Manager Darren Sarll said he never doubted his Yeovil Town team would regain their form after watching them make it three wins out of three with a 2-0 victory over Southend United at Huish Park.
Having picked up just one National League win in 2022, the Glovers have now got nine points from their last possible nine and the manager believes the experience will stand his young squad in good stead.
Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins after the game, he said: “I don’t want to be boring and say ‘I told you so’, but they had to learn and young players have to go through tribulations and come out the other side.
“We never stopped working hard and there’s so many of them back in form. Tom (Knowles) has been breath-taking, Dale Gorman and Matt Worthington in midfield, absolutely brilliant.”
He added: “Player form comes and goes, you can normally estimate the level of a player by how many times they can put in an 8, 9, 10 (out of ten performance).
“But these are young players and they had to go through these periods and it looks like they have come out of that troublesome period where they were looking bewildered, fatigued, and now they are looking alive.
“It will be the same thing next year if it’s another young team, that team will have to go through another learning process.
“Hopefully you get to that point where they can go and do it week in and week out.”
There was particular praise for goal-scorers Reuben Reid and Tom Knowles and playmaker Lawson D’Ath, who played his first 90 minutes since last May.
Of Reid, who opened the scoring in the fourth minute with his second goal of the season, the boss said: “He looks like a new man. He will say it’s because I have not played him for so long, so I deserve some of the blame and I don’t mind that.
“He played wonderfully well, there was maybe 25 minutes at the end of the first half when we didn’t utilise him enough, so the message at half-time was we had to use him.
“His qualities are his receiving qualities and you have to use them and in the second half we did that so much better.”
The goal means Reid has a scoring record of a goal every 2.2 games in National League football (rising to two-and-a-half little more if you include cup appearances) having played 396 league minutes this season.
Knowles took his to seven goals, putting him level with the now departed Joe Quigley as the club’s top scorer, when he doubled the advantage after eight minutes.
Sarll said: “When players are in form, they just see the ball and themselves being confident. That is the first time I have seen Tom enjoying himself and expressing himself and I was so pleased because he works so hard.”
On D’Ath, he added: “There’s a quote in football ‘playing in the future’ that Lawson typifies. He is always anticipating the next moment and I’m not sure how many people see the defensive side of that.
“For such a frail man, he picks up so many regains and it’s a terrific example, I tell Sonny (Blu Lo-Everton) ‘he’s the one to watch’, the way he maximises his athleticism.
“In the second half when he started finding space behind the midfield, you know when the ball comes to him he has time because he plays in the future.”
The club used the fixture to mark almost a year since the death of former captain Lee Collins with the defender’s daughters, Amelia, Laila and Charley-Mae, mascots for the game.
Sarll added: “The way the team played, especially in the second half, was very Lee Collins-like, there were some nice patterns of play.
“But I think about him every day, we have pictures around the club to remind us of him every day and one thing I never want to allow is for him to be forgotten.”