Jon Brady hailed his Northampton side’s bravery after they moved into the League Two automatic promotion places with a 2-0 win at Tranmere.
Kion Etete’s opener was added to by Sam Hoskins’ penalty as Brady’s side moved above their opponents and into third in the table.
The Cobblers have responded to defeat at Hartlepool with three straight wins and clean sheets.
And boss Brady said: “We were brave all over in what we did today and how we did it.
“We came here against a team that everyone’s been raving about and didn’t give them an opportunity.
“That was lessons learned from Hartlepool away. We didn’t relent and we condensed the play.
“We didn’t give them any space or any room to move which was polar opposite to Hartlepool.
“We’re a new group and we’re learning all the time but this was a very good day.
“I take a lot more pride from the performance against a club that had conceded two at home so we’ve doubled that.
“I take pride in the intensity, the workrate and the output the team is offering irrespective of the result.
“The more points we put on the board bodes well but we’re not looking at (promotion) yet.”
Tottenham loanee Etete shone again after netting his first league goal in midweek.
The teenager expertly gave the away side the lead in the 52nd minute after a fine cross from Mitch Pinnock.
The Cobblers soon doubled their advantage when Hoskins dispatched an unstoppable penalty in the 68th minute.
Tranmere boss Micky Mellon felt the referee’s performance had been “terrible”, but Brady had no doubt about the awarding of the penalty and was also delighted with the quality of Etete’s finish.
“It was a super finish and he hit it down with great contact but what a ball in by Mitch Pinnock – the assist king is back again,” he said.
“To get a penalty away from home at any time has got to be a real stonewaller and was that not a stonewaller?
“I’m not worried about how they felt about it because it was a penalty.”
The result ended Tranmere’s impressive eight-game unbeaten run in all competitions.
The hosts had a goal ruled out in the 26th minute after goalkeeper Liam Roberts was adjudged to have been fouled in the box.
But chances were scarce for Mellon’s side, who lacked any real cutting edge.
“We want to win every game we take part in, especially with the run we’ve been on,” Mellon said.
“I don’t really think we got going and we lacked a wee bit of sparkle today.
“We lacked quality to get on the end of things and the goals we gave away was not like us.
“The game fizzled out on us and we tried to find ways of getting that spark but it wasn’t to be.
“I thought the referee was terrible to be honest.
“I thought it was one of the poorer performances I’ve seen for a long long time but I’m not going to use that as an excuse.
“We didn’t perform the way that we can but that was as bad as I’ve seen.
“We have to look at ourselves and say we lacked what we’ve been good at recently.
“We’ve been on a terrific run and we’ll go again next week.
“When we passed the ball well we got in the right areas but didn’t get on the end of it in the box.
“I don’t want to make any excuses at all. We have a way of playing and we won’t stop doing that.”
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