City’s fitness guru paid tribute to the dedication of the players to keep going to the end of their marathon season.

Nick Allamby’s sports science approach has been credited for giving the squad the stamina to tackle their 64-game campaign – an unheard-of workload for a club in the lower divisions.

But Allamby admitted it would not have paid off if they had not been such willing learners.

He said: “I’ve been very impressed with them. When you come into a place, it takes time to win players over and everything we’ve put into place they’ve taken on board.

“Player adherence is the biggest thing for a plan to work and they’ve been fantastic.

“When you do pre-season, it can be difficult. They find it hard to do everything else. But once you get into games and start to pick up results, they see the fruits of their labour. It shows this is working and everyone has bought into it.”

The evidence of that came in the aftermath of the Capital One Cup final defeat when a play-off spot looked to be slipping out of City’s reach.

Allamby added: “We’d had the nice distraction of the Wembley trip but that obviously affected us a little bit.

“We were so many points behind at that stage and to come back and keep pushing like the team did was the most impressive thing for me. It was how they kept picking themselves up.”

Allamby, who previously worked with Middlesbrough, is expected to sign a new contract in the next few days. He feels it is important to keep the coaching structure in place as City prepare to step up another level.

He said: “The manager and Steve Parkin are fantastic. They’ve a great understanding of all the science that goes behind it and allow me to help them as much as I can.

“You’ve got four people (with physio Matt Barrass) here who are all singing from the same hymn sheet. We’ve not worked together before but we’ve gelled really well and that’s a great base to build on.

“I came down here with Colin Cooper, originally just to help with the last pre-season and did it part time. Then Phil arrived and asked me to do more hours.

“He said he liked what I did and it fitted with his ideology. He’s been a brilliant manager to work for and I’ve really enjoyed it.”