Salford boss Graham Alexander was ‘delighted for everyone’ after his team held on for a 2-1 win at Mansfield Town on Tuesday night.
The Ammies’ third win in four games came courtesy of goals from Jake Jervis and Adam Rooney, who assisted one another in the first 20 minutes of the second half.
Stags top scorer Nicky Maynard pulled a goal back with 13 minutes to go and there were a couple of late scares, but Salford clung on and defended valiantly to take three points which take us up to 15th in Sky Bet League Two.
“We had to learn our lesson from Saturday, there were certain things that we didn’t do in the first 15-20 minutes that we spoke about and we had to start the game in that fashion, and to be fair to the players they did that.
“That for me is as important as anything, that we’re learning from negative actions, negative times as Saturday was for us, and try to improve every time and I thought we did that tonight.
“The quality of the finishes from the two goals was superb, and sometimes we’ve spoke about some games are a grind but if you keep in there and do the right things, keep at a level, then we feel we’ve got the quality to score real good goals and that was evident tonight.
“Mansfield put us under a lot of pressure, especially after they got the goal back to make it 2-1, and to be fair it went really basic then, we had to defend our box with our lives, and to be fair to a man the players did that.
“There were some fantastic challenges and blocks and that’s what it’s going to take. It was a performance of everything really, but one of intelligence and another of grit.
“For me the biggest thing was the start of the game was a massive improvement on the start of our game on Saturday, and even though both games the first 20 minutes was 0-0, the way we did things tonight was much better.
“That shows that the players are taking on board valuable lessons and putting that into practice in games and it was great to see after a disappointing Saturday for ourselves and our supporters that we gave them something to cheer about, and they saw their team come here and put on a real strong performance and win the game so I’m delighted for everyone involved with our club tonight.”
Salford were forced into one change as goalkeeper Mark Howard made his debut, hours after completing an emergency loan from Blackpool. The 33-year-old made an important save late on to deny Krystian Pearce, and Alexander was happy with the experienced stopper’s contribution.
“We only got clearance for him at half four!
“Unfortunately Kyle’s picked up an injury which could keep him out for a while, Chris Neal’s not back yet so we had to do a lot of phone calls, make a lot of phone calls yesterday [Monday], we were up quite late last night trying to get it done, it followed into this morning but we’re really happy to get Mark in.
“He’s someone that we know about anyway, he’s vastly experienced and we’ve come up against him many times in the past, but he was just introduced to the players when we got to the bus at Moor Lane this afternoon to travel over so he’s still getting to know their names but we know what he can give us as an experienced goalkeeper and I thought he did that today really well and I think he’ll improve.”
The captain assisted Jervis for the opening goal before scoring the pick of the bunch with a volley from inside the area.
“I score a decent goal every couple of years!
“I’m happy with that tonight, it felt right and I just connected with it well but it was nice to get the second goal, try to take a bit of the pressure off and then we were hoping to just see the game out but obviously they rallied and got the goal, put pressure on, but the main thing was just to get three points again.
“It’s not just about the forwards or the wingers scoring, we try and play a a team, we try and attack as a team and try to defend a a team, but you see everyone in the last couple of minutes there nearly, everybody bar Mani, Mani was left up at the top on his own, they were throwing their bodies in the way of shots, blocking crosses, and doing the basics we needed to do tonight to see the game out.
“It’s important not to drop any points after going two goals up and we wanted to see it out, and get another three points, get another win, that’s three wins in four now and hopefully we can continue in that form.”
The Ammies return to The Peninsula Stadium on Saturday when in-form Scunthorpe United are the visitors (KO 15:00). Tickets are available in advance online, or from the ticket office on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.