Paul Lambert was delighted to see Aston Villa dig deep against Norwich City and move on to 40 points for the season.
Having spent much of the campaign fending off the threat of relegation, Villa have now reached a points total generally considered to be enough to secure safety.
It remains to be seen whether it will be enough this term - with the Premier League basement battle seemingly set to go down to the wire - but a 2-1 victory at Carrow Road on Saturday has taken Villa five points clear of the bottom three with two games to play.
Lambert was quick to praise the efforts of his side against the Canaries, with an unchanged starting XI dragging themselves through another tough test five days after pummelling Sunderland 6-1.
"Everyone says the 40-point mark is the magical mark - we'll have to wait and see," Lambert told Sky Sports.
"One game today has certainly put us right up there. It was a big, big effort today - more so than Monday night's game because of the situation surrounding Aston Villa coming here.
"It was a big effort because the lads were tired, we went with the same team, but all credit to them because they were mentally strong to get over the line."
On Villa's form, which has seen them collect 16 points from their last eight games, he added: "I think we have been playing really well after the Bradford thing (in the Capital One Cup), when we started to get to grips with it.
"I think we have played very well of late. If you look at the form, it's extremely high at the minute, it's probably in the top half. Every big game we have asked them to turn it around, they've done it. I'm proud."