CHELTENHAM Town set a standard at Gillingham on Tuesday that must be matched for the rest of the season, says Darren Carter.
The midfielder returned from injury for the visit to the leaders, who were shut out at the Priestfield Stadium for the first time in League Two this term.
Cheltenham were the better side in the first half, creating a series of goalscoring chances, but they had to withstand considerable pressure after the break as the Gills piled forward in search of a winner.
It finished goalless and ahead of tomorrow's home match against Burton Albion (3pm) Carter knows the Robins must reproduce that level of performance on a regular basis if they are to have a chance of catching and then toppling Martin Allen's side at the summit.
"The thing is now expectation because we have set a standard and set a bar at Gillingham and we can't tail off now," Carter said.
"Tuesday night has given us confidence because it was even for long periods.
"We knew there would be a storm to weather and we did it well.
"The performance can only breed confidence and the lads can take a lot from that."
Carter was forced to sit out two matches with a hamstring injury picked up in the home win over Plymouth Argyle on October 23.
He immediately targeted Gillingham as his comeback game and said he felt fit and strong at the end of what was a breathless 90 minutes of end-to-end football.
"My legs felt fine and it was a challenging game," he said.
"They had a lot of runners from midfield and their front four or five have licence to go where they like so you have got to be switched on and track them, but also support our front player too.
"My fitness levels are great and I don't see anything holding me back now because my sharpness will get better and better."
A win over Burton could be enough to lift Cheltenham to second if Port Vale come unstuck against Southend.
But Carter knows fifth-placed Burton will have their sights set on catching Cheltenham.
"It will be tough and we have to be well drilled and confident," Carter said.
"In our last two at home we've scored three goals so hopefully we can keep scoring and picking up points.
"If you do beat the teams around you, you have every chance.
"We've done well against lower-placed sides and we know we are in a great position.
"We could go second on Saturday and that's an incentive we have to use.
"It's a massive month for us and if we can come out of November in a similar position or higher than we are now it will be fantastic and I still think there is more to come from us."