Steve Evans believes his Mansfield Town side were too much for Wycombe Wanderers in the second half which prompted a 2-1 win.
Second half goals from Alfie Potter and Lee Angol turned the game on its head and gave Stags all three points at Adams Park.
Bayo Akinfenwa had earlier put Wycombe ahead and it looked to be a long afternoon as Evans was forced into two early changes.
But some choice words from the Mansfield Town manager at the break sparked a response from his play-off chasing players.
“Second half was very strong,” said Evans. “I wasn’t so happy at half time. I think we started as a couple of the players were feeling.
“They were all feeling sorry for each other and I had to be quite vocal at half time with them and ask them ‘do they want to stand up and fight?’
“Because at the end of the day in May someone will get a fantastic prize - and that’s League One football. So I had to be really strong with them, none more so than my centre-backs.
“I get into the hearts and minds of the players and we had some big performances in the second half. We could have scored two or three more, our attacking play was scintillating.
“They couldn’t cope with us.
“There’s not many teams that come to Adams Park and does that to Gareth’s (Ainsworth, Wycombe boss) side because they’re full of strength and full of quality.
“It’s only three points for us at the end of the day, it’s three bags of coal, we’ll get back to training on Monday and see where it takes us.”
Akinfenwa put the hosts ahead on seven minutes and troubled the Stags defence, which lined up with Zander Diamond, Krystian Pearce and Rhys Bennett in a 3-5-2 formation.
“Bayo Akinfenwa is difficult to play against. He’s top class for our level and possibly the level above. They play a certain way and he’s so strong.
“I’ve never said to them that they’ve been bullied before and I really questioned them. I said to them ‘just go out in the second half and have a fight’.
“A fair fight. Stand up like men. They’re both men. Whether they’re feeling down, or got a bit of the flu, if that’s the case I said to them to come off.
“But they were smashing the door down to get out there in the second half,” said Evans, who saw Diamond and Danny Rose injured and replaced by Mal Benning and Angol on 18 minutes.
“Whatever we get out there on Monday, if they show the same amount of fight, spirit, desire and endeavour that we had in the second half to win a match then I’ll always stand in front of them.
“I’ll always stand in front of them as a group. They’re a terrific group. Every day I walk in and every one of them has got a part to play.”
When asked what the key factor behind the second half turnaround was for his team, Evans replied: “bravery in challenges, being brave on the ball”.
And added: “We said to them pass it, pass the ball out wide, get Porter in the game, Mellis on the ball - if you’re the best passer in the league, show it - and he’s shown it in spells second half.
“I don’t like singling out one player but I thought Lee Angol, from the minute he got on the pitch, was top, top class and demonstrated how good this boy can be.
“He can be anything he wants to be and his finish, wow, let supporters watch it on television tonight. If it’s at the highest level, if it’s Ronaldo, then we’re watching it forever.”
Stags return to action on New Year’s Day at home to Carlisle United (kick off 3pm).