Michael Duff praised his Cheltenham players for their attitude as they reignited their promotion challenge with a 2-0 home win over Oldham.
Second-half goals from Andy Williams and Alfie May were enough to end a seven-match winless streak as Duff’s side moved up to fourth in the table.
Duff was particularly pleased with the way Town followed up their valiant 3-1 FA Cup fourth round defeat against Manchester City on Saturday with another committed display.
“After the performance on Saturday I was absolutely delighted with this,” Duff said.
“The lads have had loads of plaudits and quite rightly so in the last 48 hours, with people saying how well they’ve done, the effort they’ve had to put in.
“But this game was actually more important from a football point of view. It didn’t have the kudos or the attention and it wasn’t worth as much money, but from an actual football point of view, we needed to put three points back on the board.
“Oldham have lost two in 12 so they have come here in real form. The obvious most pleasing things are the two centre-forwards scoring a goal, and keeping a clean sheet. I thought we were dominant throughout to be honest.”
Laurence Bilboe saved from May twice in the opening stages, but Oldham grew into the game.
Marcel Hilssner’s shot was spilled by Josh Griffiths and very nearly crept over the line in the 12th minute.
Finn Azaz was denied by Bilboe before Dylan Bahamboula rounded Griffiths but saw his effort blocked by Lewis Freestone.
Bilboe turned a fierce drive from Matty Blair over the bar before half-time but Cheltenham’s breakthrough came nine minutes after the break. Williams latched onto a long ball forward from Will Boyle, cut inside and curled a perfectly placed shot past Bilboe and into the bottom right corner for the 150th goal of his career.
May blazed over from a good position in the 78th minute but made no mistake five minutes later, finishing clinically after turning just outside the penalty area to follow up his memorable strike against City.
Oldham boss Harry Kewell felt his side missed an opportunity to continue their impressive away record.
“This game was here for the taking,” Kewell said.
“We had chances to go in front – good chances and enough to go one or two up but didn’t take them.
“They scored their first and got their tails up and then there was no looking back.
“Andy Williams took his goal very well. A bit of greatness from them and sloppiness from us. They’ve got to learn, or we’ll get people in who can.
“They had their long throws and set-pieces and fair enough, that’s the way they like to play, but we dealt with that.”