YORK City manager Nigel Worthington refused to go overboard on the plaudits despite seeing his side prevent AFC Wimbledon from having a single shot on target during a third straight away win.
On-loan Charlton goalkeeper Nick Pope did not have a save to make at Kingsmeadow with Michael Coulson’s 41st-minute header proving sufficient to secure another three points for the Minstermen.
The result moved Worthington’s team up to ninth in the Sky Bet League Two standings and only four points short of a play-off place.
But, despite a defensive record that has seen his side concede only two goals since the end of January, the City chief said: “I am very pleased that our ’keeper didn’t need to make a save but it’s just a case of the outfield players doing their jobs.
“I won’t be giving them any leeway because, if we are going to move forward, they have to keep doing these things. We are working hard together as a group and have got to keep the spirit we have in the camp and keep our feet on the ground.
“There’s nothing to get excited about but, if we keep focused and have belief, we will be okay and 51 points remains the first target.”
Worthington added, however, that he felt his squad are now better equipped to deal with Wimbledon’s physical intimidation – a key factor during a run of four successive defeats and 12 goals conceded against the Wombles prior to Saturday’s contest.
“There was stuff going on in the game and we had to stand up to that,” he declared. “That’s something that we have gradually introduced into the club and we give as good as we get now.
“We had two very, clear-cut chances that we did not need on the day so we will save them for another game but it was a fantastic, solid and professional performance from everyone. They all put a shift in to get us through the second half.
“We stressed at half-time that we could not sit back on 1-0 and knew we would come under pressure but we showed the courage and belief to deal with that in good style. We played some good football during the course of the game and it was important we did not get caught up in the way Wimbledon play, which is very much in your face and very committed “We needed to make sure we played our own game and we did that well.”
Coulson claimed his second match-winning goal in as many games, having been brought inside from the flanks to play as an orthodox centre forward and Worthington was pleased with the way his header was created and converted, saying: “It was a great ball in by Banj (Lanre Oyebanjo) to the back post from the wide-right area and Couls tucked it away nicely.”
But Coulson’s fellow striker Ryan Bowman extended his run without a goal to a ninth game after an awful miss in front of an open goal midway through the second period.
Worthington stressed that the 22-year-old forward must now show belief and greater focus to overcome his barren run.
The Minstermen boss reasoned: “At the top end of the game, strikers can go eight, nine or ten games without a goal but you have got to keep your belief and concentration and I always tell the players to expect the unexpected.
“When the ball came across to him, I think he lost his concentration and took his eye off the ball. Then, what happened can happen.
“You must stay 100 per cent focused until you finish the job off and then it’s just a tap-in.”