Mark Shaw kept his players on the pitch for a long time on Wednesday night, hammering home the message that this could be a ‘monumental’ season for Worksop Town.
Ordinarily, such a lengthy post-match inquest would signal a defeat - but Shaw’s Tigers had just beaten higher league Sheffield FC in the county cup.
He explained what had been said in the huddle on halfway: “I just want them to realise how much of an opportunity they’ve got this season.
“We need them to do more.
“They’re a gifted group of players and I want them to go and be successful.
“They might have to do a little bit more work on their own to achieve the goals we’ve set for them.
“We’re still in three competitions that are realistic for us.
“We have got this chance, but they need to realise it now.
“We’re one of the frontrunners and we’re only going to get stronger and better.”
When pressed on what he wanted from the squad, Shaw said he wants them to do everything in their power to ensure the season ends in silverware.
“I’m talking in general, whether it be their diet, sleep patterns, their socialising, the extra fitness work they could do,” he said.
“I want them to live and breath and dream the fact that they could achieve something monumental for the club.
“They’re a young set of players who haven’t had that kind of push from a manager in the past.
“I’m not having a go but while they’re young and have this opportunity, it’s down to them.”
Although Tigers were under the cosh for most of the second half on Wednesday, Shaw was adamant that victory showed how far his squad have come in a year.
He said: “Last year we would have lost that game, at home.
“We’d have easily lost that game, we’d have let them back in.
“So I’m pleased with the way we’ve organised it on the pitch.”
But there was no extra satisfaction for the Worksop manager, at having overcome a club that sacked him in what he felt were harsh circumstances.
“They’re just another team for me, it doesn’t make a difference, a win is a win.
“I’m not bothered about who we play against, I’m not bothered about Sheffield FC, it’s a game that was important because it’s the Sheffield Senior Cup.
“I didn’t think Sheffield would be a threat, and I think we were the better team.”
On Saturday Shaw will take his men to near neighbours Rainworth, a team in midtable who have won their last two, without a trio of players.
Shaw said: “Ross Henshaw has a very bad ankle ligament problem, that needs a lot of rest, Phil Roe has a serious knee injury that we hope will clear up in a few weeks, but we’re worried, and Conor Sellars has a shoulder injury.”
Worksop go into the weekend second in the NCEL Premier table, two points behind Tadcaster with two games in hand, and level on points with third placed Handsworth Parramore who have played a game more.
Shaw said victory was vital: “Rainworth have had some up and down results, we just need to show what a good side we are and come away with three points.
“The title race is wide open at the minute, it needs someone to grab it by the horns.
“We’ll be in the driving seat if we’re top and clear by a lot of points, at the moment it’s an open race and we just need to keep winning games.”