Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton said he has a happy changing room as his side pulled off a 1-0 win at Rotherham.
Ryan Yates netted the decisive goal midway through the second half as Forest managed to put 10 points between themselves and the Millers, who occupy the final relegation spot.
Windy conditions seemed to ruin both sides’ style of play in a forgettable first half.
Forest finally broke the dealock as Yates latched onto a loose ball in the box and fired past Viktor Johansson from close range.
Rotherham had their opportunities to level but Freddie Ladapo could not get a shot away from six yards out and then Michael Smith headed against the crossbar in stoppage time.
Hughton said: “It was a tough game. It was what we expected and if you are able to get an earlier goal it opens the game up a little bit more.
“We had to defend in numbers. It was quite difficult to get a real good rhythm in the game. Sometimes these kind of wins can be the most pleasing ones.
“At the moment, it’s a very happy changing room and sometimes that comes with this type of win.
“Rotherham are a good side. Nobody has beaten them convincingly and that was the case again. I thought we were the better side but it was a game that could have gone either way.”
Hughton singled out match-winner Yates for praise.
He added: “It was an important role what he did for us and he capped it with a goal. I think when a midfield player scores there’s that little bit more excitement.
“He has all-round qualities but he is a very disciplined player with a physicality about him.”
Rotherham manager Paul Warne felt his team looked tired after the gruelling schedule but could not criticise his side despite a fourth loss on the bounce.
He said: “It was a little bit disappointing. The best team won. We just looked jaded really. With hindsight, I should have changed the team more.
“We didn’t have loads of options where our energy is in the middle of the pitch. I can’t criticise the lads because they have been amazing. They just had a little bit more guile than us.
“I thought they played us really well. I just felt we weren’t winning enough first contacts and that their set-pieces were more deadly than ours. They just had more stardust than us.
“We had a couple of half-chances later on. On another night one of those goes in. But unfortunately it wasn’t to be. We just need to pick them up and strap them up because there is another game on Saturday.
“We didn’t look at our best. I felt for the lads because they wanted to perform.”