Chorley FC boss Jamie Vermiglio says restored intensity was key to leapfrogging Stockport County and returning to top of National League North table
The Magpies returned to the top of the National League North on Saturday and head the table by a point from Stockport County with eight games to play.
County had briefly knocked the Magpies off the top, but an emphatic 3-0 win over Kidderminster Harriers, and Stockport’s 1-0 defeat to fellow promotion chasers Brackley saw Chorley return to the summit.
Vermiglio’s men have been top for the majority of the campaign after a blistering start, and have taken seven points from nine, after a run of three defeats in four games gave their title rivals a chink of light.
But he feels his players have returned to their high standards as they head to Boston United on Saturday.
Ahead of Saturday’s win, Vermiglio sat down to remind his players how they have earned an opportunity to potentially return to the top tier of non-league for the first time in nearly three decades.
And he said: “It was more of a reminder of how we are, and why we are, where we are.
“The main thing is the togetherness, but also the intensity of the way we play.
“When we have been at our best, we have not stopped running and we have steamrolled teams because of our fitness and energy levels.
“Arguably we had not been at that same intensity over the last few games, but we certainly saw a difference on Saturday.
“Not just with the scoreline but how we scored and the intensity of the play.”
And he says his men are up for the fight in their remaining fixtures.
Speaking about returning to the top he said: “I’m absolutely made up.
“We’ve been battling like this throughout the season, we have fought it out with a few teams.
“We are in a position where we have to do it again.
“At the start of the season, Hereford were up there.
“Then it was Bradford Park Avenue, and now it is Stockport and Spennymoor.
“The lads are used to it (being at the top). We have eight games left.
“There will be ups and downs between now and the end of the season but by the end hopefully it will be us who sit top.
“We are genuinely the underdogs this season.
“We have got ourselves into a great position and with that little bit of a boost and togetherness mentality it is only going to help us.”
A 1,400-plus strong crowd watched the Magpies beat Kidderminster thanks to a Josh Wilson double and Marcus Carver goal.
And Vermiglio says his players noticed the noise at Victory Park on Saturday as he called for more of the same in the final eight games.
He said: “The atmosphere was really strong and they sang from the first whistle.
“You could really feel the support.
“I noticed it and I know the players noticed it.
“They said it was the best atmosphere they have ever had.
“We had near 1,500 on which is great.
“Four of our remaining games are at home and we need to make sure we take maximum points from our home games.
“Then it puts us in a good position.
“I think the fans underestimate the big part they play for a team like us - we need them to be the 12th man once again in these final eight games.”