Fleet’s assistant manager Tristan Lewis dedicated the 2-1 win over Wrexham to the fans and backroom staff who had only seen one win in all competitions this season on home soil.
“It’s difficult when you don’t win at home,” he told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “Everyone pays their money, it’s freezing cold today, it wasn’t the prettiest of football but I’m delighted for the supporters and all the backroom people. Sometimes you just need that leg up at home and hopefully that’s it today.
“We’ve had tight games, difficult games, good performances, indifferent performances but a win is a win. But when it’s at home it gives everybody that little bit of hope.
“I think it’s important that people can’t see it as a soft touch here. The lads have got to want to thrive in this environment as well so we can do that here and build on it. Everybody in the ground would have taken any form of three points and I think the boys deserved it, but so did everyone else.”
With manager Kevin Watson demanding a reaction, he and Lewis gave the players Thursday off after a tough week to ensure they were fresh for the task at hand.
“We made a brave decision and gave them Thursday off,” Lewis said. “We just wanted them fresh and aggressive for today. They worked really hard yesterday [in training] and I think the first bit of the game was exactly what we wanted.
“Kev said it, that it was all about the response. There were some strong words said on Tuesday night and the reaction was all that was asked for and a performance. It wasn’t pretty, let’s be honest. To anyone that was here, it was a bit of a war of attrition at times because everyone knew how important the game was. But a massive reaction from the lads and ultimately a massive, massive three points.”
Lewis acknowledged not only that the game lacked some quality but that Fleet took their foot off the pedal after Wrexham’s goal.
“The disappointing thing, and we’ve just spoken there at the end, as proud of them as we are, that when they scored we seemed to revert to dropping off and being on the back foot,” he said.
“And to get out of the trouble that we’re in, we can’t do that. You can’t feel sorry for yourself when you concede. But we gradually clawed our way back and a massive credit to the boys who just dug in and kept digging. It’s been a long week with the travelling and everything and we’re really proud of everybody at the club today.”
One man who should be beaming with pride is match winner Myles Weston whose decision-making and technique in scoring the crucial goal was the difference.
“You need a talisman,” Lewis declared. “Kev said it before, the way he trains, he’s a great leader. The supporters don’t see what he does off the pitch, his levels of professionalism are outstanding. And ultimately in big moments you need big players and Westy is certainly that, a big player for this club.”
Fleet now go to Eastleigh in search of more points as teams around us also won today and Lewis insisted the club has to face the ‘R’ word of relegation head-on.
“The goal on Saturday [at Stockport] late in the game can take the stuffing out of you,” he said. “When we equalised on Tuesday all of us could only feel we were going to go and win the game. If you’d said we were going to lose 5-2, I think we’d have laughed. We gave a poor goal away straight after which is an issue we’ve tried to address.
“But we have to see that level of endeavour. We spoke a lot this week about what we do off the ball, We know we score goals but we have to have the same level of intensity, desire and hunger because we don’t want to get relegated.
“You try and avoid speaking about that word but we had the truth on Tuesday night that the team was bottom of the league. All we can do is focus on ourselves, we’ve got to get ourselves out of this mess and it’s desire, hunger, work rate… from the subs as well. It’s disappointing when people get left out but the professionalism of the boys who came on today had an impact so I’m just pleased for everybody.”