Dean Smith was rewarded for giving Walsall Christmas Day off with one of his side's best displays of the season in a 4-2 win at MK Dons.
Will Grigg's brace plus goals from Febian Brandy and Jamie Paterson handed the Saddlers a League One double over the below-par Dons, for whom Ryan Lowe and Dean Bowditch were both on target.
Smith said: "It was a very good performance, a very good win, there were some very good bits of play, some very good goals.
"We started sloppily for their goal, I thought we should have done better for that, but we recovered and I can't ask any more of them. Maybe I should give them Christmas Day off every year.
"I thought tactically we were spot on. We knew they'd have a lot of possession, but we had a plan in terms of when we turned the ball over and it worked.
"It gives everyone a big boost, to go toe-to-toe with a team who are at the top and likely contenders to be up there challenging at the end of the season.
"We spoke about a few things at half-time, about where we could do better, and we certainly did that at half-time and restricted them to a few chances.
"It was really pleasing and we're just pleased we got the win and we can build on it now."