Jon McCarthy expressed his gratitude to the Chester FC faithful for allowing him the chance to stake his claim to be the next Blues boss.
Caretaker boss McCarthy and his assistant Ian Sharps made it three wins from four on Saturday as they produced a fine second-half display to down Gateshead 4-2 at the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium in their final National League game of the season.
It was a triumph that further strengthened McCarthy's case to be named the next manager of the Blues, with the former Northern Ireland international having surpassed many expectations by leading Chester to safety in convincing style.
Having been at the club since January 2014 as assistant to Steve Burr, sacked earlier this month, McCarthy was fully aware that he was linked with recent failures on the pitch, but the ex-Birmingham City man believes that he has now shown he is his own man and can be judged on his own merit.
"What I won't do now is put any pressure on the board," said McCarthy, who is on the shortlist to be the next Blues boss.
"They gave me an opportunity, they have been great with me and supported me and Ian Sharps has, and the players most of all.
"I've been around the club for a while in a different capacity and it was just about changing the perception of me. People who know me know what I was like and there were a lot of fans who didn't know who I was. I am grateful (the fans) have given me and chance and listened to what I have had to say and they've watched some of the shape and structure. I think people are looking at me for me now, and that's all I wanted.
"Now I'll prepare hard. Nobody will beat me on the interview as I'll prepare really hard on all the paperwork and my vision and philosophy for the club. I'll get that right."
McCarthy explained how going back to basics has been the foundation of Chester's success over the past month, with the focus on making the team tighter on the pitch.
"It is just playing more 4-4-2 than 4-2-4. It's about bringing wide players into deeper positions which actually gives them more of the ball, rather than them going and marking the full backs," he said.
"It just makes us so much tighter. We will then always have eight or nine players to their five or six and we'll win more second balls. That has given them a base and a confidence."
And McCarthy was pleased to see the system pay dividends once more on Saturday as Ross Hannah's brace and efforts from Kane Richards and Ryan Higgins ensured Chester ended a tough season on a high note.
"That was a difficult one for us in terms of motivation because it wasn't there," said McCarthy, who is on a four-man shortlist, the Chronicle understands.
"I just wanted it for them. It felt like the fans wanted to thank them after a frustrating season and wanted a performance, and it came in the end.
"I'm just really pleased for the players and they can go and enjoy their summer now and the club can get on with what they have to do.
"We talked about having a little bit more desire than them. There was never going to be the intensity of the Welling and Grimsby game but we worked on having more than them.
"We were quite ruthless, there was no sentiment or young players and we kept the same team and we knew Mahon and Hannah would want to come on, but that competition that we have built was the extra edge."