Salford City manager Graham Alexander described his side’s performance in the 2-1 win at Mansfield tonight as one of intelligence and grit.
The EFL newcomers soaked up long spells of home pressure before hitting them with two sucker punch goals after the break.
Nicky Maynard did pull one back to set up a thrilling finish in which Alexander’s men did him proud defensively.
“The quality of the finishes of our two goals were superb,” he beamed.
“We know that some games are a grind, but if you keep in there, do the right things and keep it level, we feel we’ve got really good quality in our squad to score goals. That was evident tonight.
“It went really basic then and we had to defend our box with our lives. To be fair, to a man, the players did that and there were some fantastic challenges and blocks.
“That’s what it’s going to take. It was a performance of intelligence and one of grit.”
Alexander felt Mansfield edged much of the game though was also upset with many of the free kicks the referee awarded the home side.
“Mansfield probably shaded it in possession and opportunities but I thought they were given a lot of cheap free kicks,” he said.
“We had to switch on to that and be more intelligent in our defending as the slightest touch and they were over. It was pressure for us.
“We had to make sure we saw the game out and play with discipline and composure in our thought process, and I think the players did that.”