Richie Barker hailed his team's improved "mental strength and desire" after Crawley's 1-0 home success over Bradford.
A 53rd-minute strike from Emile Sinclair proved enough to give the Red Devils maximum points, stretching their unbeaten league run to seven games, and manager Barker was quick to make the point that this was the type of game his side would not have won last season.
"It was our improved mental strength and desire that got us over the line. We deserved to win," Barker said.
"I'm very happy and extremely proud with the performance and the result.
"Bradford have a far bigger squad than our's and won't be a million miles away from the play-offs."
Barker is delighted his team are finding different ways to win and added: "Although their keeper was busier than our's, we still had to do the nasty stuff if you like in the last five minutes.
"Our two centre-forwards did well and Jamie Proctor was fantastic. It was one of the best games he's had since he has joined.
"Joe Walsh and Kyle McFadzean are not the biggest centre-halves in the division, but the pair of them were excellent, especially as we played a slightly different formation and asked the players to do a different job."