Avram Grant felt Chelsea recorded one of their 'most important' victories in beating Newcastle United 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues were without a string of first-team regulars due to injury and suspension, and took the lead in the first half through Michael Essien.
Nicky Butt levelled for the Magpies before Salomon Kalou, seemingly from an offside position, pounced for the winner three minutes from time.
Grant could understand why opposite number Sam Allardyce was upset with the result, but believes Chelsea merited the three points.
"I understand for them to concede a goal a few minutes before the end is very disappointing, but I can say nothing about their feelings," Grant told Sky Sports.
"I look at all the game and I think we created eight or 10 good chances to win, they created one or two, so we deserved to win."
The likes of Frank Lampard, John Terry, Didier Drogba and Ricardo Carvalho were missing for Chelsea to leave Grant proud of those who did play.
He added: "I think this is one of the most important victories. Everyone reminded me what happened last year in this period of the season with two or three injured.
"We had 10 injured and it is time to say well done to those who played today. We showed good football in the first hour, and good spirit and good character towards the end, and I'm very proud of them."