side ended a run of seven games without a win on Saturday.
Murray was pleased with the discipline showed by his Stags players in the 2-1 victory at Carlisle United, secured by goals from Colin Daniel and Reggie Lambe.
The win at Brunton Park moved Mansfield to within six points of seventh-placed AFC Wimbledon and kept the Stags’ hopes of a League Two play-off finish alive.
Near neighbours Notts County visit the One Call Stadium this coming Saturday, with five games remaining.
Murray said: “We knew we were coming to a side that play good football. We were coming to a team that were on a high and a point from the play-offs before the game. We’re coming into it on the back of a little bit of a dip in form, we didn’t have a lot of confidence going into it, so we knew it would be hard for the players to be confident and take responsibility.
“We knew we had to put a structure and a game plan in place that was disciplined and organised. We looked to catch them on the counter-attack. We wanted to suck them in and catch them on the break.
“It worked perfectly. I think when you do have to be disciplined for that long it takes it out of you physically and mentally. I think they had seven up front at the end so we had to defend.
And added: “We’d got to the point where our performances are really good.
“We hadn’t had the luck of the draw and had some bad decisions, so we just needed a horrible win, however it came, we needed to get three points on the board for the lads more than anything.
“They know the performances have been good and sometimes when you’re playing well and you’re not getting the results you start to think ‘what do we need to do?’ So they needed the three points, however they came.
“The most pleasing thing for me was that they stuck to the game plan. It wasn’t pretty at times, I don’t apologise for that, we came here to make it scrappy, to make it horrible and we did just that.”
The victory at Carlisle was the Stags’ ninth away win of the season.
“We’ve had a lot of positives this season, we’ve put building blocks together for us to move on in a good direction,” said Murray.
“We want to finish on a high. We’re all going to learn how to be better, we’re going to teach our players how to get better, I’m learning to be better.
“The future’s bright. Yes - we’ve got three points but the win is more than that because it’s been a tough time.”