Peter Clarke hailed a perfect afternoon’s work after he headed Blackpool’s winner at home to Millwall.
The defender met a Jamie O’Hara cross to seal three huge points against former Pool boss Ian Holloway’s Lions.
The win leaves Lee Clark’s side a point closer to safety, though they have eight points to make up on fourth-bottom Leeds.
Clarke was delighted with a goal and a clean sheet. The 33-year-old said: “It’s nice to get the three points – that’s the most important thing. To score is a bonus.
Clarke’s first-half goal in a scrappy, windswept game was his first since October 2011 and his first for Pool since he clinched a draw at Brentford in April 2006.
And he feels the points were much more important than the performance. “Unfortunately it might be we can’t play the prettiest of football at home between now and the end of the season,” he said.
“But if we pick up enough points to get ourselves where we want to be, then we’ll be delighted. We are realistic enough to know it’s not going to be easy to stay up but we’ve given ourselves a chance.
“Those three points were big and if we can do that more often we’ll have a real chance.”
Saturday’s header was Clarke’s first goal for the club in eight years when his strike earned Pool a point away at Brentford in April 2006.
As for his decisive goal after 33 minutes, Clark added: “The free-kick came in and just went over the defender’s head.”
“When I landed after heading it, I wasn’t sure if it was on target or not, so it was great to see it go in.”
Manager Clark shared in the scorer’s delight, saying: “It was a huge win. It was win at all costs.
“It wasn’t about the performance. It was always going to be about having the desire to get the three points and that’s what we got. I think my players have given me everything once again.
“At times we could have been a bit better in terms of quality, but you have to realise what the conditions and the surface were like.
“You’ve seen what my players are like when they are on a good pitch but they adapted well.”
The visitors had plenty of possession and boss Holloway was stunned as they slid to defeat.
He said: “How is that a defeat? I can’t understand it. The chances we created on a terrible surface...
“The events that led to their goal were pretty bizarre. My right-back wins a great header and the ref gives a free-kick.
“We’ve got to defend better and we’ve got to finish those situations better.
“We’ve got to bounce back with an FA Cup game (against Bradford) in midweek. ‘Stronger together’ is our motto and without that you can’t play for this club.”