You could not wipe the smile off Gary Brabin’s face after Tranmere’s 3-1 win over Gateshead.
Rovers dominated for long spells at Prenton Park as they picked up their eighth victory in eleven games.
It leaves them still sitting pretty in the top five and is a strong start to an important week that also includes trips to Guiseley and Dover.
“I thought it was a really good first half performance,” the manager said.
“You can never relax.
“I said to James Quinn and Shaun Garnett at half-time, ‘this is the hardest team talk in the world when you’re winning 2-0 and you’re doing alright.’
“We don’t want to rest on our laurels and I think that was the case.
“We spoke about a few things we felt we could improve on and I felt it was a bit of a jittery first five minutes in the second half.
“But it was a great cross by Jake Kirby and it was nice to see Michael Higdon off the mark.”
It has taken the striker four games for him to open his Rovers account as he nodded home that left wing cross.
Indeed, he has received some stick from the fans since his arrival.
Brabin insists that is water off a duck’s back, and hopes it is the first of many between now and the end of the season.
“In this job, you get used to a little bit of flak,” he added.
“Michael’s got a good pedigree of scoring goals and he’s desperate to come here and do well.
“I think he looked like the happiest person in the stadium when he got that first goal.
“At every level, every player thrives on confidence.
“Michael’s a real big lad and I think it takes a bit longer for the bigger lads to get up to match speed.
“He’s been giving us something. We know we’ve got a lot more to come from him, as he does himself.
“We just felt a goal would give him a real lift and we are pleased with the performance today.”
Meanwhile the win was Tranmere’s first by more than a goal since they beat high-flying Forest Green 2-0 in October.
Scoring goals has been a concern for everyone at Prenton Park – and Brabin admits it was a relief to
“It is nice,” he continued.
“I’d like to say I was relaxed for the last few minutes, but that wasn’t the case!
“It’s just nice when you’re winning games and scoring goals.”