Manager Kevin Nolan insists Notts County are still “in a fantastic position” to gain promotion, despite their stop-start form of recent weeks.
The Magpies put behind them their midweek defeat at Cambridge United to beat Stevenage 2-0 with late goals at Meadow Lane on Saturday.
And after dropping out of the automatic promotion places in Sky Bet League Two, the win lifted them right back into the mix after slip-ups by third-placed Wycombe Wanderers, who crashed at home to Morecambe, and local rivals, Mansfield Town, who failed to beat ten-man Coventry City.
“We are in a fantastic position that might allow us to get promotion,” said Nolan. “If anybody at the club had been offered that back in July, or even in December, they would have taken it.
“We have to make sure we stay behind the players, stick together and keep trying to progress.”
On Saturday’s match, Nolan said: “Stevenage didn’t make it easy for us but, in the end, I thought our quality shone through and we got our just rewards.
“We can’t expect to steamroller everybody. We have to show teams the respect they deserve, stay in games and defend properly.
“There are going to be times in games when we have to sit back and think how we are going to get back on top and get the win.
“The lads found a way to win the game, and that’s a fantastic trait to have. After a couple of poor performances, where we haven’t hit the high notes of previous months, it was never going to be smooth sailing. “But I thought the game was a clear sign that everybody is in it together.”
Nolan also had a dig at critics who feel he might not be picking the right players or playing the right system.
He said: “It’s all right saying we should play this and do that, and it’s alright in hindsight after a game we haven’t won. But nobody was questioning me during the first part of the season about playing this system or that system.
“I feel I haven’t made too many errors in my team selections. I feel we have got it right and we have spread it around the squad.”
Nolan reserved special praise for Jorge Grant, who bounced back to form when going on as a second-half substitute and scored the crucial breakthrough goal.
“His attitude was absolutely brilliant, and he looked fresh,” said Nolan. “His goal was a fantastic finish.”