John Sheridan praised Chesterfield's work ethic after a 1-0 win over Tranmere proved enough to lift his side out of the relegation zone.
A second-half strike from Jordan Bowery was enough to decide a nervy contest and leave Tranmere still searching for their first win in 2012.
Sheridan said: "The lads worked really hard. We started on the edge, but we got into the game and it was a very workmanlike performance against a team that doesn't concede many.
"To keep a clean sheet was also pleasing. It's hard when you're at the bottom, so to come out and win we had to work hard. It's a great three points for us and it was excellent from the players."
Bowery's eighth goal of the season gave Chesterfield hope of staying up and Sheridan was delighted with the young striker.
"He was excellent and played like a proper centre-forward. He put himself about and he's a handful when he's like that."