Mansfield Town boss Steve Evans was delighted to see his side take all three points at promotion rivals Exeter City with a display that he described as ‘fantastic’ at times.
Stags won it with a first half Danny Rose goal before comfortably soaking up second half City pressure.
“It was a difficult pitch, but I thought in the first half we were fantastic,” he said.
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“We should have been three or four nil up in the first half, such was our dominance.
“If we’d scored a second in that first half I think we’d have won quite comfortably.
“You’d take any type of win as that is a wonderful opponent we’ve beaten today. They are a wonderful side.
“I said to the players at half-time it was a commendable first half. But the one thing I know about Paul Tisdale and Exeter is they will have a go.
“They did have a go – but they never made a chance that big Conrad Logan had to save. There were a lot of long balls coming into the box, but I always felt if we could break on them we’d get a second.
“My keeper has not made a save in 95 minutes.
“That was testament to how hard the players worked, not just the back four, or back five when Diamond came on.” Stags beat Newport 5-0 at home in midweek, but Evans felt their first half showing at Exeter was even better, even though chances were missed.
“The first half today was a step up from Newport and the second half was more dogged and workmanlike,” he said.
“For the goal, I think Alfie Potter put in a wonderful cross and I think Kane Hemmings does everything right.
“He puts it onto the bar and we work on the training ground where one striker finishes and the other gets the reaction. Danny gets the reaction and puts it in the net.”
Stags move up to fourth, three points off the top three, but said there was still a long way to go and many ‘squeaky bum’ games.
“I see managers and chairmen getting carried away in September and October and I have a wry smile to myself,” he said.
“I never, ever forget the best manager in my life ever was Sir Alex Ferguson. And he always told me ‘squeaky bum time’ comes mid-February to the end of the season.
“Today and against Newport, and at Swindon – they are ‘squeaky bum games’. We’ll keep on going.” Evans was delighted with his side’s fitness levels today, despite their midweek exertions.
He said: “We put a lot of effort in against Newport. But (fitness) levels were up there again today.
“We have a measurement on those energy levels and we were still running and heading and kicking things so strongly in the 90th minute.
“The points were deserved and we know how hard they were to get.”