Gateshead manager Gary Mills says he has got to know his players better during their recent blip in form.
The 52-year-old in September, and just four losses in 20 matches lifted the club from 19th to fourth in Conference Premier.
One win in seven games since has seen them slip out of the play-off places.
"I'm still learning about the squad and have done so a lot lately. But I am thoroughly enjoying it and overall, our results have been good," he said.
Since winning promotion to non-league's top-flight in 2009, the Tynesiders' highest finish was the eighth place achieved three years later.
Last season, Smith guided them to 17th after midway through the campaign.
Mills two years ago but was after a poor run of form, despite the Minstermen sitting four places above the relegation zone.
"Expectations certainly went up after having such a good start," he told BBC Newcastle.
"I never made any promises about making the play-offs this year, or next, or the year after. I lost my job at York because of a change in expectation after early success.
"But I'm not saying we're not targeting promotion. I came here because that was a challenge I wanted to take on."
Forest Green Rovers visit the International Stadium this weekend, five months after to become their new manager.
"I can honestly say I have not thought about the decision since. I have a job to do here," he explained.