Grimsby Town manager Ian Holloway was left ‘excited’ after the Mariners’ 4-2 win over Newport County in Sky Bet League Two at Blundell Park.
Town took the lead in the first minute through Bradley Garmston, before Jordan Green equalised for Michael Flynn’s side nine minutes later.
Josh Benson restored the Mariners’ lead with a free-kick five minutes from half time, before James Hanson made it 3-1 with his ninth goal of the season on 61 minutes.
Former Town striker Padraig Amond pulled one back for the Exiles on 68 minutes, but Max Wright rounded the victory off as his deflected shot dipped goalkeeper Tom King six minutes from time.
And Holloway says he’s beginning to see positive signs of something growing in his team.
He said: “There were a few punches thrown either way weren’t there? You certainly got your money’s worth.
“I’d like it to go a lot smoother than that, but it never does.
“I’m delighted because the lads have taken the defeat to Swindon on the chin.
“I’ve got to say well done to them because it’s not even spring yet, but I feel like something’s coming out of the ground.
“It’s absolutely, totally exciting. It’s nowhere near as exciting as I want it to be, and it’s probably exciting for the wrong reasons at times because we get in front and we wobble, but you’ve got to pay respects to the opposition too.
“Bits and pieces are coming. You’ve got to be patient – Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
And Holloway also hailed the importance of squad rotation and the strength in depth of his side.
He said: “When you look at some of the others they haven’t been fully fit.
“I’m going to have to do the same with Harry Davis – put him in and take him out – because you can break them.
“And if I break Hanson again I’m not going to get consistent results because, whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, he has a massive input so I need him fit and ready to go.
“And the players all realise that they’re value on the bench and it’s an honour to be on the bench because I’m going to have some soon who won’t even get that chance.
“But I’ll still love them and I’ll still tell them and I’ll still train them the same, and that makes us better and stronger.
“And that’s what I want to create – competition for places.”