Tom Shaw believes the faith shown by Chester FC boss Jon McCarthy in his players is one of the major factors in the club's superb run.
Chester are on a nine-game unbeaten run in the National League that has pushed them to within five points of the play-off places and raised plenty of eyebrows in the process with the club conceding just one goal in that time.
Instead of ripping up the squad and starting from scratch after being handed the reins on a permanent basis at the end of the season, McCarthy instead offered a second chance to much of last season's squad and complemented it with additions from other clubs with a point to prove.
And with Chester chasing a 10th game unbeaten this weekend when they welcome third-placed Lincoln City to the Lookers Vauxhall Stadium (3pm), Shaw believes it is an approach that has paid dividends.
"Fair play to the lads and the manager," said the 29-year-old.
"He has shown faith in the players and stuck by them. It's easy to go and change players when they make a mistake. But they have come through it and shown some great character.
"He managed to get a hungry squad together. Whether it was lads from other clubs who wanted to right a few wrongs or lads from last year, we've definitely got the bit between ourselves to impress people and have a strong season.
"There is a great spirit and we are a very disciplined, organised unit and we are putting in hard work through the week and we are getting the outcome from the preparation we are doing.
"I watched the York game from the stands and you could see that the lads just weren't having it. It seemed unjust that we had conceded after being on top and the lads just took the game by the scruff of the neck. There is a never-say-die spirit and that's why we keep picking up points."
Shaw, signed at the start of last season from Alfreton Town, struggled for form during the previous campaign, but has been one of Chester's most consistent performers this time around.
"I'm pleased with how it's gone but I'm part of a good team and a good squad but I'm benefiting from the system that the manager has put in place," said the former Cambridge United man.
"I had a point to prove as I wasn't at my best along with a few others last year but I've hit the ground running and hope I can carry on in this form.
"It's going to be interesting to see how it pans out and we are matching the good teams in this league now stride for stride. We seem to be improving and haven't reached our peak yet and it will be interesting to see where the next few months takes us."