Paolo Di Canio thanked the Swindon supporters who helped to clear snow from the County Ground pitch after his team had moved into third place in npower League One with a 2-0 win over Shrewsbury.
Di Canio worked until midnight on Friday with 200 fans who gave up their evening to ensure the match went ahead.
The Italian ordered pizzas to feed the volunteers and was rewarded with Swindon's fourth successive home win.
"It was emotional to see kids and their dads helping on a cold night and for what they have done I am thankful," said Town boss Di Canio. "It was incredible what those supporters did for us but it shows the common feeling. They wanted to come to the game and they wanted us to win. The fact that we won is a present to them."
He added: "This was our worst performance since we lost in the FA Cup to Macclesfield.
"At half-time I said to the players you will be at the training ground on Sunday morning at five o'clock, and they improved straight away. We have to keep working hard to stay near the top of the table, but to be in third place is no accident."
After a lifeless first half, the hosts scored twice soon after the break with a penalty from Chris Martin and another goal from Andy Williams four minutes later. Disappointing Shrewsbury offered little as an attacking force but missed a penalty in the 83rd minute after Alan McCormack had fouled Jon Taylor.
Shrews boss Graham Turner said: "I was amazed when the referee gave Swindon their penalty. Williams was already slipping when he clashed with Connor Goldson.
"The two quick goals just after half-time knocked the stuffing out of us and the missed penalty at the end summed up our day.
"The dressing room was bitterly disappointed with Swindon's penalty but we did not defend well and did not work hard enough to retain possession. We were poor in the first half. We kept giving the ball back to Swindon and you do not get much time when a team as good as Swindon are closing you down."