Notts County manager Kevin Nolan was keen to retain a sense of perspective following the 2-1 defeat at Luton Town.
Elliott Hewitt’s sixth-minute goal, his second of the season, put the Magpies into an early lead but the Hatters hit back and went on to win the game thanks to strikes from Ollie Palmer and Pelly-Ruddock Mpanzu.
And the boss feels securing safety in League Two may have had a part to play in what he described as a 'very poor' first half performance.
“In the last two games I feel we have not been the same team we were in the five games previously,” he said. “It has been disappointing.
“We could have come away with a point despite not playing well which pleases me a little more than if we had lay down and let Luton run all over us.
“We had a go in the second half but we were very poor in the first half. That is what happens when the lads feel the relief of getting to safety after what they have been through this season. You have a big sigh of relief and everything drops so it is up to us as a staff to pick them up again.”
Nonetheless, the manager insisted nothing should be taken away from the players for how they have performed since the appointment of the former Newcastle United midfielder on 12 January.
He said: “I don’t want to come away from what we have achieved in such a short space of time.
“When I came in, everyone thought we would be coming to this stage of the season still in the relegation battle so it is a fantastic achievement [to already be safe].
“The teams who perform great escapes often do it on the final day but we haven’t. This has been a great escape. Hats off to Alan Hardy and the players for buying into me.
“The lads have been through a hell of a lot and I am sure we will get a reaction from them at home to Blackpool next Saturday. I’m looking forward to it.”
Notts play their final home game of the 2016-17 campaign against Blackpool on Saturday 29 April. Click here for full ticketing information.