WHEN someone like Steve Yates says Town's campaign is now "feeling special" you sit up and take notice.
Just past his 34th birthday, the quietly-spoken Bristolian brings a wealth of experience to Peter Jackson's line-up.
Not only that, he is regularly turning out man-of-the-match performances against the likes of Yeovil and responding to the youthful exuberance around him with a granite will to win.
Yates knows what it takes.
A championship winner and Wembley performer with Bristol Rovers, he has been part of successful squads at QPR, Tranmere and, most recently, Sheffield United and can sense when things are looking good.
He is sharing in the bubbly confidence of his McAlpine colleagues at the moment having helped in a run of 28 points from 33, and speaks with passion about why Town are getting it right.
"We have got a team spirit here which is brilliant, everyone wants to win and no-one wants to let their teammates down," he said.
"No-one wants to lose a tackle; no-one wants to lose a header. Everyone wants to win for each other.
"It is very hard work, but I'm enjoying myself immensely because it's nice to be playing with a group of lads who want to win so much.
"You don't get that very often. You will usually find a few winners in a side, but we have got a whole team here who want to win and do well. That really helps to make it enjoyable for everyone.
"There is a lot of determination in the squad and the enthusiasm of youth filters through everything.
"This is their first season for a lot of them, they are trying to make a mark for themselves and they are doing a great job."
Yates pays tribute to manager Peter Jackson for the way Town's season is evolving and points to a particularly dark day in December as potentially the turning point.
"When you look back to earlier in the season our away form was poor," explained the Chester-based centre-back.
"You could probably put that down to inexperience, because we didn't seem to have the confidence to go away from home and win.
"It is great playing here at the McAlpine because the fans get behind us and it's our patch, but I remember us sitting in the dressing rooms at Macclesfield and saying: `look at our fans, they have turned out in droves and this should be like a home game, not an away game.'
"There were a few things said after that game, we took them on board and we have come on leaps and bounds since then, putting a fantastic record together.
"It is no use making predications because football can have a nasty habit of kicking you in the teeth, but we have crept up the League nicely, we are in a good position - where we want to be - coming towards the run-in for the season and we've now just got to hang on in there and keep doing the things which have served us so well."
Yates was one of Jackson's last signings in the summer - the budget being expanded to allow him and Efe Sodje to be added to the squad - and his only disappointment has been missing a couple of spells through injury and suspension.
"We have got great competition for places and everyone knows that if you are out and someone else does well, they will keep the slot," he said.
"Everyone knows exactly where they stand with the boss, which is brilliant, and no-one has complaints if they are left out through injury or anything.
"In that respect, the togetherness here is superb and probably the best I've ever known in my career.
"I have played in some good teams where the atmosphere has been good and we've had a laugh along the way, but those have been more experienced set-ups than this.
"At Bristol Rovers I was the youngest in the side and everyone else was 25 and plus.
"This is such a young side, where most of the players are under 23, and you don't get that very often.
"We have got something a bit special here in the way that everyone is in it together."
So how much is that down to Jackson?
"The manager has got a hell of a lot to do with it," answered Yates.
"His enthusiasm is tremendous and he encourages all the young lads to go out and play their game.
"He is not the type to bawl and shout at the youngsters, so they don't get a chance to get their heads down at any stage.
"He gives all the young lads heaps of encouragement and I think that's brilliant in a club manager.
"It helps, of course, that a lot of the younger players have come through the youth ranks together.
"They have grown up together in the same youth team, the know each other and socialise with each other and they are a really good bunch - lads who are determined to win and succeed."
Yates says it's important no-one gets carried away because there is a lot of hard work ahead, but he is relishing being part of a defence which has conceded just eight goals in 12 matches since that drubbing at Macclesfield.
"We get very disappointed when we concede and it's a good sign when defenders take it so badly," he said.
"Clarkey reads the game really well, he picks up anything loose around the edges and down the sides and he is playing particularly well.
"Sodje is a good guy to play alongside and the two wing-backs are very fit lads who work their socks off and, as I said before, we all want to do well for each other.
"The club, the manager and the fans are all one unit as far as I can see and we've got the best habit of all at the moment - winning matches."