Doncaster Rovers were urged to use their humbling at Walsall as a watershed moment in the season, Darren Ferguson has revealed.
And the Rovers boss was delighted to see his words heeded with a thoroughly accomplished performance in beating Fleetwood Town on Saturday.
The 4-2 defeat at the Bescot Stadium raised fears Rovers would be dragged into a relegation fight, should they fail to bounce back quickly and decisively.
But Ferguson said it was important the worryingly poor performance was turned into a positive – as a wake-up call for his squad.
“I said to the players we had to use it as a positive, what happened last week,” he told The Star.
“We had to make sure it was a watershed moment.
“It’s not something I’ve been accustomed to from my players or anyone that has watched all our games.
“It was an unusual performance and when you get performances like that, you have to see a reaction immediately.
“You cannot wait and we got that.”
Ferguson felt the contrasts between the two performances last week – and their outcomes – sent a strong message about the important of doing the right things in games.
Rovers were sloppy at Walsall and over-complicated their attacking play as they chased the game.
But against Fleetwood they stuck to the basics with defenders clearing the ball and attacking players getting up the pitch quickly.
Ferguson said: “It’s been a bit of a tough time but hopefully this is the sign we’re coming through it.
“We can take that performance into the last 12.
“Perhaps it is a good example to the players that if they don’t get the first bit right, the fundamentals, the basics, outwork them, outrun them, have the stats that should show me on a Sunday morning that we have outrun the opposition.
“If we don’t get all that then it might be a problem.
“Perhaps Tuesday to today is a great example of why you win and don’t win games.”