Gianfranco Zola was happy to sacrifice his footballing principles to ensure West Ham stopped the rot with a 1-0 win at Sunderland.
Zola's Upton Park reign began with some free-flowing football, which brought entertaining victories in his first two league games.
But the Hammers then went seven games without a win before a deflected strike by Valon Behrami gave them a much-needed three points at the Stadium of Light.
Zola's men took a 20th-minute lead against the run of play and although Sunderland missed a host of chances to draw level, they never really tested keeper Robert Green and West Ham comfortably held on.
"I tried to keep smiling even when we weren't getting results but obviously today my smile is even bigger," he told Sky Sports.
"I'm pleased for the boys because they've been playing well and not getting results. Today they got the result that maybe they've deserved before.
"My first five or six matches we played really well. Sometimes it wasn't that pretty today but the result was the most important thing."
Zola is now aiming to ally his attacking instincts with a pragmatic approach as the Hammers hope to build on their current league position of 13th.
"Sometimes you play well and get nothing," he added.
"In those times you have to hang on, keep working and keep faith in what you're doing then sooner or later you're going to be rewarded. Today that's been the case.
"We've got to try to put them together. We know it's important to defend properly and the three points we got today proved that.
"But we've got to improve the quality of our football also, and we'll work on that during the week."