Jack Ross was delighted with the battling qualities his Sunderland side showed in their 1-0 New Year's Day victory against Blackpool.
Sunderland, roared on by more than 7,800 fans at Bloomfield Road, claimed the three points thanks to Josh Maja's first-half effort.
It was an evenly-contested affair, with Blackpool have several chances themselves, but it was Sunderland's extra quality that saw them see out the win.
“Most times we’ve been asked questions this season we’ve responded, we’ve done that again," Ross said.
“It was as tough a game as I expected given how difficult a venue it is to come to, it is pretty heavy conditions.
“I thought the energy and desire early on was good and I’m glad we got the goal in that period, because we needed it as you saw how difficult the game got as it got to the last stages.
“It was an important win but a pleasing win as well, given what the players had to show to win the game.
“Given the physical exertions of this period, I thought the players’ reaction was really good.”