Barnsley boss Lee Johnson paid tribute and criticised his battling side by equal measure after their fifth league win in a row.
A hard-fought 1-0 Yorkshire derby victory at Bradford City on Tuesday saw the resurgent Reds climb four places to 13th in the table.
And now Johnson’s confidence-filled team, who were bottom of the table at Christmas, are just seven points from the play-off positions.
“We defended like Trojans and has some really good chances,” beamed Johnson.
“That’s the biggest win I’ve had at Barnsley considering the players we had.
“However, if I’m being honest, I thought we were average in possession.
“But we still looked dangerous on the counter-attack even though we didn’t have as much possession as we usually do.
“We had four or five pretty good chances and showed a really good spirit to go to a tough place and get a really good result.
“We worked our socks off even though we didn’t play great.”
The Reds are now unbeaten in their last six games in all competitions, have won five of their last six matches in League One and having kept two clean sheets in their last three outings having leaked goals all season.
“It’s been a great run and much needed,” added Johnson. “The lads have really stuck and dug in. We’ve apologised to the fans for our poor form and now we’ve turned the corner.
“You can’t argue with five wins on the pitch, it’s been a brilliant run for us.”
But defender Alfie Mawson picked up a groin strain in the victory at The Coral Windows Stadium and is a major doubt for Saturday’s away clash with Swindon Town.
And playmaker Adam Hammill missed out all together with a knee injury, one which could sideline him for as long as a month.
“Adam’s probably going to be out for four weeks, which is a real blow because he’s a huge player for us,” admitted Johnson.
“It’s like Real Madrid losing Ronaldo, that’s how key he is to us.
“But the lads did well without him and showed a lot of heart to beat Bradford.”
And with defenders Lewin Nyatanga (knee) and Aidy White (groin) also sidelined through injury, Johnson revealed he is going to speak to club owner Patrick Cryne to see if he can recruit re-inforcements before the transfer window shuts next Monday evening.
“I think we’re going to have a look,” said Johnson. “I’ll have a chat with Patrick and see if he can dig deep to get at least one in, ideally two players.”