Sam Allardyce has admitted it was important to give David Dunn a run-out in Blackburn's 2-1 win over Wigan.
The midfielder's season has been ravaged by hamstring and groin problems but he came on at half-time on Saturday to help Rovers to victory.
Blackburn had struggled to find much fluency in the opening 45 minutes and Dunn's introduction made a difference, although Allardyce accepts it will take some time for him to regain top form.
The manager is nevertheless pleased to again have at his disposal a player who produced a series of sparkling performances last term
"It was important to get David back on the pitch. Even though he looked a little bit rusty and not his normal self, he's a little bit closer to match fitness which is important for us," said Allardyce.
"It was about getting David on because we weren't passing the ball as well as we normally do.
"We were constantly giving the ball away to the opposition. David's retention of the ball is one of the best."
Allardyce concedes that it was vital to return to winning ways and pull clear of trouble, especially with tricky matches at Newcastle and Tottenham to come over the next seven days.
"Hopefully this will give us the platform to move forward into two very difficult away games this week," he said.
"Points are coming thick and fast now and we've taken the pressure off.
"Relief is an understatement. Pressure will always build on you when you don't get results even when the performances are as good as they have been.
"We're now out of the bottom three which is very, very important."