Ian Evatt welcomed a ‘crucial’ three points as Wanderers hit back to close in on the promotion places, writes Pete Oliver.
Victor Adeboyejo marked his 50th appearance for the Whites with a first-half winner as Evatt’s men beat Cheltenham Town 1-0 to climb back to third place in the League One table.
Wanderers bounced back from Saturday’s loss at Leyton Orient to make it five wins from their last six league games to get within two points of leaders Portsmouth with two games in hand.
“It wasn't a classic. I don't think many people will remember any of that performance at the end of the season but they will remember the three points and that's what was crucial tonight,” said Evatt.
“It was a really important three points that gets us back on track, still over two points per game and we've made ground in our games on the others.
“Great credit to Cheltenham. They were really fresh and really energetic and put us under pressure in the conditions. We scrapped, battled and fought without being our usual fluid selves but this league is tough really tough. You've just got to look at results elsewhere.
“It's a hard league and sometimes you just have to find a way to win and we did that tonight. It was pretty ugly and we know we can be better than that but the important thing is the three points.”
The result took Wanderers back above Derby County – who were beaten at Reading – with another clean sheet ensuring no side in the division has a better defensive record than the Whites.
And Evatt was delighted with the character shown by his side as they dug deep to find a way to win.
"That would do them the world of good,” added the Wanderers’ boss, who also praised the decision of referee Benjamin Speedie to rule out a potential Cheltenham equaliser when he ruled that some of Town's 'blockers' were in an off-side position to allow George Lloyd to put the all in the net.
“We have just got to relax and believe in ourselves. I have said before we need to stay together as a club and the players need the fans more than ever.
“In the second half they picked us up a little bit and we need them to pick us up because sometimes it's going to be tough and it's going to be hard and we're going to have to fight our way through it.
“Sometimes we're going to play well and win but it's the ones where you need to roll up your sleeves when you need that 12th man and we need the fan-base and support to get behind us.”
The down side of a 10th home win of the season was a hamstring injury to Randell Williams and a 10th yellow card for midfielder George Thomason, who will now miss the next two home games.
Midfielder Kyle Dempsey will also need a check after picking up a late knock and despite the impending return from international duty of Carlos Mendes Gomes, Evatt is looking to do business before the transfer window closes.
“We're going to have to look to strengthen because we need that boost to pick the players back up and go again,” he told Wanderers TV.