Sunderland manager Roy Keane saluted his side for winning 'ugly' in the six-pointer against Wigan at the Stadium of Light.
The former Manchester United star was reunited with former team-mate Steve Bruce for the third time this season and Keane's Black Cats came away with a scrappy but hard-fought 2-0 win.
"When you're playing teams that are fighting down at the bottom end of the table then, especially with our away form, we have to try and get good results at home," he said.
"It's important, but again we'll keep fighting till the end of the season and see how vital it was.
"We knew that if we were going to win today, we'd have to win ugly and we did that. We've not shown that enough times this season so credit to the players for that.
"The second goal of the game I think was worthy of winning any game."
Dickson Etuhu put the home side ahead when he headed home Dean Whitehead's free-kick before the stroke of half-time. Then striker Daryl Murphy hammered home a powerful effort into the top corner to kill Wigan's hopes for a revival.
When asked if Keane thought Sunderland's excellent home form was a good enough platform for survival, he told Sky Sports: "Of course, especially if you're not picking up anything away from home, so I think credit goes to the supporters for that - they were outstanding today.
"There was a few nervy moments, as you'd expect, but they kept behind us and if we can get a goal in front at the Stadium of Light, then it's very hard for teams to beat us."