Mickey Stones believes that his Horncastle Town side are enjoying learning to win ugly.
The Wongers’ joint manager inherited a team which prided itself on playing nice football, unwilling to change its philospohy when the going got tough.
But following Saturday’s 1-0 home victory over Hykeham Town - which saw the side gain revenge from their previous 5-2 defeat in the Lincolnshire League, as well as leapfrogging their rivals to move into third place - Stones believes things are slowly changing in the camp.
“The team were playing fancy football, nice attacking football,” he said.
“But we had a chat about whether we were defending properly, putting the balls in the channels and things like that.
“Grimsby Borough are top and we beat them 1-0 recently, and this week we beat Hykeham, another good team up there, 1-0 again.
“The lads are starting to realise that if they sacrifice a bit of nice football they might enjoy that feeling of winning a bit more.”
Ben Fidling’s 73rd-minute goal earned victory at the Wong on Saturday.
The result leaves Horncastle sitting level on points with defending champions and second-placed Skegness Town, although the Lilywhites have three games in hand.
One player Stones believes is summing up the attitude of the squad is teenage defender Elliot Andrew, a former Boston United Academy player who joined from Wisbech Town after struggling to get game time with the Fenmen.
“It’s his first time playing senior football, and that’s a big step up,” Stones said.
“We told him we wanted him to keep his position, head it, kick it and clear it and it’s making a big difference.
“He’s only 17 but he’s looking like a good player.”
The Wongers will now face Skegness in the fourth round of the Lincs Junior Cup next month, following the Lilywhites’ 3-0 win over Brumby FC on Saturday, as well as in the Challenge Cup semi-final next year.
“We always have good games against Skegness, they always mean something,” Stones said, hoping that a cup victory may help knock the confidence of their rivals in the race for the Lincs League title.
“We’ll be playing them four times this season and we won’t let them beat us four times, I can tell you that.”