Keith Curle was full of praise for the commitment of both his players and Cobblers supporters after their excellent 2-1 victory at Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday.
Town clinched just their second win in 10 league games thanks to two goals from Sam Hoskins, who scored after only two minutes and then again with a superb finish in first-half stoppage-time.
James Norwood equalised in-between but Rovers were kept at bay by a gutsy defensive shift from the Cobblers after half-time as the visitors moved 10 points clear of relegation.
"It's a big result and a result that the changing room needed," admitted Curle. "I've got to say it was a committed performance and we had a committed crowd as well.
"They were vocal and cheered us throughout the game and that was important because we could hear them. The backing they gave the players both at the start and certainly at the end was excellent.
"The one thing you need to do here, if you're going to get a result, is to battle, to fight, to scrap and you need to stand your ground.
"That was the challenge set to the players before the game and at half-time. If you don't win the battles, you're in for a difficult evening.
"I thought we started tentatively but we grew into the game and accepted the challenges more and more as it went on and that was pleasing for me."
Hoskins, picked to lead the line by Curle, was the obvious standout at Prenton Park as he opened his league account for the season with two smart finishes.
Curle added: "He was a threat throughout and caused them problems.
Statistically you'd say he's been out-of-form because he hasn't hit the back of the net but his finishes weren't of a player out-of-form.
"He showed very honest endeavour, good character, good bravery and when he got his opportunities, he stuck them both away excellently."