Gary Bowyer urged his Salford side to keep on smiling as they clinched a 2-1 win over in-form Stevenage to reignite their promotion bid.
Brandon Thomas-Asante broke the deadlock early in the second half after an uneventful opening period, the goal sparking the game into life.
Luther James-Wildin soon levelled for the visitors, who had been unbeaten in 12 league games, in spectacular fashion with a venomous strike from long range.
But Ian Henderson’s header from a corner sealed victory and moved the hosts to within three points of the League Two play-off places.
Bowyer said: “The energy levels from the squad have been terrific and it was a real team effort, that’s the pleasing thing.
“We knew it was always going to be a tough game. It was like a boxing match in the first half. We showed great awareness in the first goal by taking a quick throw that caught them out. The two bits of brilliance from us won us the game.
“We’ve told them to play with a lot of desire and energy and get smiles on their faces. It’s quite an easy equation in football – if you win games then people have smiles on their faces.
“It all helps and we’ve got to try and keep that smile on our face for as long as possible.
“We can’t get ahead of ourselves and look three games down the line. It’s the next game. We’ll just keep going and try to win as many as we possibly can.”
A disappointed Stevenage boss Alex Revell witnessed his side’s strongest run of form since 2012 come to an end.
He said: “I thought we showed our qualities, but I don’t think we really showed what we have done in recent weeks.
“The two goals against us were really poor and you can’t concede goals like that against a team that has a really good defensive record.
“We have to learn from that, because we’ve given them two goals that are really poor and we can’t expect to win games when we do that.
“We’ve had a really good run, but we want to win more games. Yes, it does have to come to an end, but not in the manner that we lost today.
“I’m really disappointed. We’ve worked really hard to get to where we are now and we knew that, if we’d have won, we’d have gone above them, so to concede those two goals and the manner that we did is really disappointing in the grand scheme of things.”
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