Michael Flynn was pleased to see Newport show both sides of their game during a 2-0 victory against League Two strugglers Grimsby.
Goals from Scott Twine and former Grimsby striker Padraig Amond were enough for the table-topping Exiles, who are now four points clear of Cheltenham in second.
With less than 90 seconds on the clock, captain Joss Labadie headed against a post and Montel Gibson went close at the other end.
However, that proved to be a rare Grimsby attack as Twine put Newport ahead in the 25th minute with a swerving, deflected free-kick.
It was 2-0 on the stroke of half-time when Amond netted from the penalty spot against his old club – after Danny Rose had fouled his man.
A thunderous drive from Owen Windsor, which was tipped on to the crossbar by Nick Townsend, was as close as Grimsby came to a response.
Flynn said: “It was a fantastic away performance in terms of professionalism. They made it tough for us second half.
“Grimsby were lively. They could have caused us a few more problems if one or two things went their way.
“I think Nick’s (Townsend) save from the free-kick was unbelievable. It was a world-class save from a great strike.
“I’m not one of those who just sings our praises when we win, even though I thought we were very, very professional.
“First half was good and, in the second half, we showed the other side of it and had to contain Grimsby, who gave it their all.
“They should be confident, my players. We changed things with our formation and a few players. We’ve got a good squad and have got to try and be careful with players playing Saturday-Tuesday. I can’t afford too many injuries.”
Grimsby manager Ian Holloway said: “I think our performance was very good.
“We had a little bit of a wobble at the start, but I thought we were good apart from at the top end again.
“We are getting chances and not taking them. It’s frustrating to see. But we kept on going and we kept working it.
“I thought we showed some really good stuff at times, but we were a little bit shy in the right areas.
“Up that end I thought we had the best chance of the game. It was a fantastic move and I don’t know what happened, but we didn’t hit the target.
“Every one of them kept going and kept grinding. We kept them quiet, but they got two and we didn’t score any, so it’s bitterly disappointing for us because we’ve got a tough, tough run coming.
“We need some confidence from something, but it’s very difficult to get confidence when you’re losing.”