Jim Harvey said his side showed lots of character after FC Halifax Town beat Chester 1-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Trophy.
Jordan Burrow’s 14th goal of the season sealed Town’s passage into the last eight for the second consecutive year.
Harvey admits the league remains the priority but the Town boss was delighted with the attitude his side showed to get through.
He said: “Our focus really is on saving ourselves in the league but all of a sudden we now find ourselves one game away from the semi-final.
“The boys are really enjoying that. The pitch was heavy and difficult to play on, really energy-sapping.
“It was difficult to put on a good football performance, but there was lots of guts an determination and character in that performance.
“Bolts (James Bolton) turned up with the flu, then Hamza (Bencherif) had to come off after 20 minutes as he was struggling with his lungs, so that knocked us around a bit.
“So you do need character and it’s about who wants it most.
“From that point of view our boys stood up and looked pretty decent with regards to desire for the game and that was enough for us to win.”
Harvey was forced into a defensive reshuffle seeing Kevin Roberts at centre-back and Jake Hibbs at right-back, which he felt was another example of his side showing character in difficult circumstances.
“When I managed Chester a few years ago, Kev (Roberts) played for me at centre-half so he’s not unfamiliar with it, although he hasn’t played a lot there this year,” Harvey said.
“But he’s very capable, he reads the game well, he can play anywhere, he’s an excellent lad to have in the team.
“For Jake to come on at right-back, again, it’s not something that he’s done too often but he’s full off effort and commitment and I thought he did really well.
“He was up against a decent winger but all the boys stuck to their task.”
Burrow found the net for the first time since scoring against Dover in late November, and Harvey felt his goal was deserved for the striker’s efforts since then,
“Jordan’s work-rate and effort from the team has been first-class,” Harvey said.
“I’m disappointed for him that he hasn’t scored through that period, so for him to score tonight is just reward for all the effort he’s put in.
“I was really delighted for him. He might have got another one or two to go along with it.
“His effort for the team is terrific.”
Harvey felt his side should have added to their solitary goal.
“If things had gone our way we could have (scored more goals). We had the chances,” he reflected.
“But overall, the pitch didn’t help us, and possibly our selection of when to pass, when to release it, what option to take was a bit poor.
“If we’d made better decisions that could have got us in and extended the lead and made it easier for ourselves.”