Notts County head coach Luke Williams labelled Stockport the best League Two team that he has ever seen after his side lost 2-1 at Edgeley Park.
Goals from front Kyle Wootton and Paddy Madden put the Hatters in control, but a late David McGoldrick strike set up a nervy finish.
Stockport remain six points clear at the top of the table.
Williams said: “They are the best League Two team I’ve ever seen because even when you’re playing, dominating and putting the pressure on them, they don’t crumble.
“When you watch them when they get a foothold in the game like we saw them last week and many times before this season, they can just crush a team.
“In order to be a really top team, you have to be able to be consistent and you have to be able to play when you’re the second-best team on the pitch for a moment, and to weather the storm, not crumble and come back and be the best team on the pitch.
“Or you can take the scruff of the game by the scruff of the neck and run away with it. They can do everything like that.
“I think when a team win 12 league games back-to-back, it’s hard to imagine that they’re not an incredible team.”
After earning promotion from the National League last season – just as Stockport did in 2021/22 – Williams believes that his side can learn a lot from Friday night’s opponents.
He said: “There’s a lot of comparisons but we have to make our own path. They’re incredible at what they’ve done.
“Each coach and club is different but there will be things we can learn from them for sure and we can use them as an inspiration.”
Dave Challinor has been at the helm throughout and after guiding Stockport to the play-off final last term, he is hoping to go one better this time around.
After playing everyone in the league once up until this point, Challinor has made his mind up about which team are the strongest Stockport have faced so far.
The Hatters boss said: “It’s really nice of Luke to say that and I’d then flip it the other way.
“I think they’re the best team that we’ll play this season and I would love to play against their team with our full-strength team and their full-strength team. It would be a fantastic game.
“We’re efficient as a League Two team, we have different ways of doing things. We showed a different string to our bow. In the second half, we’ve had to accept that with us being aggressive, we were being played through.
“We had to play a different way to try and get a result and massive credit to the players for doing that.”
Despite being top at Christmas, Challinor has to ensure his side do not get carried away.
He added: “We won’t get complacent. For us tonight, that’s a brilliant three points and a brilliant learning experience in terms of where we are currently and where we aspire to be.
“I think we can improve, but we won 12 games on the bounce and from that point onwards we won one, drew two and lost one and it was the end of the world.
“Since that we’ve won two so we know how football works. We have a group that know where we’re at.”