John Sheridan told his Swindon players to “give themselves a pat on the back” after taking a huge three points against fellow League One strugglers Bristol Rovers.
The manager was pleased with the performance as well as the result as Jack Payne’s 71st-minute strike settled a scrappy West country derby.
A Scott Twine free-kick rebounded off the defensive wall and Payne picked up the loose ball to drive into the box and fire home from 12 yards.
Rovers thought they had taken a 50th-minute lead when half-time substitute Zain Westbrooke fired in low from the edge of the box. But after consulting a linesman referee Andy Woolmer ruled offside against a team-mate, with both managers in agreement that the goal should have stood.
Sheridan said: “What pleased me most was the clean sheet.
“We were having to score two or three times to win because we conceded so often but the last two games have proved that if we keep ourselves in the match, we can come out on top without having to do that.
“We may have got a bit lucky with the offside goal. I haven’t seen it again but I would have been disappointed if that decision had gone against us.
“I was disappointed with how we started the second half. But it was a great strike from Jack and we passed the ball really well in the last 25 minutes.
“The lads can give themselves a pat on the back because they have put together two important wins. But we know how vital the next nine games are.
“The break now will give me a chance to rest some players ahead of two big games over Easter.”
Rovers boss Joey Barton was angry about the disallowed goal, saying: “Once again officials have decided a game.
“You watch the incident again and are just left scratching your head. The linesman has guessed and a perfectly good goal has been ruled out for offside against a lad who wasn’t interfering with play.
“I keep going on about how poor the officials are in our league. No doubt I will get another apology, but that moment could have a massive influence on our efforts to stay up.”
Barton’s team did not escape his criticism, however.
“Some of my players need to have a look at themselves to see whether they want to be part of this club,” he said.
“That is not me being threatening, it’s a fact. I am here to do a major reset job because there are things wrong at the club, and I can assure supporters that I will get that job done.
“In the meantime, we have nine games left and I still believe we can survive in League One, although tonight is a major kick in the teeth.”