Keith Hill hailed Ian Henderson's cool head after his late goal against Torquay made it successive 1-0 home wins for Rochdale.
Henderson's 77th-minute winner lifted Dale up to ninth in the Sky Bet League Two table and maintained their unbeaten run at Spotland so far this season.
Hill admitted Torquay deserved a share of the spoils - but was delighted to see Krystian Pearce's defensive error fall to Henderson's feet.
After a quick exchange of passes with Scott Hogan, Henderson carried the ball into the area and beat Martin Rice with a composed finish to hand Dale the three points.
"I don't think there was anyone better for the ball to fall to in that situation than Ian Henderson," admitted Hill.
"We are always going to have one, maybe two or three chances where we open up the opposition and no one does that better than him.
"We'd changed things around with Scott Hogan's pace down the middle and Matt Done and George Donnelly either side because I wanted to go and win the game.
"We were stuck in second gear and we needed to get up to sports mode. We didn't quite achieve that but we did enough to win the game and that's where I'm really pleased.
"I'm delighted with the result because this was always going to be a difficult game. We knew after they lost 4-1 last week at Fleetwood that they would try to play on the counter attack, and they did it really well. We set our own traps at times, though they didn't really open us up and they would have been happy nicking a point.
"It was a frustrating afternoon with respect to how we moved the moved the ball about, but one thing I can guarantee is that we will be defensively resolute, and that has won us the game."