ALFRETON Town manager Nicky Law saw the courage of his convictions pay off as his side gained a point in a 1-1 draw at Darlington on Tuesday evening.
The Reds boss kept the squad behind in the changing room for an hour on Saturday after a horror 6-1 home defeat against Forest Green Rovers.
He then shook things up, leaving skipper Greg Young, Jake Moult and Jamie Mullan out of the starting line-up and handing debuts to Leigh Franks and Levi Mackin as well as recalling Chris Senior up front.
Law explained his decisions. “We had to forget the Forest Green game quickly and I had to pick a team to go and try and win the [Darlington] game. I felt we needed a few changes and made them. I am not singling anyone out, it was just horses for courses.
“Sometimes you lose focus. We have come to a new level and we are still finding our feet. We have to stay close-knit and stick together. That is the way forward. It is going to be tough, but that is what we are going to have to do.
“Hopefully we can keep plugging away, working hard and put in more performances like we did at Darlington.
“All I ask is that the players go out there and give 100 per cent, close things down, compete and challenge for first and second ball and the rest will follow.
“It doesn’t work the other way around. You can’t try and play football first.
“We have learned plenty of lessons from last Saturday’s horror show. Sometimes you just need to get the first goal. We should have had it last Saturday and could have done so at Darlington.
“There were four individual errors and we conceded two from set-plays which is something we rarely do. We did well in spells, kept possession and passed the ball well. But we got punished as you do at this level for not doing the right things.
“That was the pleasing thing on Tuesday, we have learned from that and so long as they do what they are good at, we will be ok.”
The Reds now face a massive seven days in which they play second-placed Wrexham at home this Saturday, travel to third-placed York City on August Bank Holiday Monday and then go to league leaders Gateshead the following Saturday.
“They don’t come any harder than Wrexham, York and Gateshead” said Law. “For me, this division is just an extension of the Football League.
“I went to watch Wrexham last Friday. They are a really good side, with good players and we are going to have to be at our very best.
“But, if the players put in the level of commitment that they did at Darlington, they will be ok and no-one will have any arguments.
With the first four-figure home attendance expected against Wrexham, supporters are advised to arrive earlier than usual for Saturday’s game which kicks-off at 3pm.