Fleetwood Town assistant boss Chris Lucketti admitted his team were left nursing their wounds after emerging victorious from a pitch battle at Dagenham.
“There’s ice packs all over the dressing room and rightly so,” said Lucketti.
“When you get three points you’ve got to earn it and there’s going to be heavy tackles and knocks along the way.
“We have to be prepared to take them and we were.”
Town had to show a different side to their character after cruising past Accrington Stanley on New Year’s Day.
But Lucketti was delighted with how the Fleetwood players adapted and applied themselves to the task at hand.
He said: “It was a performance full of desire and spirit and we had to fight for three points, particularly in the second half.
“Over the 90 minutes I thought we were the better team.”
Town bossed the opening 45 minutes but created few chances. Lucketti insisted the half time team talk had been an easy task given the openings Fleetwood had carved out before the break.
He said: “We just told them to keep going.
“We had a lot of possession first half without testing their keeper. They had danger and pace up top and we had to be aware of that.
“We were really pleased with the lads in the first half, we just needed that end product.”
And despite Dagenham providing a few scares early on in the second half, Town got their rewards with a goal by David Ball.
“Get Bally in the box and he’s capable of doing that,” said Lucketti. “He’s clinical. He’s the one person, at that moment in time, we wanted to be in there.
“That’s who you wanted it to fall to, he’s took it great and deserved his goal.”