James Hanson is under captain’s orders to keep bullying defences into submission after City shot up to fourth.
A double strike from top scorer Nahki Wells fired them to a convincing 2-0 win at Aldershot on Saturday. But it was the contribution of his partner James Hanson which had Gary Jones raving.
Hanson missed most of last week with a virus but climbed off his sick bed to batter the struggling Shots.
Jones said: “James Hanson is awesome when he’s like that. He’s virtually unplayable.
“He didn’t just bully their centre halves; he bullied the whole back four. I thought he was fantastic.
“We missed him the other night (against Chesterfield) and it was great to have him back.
“Nahki benefits from him with the goals and we benefit off his overall play.
“I thought Hanson and Nahki gave them a terrible time and we were just there to fill in the gaps.”
Phil Parkinson revealed that he only made the decision to start Hanson on Saturday lunchtime because he had done so little training.
The City chief said: “He hasn’t been well and has lost a lot of weight but he put himself on the line to play. That’s what we need.
“It was a close call but when I asked James, his positive response told me all I needed to know. He wanted to be out there – and he won every header. He was absolutely immense.
“He was feeling drained after doing a bit of training on Friday and hadn’t been sleeping well. But now he’s got a couple of days to recuperate.”
City’s victory meant they rounded off a hectic spell on the road with only one loss from five away games.
Parkinson added: “Before we first played Northampton, we knew that five of the next six were away from home and we spoke about the mentality required.
“We had a team meeting in the hotel on Friday night and went through those games again to see what we’ve done well and what we haven’t.
“We’d only lost the one at Burton and there were mitigating circumstances for that. So I wanted the players to keep that run going against Aldershot and I think you saw as solid an away performance as you’re going to get.”
Aldershot, who moved off the bottom despite the defeat, have not scored at the EBB Stadium for five games. It was their sixth home loss already.
Jones added: “We were comfortable right through the game. You can’t play fast, flowing football every week but it was a good team performance.
“Sometimes it’s a case of horses for courses and getting the job done.
“Overall it’s going well and we’re up to fourth with two home games coming up. If we can get a good return from them, we’re really flying high.”